1956: J. Graham Dale, P.Eng.


James Graham Dale was born in Cranbrook, B.C., on January 7, 1910, the eldest of five children. He attended the University of Alberta, enrolling in engineering in the fall of 1928 and later specializing in electrical engineering.

In 1929 the Great Depression began, making it difficult to find summer employment to pay for an education. Student loans did not exist at the time. After completing two years of university, Dale had to withdraw from the program to take full-time employment as an electrician's helper at Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company's facilities at Chapman Camp near Kimberly, B.C. He returned to university, completing his degree in the spring of 1934.

Permanent jobs were almost non-existent at that time. However, he learned by chance that Northwestern Utilities was hiring engineering students to do survey work over the summer, measuring buildings in the city for energy consumption estimates. Dale's summer job became his lifelong career. Forty years later, he would retire from the company's customer service and utilization division.

Dale became a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Alberta (APEA; now The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta) in 1941. He volunteered to serve as its registrar (1943-47), followed by many years of service on key committees. He was elected to council (1948-52) and later vice-president (1955) and president (1956). Four years later he was elected president of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (now Engineers Canada).

For his contributions to the association, he was granted Honorary Life Membership (1960) and received the L.C. Charlesworth Professional Service Award (1975). He also received two other major awards for his contributions to engineering – a Centennial Medal (1967) "in recognition of valuable service to Canada" and a Professional Achievement Award (Community Service) from the faculty of engineering at the University of Alberta during the 75th anniversary celebrations of the faculty in 1988. Dale passed away in 1993.