President’s Notebook

We Bid Farewell to Two
Influential APEGGA Builders


Life-changing events. We can all think back over our lives and careers and think of several times when something happened that changed our lives. We may not have appreciated the significance at the time, but in looking back, we know that a turning point was reached.

Stewart McIntosh, P.Eng., called me in the summer of 1991 and asked me to sit on APEGGA's Practice Standards Committee. I agreed, and for me that was a life-changing event. I had not been an active volunteer with APEGGA before then, but Stewart's call put me on the path to the role I have today.

Stewart had the same influence on a great many other members of APEGGA who are now also active volunteers. We have a great deal to thank him for.

Beyond convincing so many to give some of their time to our professions, Stewart led by example, regularly demonstrating by his own actions the meaning of professional conduct. Stewart was the APEGGA staff member responsible for the Investigative Committee in the most recent several years.

In this role, he counselled many individuals who had become involved in APEGGA's Discipline Process, either by filing a complaint or by being complained against. Stewart was well known for his diligence in these matters, and his vigorous defence of fairness and justice for all who became involved in the process.

As you probably know, Stewart McIntosh passed away on Jan. 17. I mentioned Stewart in my November column, shortly after he had retired from APEGGA at the age of 79 years, and there have been several other articles, including the obituary that you will find on Page 6 of this issue of The PEGG.

In the final weeks of his life, Stewart received a concrete demonstration of the respect his peers have for him. In December he was presented the 2005 APEGGA L.C. Charlesworth Summit Award in a special ceremony.

This is not just any award. In many ways, it represents the kind of service that ensures APEGGA continues earning the privilege of self-governance. It is about long-term, exemplary service to the professions.

The Charlesworth Award goes to a member who has served the profession diligently for many years and made substantial contributions to the operation of the Association and the advancement of professional status. I can't think of a more deserving recipient than Stewart.

Another Loss
APEGGA lost another strong supporter in December of 2004. Dr. Norman Wagner passed away on Dec. 10 after a long battle with cancer. Norman had been a public member of APEGGA Council for four years, and an active and valued contributor to our Council meetings.

He understood very well that his role on Council was to represent the public, and to ensure that APEGGA's policies put the public interest first.

Norman brought a unique perspective to our Council meetings. He was both an academic and a business person, with plenty of experience in group decision-making. He was often able to help us see what we otherwise might have missed, and to do so in ways that eased tensions and brought humour to the table.

Among his many achievements, Dr. Wagner was president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary from 1978 to 1988. He was chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Natural Gas Co. Ltd. from 1991 to 1994, and was an officer of the Order of Canada. He was active in the community and served on many boards.

Dr. Norman Wagner was a busy man, but in addition to his many commitments away from APEGGA, he found time to act as a sounding board and mentor for APEGGA's presidents. All who worked with him in that way found the exposure to his perspective and unique way of thinking to be enormously valuable — so much so that the relationships established over many breakfasts carried on well after the presidents' terms had ended.

Establishing a relationship such as this with Norman proved to be another of those life-changing events for those who were lucky enough to benefit from his counsel.

APEGGA will miss Stewart and Norman. We are saddened that they are gone and that we will not have the benefit of their leadership in the times to come. Both of these gentlemen, though, would much prefer that we remembered them for their wond-erful contributions, and for the wisdom and joy that they brought to our lives. We shall do that.

We will continue to look to their examples for guidance, and remember our relationships with the pleasure and appreciation that both men prompted and would have loved to see.

If you have questions or comments, you can reach me at president@apegga.org.

Author Credits

APEGGA President