Raymond D. MacDonald

This Is a True Story

was born and raised in Saskatchewan and graduated in Civil Technology from the Saskatchewan Technical Institute at Moose Jaw in the spring of 1968. Moose Jaw is a place where you can watch your dog run away for two days! During these years I enjoyed music and played the accordion for 12 years and performed on local television five times. I was also involved in Scouting where I achieved my Queen Scout Award, and basketball, where I had played first string guard while attending Moose Jaw. This was not a pygmy team as some of you are thinking!

After graduation, I was hired by Highland Exploration and moved to Calgary in 1968. Within a month, I was sent to Melville Island as a junior surveyor, where I lived in a tent for two months. I enjoyed the Arctic as it reminded me of my scouting expeditions.

That fall, I was asked to work in the office, drafting maps and checking survey notes. That following winter I went back to the field and eventually was employed with CGG in the Arctic Islands as a surveyor. During the next few years I worked on about twenty different islands in the Arctic, central Canada, Montana, North Dakota, and Michigan. In June of 1974, I decided to upgrade my survey capability to stay closer to home. I articled with Tronnes Surveys Ltd., and in the fall of 1977 I received my commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor. At this time I was managing the company, and had become a partner in the firm. After receiving my A.L.S. I left and established my own survey company in early 1978. My first job was back with Morris Eidsness checking on the survey of a crew he had hired from the United States to work in Central Alberta. By spring break-up I had made a commitment to do some legal survey work in Red Deer, where I worked until September. With a busy seismic season expected, I was asked by Joe Little Sr. to sub-contract the survey for Alexco Geophysical Ltd. I was able to hire some good employees of which several of them are still working with us today. My philosophy has always been, to be honest and do the best job that can be done. I ask this of my employees and emphasized how important it was in order to achieve a long term business relationship with our clients.

The winter went well, and the following spring I was approached by Al Jamieson whom I had worked with at Tronnes Surveys Ltd. He wanted to transfer his articles to me and become a partner in the firm. Since I had worked previously with Al and knew his potential, I felt very honoured, and thus the partnership began. Over the next few years Al obtained his commission as an Alberta Land Surveyor, and Canada Land Surveyor. Al and I have had our ups and downs, but we were always there for each other, and have always had a positive attitude. I believe this has been the key to our success. Our partnership is now approaching twenty years, and is as strong as ever. Today, we have up to seventy-five employees whom I feel are family to us. Their dedication and commitment have been also added to the success of our company.

Raymond D. MacDonald

I have worked on many committees, including the Mulligan Golf League, the Doodlebug Golf Tournament, the Doodlespiel, the Tough Times Golf Tournament, and the Willow Park Charity Golf Classic. I have been a director for the past eleven years with the Alberta Oilmen's Curling Bonspiel and most recently was the Director for Sponsorship for the Calgary 1997 Labatt Brier. I cannot express how much I enjoy working on these committees and making new acquaintances that always develop into long term friendships. I urge everyone to try and volunteer in any aspect, and give back to the industry that we so dearly love. The seismic industry is unique in that you will be bidding against someone on Monday, then socializing with them on Tuesday and talking about their families and carrying on a conversation as friends.

I am very proud of my involvement in the Seismic industry over the past 29 years and of the friendships that have been made. This would not have happened without the love and support of my family. Every week I give Betty "a listening to". This is when I sit and say "yes dear, yes dear" I notice lately that the "listening to" is getting shorter and shorter, which means to me, that either I am getting better, or maybe she has just given up on me.

I enjoy telling "True Stories" and watching people smile and enjoy life. I relate to a song from Trooper that basically sums up my feelings. "We're here for a good time, not a long time, so have a good time, the sun doesn't shine every day."



Share This Column