Ed Fulmer (President in 1967): The CSEG was formed in 1949 by a very mixed bag of people working in Calgary, geophysicists and geologists and some that were just in town briefly, such as contractors. Word came out in June of 1949 that they were hoping to form a society and they had called a get together at the Palliser. About 64 of us showed up for that evening meeting and everybody agreed that we should form a society. I don’t recall how we chose the leadership. I don’t remember a ballot or anything; they were probably nominated and acclaimed. My boss, the head of California Standard at the time, John Galloway, became President. Lindy Richards, who at that time was chief geophysicist of Hudson Bay Oil and Gas became the secretary, I think, and Charlie Moore, who was the Canadian manager for Geophysical Service became the treasurer (Figure 1). They were the founding group and got us off to a resounding start. I must say I don’t think the society has ever looked back from there.
After we had the formal meeting, chose the executive and posed for a photograph, we adjourned to a couple of suites upstairs. Several of the drilling contractors and others had laid in a little supply of potables so we had a pretty good bull session, standing around, sipping, talking, telling lies and so forth. I guess it got a little noisy, as you would expect from 50 or 60 people gathered together in fairly small confines. At one point there was a rap on the door and it was the house detective. Through a chain of circumstances that I won’t go into, I happened to know the guy. I managed to persuade him that this was akin to a church meeting and nothing untoward would happen, that we were just having a good bull session here. So he went away happy and the party finally wound down and we all went home in our various stages of happiness. So it was a nice inaugural meeting with lots of bonhomie and it got the thing off to a fine start.
Wes Rabey (President in 1973): It was on a cold fall evening that we went down to the Palliser Hotel. There was a big discussion as to whether or not we should do this because we were a segment of the SEG and here we were now setting ourselves up as a separate society under the arm of the SEG but with our own executive and doing our own thing. There were a lot of pros and cons and many of the U.S. boys said that they didn’t think this was a good idea but the Canadian boys said we think we want to do our own thing here. I can remember that after the meeting there was a lot of discussion about whether we should have done it or not but it turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened for us here in the geophysical industry. The geophysical industry is so strong in Canada and because we are all pretty well collected here in one close knit community, Calgary, and maybe to a certain extent Edmonton, we are able to exchange ideas and do things which isn’t that possible in the U.S. where they have different regional areas.
Jack Pullen (President in 1975): I came to Calgary in 1953 to live and the geophysical group was having the occasional evening meeting, a technical meeting where you learned about geophysics. That’s what drew me into the CSEG.
Peter Savage (President in 1962): I was the first editor of the Society, in the 50s. James Gray, the historian, had a small publication called the Western Oil Examiner and he gave us unlimited space in it for anything we wanted to publish. This was great, it was fabulous and he was a tremendous person to work with. For about a year we worked with Western Oil Examiner and I was the editor. We taped the speeches of Tuzo Wilson and Bullen, the Australian geophysicist. Most of these people spoke to us without notes so we had to tape them. I can remember taping Tuzo Wilson. The speech was in the Jubilee Auditorium in what’s now the Betty Mitchell Theatre and the tape equipment was all up in the main theatre room, where all the controls were. So I watched the Alberta Ballet while I listened to Tuzo Wilson on the tape. Dear Tuzo, he was such a raconteur, he started off his talk by telling us the most incredible story about encounters with a sheriff that he’d had while on a geological field party in Wyoming and used up the whole bloody tape. I had to tape over it and it just broke my heart to tape over this story of Tuzo’s to get the talk that he had come there to give, which I think had to do with the International Geophysical Year. My secretary had as much fun trying to decipher these talks, especially Keith Bullen’s, with his Australian accent. Fortunately we had a monograph that he had written so we could translate the words into useable English.
Just about everything went into the Western Oil Examiner; all the news, the updates of what was coming, the talks that had been given, as best we could transcribe them, and a couple of articles that we had written ourselves. At that time the CSEG was doing lectures in the schools on geophysics. We had several very interesting papers on basic geophysics and we published those in the Examiner. It was a good program.