Warner Loven

Warner was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta in 1928. At the time Grande Prairie was a small town of about 350 people, with board sidewalks and dirt streets. Warner's mother was the first Matron of the Grande Prairie hospital. In the 1920's the Northern Alberta Railroad was built from Edmonton, AB to Dawson Creek, BC The railroad arrived in Beaverlodge, AB in 1928. In 1930 Warner's folks moved to Beaverlodge where his Dad operated the Frontier Lumber Yard. Warner grew up in Beaverlodge and attended a 4 room school where 4 teacher's taught 12 grades. This was obviously before they were unionized. During his school years, Warner worked at his Dad's Lumber yard and on a farm about a mile north of town.

Warner enjoyed playing hockey and baseball. In the spring of 1946 during a baseball game with "D" Company from Grande Prairie, Warner was struck by lightning. The doctor of the town was the manager of the baseball team, to whom Warner credits for saving his life. The lightning bolt ripped his shoes off and into shreds, blew a hole in his baseball cap, fused the zipper on his jacket, and burned his pants and socks . Warner suffered second degree burns to his legs. The lightning tore a big hole behind his knee on one leg where it had exited his body and blew the end of his second toe off on the other leg. Despite spending six weeks in the hospital he was back playing baseball before the summer was out. There was one silver lining to this very dark cloud. The time spent in the hospital caused Warner to miss his Grade XII departmental exams resulting in one more year with 13 girls and only 1 other boy in his class.

Warner Loven

In the fall of 1948 Warner enrolled in the Science Faculty at the University of Alberta to pursue a Geology major. While at University, Warner was on the Wrestling Team and played inter-faculty hockey. Warner's first wrestling match outside of inter-club matches was in Calgary at the YMCA. The "Y" had no one in his weight class, so a match was arranged with a wrestler in a heavier division. When Warner's opponent, who just happened to be a 200lb giant, appeared in the ring, Warner's nervousness at the sight of this monstrosity went straight to his bladder. However, Warner prevailed and won the match. Another sports story happened during an inter-faculty hockey game, Warner remembers an incident in which a future Premier of Alberta knocked out two of Warner's teeth and gave him an eleven stitch cut on his upper lip. The future Premier did not leave the scene entirely unscathed.

In the summer of 1950, Carter Oil (A division of Imperial Oil) was recruiting summer students for work on portable seismic crews in Northern Alberta. Warner filled out an application and in just a short time was notified that he had been hired. The crew was assigned a project just west of Zama Lake. Horses were used to pack in supplies from the nearest lake where a pontoon-equipped Beaver aircraft could land.

Warner performed various functions such as Driller, Shooter, Juggie, Head Cable Man, and Junior Observer. Shot holes were drilled with a hand operated post-hole auger, lines were cleared with axes and cable was laid out with a breast reel. The recording instruments and batteries were moved by pack horse. Production was about 1 shot point per day on average. What was really the worst part of it all was working in the bush of Northern Alberta in the summertime with all the insects. It seemed that everything that flew could bite. In fact the bugs we re so bad that when nature called, you had to build a smudge (smoke in the eye was better than bites on the butt). The duration of the job was from May 25th till October 10th. Yes, Warner's memory is as sharp as ever. He remembers collecting $1200.00 by the end of the summer, however, this did not quite finance the entire year at the U of A and as a result he had to visit a Student Loan officer in February.

Warner graduated from the U of A in April of 1951 with his Bachelor of Science (Geology Major) degree. In May he was hired by Western Geophysical, where his first assignment was on a seismic crew in Wetaskiwin. Warner progressed through the company from Jr. Computer to Vice President and Manager of Operations in 1963, a position he held until he resigned in December of 1983. During Warner's first 9 years with Western as a Party Manager and Party Chief, the family moved 42 times. In order to have his family with him, the Loven's lived in a house trailer. The first one was a used 24' Kozy Coach and later moved to a 40' Anderson Trailer. In the spring of 1961 the house trailer was traded in for a down payment on a house in Charleswood where Warner and Joy, his wife, live today. Charleswood at that time was a new residential area northwest of Calgary.

Warner Loven

A brief sojourn with Pacer and Pinnacle Geophysical followed in 1984 to 1985. In 1986 Warner then went to work for Sonics Exploration as a Supervisor. In 1989 a company located in Norway called Geco acquired Sonics. Schlumberger then took over Geco and later acquired Prakla Seismos that was a company located in Germany, hence the name became Geco-Prakla. Since 1989 Warner has been associated with Geco-Prakla as a Supervisor and more recently as a Consultant.

Warner has had a very fulfilling life up to now concerning his career, but what he recalls as the best of all was the day that he married Joy Gilmour of Hythe, Alberta.

When Joy arrived in Edmonton to study nursing at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Warner thought he would give this acquaintance of his a break from her studies and ask her out. They were married in 1951 and over the course of the years had 5 children, of which 3 are boys and 2 girls, who now have provided them with 5 grandchildren.

There is one dream that Warner has kept with him for a very long time, that of being a farmer. In 1954 he took out a homestead at Bear Canyon in the Northwestern part of Alberta. He later sold the original homestead and bought a 400 acre farm about 4 miles NE of Beaverlodge, his old hometown. However, Warner has said that if he was going to be a farmer, he would not have full cooperation from his wife, so his last agricultural endeavor was disposed of in 1986. Warner has now settled for Gardening. He says that he is quite happy and very fortunate to have a friend who has a ranch just West of Nanton, where he can fulfill his dream by helping out on weekends.

Warner will have spent nearly 49 years of his life in the seismic industry. He was the first President of the Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors and was Chairman of the C.P.A. Geophysical Committee for 2 years. The changes that he has seen, from 24 trace paper records to 2400 trace 3D's are mind boggling. Probably the most satisfying aspect of his work over the years was making an interpretation from the old paper records that did in fact produce fairly accurate maps of the subsurface geology.

Warner is currently an active member of SEG, CSEG, CSPG, CAGC. and APEGGA. Oh, most important of all Warner enjoys Curling and a good game of Golf. When does he ever find time to work?

In his final words, Warner feels quite confident that the seismic industry will be around well into the 21st century. There will be careers for Geologists, Geophysicists and Engineers for a very long time to come.



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