David Whitfield Lambden, born March 11, 1929, died peacefully at his home on June 4, 2021, surrounded by friends and family. David was born in Galt, Ontario, to Londoners Arthur Horace Lambden (1896-1989) and Enid Grace Richardson (1898-1940). Arthur and Enid immigrated to Canada in the early 1910s; they met and married in Galt, Ontario.
David was predeceased by his first wife Mona Ralston Roy (1926 - 2014), his older brother John Richardson Lambden (1927 - 2017), his younger sister Maryclare Arvilla Lambden (1947 – 2016), daughter Deborah Constance Mona Lambden (1954 - 1981) and grandson Nicholas Michael Andrew Lambden (1996 – 2007).
David was survived by children Christopher, Enid, Catherine, and John as well as 15 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren from his first marriage to Mona Ralston Roy.
He is also survived by Elizabeth Ann Lambden (Rickards) along with their three sons Robert, James and Andrew from his second marriage, and their three grandchildren Madison, Jake and Katie.
David studied at the University of New Brunswick, where he met Mona Ralston Roy, both studying forestry. David graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Forestry in 1950. In 1951 David was licensed as a land surveyor in Nova Scotia, joined the Office of the Surveyor General in Ottawa in 1952, was licensed as an Ontario Land Surveyor in 1953 and a Dominion Land Surveyor in 1954. In 1955 David opened a private practice in Fort Frances, when he happily pursued surveys of isolated First Nation lands.
David loved the natural environment and thrived in his work. He was dedicated to his surveying activities involving water boundaries, First Nation claims, and grid work in the prairies. As a Forester, David knew fauna and flora as well as boundary law.
In 1957, Marsh Magwood, the Director of Titles of Ontario, appointed David as the first Examiner of Surveys. In that capacity, David drafted survey-related regulations that founded modern versions and wrote the first edition of the Boundaries Act. He also arranged for and introduced the deposit of “Description Reference Plans” in the Land Registry system.
In 1959, David moved towards new horizons and relocated to Australia, where onboard the ship he met Elizabeth Rickards. By 1960, David was registered as a surveyor in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. He received a Diploma in Town and Country Planning from the University of Sydney in 1963, has been a member of the R.I.C.S. since 1965, and, in 1967, was registered as a surveyor in New Zealand.
David was in California from 1963 to 1966, and New Zealand in 1967 and 1968. He returned to Sydney in 1968 where he lectured in the School of Surveying at the University of New South Wales. As of 1972, David was a principal in the firm of Kent & Curdie Pty Ltd. and was business manager and editor of the Australian Surveyor at that time.
In 1974 David returned to Canada to lecture in the Survey Science program at the University of Toronto. David’s contributions through lecture notes and materials, seminars at AOLS meetings and many publications were foundational to the knowledge of Ontario Land Surveyors today, especially with respect to legal survey principles.
Concurrently with teaching, David practiced as a consultant on survey-related issues. He appeared as an expert witness in several court cases and participated a vs a fact-finder in settling First Nation claims. David continued his consulting business well after retirement as Professor Emeritus from the University in 1994.
In 2006 David was presented with the AOLS Professional Recognition Award. An annual scholarship was subsequently established in his name by the South Central Region of the AOLS.
Throughout his career as forester, surveyor, educator and consultant, David freely assisted surveyors, lawyers, former students, and the public—anyone with questions requiring his extensive knowledge and expertise.
David was generous and had an incredibly adventurous spirit. He worked hard at all his endeavours and was just as much a student of his profession as he was a teacher. His wide-ranging life experiences will serve him well on this next great adventure! The world—especially the surveying community—will not be the same without him.
In recognition of and appreciation for care provided at Guelph General Hospital over many years, gifts in David's memory may be made to The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital at
www.gghfoundation.ca, click the yellow donate button
Gifts will help Guelph General Hospital save lives and improve health through the Circle of Life program.
Resting at the Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home, Dublin Chapel, 252 Dublin Street, North, Guelph on Friday, June 11, 2021 from 12 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. To attend a visitation time, please RSVP on the funeral home website. Please note that masks or face coverings must be worn. Due to the current restrictions, the service will be private.