Bert was born July 2, 1930 in Asquith, SK. In 1941, his parents moved back to England where he was raised in Weymouth Dorset. After receiving his BA Honours in Geography from the University of London, Bert joined the City of Saskatoon Engineering Department in 1952. In 1963, Bert became the City Planner and then on to Director of Planning and Development until 1987, when he became the Director of Special Projects until his retirement. He left a strong impact on the form of Saskatoon, beginning with his contribution to the City of Saskatoon Development Plan, 1966 and carried through his commitment to the City’s land banking program and riverbank protection.
He made a very significant contribution to professional planning in Saskatchewan. He was the longstanding Chairman of the Saskatchewan Provincial Planning Appeals Board. He was a formidable protagonist within the meeting room or Council Chamber, but remained approachable and open to his colleagues. Bert was viewed by many as a mentor and very fine example of a professional planner in terms of his values and his participation in affairs of the Town Planning Institute of Canada since the middle 50s. His professionalism was well known as he demonstrated a vision based on planning principles, incisive in his analysis, and relentless in his pursuit of sound planning goals. Bert was respected by his planning masters and, in turn, demonstrated strategic skills. Based on his vision, integrity, leadership, and commitment to excellence, he was one of the giants of planning in Saskatchewan.
Over the years, Bert loved collecting stamps; bird hunting with his friends and faithful lab companion as well as bowling and fishing with his sons. On his 75th birthday, Bert learned that a street was to be named after him in Saskatoon’s Stonebridge neighbourhood recognizing his years of public service. As he said, ‘the bottom line was that I’ve never wanted to have any other profession or live anywhere else and I will fight for what I believe in.’
Bert passed away in Saskatoon, SK on October 19, 2014 at the age of 84.