Breaking New Ground—Stories from Defence Construction Breaking_new_ground - Page 144

Appendix: Presidents Gallery Richard Golding (Dick) Johnson 1951–1963 DCL’s first President was hand-picked for the job by the Honourable C.D. Howe, having worked in the construction industry and in government service for much of his career. Born in Calgary in 1913, Dick Johnson received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta in 1933, and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the same institution in 1935. After practicing law and working for a trust company, he entered federal government service as a solicitor in the Legal Branch of C.D. Howe’s Department of Munitions and Supply in 1940. By 1944 he had become director of the department’s Defence Projects Branch. Dick left government service in 1945 and was appointed general manager of the Canadian Construction Association. When Defence Construction was created in 1950, federal officials requested that Dick be loaned to the new organization—the loan became official employment at DCL on April 1, 1955. 134 C.D. Howe had selected Dick Johnson for his credibility with the industry—he was well respected by the business community, despite his relatively young age of 37. He proved a steady guiding hand for the organization through its formation and the fast-paced projects of its first 12 years—some of the busiest of DCL’s existence. With the job that he had been called upon to do largely complete, Dick resigned as President in 1963, but remained involved with the construction industry, later becoming President of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction and Chair of the Canadian Construction Management Institute. He retired in 1978, and passed away in 2005. In his obituary, Dick was remembered as “an innovative builder, consummate administrator, artful conciliator, the vanguard of the family, a man of wit and good taste, ever the gracious host. And throughout his life: ‘always a gentleman.’” This was certainly the man that DCL knew as President. BREAKING NEW GROUND DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA