Who determines the qualification?

The Editor

Please allow me space in you news paper to comment on Mr. Simeon Hill’s land surveyor’s commission certificate.

In the March 17, 2006 issue of your newspaper under the title “Simeon Hill Responds” Mr. Hill published his “Lic’d Land Surveyor” certificate.

From the comments I have had on this certificate it appears that only Mr. Hill cannot read. Let me comment on it for his sake. The first paragraph says the Governor General has lawful authority to appoint any person whom he shall consider qualified to be a surveyor of land. The second paragraph says Mr. Simeon Nathaniel Hill is “so qualified”. Who determines this qualification? It continues in the third paragraph “NOW THEREFORE, I…Deputy Governor-General for the Island of Nevis by virtue of the aforesaid authority….” But this authority was given to the Governor-General of St. Kitts and Nevis as stated above, and not to the Deputy Governor–General for the Island of Nevis. Therefore the Deputy Governor-General has no legal authority to appoint land surveyors and in this exercise usurped the office of the Governor-General.

We all know that the Deputy Governor-General for the Island of Nevis, like the Lieutenant (Deputy) Governors for the Provinces of Canada, does not deputize for the Governor-General and in fact that Deputy for Nevis never acted at any time as Governor-General.

At the time Mr. Hill received this piece of paper he would have known the case of his companion and senior at Nevis Housing and Land Development Corporation (NHLD) who was properly recommended for the Land Surveyors commission and was given a certificate and an oath form to take the oath of office before the Governor-General in St. Kitts. Petty politics prevailed and he was made to take the oath before the Deputy Governor-General for Nevis at the Education Department. Soon his principals in St. Kitts prepared other forms and had him take the Oath before the Governor- General. Now he jokingly says he has two licences –a Nevis licence and a St. .Kitts-Nevis licence.

Please bear with me while I labour the details leading up to this published piece of paper.

Mr. Molyneaux, a member of the land surveyor’s board, wrote to some of the Caribbean Islands Lands and Surveys Departments about the articling period they required of graduates of the College in Jamaica. At the time he spoke to me he had received replies from two islands. St. Vincent required five years. He went on to say, referring to the two Nevis candidates, that he wanted these fellows to serve their articles. They were both required to serve two years articles.

Nine months after Mr. Hill returned from school in Jamaica he applied to the Land Surveyors Board (Board) for a commission. His boss at Nevis Land and Housing Department told me of the application. My quick response was “Why don’t you let the

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boy serve his articles.” He replied that a certain surveyor recommended him. Representation made by others said that Mr. Corker had left NHLD and that they wanted a land surveyor there. But Mr. Corker was not a land surveyor and there was in fact a land surveyor at NHLD. The Board did not recommend Mr. Hill to the Governor-General for a commission.

I have just received the Annual Report of the Alberta Land Surveyors Association and in the Registrar’s Report it is noted that 23 persons became members of the Association in 2005. “Alberta Land Surveyors who received their commission in 2005 had articled for an average of 46.1 months” According to the Geomatics Engineering Liaison Committee Report these surveyors would have done work terms during University called internship. During articles, after university graduation, they were required to make “three project reports meant to demonstrate competence in three different areas of cadastral surveying.”

Surveying has been described as a Public Service profession. It is incumbent upon those responsible for the commissioning of land surveyors to give to the public men and women who are competent.

s.a. douglas

Commissioned Land Surveyor