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Smith, Arthur Ryan

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Smith, Arthur Ryan

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Arthur Ryan Smith, C.M., D.F.C., O.C., A.O.E., Hon. LL.D., was born in Calgary on 16 May 1919, the son of Arthur LeRoy Smith, K.C. and Sara Isobel Ryan. He received his early education in Calgary and at Shawnigan Lake School, British Columbia. At age 16 Smith began working at the Turner Valley oilfield. He continued working in the oilfields for 4 years, until 1940 when he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. During the Second World War he served in 34 operations as an RAF Pathfinder Pilot overseas and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Arthur Smith had a long and illustrious career in business and he made significant contributions to public life. He was one of few Canadians to have served as a City Alderman (Calgary, elected 1953, 1963), member of a provincial Legislature (Alberta, elected 1955), and Member of Parliament (elected 1957, 1958, 1962). While an MP, he was Chairman of several parliamentary committees, and was an advisor and Canadian delegate to the United Nations (1957-1963). While at the UN he was a representative on the Special Political Committee of the General Assembly.

Mr Smith was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SNC Partec Inc. and Lavalin Services Inc. On his retirement he was retained as a Senior Consultant to Management of SNC-Lavalin Inc. Mr. Smith was a founding Co-Chairman of the Calgary Economic Development Authority and the Alberta Economic Development Authority. He was Editor of "Oil in Canada" and "Petroleum Exploration Digest" (1952), Vice-President of Foster Advertising Ltd., President of Ventures Management Ltd., and President of International Jet Air.

He served Chief of Protocol for the XV Olympic Winter Games (1988), Executive Member of the organizing committee for the World Energy Congress (1989), President of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, co-founder of the Calgary Transportation Authority, President of the Air Cadet League of Canada (1962/3), Director of the Asia Pacific Foundation, Board Member of the Calgary Airport Authority, Board member of the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Chairman of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires and founder of the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

At the University of Calgary he served as Chairman of the University of Calgary Centre for Innovation and Technology, the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and the Van Horne Institute of International Transportation and Regulatory Affairs. During his career Arthur Smith received many honours and awards including the Order of Canada (1988, Member; 2003, Officer), an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Calgary (1988), and the Alberta Order of Excellence and appointed Honorary Colonel of the 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron (1997). Art Smith died in Calgary on 30 June 2008 at the age of 89.

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