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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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An Ontario Surveyor
John Kenneth Mucklestone
(16th Jan 1930 -  26th March 2001)

Prepared by Reid J Wilson, O.L.S. and Margaret Wilson


Ken Mucklestone came into surveying honestly. His father, Frank H Mucklestone, was also an Ontario Land Surveyor. Frank was born in 1890. He articled to Tracy D LeMay who was the City Surveyor of the City of Toronto; one of the finest municipal surveyors to precede us. Frank was commissioned in March 1914 as OLS No. 479.


He formed a survey partnership with W J Baird OLS in Toronto. He died in 1983. Ken’s older brother Ray, also was a Land Surveyor. He was commissioned February 1, 1983 as OLS No. 613. His practice was in Brockville, Ontario.


Ken attended Blythewood and Bessborough Public Schools in Toronto and went to high school at University of Toronto Schools. He began his surveying career at age 12 helping his father at Baird and Mucklestone on school holidays. I think he would have been referred to back in those days as a go-fer.


Ken obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto in April 1952. He married Jane Austin Pollard on May 3, 1952. And then, he signed the Articles of Agreement to his father to become a Land Surveyor on May 15, 1952. (It was a busy month!)


Ken was a graduate Engineer. There was no Survey School back in those days. There wasn’t even, at that time, the survey option in the Civil Engineering Program at the University of Toronto. To become an Ontario Land Surveyor after graduation, Ken, as so many others did, had to go through a series of examinations. They were called the Intermediate Exams and Final Exams that were provided for by the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors (AOLS). I think his marks say something about who Ken was: 100% in Algebra; 100% in Geometry; in Mensuration, a combination of 93% and 97%; Plane Trigonometry 100%; Spherical Trigonometry 94%... and he only got 60% in Curves. (I never had a chance to ask him what happened there.) Astronomy 150/150; in Descriptions 145/150; General Survey Law 94%; Registry Act and Land Titles Act 100%... and it goes on.


Ken was commissioned August 10, 1954, OLS No. 869. He was sworn in by the great F. W. Beatty, OLS. He also, at that time, was a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario. He went on to work at Baird and Mucklestone with his father and became a partner. When frank retired from the business on December 31, 1965, Ken worked on his own for a couple of years before forming a new partnership under the name of Baird and Mucklestone on January 15, 1968 with Lawrence P (Laurie) Tomkins, OLS No. 867. That partnership continued until they sold the business to R.C. (Randy) Rabideau OLS No. 1496 on September 22, 1989.


Ken was a member of the first Board of Directors of the South Central Regional Group of Ontario Land Surveyors, first forming in 1961. He was the Chairman of that group in 1963. Ken participated in many professional affairs with the Association and was on several committees. At Annual Meetings particularly, he was always visible, always vocal. At the "open forum" portion of our annual meeting, Ken often responded intelligently and with great conviction to some of the issues that were going on with our profession at that time.


As well as maintaining Baird and Mucklestone, Ken began to teach full time at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson Polytechnical University) in the fall of 1970. Among other things, Ken was responsible for the teaching of Legal Surveying, Survey Law, Statutes of Ontario that related to Legal Surveys, Plane Surveying, Descriptions and Field Notes, real Property Law and Drafting, He was thorough, precise, always fair and patient.


As one of his students, I only ever saw Ken angry once, and I think it was as a result of being somewhat frustrated at one of the lesser-adept students in our class. Ken also provided the Legal Surveys Lecture Course for the Articled Students to the AOLS in the 1980s for several years in a row.


In purchasing Ken’s practice in 1989, Randy Rabideau became the owner of the company records. Surveyors were always glad to get Ken’s field notes and plans because they knew the information was reliable and dependable. They felt safe in setting up boundaries in that way; there was a trust in his work. Ken stayed on with Randy for about 18 months during the "peak of the boom". Randy was glad to have Ken as his mentor in that office: he said he didn’t know anything about condominiums until Ken came to the office and taught him everything about 3D plans and strata plans. It made a big difference. It was because of Randy that Ken quit smoking in 1990/91 because Randy wouldn’t allow him to smoke in the office.


Ken’s records were so good because every job he ever worked on, he fully researched in a very professional way. His clients respected him too. Shipp Corporation went through three generations of executives during that time, they used only one survey company consistently for 24 years. That’s the kind of trust that Ken had. He was a perfectionist of sorts and when you’re a Land Surveyor, that’s a good thing.


Perhaps lesser known to us surveyors, was Ken’s passion for Quarter Horse Racing. For the last several years, Ken served as the President of the Quarter Horse Racing Association. He gave his time, energy, knowledge and skills through all operations associated with racing. There isn’t a fence post at Picov Downs that wasn’t set by Ken. His son in law, Rik Hudson, came to realise how exacting Ken and his profession were when he helped Ken with the fence lines at the track several years ago; Ken always looked for that absolute straight line. All who were involved in Quarter Horse Racing in Ontario have Ken to thank for backing this industry at the local, provincial, national and international levels. There was scarcely a week went by when ken was not involved in some activity or meeting that led to the strengthening of this sport and industry.


Ken retired his AOLS membership in 1992 but retained his Associate status up until just recently. My own practice started here in Uxbridge in 1993 and both Ken and Jane were involved in helping me with some of the first projects. It was a nice little bit of role-reversal. Ken was able to come out and work with me in the field sometimes as my assistant. I think he enjoyed doing that - working for one of his students - helping out with the field work. Jane inked all of my plans in the first year of my practice. Ken spent some of his time as a crossing guard and I would see him fairly frequently on my way to or from a job, and sometimes I’d stop and we’d chat about the job I’d done that day. He was always interested.


In the long run, Ken taught many, many students at Ryerson and through the Lecture courses. He’s touched dozens and dozens of surveyors in this Province. We wouldn’t be the strong Association we are, I don’t think, without the kind of leadership and guidelines of people like Ken Mucklestone.


Ken and Jane have three children: Constance L., John K., and Catherine J.