In Memoriam: Wayne Watson, FCSC, FCSI, RSW, CSC Life Member

January 31, 2019

Wayne Watson, FCSC, FCSI, RSW[1]
Wayne Watson, FCSC, FCSI, RSW

Wayne Watson, FCSC, FCSI, RSW, passed away on January 27, 2019, at the age of 79. Watson joined Specifications Writers Association of Canada (SWAC), the predecessor to CSC, in 1966. He served as president from 1972 to 1973. In 1972, he received the Registered Specification Writers (RSW) designation. Watson was inducted into the CSC College of Fellows in 1976, and in 1992 he was inducted into the CSI College of Fellows, making him the first person to have dual fellowship. In 2005, he received the CSC Life Membership Award. He was the recipient of several other awards including the President’s Award, Chapter Award of Merit, National Award of Merit, and Program Directors Awards.

Watson began to pursue a career as a specifier in the 1960s, when no school offered formal training in the field. Years later, he took a leading role in developing a curriculum to teach specification writing in Alberta. He went from freelance specification writing in Edmonton in 1971 to developing numerous master specification systems. He was one of the first to use electronic word processing for specification writing and to commit organized master specifications to the equipment so he could produce specifications more efficiently.

In 1998, CSC’s representative, Watson, was elected president of the International Construction Information Society (ICIS). Watson’s contributions, not only to CSC but to the Canadian and international construction industry, are endless.  He was a firm believer in education, sharing of knowledge, and any action working toward the betterment of the construction industry. He wrote, co-authored, or contributed in the creation of several CSC documents.

Watson had once said, “looking back, I can say that SWAC/CSC helped me develop my professional life as a specifier, taught me ethics, gave me contacts that were and still are incalculable to me, and gave me a perspective on my work that is to me, beyond measure. I have become fairly well known in my field, across Canada, the United States, and now Europe, Asia and Australia because of the programs, events, and people I have met in SWAC and now CSC. CSC is very important to me, and always will be, for the host of reasons and incidents mention above.”

“The specifier is the individual who provides communication medium between the drawings and the contract documents. To do his job effectively, he must have the confidence and support not only of the architectural and engineering discipline, but also of contractors, lawyers, labour, and trade specialists who prepare descriptive literature for the industry. The Specification Writers Association opens the door. We sincerely feel that all contributors to the construction process must communicate with each other if the vision of the designer is going to be carried into the contract documents and then erected properly, within budget, free from jurisdictional or other labour problems. We have reached that point in time when the role we must play in liaison with all sectors of the construction industry is of the utmost importance.”

It is very difficult to capture all the contributions and accomplishments of Watson, but the above touches on some of the ways CSC benefited from his commitment and efforts.

The CSC Membership, the Board of Directors, the College of Fellows, Association staff, and CSC President Paul Gerber give their sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Watson.

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