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Edward H. LaBorde


Born in Cheneyville, Louisiana on October 17, 1913, Eddie LaBorde grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. After attending Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Eddie got into the oil business when he married an oilman's daughter after a "blind date". They drilled a well in Cantralia, Illinois in 1939 before Eddie headed off to serve in World War II.


By 1945 he was in Alberta, looking for oil and finding gas in two wells. Living at the Palliser Hotel, Eddie pursued oil vigorously after the Leduc discovery in 1947. He was involved in numerous companies, including Ranchmans Oils, Canadian Homestead, Westeroil, Excel Energy, Canadian Majestic, and his own LaBorde Petroleum Ltd.


Among his adventures one included sending out his landman, Bruce Watson, to stake oil leases by dropping pickets from an airplane as he flew over the Northwest Territories with a native guide. After convincing Ottawa that his technique was legal, if unconventional, he went on to control four million acres of federal land.


Eddie was a mover and a shaker in the oilpatch social arena as well. In 1950, he formed a meeting spot in a Palliser Hotel room and eventually got the Renfrew Club to amalgamate with his "club" to create the Calgary Petroleum Club. His social involvements invited one prank he played on his many friends. "Yankees Go Home" read the sign on Eddie LaBorde's lawn in 1952, just after he received his Canadian citizenship, but who better to make the 80,000 Americans in Calgary smile than one of their own.


Always a great supporter of the aviation industry, Eddie founded the Calgary Transportation Authority and helped make Calgary's airport into a major transportation hub in western Canada. Recognizing his abilities, by order of Council the Canadian government appointed him a transport commissioner in Ottawa.


Eddie's contributions to the Calgary Hospital Board and the Stampeder Football Club are just a few of his other community services and also point to his role as a leader in the business and social community of the Canadian west.


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