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Born in 1917 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Leslie moved with his parents to Winnipeg in 1918. He graduated with an honours B.A. in 1937, and completed his Bachelor of Law degree in 1941.
From an early age, Rowland displayed a strong interest in financial matters, and in 1947 Stovel Press appointed him editor of the Canadian Finance Magazine. He started work the day the Leduc discovery was announced. While reporting in Calgary he met Carl Nickle, publisher of the Daily Oil Bulletin. Together they teamed up to publish the weekly Oil in Canada. In 1963, the publication merged with Oilweek and Les continued his editorial efforts and became a stringer for U.S. pipeline periodicals.
Les was the founder and contributed to every issue of the Petroleum Accountants Society of Canada quarterly publication, The Legion. Over 45 years of reporting on the oil industry, Les earned a distinguished reputation for his tremendous knowledge, gift of eloquence in writing and integrity in reporting.
He was an honorary life member of almost every professional group associated with the oil industry. Leslie Orr Rowland passed away in Calgary on July 1, 1993, at the age of 76.