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R.A. Brown Jr.


Born in Calgary in April 1914 just a few weeks before the discovery of the Turner Valley oilfield, Bob Brown Jr. was the son of one of the pioneers in the Alberta oil industry. Bob Brown Sr. was an electrician from Quebec and became Calgary's electricity utility superintendent before going into the oil business with George Bell, owner of the Alberta newspaper. The resulting company, Turner Valley Royalties, drilled it's first well and discovered crude oil at the south end of the Turner Valley field on June 16, 1936.


Shortly after his father's company made it's initial discovery, Bobby quit school at the University of Alberta and went into the oilpatch as part owner of an oil company called Brown, Moyer and Brown.


World War II interrupted his career for a few years, when Bobby joined the Canadian Navy in May 1943. After basic training he worked in the Oil Controller's Department in Ottawa.


Bobby consolidated his family's Turner Valley interests into a company called Federated Petroleums using a large bank loan to purchase companies-a new financing technique-after the war. Bobby's chief impact on the Western Canadian business world occurred when he purchased Home Oil Company, which made major discoveries in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. These important discoveries included Swan hills, Virginia Hills, Carstairs, Harmatton-Elkton, and Westward Ho.


He was always a champion for the western Canadian oil industry, pushing for pipelines to Central Canada. Bobby was also a founding director of the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada. Bobby died when he was just 58 years old in 1972, yet his career was an illustrious one.


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