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William P. Pallister


Bill Pallister was born on March 26, 1904, in St. Lambert, Quebec. After a short time in Winnipeg, the Pallister family moved to Calgary in 1919 where Bill completed his education.


Following a brief professional boxing career, Bill arrived at Turner Valley in 1924 to work in the oilfields. Bill worked up from roughneck to driller for various contractors, topping his drilling career with his time on Coalspur #1, which was the deepest hole drilled in the British Commonwealth in 1944 and 1945, at a depth of 12,560 feet.


Bill went on to international work in Egypt and Borneo before returning to Calgary in 1951. Back in Canada, he set up the fishing tool department for McCullough Tool company with Ted Thurston.


Bill became a legend in the fishing tool industry. His ability to visualize and understand fishing problems allowed him to invent tools for specific problems. His innovations in this specialized end of the industry helped revolutionize the fishing tool industry and helped make present day fishing tool companies what they are today.


In 1980, he received an honorary life membership in the Canadian Association of Drilling Contractors (CAODC) to recognize his contribution to the petroleum industry.


Bill passed away in Calgary on February 8, 1981.


Career Summary:

  • 1924 Worked up from roughneck to driller at Turner Valley.
  • 1945 Went as driller for Shell Oil Company to Egypt.
  • 1951 Joined McCullough Tool Company.
  • 1961 Appeared on Front Page Challenge to represent the Turner Valley Discovery.
  • 1980 Honorary life member CAODC.


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