1959, our start was in the same year ASHRAE officially started operations after a merger of two groups. ASHRAE was formed by a merger of two engineering societies – ASHAE – the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers which was founded in 1894 and ASRE – the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers founded in 1904. The new Society was called ASHRAE and officially began operations on Jan 29th, 1959 with Headquarters in New York NY in the United Engineering Centre. Some 20,000 members were in ASHRAE after the merger and 87 chapters were in existence, one called the Ontario Chapter was located in Toronto. Canada also had chapters in Quebec City, Ottawa, Montreal, Manitoba, and British Columbia.
With many Society members from the Niagara Peninsula as chapter members in the Ontario Chapter, Lloyd Algie believed there would be enough members in this area to warrant their own chapter and have meetings in Hamilton. ASHRAE had a requirement that they would consider a documented petition from a minimum of 20 Society members from an area to incorporate a stand alone chapter. Lloyd was surprised at the local interest and quickly had 20 members willing to sign a petition – the names are listed in the front of our roster. Charter members Ken Crean, Gary Elliott and Don Harper still attend our meetings today. The inaugural organizational meeting took place March 1st, 1959 at the Fischer Hotel on York Street in Hamilton when Lloyd got his signatures.
At the Annual Meeting of ASHRAE in June of 1959, The Board of Directors accepted the petition and agreed to charter their 88th Chapter in Hamilton Ontario to be known as the Niagara Peninsula Chapter. In 1971, the name was changed to the Hamilton Chapter to reflect its meeting location.
Charter Night was October 22nd, 1959 with Society Vice-President Walter A. Grant presenting the charter to the chapter’s first President Lloyd Algie with D. L. Angus Region 2 Director in attendance. The banner was also presented that night as well. Gary Elliott was Chapter Vice President.
In the ‘60s HVAC was expanding rapidly into industry, schools and offices. Our membership grew to more than 50. The Chapter had both a spring and fall golf tournament which were extremely popular. We moved the chapter meetings to a new location – the Chamber of Commerce Room in the Professional Arts Building 155 James St South in Hamilton because urban renewal leveled the original location – Fischer Hotel on York Street
In ’60 Gary Elliott moved from VP up to be President; ’61 Bill Carr was President; ’62 Don Harper was President and ASHRAE had grown to 96 chapters with Saskatchewan being the latest addition. In ’63 the President was Doug McCoppen; ’64 Mike Murray; ’65 Cliff Hepburn, the year I joined the chapter. In ’66 Dave Brown was President.
This was a significant year as in 1966 on May 4th to the 6th, we hosted our first 3 day Chapters Regional Conference (CRC) of all the chapters in Canada (Region 2) – some 11 from Halifax to Edmonton (we eventually gained chapters in London, Moncton, and Windsor). We met at the new Holiday Inn now the Ramada on King East in Hamilton.
In ’67 the chapter President was Vince Szabo; in ’68 Dan Tyrell a fellow grad from McMaster who worked for C.C Parker Consultants. In ’69 Jim Gordon of Keeprite became President. In ’70 Frank Smith was President who unfortunately died three years later in Sept 1973 while playing in the ASHRAE Golf Tournament. Our low gross trophy awarded at our spring golf outing is named after Frank.