Nova Scotia Archives

Nova Scotia's 'Paving Programme'

Highway Reconstruction in the 1930s


Who was R.W. McColough?

R.W. (Reginald Walker) McColough had a long career as a professional engineer. Following graduation from the Nova Scotia Technical College in 1911, with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, he worked briefly with Canadian National Railways, then served as an army captain in the First World War. He began with the Department of Highways as a Resident Engineer in 1919; was promoted to Inspecting Engineer in 1921; and to Chief Engineer in 1924. McColough held the latter position until 1939, when he was promoted to Deputy Minister of the new Department of Highways and Public Works.

He left the department in 1943 to serve as Director of Construction for the Federal Department of Munitions and Supply in Ottawa during the Second World War; and in 1945 settled in Toronto with his family, where he worked for James Francescini, owner of Dufferin Construction Company. In 1947, McColough received a call from Angus L. Macdonald, Premier and Minister of Highways and Public Works, inviting him back to Nova Scotia. He did, and served as Executive Assistant to the Minister of Highways and Public Works until his retirement in 1957.

Department of Highways and Public Works Staff, 1943. Photograph Accession: 2009-023/002 no. 7

An index photocopy accompanying the original photograph attempts to identify most of the individuals in the photograph. The Minister of Highways and Public Works, A.S. MacMillian, is seated (right), and the Deputy Minister of Department of Highways and Public Works, R.W. McColough, is standing, second row behind those seated, fourth person from the right.

Others identified in photograph include: A.J. Baxter, Tom Leyden, Wee Archie, Chas. Bennet, W. West?, A.J. Campbell, John Belliveau, K.A. Forbes, Ken Hibbent, John Walsh, Buck Douglas, R.F. Hatfield, Chas. MacNearney, Blanchard, Eric Perri, J.D. MacKenzie, Maxime Morris, Alice Meisner, Ena Parsons.