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Jack Weber

By: John Gilpin

Another outstanding figure in the Edmonton real estate business who followed his father into the industry was Jack Weber. He began his real estate career with his father and uncle's firm, Weber Brothers, in 1939, working as a collection clerk. Later he became secretary-treasurer. In 1945 he purchased the shares of the Edmonton Credit Co. and took over control of the family firm. Like Melton, Weber Brothers expanded after the Second World War. Branch offices were established in order to compete with their most serious competitor, Melton Real Estate. Weber Brothers established offices in other areas in Alberta. The firm was sold to a group of senior employees in 1979.

A very active community booster, Jack's efforts ranged from encouraging investment in the western Canadian economy to promoting Klondike Days. He was one of the original “Six Sleepy Sourdoughs” who launched Klondike Days. In recognition of his role he was awarded the Cheechako Award in 1975 by the Canadian Progress Club and received the key to the City of Edmonton the following year. He also served as president of both the Edmonton and Alberta Chamber of Commerce, was northern Alberta CNIB district president, and in 1949 served as president of the Boyle Street Community League.

Like so many other individuals of his day, Jack Weber divided his time between his business and his work in the various real estate associations. He became president of the Edmonton Real Estate Board in 1953 after having served as secretary-treasurer. While secretary-treasurer he introduced the practice of preparing audited statements for the Association. In his 1953 president’s report, he cited the need for education and the need for a permanent secretary. Since earlier suggestions for revising the licensing act had involved the need for education, the Licensing Committee became the Licensing and Education Committee. It included Don Spencer, Stan Melton, and Dennis Stewart. Their efforts resulted in an educational course being offered through the University of Alberta Department of Extension leading to FRI (Fellow of the Real Estate Institute) and/or AACI (Accredited Appraiser, Canadian Institute) designations.

Jack's strong attachment to education was evident in his president's report in which he encouraged older members of the Association to take the course: “It is true that with their long experience in the Real Estate Business, they have, perhaps, little need of taking an Education Course, which, in many respects, is quite elementary, but I do sincerely feel that if those who have been in the business for a number of years lead the way by taking the course, whether they feel they need it or not, it will provide the spark and incentive for the newer members of our profession to do likewise.”

After serving as president of the Alberta Real Estate Association in 1953, Jack Weber went on to become president of the Canadian Real Estate Association. He was also a founding member and the first president of the Canadian Institute of Realtors (CIR). He helped found and later served as president of the International Real Estate Association (FIABCI). The City of Paris awarded him the Silver Medal in recognition of his efforts to establish this organization. He suffered a severe stroke in 1975, which forced him to be hospitalized until his death in 1989. He was made a Life Member of the Edmonton Real Estate Board

This article is extracted from John Gilpin, Responsible Enterprise: A History of Edmonton Real Estate & the Edmonton Real Estate Board. (Edmonton: Edmonton Real Estate Board, 1997). The Heritage Community Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation would like to thank John Gilpin and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for permission to reproduce this material.

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