CALGARY, Jan. 21, 2016 /CNW/ - It is with great sadness that AKITA Drilling Ltd. announces the passing on January 21, 2016 of its Founder, Ronald D. Southern. As the Founder of the company and its controlling shareholder, Mr. Southern was closely identified with AKITA by industry participants, the investment community and the company's shareholders. Mr. Southern was 85 years old. He is survived by his wife Margaret Southern and his daughters Nancy Southern and Linda Southern-Heathcott.
Mr. Southern controlled AKITA through his ownership of substantially all of the voting shares in Sentgraf Enterprises Ltd., a private company owned by the Southern family. Sentgraf owns substantially all of the Class B Voting Shares of AKITA. AKITA has been advised that under Mr. Southern's will, control of Sentgraf will remain with the Southern family. Linda Southern-Heathcott will continue as AKITA's Chair, a position she has held since 2006.
As Founder, Mr. Southern played a pivotal role in every major development in the evolution of the Company. He was instrumental in leading AKITA's predecessor company from its origins in the 1970s, through its spin-off from ATCO Group and through the formation of AKITA as a public company in 1993 to the present day. Under Mr. Southern's guidance the Company expanded its presence into the Arctic, developed strong joint venture relationships with First Nations, Inuit and Metis groups across western and northern Canada, and was at the forefront of pad rig development and expansion in western Canada. Each of these achievements was executed with a long term focus and with fiscal prudence. Mr. Southern's wisdom, passion, resolve and vision will be greatly missed by AKITA; the lessons he instilled and his lifelong commitment to excellence will continue to guide the Company.
"Going far beyond the call of duty.
Doing more than others expect.
This is what excellence is all about.
It comes from striving for and maintaining the highest standards,
looking after the smallest detail and going the extra mile.
Excellence means caring.
It means making a special effort to do more."
- R.D. Southern
SOURCE AKITA Drilling Ltd.
Image with caption: "RONALD D. SOUTHERN C.C., C.B.E., A.O.E., B.Sc., LL.D • 1930 – 2016 (CNW Group/AKITA Drilling Ltd.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160121_C7742_PHOTO_EN_603567.jpg
For further information: Mr. Murray Roth, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, (403)292-7950