In Memoriam – Richard Meyer (1910 – 2007)

Dipl.-Ing. Richard Meyer, Secretary General during the first German presidency (1968–1971) and Honorary member of FIG passed away February 20th, 2007.

Since a couple of years Richard Meyer lived in a seniors home in Wiesbaden and continued to enjoy his life although his health – not his mental power – was limited caused by old age. He noticed sympathetically the second German led FIG period 2003 – 2006 and kept contact to the acting German Council members personally, by phone and by letter. He always said that his time as Secretary General of FIG was the best time in his long life, that strongly flashed back during the last four years.

Born on June 11th in Wiesbaden Richard Meyer lived there until the finished high school. He got his professional education at Bonn University and a following two-years traineeship in civil service which he finalised 1936 as Vermessungsassessor. Immediately afterwards he started his professional career at the land development and consolidation authority in Frankenberg / Eder. After the Second World War Richard Meyer returned to the land consolidation department and pushed forward the development of surveying technology as a pioneer of that time. 1956 he proceeded to be the leading surveyor of the land consolidation department, since 1973 he was its vice president.

It was in the early fifties of the last century when he was appointed by DVW to be the German delegate to commission 7. Richard Meyer held this position for a long time. Speaking French and English fluently, he was later the ideal person to collaborate with Prof. Draheim, the first German FIG President during in the FIG council period 1968 – 1971. It was a big challenge for him to be Secretary General of FIG at that time. Bearing mind that there was no permanent office! With the help of two secretaries and generously having got three years off with full salaries he put all his time and energy into FIG. When in 1971 the first FIG congress in Germany was held (at the same time the 100th anniversary of DVW was celebrated) it was the biggest FIG event until this time. People from 55 nations met in Wiesbaden, his home town and Richard Meyer and his friends in the council could be proud on what they had achieved. Following the statutes at that time he was FIG Vice President during the following US led Bureau period (1971 – 1974). Since that time Richard Meyer attended all FIG congresses and a lot of general assemblies until the Brighton Congress 1998. “I’m looking forward to Munich” was his comment when he gave an interview to the German surveyors journal ZfV regarding his 95th birthday in 2005.

Due to his weak health he could not attend the Munich Congress – a big pity not only for him.

After the congress Richard Meyer immediately phoned and asked, how things had happened. With his heart he was there as FIG has always been in his heart since the previous years. No surprise that he got the Honorary membership of FIG in 1977. This man has shown how sustainable happiness from honorary office can be.

The most of his friends of the old days of FIG have passed away already and cannot mourn for him. So it is up to us later born colleagues to pay tribute to our honorary member and to treasure the memories of him.

Dr.-Ing. Andreas Drees
FIG Vice President 2003–2006

2 May 2007