Robert D. Symons
Robert David (R.D.) Symons was born on April 7, 1898, in Mayfield, East Sussex, England. His father, William Christian Symons was a painter and illustrator who taught Robert and his brother Mark to paint and is recognized for his various public commissions including his mosaic designs for Westminister Cathedral in London. Symons came to Canada as a teenager in 1914 to work on a ranch in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Following active service with the British Army in World War I, Symons returned to Canada and maintained ranchland in both Fort St. John, British Columbia and in Silton,Saskatchewan, until his retirement to his Silton studio in 1961. From the 1950s onwards, Symons taught art classes, wrote, and gave lectures on art, natural history,and literature. His books such as Many Trails (1963), The Broken Snare (1970), and Where the Wagon Led (1973) offer insights into the challenges of early settlement on the prairies and the diversity of its natural environment and people. In 1970, he was awarded an honorary LL.D. degree by the University of Saskatchewan (Regina). Symons died in Silton, Saskatchewan on February 1, 1973.