Born at Carleton Place, Ontario on 9 July 1879, he was educated at public schools and collegiate institute of Arnprior. He spent two years on the editorial staff of the Belleville Daily Intelligencer and the Port Huron Daily Times. In November 1899, he joined the Canadian Pacific Railway and was later posted successively at Cranbrook (BC), Vancouver, North Bay (Ontario), Nelson (BC), Calgary (Alberta) and Winnipeg. He was appointed Vice-President of Western Lines in October 1918. He also served as a Director of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York, Vice-President of the Calgary and Edmonton Corporation, and a director of several business and financial institutions.
He was a member of the Manitoba Club, Ranchmen’s Club, Vancouver Club, Edmonton Club, and Mount Royal Club. He served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba (1933-1934), President of the Navy League of Canada (Manitoba Division), President of the Canadian Club of Winnipeg (1923-1924), and Honorary President of the Aviation League of Manitoba. He was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Manitoba in 1932. After his move to Montreal, he served on the executive committee of Bishop's College (Lennoxville) and a governor of McGill University.
In 1934, he lived at 257 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg. He moved to Montreal later that year and, in 1942, he succeeded Sir Edward Beatty as President of the CPR, being named the Chairman of the Board the following year. He served in these positions until 1947 when he retired although he remained a Director of the company.
He died at Montreal, Quebec on 17 Oct 1956, after a lengthy illness.
“Men of Winnipeg in Diamond Jubilee Sketches,” Winnipeg Free Press, December 1934. [University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 8]
“Former CPR chief dies at 77,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 October 1956, page 1.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 9 May 2023
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