Did You Know

Reception to Honour Members of the Order of Canada hosted by The Canadian Club of Victoria January 17, 2012

Prince Philip’s October 28, 1969  speech to the Men’s and Women’s Canadian Club


Your Captain Is . . . Prince Philip

Club’s Super-Patriotism Impresses

Super-patriotism of Canadian Club members sent Prince Philip chuckling to his fruit cocktail at a luncheon in his honor Tuesday in the Empress Hotel.

The luncheon attended by 480 members of the Men’s and Women’s Canadian Club had started with a pianist playing some variations on O Canada and God Save the Queen.Club members, accustomed to starting all meetings with the Canadian anthem, sang along for the first few bars, but were left stranded when the pianist headed into God Save the Queen.

Women’s club president, Mrs. Leslie Macdonnell, then announced O Canada, which members sang to the end.

The Prince’s Program Attacks Problems of Today

The educational machine grabs the brilliant child and squeezes him dry without regard to any but his academic attributes, Prince Philip told members of the Victoria Men’s and Women’s Canadian Clubs, Tuesday.

The child whose talents lie in any but academic fields was forced to compete with brilliant children and so lost any sense of accomplishment, he said. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, he said, was designed to recognize and challenge all talents.

The award scheme, he said, was a program to provide the opportunity and challenge to young people to become involved, and to participate in and influence adult life.

“You may not be able to stop wars and famines, but here is an opportunity to help the next generation become responsible members of the adult world.”

“The scheme does not set out to be a cure-all or the only solution to all our problems.”

“All I claim is that it is just one more contribution to the development of civilized individuals.”

Chief Justice Gordon Hunter, Canadian Club’s First Speaker Wednesday February 27, 1907

Honourable Gordon Hunter

Honourable Gordon Hunter, chief justice of the province of British Columbia, is a native of Ontario, Canada, born in Bansville, on the 4th of May, 1863, and is of Scotch and Irish ancestry.

His father, J. Howard Hunter, was born in the south of Ireland and is descended from one of the old and distinguished families of that country. He married Miss Ann Gordon, a native of the highlands of Scotland, representing one of the old families that for generations had lived in the mountainous districts of Scotland.

In 1860 Mr. and Mrs. J. Howard Hunter emigrated to Ontario, Canada, where they are both living, he occupying an important office of honour and trust in that city. They became the parents of seven children, Judge Hunter being the only one in British Columbia. Two of the sons are prominent barristers of Ontario.

Having acquired his preliminary education Judge Hunter continued his studies in Toronto University, of which he is a graduate of the class of 1885 and his superior proficiency in his different studies won for him both the gold and silver medal given by that institution.

Determining upon the practice of law as a life work, he became a student in the office of McCortney & Osler and was graduated in 1888. For about three years he practiced in Ontario and in 1891 came to Victoria, British Columbia.

In the following April he was admitted to the bar of the province, but soon afterward received the appointment of crown solicitor. He formed a partnership with Honourable Theodore Davie, late chief justice of the province, and the relation was maintained until the elevation of Judge Davie to the bench. Mr. Hunter then formed a partnership with Mr. Duff and is now a justice of Victoria.

Judge Hunter held the office of labour commissioner and in March, 1902, was made chief justice of the province.

The legal profession demands a high order of ability, and a rare combination of talent, learning, tact, patience and industry. The successful lawyer and competent judge must be a man of well-balanced intellect, thoroughly familiar with the law and practice, of general information, possessed of an analytical mind and a comprehensive self control that will enable him to lose his individuality, his personal feelings, his prejudices and his peculiarities of disposition in the dignity, impartiality and equity of the office to which life, property, right and liberty must look for protection. Possessing these qualities Judge Hunter justly merits the high honour which was conferred upon him by his elevation to his present high office.

In January, 1896, Judge Hunter was married to Mrs. Ada Nelson, a daughter of Charles F. Johnson and a native of Springfield, Illinois. Their residence is located in Belleville avenue, overlooking James Bay and the city, and its attractive hospitality is greatly enjoyed by their many friends.

Judge Hunter is a man of fine personal appearance, five feet eight inches in height and weighing two hundred pounds. He has a splendid physical development and, moreover, he possesses the sterling traits of character which command confidence and respect in every land and clime.

Entirely free from ostentation or display, approachable and genial, he nevertheless has upon the bench the dignity which should ever be associated with his high office and the citizens of the province have every reason to be proud of their chief justice.

  1. E. Gosnell, A History of British Columbia, (Vancouver, B. C.: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906). pp. 720-721

 Agnes Deans Cameron, First Speaker Women’s Canadian Club October 18, 1909



Tea on board the scow Mee-wah-sin on the Peace River, Alberta


Her Book Describing Her Journey To The Arctic

She was the first non-indigenous woman to reach the Arctic Ocean and her published book about the journey was a best-seller.

Agnes Deans Cameron (1863 – 1912) was born in Victoria, trained as a teacher, and taught in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. She was the first woman in the province to teach high school (1891) and the first female principal of a public school (1894).A journalist and travel writer, she travelled throughout the west and the North and worked for the western Canada Immigration Association. She was active in the Victoria Teacher’s Association, the Local Council of Women, the Women’s Press Club, and the YMCA. When suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst lectured in Victoria in 1911, Cameron sat on the stage. She died in 1912 of an infection from an appendectomy.

Winston Churchill’s Speech to the Canadian Club September 5, 1929


Winston Churchill arriving in Victoria September 1929

An especially noteworthy feature of Churchill`s time in Victoria occurred at the close of his address to the Canadian Club.

Churchill had departed from his prepared speech and, as recorded by his son, ` . . . received a rapturous reception –the best he has had. ` Alas, the vote of thanks was turned over to an elderly cleric whom Randolph described as “a fatuous dean“, and Churchill described in a letter home as “a foolish Cleric with Socialist leanings who asked a number of cheeky questions and maundered on unduly . . . “
Randolph, then 18, saw eager to get his own share of public attention and to showcase his own oratorical brilliance

Churchill, rather than answering the cleric`s questions, meant to be humorous but apparently missing the mark, instead turned to his son.
Randolph records in his diary, Ì immediately saw the opportunity to make a hit, and glanced down the table at Papa who nodded his assent; so as soon as the old dean sat down I rose to reply. They were all so bored by the dean that anything would have pleased them. I proceeded very mildly to twit the dean, and to answer the asinine questions as humorously as possible. I only spoke for about five minutes but I achieved the greatest success I have ever had. They all roared with laughter and cheered lengthily when I sat down. Papa was delighted. It was not, I must admit, in any way a good speech or particularly amusing, but I had the good fortune just to catch hold of what was wanted. . .”
Thus Victoria qualifies as a Churchillian footnote for launching the public speaking career of Randolph S. Churchill

Emily Carr Speech to The Canadian Club of Victoria  March 4, 1930


There is plenty of evidence that the occasion was considered to be an important one. In spite of the fact that she was always scornful about “talk” in connection with painting, Miss Carr herself was very excited by the invitation to speak and took great pains in the preparation of her address—it survives in a perfectly “clean” typescript. She was troubled during the preparation of the talk by the fact that her beloved monkey, Woo, was taken violently ill. While Emily was occupied with writing the address, Woo appropriated and devoured a tube of yellow paint, and, despite the efforts of a veterinary and everything Emily could do herself was in very serious condition. A day before the event Emily refused flatly to give the talk unless Woo was better, and indeed it was only a few hours before the time for the address that she finally agreed, Woo having taken a definite turn for the better. She has made an amusing and, at the same time, pathetic reference to this experience in “The Life of Woo.” Its closing sentences are: “The talk went over on the crest of such happy thanksgiving, it made a hit. The credit belonged to Woo’s tough constitution.”

From the Introduction to “Fresh Seeing – Two Addresses by Emily Carr”, 1972.

From the Daily Colonist, Saturday, August 19, 1927 Princes at Lunch with The Canadian Club


In the above picture front row, left to right, are shown Mr. F. J. Sehl, Secretary, Canadian Club, Hon. J. D. MacLean, leader designate, Prince George, Mr. Kenneth Ferguson. President, the Prince of Wales;His Honour Lieutenant Governor Bruce.

In the back row will be observed Mr. John Cochrane, former president, Mr, H. J. Pendray, Mr H. C. Hall, former president, Mr. F. B. Pemberton; Colonel A. W. Wilby, Hon. Sir Richard Lake, ; General Panet, ; Mr. A. M. D. Fairbairn, and among the members of the Princes’ staff Brigadier General G. F. Trotter,Major the Hon. Piers W. Leigh, and Mr. A. F. Lascelles.

From the Daily Colonist, August 19, 1927


The Prince of Wales address was prefaced by three cheers and a tiger [a roar from the crowd after the three cheers] vociferously given, immediately preceded by the drinking of a toast in his honour.The Prince, who wore a plain grey morning suit, spoke distinctly, with a crisp intonation.His reference to the late Premier Oliver was marked by touching sincerity, and although he spoke throughout with the utmost simplicity, he conveyed an idea of genuine feeling and appreciation when he spoke of the rugged pioneers who carved out the beginning of history in British Columbia.Over and over again he was interrupted by outbursts of applause.

“In Vancouver yesterday, I was remarking on the ordeal – although it was a pleasant one – of having to make speeches to such gatherings as your Canadian Clubs.But when I have to make two on two consecutive days it makes the responsibility all the greater.” said His Royal Highness with a smile as he began his address.

“Over and above the friendly welcome always given me in British Columbia – and you have just given a further proof of it – there is one thought which always strikes me when I come into this province, of which your beautiful city is the capital and the seat of government” the Prince went on.


The whole gathering stood and cheered H. R. H. Prince George when his turn came to speak.In a voice deeper, but not quite so easily heard as the Prince of Wales, Prince George said that he had heard so often from his fellow-officers in the Royal Navy of the beauty of Victoria that he had wished for a long time to visit this Pacific Coast city.Many of these officers had been so fascinated by the charms of the place that they had come back here to make their homes.Prince George endorsed the Prince of Wales’ references to the kindly expressions of the people of British Columbia in welcoming them as they had, and he could heartily reciprocate all the good wishes conveyed in their greetings.

“My brother gave such warnings against being long-winded that I am not going to say anything more beyond thanking you once more very sincerely for your kind welcome.” said the sailor Prince in conclusion, and amidst laughter and cheering