William Esteen Gale was born in 1906, one of two sons of Hannah Rolinson (nicknamed Annie) and engineer William John Gale who were married in England in 1901. Emigrating to Canada to join other family members, the Gales and their two young sons arrived in Calgary in 1912 where Annie Gale became active in local social causes. At a time when there were no women in government across Canada, Annie Gale won a seat in the 1917 Calgary Civic Election and became the first woman alderman in the British Commonwealth Empire. She also served as Acting Mayor on occasion – another first for a woman. She retired from civic life in 1923, and in 1925 moved to Vancouver with her husband and two sons Henry and William.
In 1936, William Gale embarked upon a career in the mortgage loan industry, working for the Northwest Mortgage Company, Ltd. as an inspector. His duties included soliciting loans, writing plans and appraisals, taking photos and doing surveys. By 1939, Mr. Gale was working for the Vancouver Mortgage Corporation Ltd., securing applications for mortgage loans, and in 1947, he was appointed as manager of the Mortgage Department of Gordon M. Thompson Ltd. He launched his own company, the W.E. Gale Mortgage Company Ltd in 1954 and his offices were located in the penthouse suite in the Vancouver Stock Exchange Building.
Gale was very proactive in seeking investment capital and he compiled two books (1944, 1950) designed to interest potential clients in Vancouver and West Vancouver. The books contained general and residential information about each area and included photographs, street scenes, and statistics on construction growth, marriages and mortgage registrations. During his lifetime William Gale also collected First Nations artifacts, rare books, and paintings. William Esteen Gale died in Vancouver in February 1987, at the age of 81.