Fonds F-55 - W.A.C. Bennett fonds

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W.A.C. Bennett fonds

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  • 1909-1979 (Creation)
    Bennett, W.A.C. (William Andrew Cecil)

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10.5 m of textual records and other material.

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Biographical history

W.A.C. Bennett: 1900 Born 6 September in Hastings, New Brunswick.;1919 Moved to Edmonton. Began working for Marshall Wells. 1927 Opened new hardware store in partnership with Renaud on 19 February. Married May Richards on 11 July.;1930 Sold share of Westlock Hardware and Clyde Hardware to partners on 15 May. Bought Leckie Hardware in Kelowna on 18 August.;1932 Opened McEwan & Bennett Hardware in Vernon 15 January. Established Domestic Wines and By-Products with partners Capozzi and Ghezzi.;1935 Ran unsuccessfully for election to the Board of the Bank of Canada on 23 January.;1937 President Kelowna Board of Trade 1937-1939. Ran unsuccessfully for Conservative South Okanagan nomination on 7 April.;1941 Received South Okanagan nomination in May. Elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for South Okanagan on 21 October. Session from 4 December to 12 February 1942.;1942 Member of the Post-War Rehabilitation Council which was established by an order-in-council on 23 March 1942, chaired by H.G.T. Perry, Minister of Education.;1943 Session from 2 February to 18 March 1944 Session from 1 February to 15 March. Order-in-council terminates Post War Rehabilitation Council on 26 April.;1945 Session from 6 February to 28 March. Re-elected on 25 October.;1946 Instrumental in attempted formation of a Coalition Party. First meeting in Orchard City Conservative leadership candidate in May.;1947 Session from 11 February to 3 April. 1948 Session from 2 March to 28 April. Resigned as Member for South Okanagan on 13 May. Nominated as Conservative candidate for the federal riding of Yale on 17 May, unsuccessful in 31 May election.;1949 Re-elected as Member for South Okanagan on 15 June.;1950 Session from 14 February to 30 March. Ran unsuccessfully as Conservative leadership candidate on 6 October.;1951 Session from 20 February to 18 April. Crossed floor of House to become an Independent Member on 15 March. Bill 108 regarding the Single Transferable Ballot approved on 18 April. Esquimalt by-election on 1 October. Session 25 October to 27 October. Announced membership in Social Credit League on 6 December.;1952 Session from 19 February to 26 March. Re-elected as Social Credit candidate on 12 June. Elected leader of the Social Credit League in British Columbia on 15 July.;Sworn in as Premier of British Columbia on 1 August. Attorney-General Robert W. Bonner and Finance Minister Einar M. Gunderson elected in by-elections on 24 November.;1953 Government defeated on Bill 79 (the "Rolston Formula") on 24 March. Social Credit government re-elected with majority on 9 June.;1954 W.A.C. Bennett sworn in as Minister of Finance on 15 February. 1955 J. Gordon Gibson defeated by Social Credit candidate in Lillooet by-election on 12 September.;1956 Social Credit government re-elected on 19 September.;1959 Announced that British Columbia was debt free on 1 August.;1960 Social Credit government re-elected on 12 September.;1962 Merger of B.C. Electric and B.C. Power Commission to form the B.C. Hydro and Power Authority on 30 March.;1963 British Columbia and Canada signed Columbia River Agreement on 8 July. Social Credit government re-elected on 30 September.;1964 Revised Columbia River Treaty and Sale Agreement signed in Washington, D.C. on 22 January; Ray G. Williston represented British Columbia. Formal proclamation of Columbia River Treaty at Blaine, Washington on 16 September.;1966 Social Credit government re-elected on 12 September.;1967 W.A.C. Bennett attended opening ceremony of W.A.C. Bennett Dam on 12 September. Bank of British Columbia charter received royal assent on 14 December.;1969 Social Credit government re-elected on 27 August.;1972 Social Credit government defeated on 30 August; W.A.C. Bennett re-elected in South Okanagan. W.A.C. Bennett passed an order-in-council which outlined the state of provincial finances on 13 September. Left Premier's Office on 13 September became Leader of the Opposition.;1973 Resigned his seat as Member for South Okanagan on 5 June. Son William R. Bennett won South Okanagan by-election on 7 September. W.A.C. Bennett retired as leader of the Social Credit Party on 15 November. William R. Bennett elected leader of Social Credit Party on 24 November.;1975 Social Credit re-elected with majority on 11 December.;1979 Died 23 February.;For a more detailed biography of W.A.C. Bennett, please refer to the following work: Mitchell, David J. W.A.C. Bennett and the Rise of British Columbia. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1983.

Custodial history

The W.A.C. Bennett fonds were created and accumulated by W.A.C. Bennett, and includes a number of official files from the Premier's Office that Bennett took with him when he was defeated in 1972. The fonds remained in Bennett's possession until he passed away in 1979, at which time custody was transferred to his wife and children.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records relating to the life of W.A.C. Bennett. Documented are his personal life, business ventures, community service, club affiliations, and political activities, including his terms as Member of the Legislative Assembly for South Okanagan, and as Premier of British Columbia.;Personal records consist of early correspondence and household records, as well as material which documents W.A.C. Bennett's association with freemasonry and his fundraising activities with organizations such as the Salvation Army.;Business records consist of material relating to Bennett Hardware, Bennett's Stores, and Calona Wines.;Political records refer to Bennett's tenure as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for South Okanagan, as Premier and as leader of the Opposition. Also relevant are records referring to the passage of a number of Municipal Acts and Bennett's relationship with Federal politics.;Included are correspondence, advertisements, minutes, annual reports, telegrams, itineraries, schedules, financial statistics, financial statements, petitions, questionnaires, resolutions, reports, speeches, press releases, proposals, maps, plans, charts, file notes, memoranda, newspaper clippings, scrap books, ephemera, photographs, audio recordings, film reels, and video cassettes.;The fonds is arranged into the following series:;F-55-1 Personal records;F-55-2 Freemasonry;F-55-3 Westlock Hardware / Clyde Hardware;F-55-4 Bennett Hardware / Bennett's Stores;F-55-5 Domestic Wines / Calona Wines;F-55-6 Kelowna Board of Trade;F-55-7 Bank of Canada Directors' Eeection;F-55-8 Gyro Club;F-55-9 Progressive Conservative Party;F-55-10 B.C. Progressive Conservative Association;F-55-11 Salvation Army;F-55-12 Canadian Red Cross Society;F-55-13 Social Credit League;F-55-14 Post-Premier alphabetical file;F-55-15 Post-Premier subject files;F-55-16 Memorial;F-55-17 Ephemera (personal);F-55-18 General correspondence;F-55-19 Election;F-55-20 South Okanagan constituent correspondence;F-55-21 Departmental correspondence;F-55-22 South Okanagan subjects;F-55-23 B.C. Fruit Growers' Association;F-55-24 Post-War Rehabilitation Council;F-55-25 Dominion-Provincial Fisheries Conference;F-55-26 Ephemera (MLA);F-55-27 1952 Official files;F-55-28 1953 Official files;F-55-29 1954 Official files;F-55-30 1955 Official files;F-55-31 1956 Official files;F-55-32 1957 Official files;F-55-33 1958 Official files;F-55-34 1959 Official files;F-55-35 1960 Official files;F-55-36 1961 Official files;F-55-37 1962 Official files;F-55-38 1963 Official files;F-55-39 1964 Official files;F-55-40 1965 Official files;F-55-41 1966 Official files;F-55-42 1967 Official files;F-55-43 1968 Official files;F-55-44 1969 Official files;F-55-45 1970 Official files;F-55-46 1971 Official files;F-55-47 1972 Official files;F-55-48 Federal-Provincial Conferences;F-55-49 Premier's subject files;F-55-50 Miscellaneous items - dated;F-55-51 Miscellaneous items - undated;F-55-52 Miscellaneous telegrams;F-55-53 Miscellaneous speeches;F-55-54 Municipal Acts;F-55-55 Newspaper clippings and publications;F-55-56 Audio recordings;F-55-57 Moving image recordings;F-55-58 Photographs

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Some files may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as stipulated by Archives policy or the donor. Files marked 'pending review' must be reviewed by an archivist prior to release, and as a result of the review access restrictions may apply. Please see the file lists and consult the archivist for more details.

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Finding aids

Series descriptions and file lists are available. In addition, there is a table of official files which covers series 2753 which allow the researcher to determine the years a given subject was covered in the Premier's "Official Files"; it is available in the hard copy version of the finding aid maintained in the Archives Reading Room. Online Finding Aid

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BCAUL control number: SFU-66

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