Book provides Langford resident with B.C. history lesson

Premiers lend to this province's colourful history, reader writes

I recently enjoyed reading a book about some of British Columbia’s past premiers; from our first premier in 1871 up till Ujjal Dosanjh.

Of course the longest-serving premier, and so part of the only father and son to hold the job, was W.A.C Bennett, who held the office for 20 years. There were also two brothers who were elected premier: the Davie brothers in the 1880s and 1890s. So far, five premiers have died while in office and three have been fired from the job by the lieutenant-governor of the day, the last of whom was a man named Edward G. Prior, over what today we would call conflict of interest.

Theodore Davie decided to build the current legislative buildings in 1892. It had a major cost overrun, totalling $981,359 for a palace that was supposed to cost $500,000 plus or minus 10 per cent.

It was not the government of B.C.’s first cost overrun and as we all know, it would not be the last. Though Davie would live to see his marble palace (really made of granite) open in February 1898, he was no longer premier by that time.

The youngest premier to take office so far is Richard McBride, who assumed the job in 1900 after the second firing. McBride, the first premier born in B.C. while it was still a Crown colony, was appointed to the office at age 32 and called it quits on his 45th birthday. The last B.C. premier to die in office was John Oliver, shortly after his 71st birthday back in 1927. Before his passing, his government passed an old age pension act. Perhaps the first public pension in Canada, it paid $20 a month to those 70 years or older, although recipients were subject to  a means test.

The longest-serving premier in the 1800s was four years. With no party system prior to the early 1900s, the premier’s office was like a revolving door.

Andre Mollon


Just Posted

Horse carriage supporters to rally outside city hall

Owner of carriage company plans rally in response to Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

Victoria woman competing for role as Maxim cover model

Winning model gets featured spread in magazine, cash price

Songbirds return to their roost in the West Shore

Tips, such as keeping roaming cats from ruffling any feathers, can attract more birds

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Most Read