Introducing the Keynote Speaker at the 6th Annual RB Bennett Day - July 2nd, 2016

This Saturday, July 2nd, is our 6th Annual RB Bennett Day and this year we're celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Bennett becoming 1st Viscount Bennett, of Mickleham, in the County of Surrey and of Calgary and Hopewell, in the Dominion of Canada. We were extremely lucky to get Dr. Christopher McCreery, co-editor of "The Authentic Voice of Canada, R.B. Bennett Speeches in the House of Lords, 1941-1947", to come and talk on RB Bennett. His book on Bennett fits so well with the theme of this years event. So who is Dr. Christopher McCreery? Here is a brief biography. 

Dr. Christopher McCreery (Photo from Wikipedia) 

Dr. Christopher McCreery is the Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and the Executive Director of Government House, a position he has held since April of 2009.

One of the Commonwealth’s foremost experts on orders, decorations and medals, Dr. McCreery has served as the advisor to the Federal Government and a number of Provincial and Commonwealth governments on matters related to honours. He has also regularly been consulted on the role of the Crown; reserve powers, protocol and the historical position of the monarchy in Canada.

He holds a doctorate in Canadian political history from Queen’s University, is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, the Queen’s Centre for the Study of Democracy, is National Historian for St. John Ambulance and is active with a number of other volunteer organizations.

Dr. McCreery’s publications include more than 50 articles and 14 books. In 2010 he was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen.

You can read more on his Wikipedia entry here. 

Museum to Celebrate 75th Anniversary of Viscount Bennett's Elevation at 6th Annual RB Bennett Day - July 2

 The RB Bennett Commemorative Centre at the Albert County Museum is hosting the 6th annual RB Bennett Day on Saturday, July 2 in celebration of the only Canadian Prime Minister from New Brunswick. Located in Hopewell Cape at 3940 Route 114, just before the famous Hopewell Rocks, activities begin in the morning with the weekly Farmers and Crafters Market and continues with activities planned throughout the day. With the feature presentation at 2pm by noted historian and current Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Dr. Christopher McCreery.

75 years ago on July 23, 1941, Richard Bedford Bennett, Canada's 11th Prime Minister was elevated into the British House of Lords as the 1st Viscount Bennett, of Mickleham, in the County of Surrey and of Calgary and Hopewell, in the Dominion of Canada. In honour of this momentous occasion, Dr. Christopher McCreery, editor of the recently published book “The Authentic Voice of Canada: R.B. Bennett in the House of Lords.” will speak on Bennett.

The Centre will also offer a presentation on Bennett's rise to the peerage, with notable artefacts on hand from Bennett himself, including his gifts to the Garter King at Arms, Sir Gerald W. Wollaston K.C.B., K.C.V.O. a large impressive silver salver and sterling cigarette case. In addition to these the museum will bring to life the elevation ceremony, through a visual media presentation.

Directly following the activities, the annual birthday cake will be served celebrating RB Bennett's 146th Birthday (July 3, 1870).

The Farmer's Market & Breakfast is from 9am-1pm. Family oriented games and activities will be hosted the whole day (9:30am to 4pm). The main presentations will begin at 2pm followed by cake and homemade ice-cream.

The museum will offer free admission during the day to see all the displays and interactive exhibits.

The Top Ten People of Albert County that Everyone should Know About Are... Drum Roll Please!

With over 2000 votes cast we have a final list of 10 people who everyone from Albert County should know about. It's a wide range of people from a Prime Minster to a Father of Confederation, Entrepreneurs and Pioneers, War Heroes and Architects, and our own Trail Blazing Ship's Captain. A list spanning 300 years and one to be proud of and emulate! The Ten People chosen will form a new exhibit which will open this May, be sure to come by the Museum and see it. So, without further ado, I give you the Top Ten People of Albert County Everyone Should Know About listed in order of number of votes received. 

1. Myrtle 'Molly' Kool  (February 23, 1916 – February 25, 2009) was a Canadian-born American sea captain. She is recognized as being North America's first registered female sea captain or ship master.

2. Richard Bedford Bennett, 1st Viscount Bennett, PC KC (3 July 1870 – 26 June 1947) was a Canadian lawyer, businessman, politician, and philanthropist. He served as the 11th Prime Minister of Canada from 7 August 1930, to 23 October 1935, during the worst of the Great Depression years. Following his defeat as prime minister, Bennett moved to England, and was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Bennett.

3. Mary Majka - Born in Poland in 1925 (d.2014) to a Czechoslovakian countess and a Polish school principal,  It was in New Brunswick that she would finally feel at home and it was there that Mary would begin her life’s work, saving wildlife environments, preserving historic sites, and educating Canadians about the natural world.

4. Fred Colpitts (1887-1963) a keenly community minded citizen, spearheaded the breeding of Black, Silver and Platinum foxes in North America. Born in 1887 at Little River, Fred Colpitts spent only a few years at the small country school, then moved to Salsibury. In 1913 he bought three Black foxes and from this small beginning he developed the largest ranch in the British Empire.Through selection and inbreeding, Fred developed the Platinum fox. This breed gained world recognition and attracted visitors from many countries. His Platinum foxes received top sales figures in Montreal, New York and London. One matched pair sold for $5,000.00, winning the highest awards at many major shows across Canada. In 1927 he bought an Alberta dairy farm and moved the registered Holstein herd East. The herd still continues today as the "Little River Holsteins". He was also a founding member of the New Brunswick Branch Holstein-Friesian Association.Colpitts was also a well known lumberman, and during World War II he employed hundreds of men in cutting pitprops for the British Ministry of Supply. Colpitts represented his county as a member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1930 to 1939. Colpitts was also instrumental in having Fundy National Park located in Albert County.

5. William Henry Steeves (May 20, 1814 - December 9, 1873) was a merchant, lumberman, politician and Father of Canadian Confederation.

6. Heinrich Stief (son of Augustin Stief and Anna Barbara Worner) was born 12 Dec., 1718 in Sirchingen, Wurttemberg, and died between 1778 and 1780 in Hillsborough, Albert Co., New Brunswick. He married Regina Stahleker Feb 25, 1745 in Münsingen, Wurttemberg. The couple are the progenitors of upwards of 250,000 descendants around the world.

7. Reid Bros (3) Architects- Were Canadian architects, who founded the California architectural firm, Reid & Reid. Born in Harvey, New Brunswick to William J. Reid and Lucinda Robinson. They were James W. Reid (1851-1943), Merritt J. Reid (1855-1932), and Watson Elkinah Reid (1858-1944) Notable buildings are the Hotel del Coronado, the Riverside-Albert Consolidated School, the Albert County Court House and Victoria Manor (home of Lt. Gov AR McClelan).

8. Lt Col. Cyrus Peck -  VC, DSO & Bar (26 April 1871 – 27 September 1956) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Peck was one of the seven Canadians to be awarded the Victoria Cross for their actions on one single day, 2 September 1918, for actions across the 30 km long Drocourt-Quéant Line near Arras, France. Peck is the only VC winner to be a sitting member of Parliment.

9. Judge Albert Watson Bennett was born in Hopewell Cape in 1864.He attended school there and went on to study law in Dorchester. He was admitted to the bar of New Brunswick in 1885 and practiced in the town of Sackville. Several years later he was appointed to the County Court of Westmorland and Kent. Throughout his career he saw many different life situations and witnessed the inequality of health services. When he retired in 1945 he began to seriously consider the state of healthcare in this region. He decided to make a difference by contributing towards creating equally accessible medical treatment for every one. He did this through making a large bequest to the Albert County Hospital. Upon his death in 1963, his estate went to his wife and it was not until she passed away in 1973 that the contribution was bequeathed to the hospital in the amount of $232,000. The following year the fund had accumulated to $359,286.63 with interest. Many improvements, equipment purchases, scholarships and educational opportunities have been made in the spirit of Judge Albert Bennett's vision of improved and quality healthcare for the residents of Albert County through the Bennett and Albert County Health Care Foundation Inc. (formerly the Bennett and Albert County Hospital Foundation).

10. Gaius Samuel Turner (August 12, 1838 – April 25, 1892) was a businessman and political figure in New Brunswick, Canada. He represented Albert County in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1879 to 1892 as a Liberal-Conservative. He was born and educated in Albert County, New Brunswick, the son of Isaac Turner and Elizabeth Colpitts. In 1876, he married Lucy E. Stiles. He was a justice of the peace. Turner was a ship builder in Harvey, New Brunswick, and also was a director for the Albert Railway. He was named to the province's Executive Council in 1883 but resigned later that year. He died in office at Fredericton at the age of 53 after a long illness.


Top 10 Historical Events in Albert County in Review - #7 The Birthplace and Hometown of Canada's 11th Prime Minister RB Bennett


The Seventh Top 10 Historical Event in Albert County was the birth of our 11th Prime Minster RB Bennett. Who just happens to be on our list of the Most Historical People in Albert County, so be sure to take the time to vote for the 10 Most Historical People of Albert County . Vote Here. Now the seventh event in the Top Ten Historical Events in Albert County History 

  1. First European Settlers in 1699. 

  2. The Acadian Expulsion in 1755. Ending 57 years of Acadian colonies in Albert County, this includes the Battle of Petitcodiac, September 4, 1755. 

  3. Arrival of the Steeves family in 1766. 

  4. The founding of the county 1845. 

  5. Development of Commercially Viable Kerosene from Albertite by geologist Abraham Gesner in 1846 which led directly to the petroleum age and the modern world and indirectly to saving all the whales. Thanks Albert County! 

  6. The Saxby Gale of 1869, which brought untold destruction of property and the loss of a number of lives. 

  7. The Birthplace and Hometown of Canada's 11th Prime Minister RB Bennett (b1870), who founded the Bank of Canada, the CBC and numerous other important Canadian Institutions. 


    was Canada’s eleventh Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative government from August 7th, 1930 to October 23rd, 1935, a period of tribulation that encompassed the worst years of the Great Depression.

    Born on July 3rd, 1870 to Henrietta Stiles and Henry Bennett, a ship-building family, R. B. Bennett grew up in Hopewell Cape.  His early education was rudimentary, but his mother instructed him in the classics.  After teaching school for a few years, Bennett graduated from Dalhousie University in 1893 and practiced law in Chatham, New Brunswick for four years before moving to Calgary in what was then the Northwest Territories. 

    He served as Member of the Assembly of the Territories for six years before being elected MLA and Leader of the Opposition (1909-1911) in the new Alberta Legislature.   He was president of the Calgary Power Company (1910-1920) and legal counsel for the Canadian Pacific Railway for many years.   Bennett entered national politics and represented the constituency of Calgary East from 1911 to 1917, then Calgary West from 1925 to 1939.

    R. B. Bennett held many portfolios during his years in government including: Director-General of National Service (1914-1917); Minister of Justice and Attorney General (1921); Minister Without Portfolio (1926); Minister of Finance (1926); Receiver General (1926, 1930-1932); Minister of Mines and Interior and Superintendent of Indian Affairs (1926); Secretary of State for External Affairs and President of the Privy Council (1930-1935).  In 1927 he was elected leader of the Conservative Party.  Bennett was an excellent parliamentarian and debater who strengthened his party leading up to the election of 1930.


    Elected Prime Minister of Canada in 1930 with a strong majority, Bennett campaigned on a platform to provide progressive action to deal with the serious economic situation that would become known as The Great Depression.  As the global economic depression continued to worsen, voters turned to governments for security that the economy could not provide.  Traditional government measures which Bennett advocated, such as supporting the dollar and maintaining tariffs for dealing with deflation and unemployment, proved to be ineffective.  Later, the new federal social welfare measures he introduced, such as early unemployment insurance and public work programs, called the “Bennett New Deal”, showed some early results during the last six months of his term, although they shocked many of his Conservative colleagues at the time.  As the Depression continued amid declining provincial revenues that approached bankruptcy, especially in the West, the federal government had to contribute more to relief costs, further limiting Bennett’s programs through loss of government credit and revenues.  As a result, Bennett faced isolation and major dissent across the country and even within his own party.  The blame and responsibility for The Great Depression was attributed to Bennett personally with the Conservatives losing the election of 1935.

    While Prime Minister of Canada R. B. Bennett created many progressive programs.  He passed the Relief Act (1932); created the Canadian Broadcasting Commission (forerunner of the CBC); the central Bank of Canada (1935); and the Canadian Wheat Board (1935).  In addition, Bennett signed the Statute of Westminster making the Canadian Parliament fully independent in its decisions.


     After suffering political and personal family losses, feeling no longer wanted as their Prime Minister by the people of Canada, and betrayed by his own Party, Bennett reconsidered a suggestion made to him in earlier years by his old friend Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook) and moved to England to live and continue his law practice.  In 1941 R. B. Bennett was made Viscount (of Mickleham, Calgary and Hopewell) and joined the House of Lords.  His health gradually deteriorated until his death at home in Mickelham in 1947.  He was buried there in the ancient churchyard; the only Prime Minister not interred in Canada.  Noted for his strong personality, decisiveness, and dedication to Canada, Bennett was personally generous with his acquired wealth during his lifetime and, by the direction of his estate, remains a benefactor to Canadians.

  8. The Tom Collins Axe Murder Triple Trial which directly lead to Canada's Double Jeopardy laws. Double Jeopardy is a procedural defence that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction.

  9. Winning the Victory Loans Competition of 1919 by raising a greater percentage over their set goal than anywhere else in the Province. The county raised $347600.00 with a goal of $110000.00. That's triple the amount! (in today's dollars that is $6.2 million!).

  10. Founding of Fundy National Park in 1948.