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Annual Report 2012-2013

This past year has been a watershed for the James McGill Society. In anticipation of co-founder and Honorary President of the Society, Dr. Stanley Frost, celebrating his 100th birthday, the Executive Committee launched a campaign last September to establish an annual lecture in his honour.  On Monday, February 18, the day after his birthday, over 100 people attended a party held in the Faculty Club’s Ballroom. Among the speakers was the Society’s patron, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Heather Munroe-Blum. Dr. Frost’s well-chosen and warmly delivered words of appreciation were well received.  The news of Stanley’s death on July 25 spread quickly.  At his well-attended funeral on the 31st, note was made of his great contributions to McGill University, including its historical study.  Also noted were his warm personality and his outstanding gifts as a teacher, administrator, and researcher.  Sympathy and condolences are expressed to Dr. Frost’s family, friends, and colleagues.


The proposed talks for the coming year are:

Monday, October 7, 2013:  Susan Button
Women and the Faces of Philanthropy at McGill” 162nd Meeting.
The First Annual Stanley Frost Lecture and Presidential Address

Monday November 25, 2013:  Richard Pound.
McGill and the Olympics. 163rd  Meeting.

February/March, 2014  (Date-to-be-Announced) John Hobbins
on the Faculty of Law, 164th Meeting.

Tuesday April 29, 2014:  Susan Wagg
Sir Andrew Taylor and McGill’s Architecture. 165th Meeting.


Last year, the Society was honored by these excellent and well attended presentations:

Monday, October 1, 2012.  Mr. Normand Rinfret. “McGill University Health Centre: Past, Present, & Future,” 158th Meeting (Faculty Club Ballroom) – in co-operation with the McGill Associates.

Monday, November 26, 2012.  Professor Yvan Lamonde. “Evolution of McGill’s French Department: ‘Le Département de langue et littérature françaises,’” 159th Meeting (Faculty Club Heritage Room)

Monday, February 18, 2013. “Dr. Stanley Frost’s 100th Birthday Party.” Presentations: Ms. Susan Button, Dr. Pauline Frost, Principal Heather Munroe-Blum, Dean Ellen Aitken, Dr. M. A. Whitehead, Prof. Peter F. McNally. 160th Meeting (Faculty Club Ballroom).

Friday, April 19, 2013.  Dr. Theo van de Ven. “Hundred Year History of Pulp and Paper at McGill: 1913-2013.” 161st Meeting (Reception: Otto Maass Chemistry Building Ruttan Room, Presentation: Room 10) – in co-operation with McGill–Montreal Chapter of Sigma Xi (The Canadian Interdisciplinary Research Society.

Members will appreciate that world-wide commemoration of World War I begins during 2013/2014.  McGill’s significant role in the war is noted in the University’s archival collections, various publications, and past presentations before the Society.

Tom Thompson, a Past-President of the Society, was the 2013 recipient of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education’s Outstanding Achievement Award.  Both Tom and Peter McNally, Executive Secretary, were recipients of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals.

The Society notes the passing of several long-time members and friends of the Society:

Gordon Maclachlan, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-Principal Research (1981-1991), in Vancouver (March 8, 2013);  Diane Philip, senior documentation technician, Osler Library, (January 22, 2013); and Hugh Hallward, Chairman of the Board of Governors, 1982-1990, (August 26, 2013). Our sympathies are extended to their family and friends.

On behalf of the Society, I would like to thank Professor Heather Munroe-Blum for her strong support of the Society during her ten years as Principal and the Society’s Patron.

At our first meeting of the 2013/2014 season, the Executive Committee will nominate Ms. Theresa Rowat, recently retired from the McGill University Archives, as next President of the Society, 2013 –2015.  I know that I speak on behalf of all members in thanking Ms. Susan Button for the devotion and energy she showed during her two years as President.

My personal thanks and appreciation are expressed as always to Susan Button, other members of the Executive Committee, and to the entire membership of the James McGill Society for their continuing support and enthusiasm.

Respectfully submitted, 

Peter F. McNally

Executive Secretary