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Authority record

Aberhart, William

  • UOFC
  • Person
  • 1878-1943

William Aberhart was born on a farm near Kippen, Ontario on December 30, 1878 to William Aberhart Senior and Louisa Pepper. He attended Chatham Business College and received teacher training at the Mitchell Model School and the Ontario Normal School in Hamilton, Ontario. He also obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in 1911. He taught in several schools in southern Ontario, becoming principal of the Central Public School in Brantford Ontario, before moving to Calgary in 1910. During his time in Brantford, Aberhart also preached in local churches and conducted Bible study classes. Although he grew up in a nominally Presbyterian household, Aberhart and his wife entered the Baptist faith when residing in Calgary. Between 1910 and 1915, Aberhart was principal of three public schools in Calgary: Alexandra, Mount Royal and King Edward. In 1915, he was appointed principal of Crescent Heights High School, a position that he held for twenty years. While in Calgary, he continued to preach in a number of churches and also held Bible study classes. In 1918 he founded the Calgary Prophetic Bible Conference to promote Bible study in Calgary. His sermons and teachings were so popular that the Palace Theatre had to be rented to accommodate all who wished to participate. In 1925, he started broadcasting Sunday afternoon lectures on the radio called the "Back to the Bible Hour". These biblical lectures drew listeners from across the Canadian prairies and the adjacent U.S. states. In 1927 he was appointed Dean of the newly organized Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute. This institute served as a centre of worship and biblical studies, and also produced Aberhart's radio broadcasts. During this time, he was often known as "Bible Bill," in reference to his religious preaching. Aberhart became interested in politics in the 1930s as a result of the Great Depression. He particularly was interested in the 'social credit' theories of Scottish engineer Major C.H. Douglas which addressed the "discrepancy between the costs of production and the purchasing power of individuals." He founded the Social Credit League and began lobbying the Alberta government, held by the United Farmers of Alberta, to adopt some of the social credit policies. When this attempt failed, Aberhart organized Alberta's Social Credit League and the party won the 1935 Alberta provincial election by a landslide. Aberhart himself had not been a candidate in the election, but because he was the leader of the Social Credit League, he was proclaimed Premier of Alberta. He won a by-election in the electoral district of Okotoks-High River two months after being proclaimed Premier. From 1935-1943, Aberhart held the portfolios of Minister of Education and Attorney General. After the general election of 1940, Aberhart represented the multi-member electoral district of Calgary. During his tenure as Premier, Aberhart and the Social Credit government were successful in legislating its "prosperity certificate" program and also in making changes to Alberta's educational system and labour laws. They also established oil and gas conservation practices and provincial marketing boards. However, the Social Credit policies were not fully realized - attempts to change legislation pertaining to the administration of banks or operation of the newspapers in the province were unsuccessful. Although three bills were passed to amend legislation, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled these bills unconstitutional. William Aberhart married Jessie Flatt of Galt, Ontario in 1902 and had two daughters, Ola Janet and Khona Louise. He died suddenly on May 23, 1943 while in Vancouver, British Columbia. A high school in Calgary and a long-term care facility in Edmonton are named in his honour.

Aberhart, William

  • glen-1
  • Person
  • 1878-1943

William "Bible Bill" Aberhart, 1878-1943, was born in Ontario. He studied at the Hamilton Normal School and was granted his BA from Queen's University in 1911. In 1902 he married Janet Jessie Flatt, 1878-1966, and they had two children, Ola (MacNutt), 1905-2000, and Khona (Cooper), 1903-2000. In 1910 they moved to Calgary, Alberta and Aberhart became a high school principal. He was principal of Crescent Heights High School, 1915-1935. He ran popular bible classes, and in 1925 began his Sunday afternoon radio broadcasts, called the "Back to the Bible Hour". In 1927 he opened the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute, and two years later founded the Bible Institute Baptist Church. In 1932 he became interested in the monetary ideas of Major C.H. Douglas, who espoused state supervision of credit and dividend payments to citizens. He founded the Social Credit League, and in 1935 became the premier of Alberta when Social Credit swept the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) government from power. The government was unable to implement Aberhart's proposed reforms because the legislation was disallowed by the federal government. Aberhart died in office. In 1974 the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada designated Aberhart as a National Historic Person. For further information see Bible Bill / David R. Elliott and Iris Miller. - Edmonton : Reidmore Books, 1987.

Aborigines Protection Society

  • glen-2
  • Corporate body
  • 1837-[1900s?]

The Aborigines Protection Society of England was formed in 1837. Its purpose was stated as being "to assist in protecting the defenceless, and promoting the advancement of uncivilized tribes". It ran in parallel with the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society with which it had overlapping membership. F.W. Chesson was the society's secretary from 1866 to 1888. Among other activities, APS lobbied the British government on behalf of native people in the British colonies, to prevent wholesale expropriation of their lands.

Aboussafy (family)

  • wet

Ameen Emil Aboussafy was born in Lebanon in 1860. Together with his wife Halabea, the Aboussafys immigrated to Canada in 1899 and settled in Quebec. The Aboussafy's lived in Quebec for ten years before moving to Red Deer. After a short period in Red Deer, the Aboussafys moved to Wetaskiwin and Emil Aboussafy opened a general store with his brother-in-law Sam Murray called Aboussafy and Murray. Mr. Aboussafy bought out Mr. Murray in 1922 and renamed the store Aboussafy and Sons. The Aboussafy's expanded their business in the twenties by opening another store in Wetaskiwin and one in Gwynne. The Aboussafys had seven children, Frank, Ely, George, Joe, Abraham, Michael and Emeline. Emil Aboussafy died in 1944 and Halabea Aboussafy died in 1948.

Abram, Edward (Ted) Bridge

  • JAS

Ted Abram was a young adventurer from England searching for gold. He worked for a while in a sawmill as prospecting never yielded much gold. He went on a prospecting trip with his partners, Mort and Bill Teare. The group ended up in Tete Jaune Cache were Abram worked as a drayman and mining recorder. He married his wife Millicent in 1922 who came from England also. The couple homesteaded on the banks of the Fraser River in hopes that a highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border would open up the Yellowhead Pass. They eventually sold their 17.9 acres in 1945. In 1969, Ted Abram attended the opening ceremonies of the Yellowhead Highway where a section of it ran right through the old Abram homestead. The couple was also memebrs of the United Church choir in Jasper. Ted passed away at Powell River, B.C. at the age of 86. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Millicent, two daughters Peggy and Nora, and a son, George.

Academic Women's Association

  • uofa
  • Corporate body

After three years of informal meetings, the Academic Women's Association was formally begun in 1975 to encourage implementation of the recommendations of the University of Alberta Senate's Task Force on the Status of Women. The purpose of the association is to foster collegiality among academic women, to promote and encourage equal opportunities for women in university affairs, and to provide a forum and a mechanism for affirmative action for women at the university. The original name, Academic Women's Association of Alberta, was designed to provide an incorporated body under which branches from Alberta universities could function.

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