Item iw-glen-287 - William Irvine interview (transcript)

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William Irvine interview (transcript)

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GLEN glen-2325-iw-glen-287

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  • 1940 (Creation)
    Irvine, William

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1 folder (18 p.)

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William Irvine, 1885-1962, was born in Gletness, Shetland, Scotland. He became a Christian socialist in his youth and worked as a Methodist lay preacher. He moved to Canada in 1907 when he was recruited by Superintendent James Woodsworth Sr. for ministerial work. After his ordination he was assigned to Emo, Ontario in 1914 but soon left to become a Unitarian minister in Calgary, Alberta. He became politically active and helped organize the Non-Partisan League and edited its publication the Nutcracker (later the Alberta Non-Partisan and Western Independent). Irvine established the People's Church in Calgary in 1919 and he also helped establish the Alberta wing of the Dominion Labor Party. He also helped the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) enter politics and published a book Farmers in Politics endorsing their policies. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1921 as Member of Parliament for the Dominion Labor Party. Defeated in 1925, he was then returned in the Wetaskiwin constitutency as a UFA MP from 1926-1932. His second book Cooperative Government was published in 1929. During the 1930s Irvine was active in establishing the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and remained involved with the party throughout the remainder of his life. He was again returned to Parliament from 1945-1949 as the MP for Cariboo. In 1910 he married Adelia Mabel Little, 1892-1980, known as Delia, and they had five children, Ronald William, 1912-1982, Harry Charles, 1914-1945, James Franklin, 1916-? , Vera Esther (Stevens), 1918-2013 , and Eric Melville, 1922-?. For further information see William Irvine and Radical Politics in Canada / John Edward Hart. -- PhD thesis, University of Guelph, 1972; William Irvine : The Life of a Prairie Radical / Anthony Mardiros. -- Toronto : J. Lorimer, 1979; Beyond the Social Gospel : A Study of the Intellectural Foundations of Radical Protest Politics in Early Twentieth Century Canada / Janice Staples. -- PhD thesis, Carleton University, 1985; and The Parlimentary Career of William Irvine, 1922-1935 / Lief Gordon Stolee. -- MA thesis, University of Alberta, 1969.

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Consists of an interview with William Irvine about his life, activities as a United Farmers of Alberta Member of Parliament, his political philosophies, and his views about former colleagues such as J.E. Brownlee and T.A. Crerar.

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  • English

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