Fonds RBSC-ARC-1368 - Glenn McPherson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Glenn McPherson fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

RBSC-ARC-1368

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • ca. 1930-1998, predominant 1938-1985 (Creation)
    Creator
    McPherson, Glenn

Physical description area

Physical description

1.3 m of textual records;166 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1910-1998)

Biographical history

Glenn Willoughby McPherson, the son of a prominent Manitoba judge, was born on April 29th, 1910 in Portage la Prairie. He became a lawyer in 1935 but only practiced for two years before moving into the public sector as legal counsel to the Custodian of Enemy Property. In 1937, this position involved redistributing property confiscated during World War One, but by 1939 he was advising the Custodian on issues related to the Second World War. As war broke out, McPherson was also recruited into William Stephensons (the British-Canadian spy code-named Intrepid) "Security Organization." As part of this dual role, McPherson was responsible for deciding whether Japanese-Canadians should be interned in 1942. For the next 2 years he administered the confiscated property of the internees. As the war ended, McPherson played a central role in organizing the two Quebec Conference meetings between Roosevelt, Churchill and Mackenzie-King.

After the war, McPherson moved to the private sector as president of a series of firms in the expanding helicopter industry. While president of the BC-based Okanagan Helicopters, McPherson played a significant role in the establishment of both helicopter and lift skiing on Whistler Mountain. In the mid-1960s, he travelled to Moscow as part of a delegation investigating Soviet helicopter technology.

At the end of his working career, McPherson returned to the public sector, this time in the transportation industry as chairman of the Vancouver Port Authority and a board member of the BC Rail Corporation. Working closely with the federal transportation minister, McPherson was instrumental in establishing autonomy for Canadian ports. In 1983 he became chairman of the newly created Canada Port Corporation. He retired to his West Vancouver home in 1985 and lived there with his Mercia there until he passed away in 1998.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists mainly of records assembled by McPherson over the course of his professional career. Material documenting McPhersons wartime activities predominates. The fonds contains two sous-fonds. One of these includes a scrapbook and from McPhersons father, Ewan. The other contains research, correspondence and interviews conducted by Kay Alsop in the mid 1990s. Alsop, a prominent Vancouver journalist, intended to write a biography of McPherson but was never able to find a publisher for the book. Alsop therefore decided to donate some of her research files as part of the McPherson fonds. The Alsop Sous-Fonds contains important records which McPherson had given to her, particularly those documenting the decision to intern Japanese-Canadians.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Mercia McPherson in 2006.

Arrangement

The fonds has been arranged, as closely as possible, according to the original filing order both McPherson and Alsop used. Some series, however, have been arranged according to form.

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Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

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Finding aids

Inventory available.

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No further accruals are expected.

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