Plaunt, Alan Butterworth

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Plaunt, Alan Butterworth

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1904-1941

History

Alan Butterworth Plaunt was born in Ottawa on March 25, 1904 to Francis Xavier and Mary Amelia (Butterworth) Plaunt. The family was financially comfortable due to involvement in the lumber and railway tie business in the Ottawa area. Plaunt was educated at University College, University of Toronto (B.A. 1927); and Christ Church Oxford (B.A. Honours in modern history, 1929). At the University of Toronto he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Society and its Secretary during the 1925-26 academic year. He had a lifelong interest in radio broadcasting and he sympathised with the recommendations of the 1929 Aird Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting. His belief in a publicly owned system lead both he and Graham Spry to found the Canadian Radio League in 1930. Plaunt helped establish the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC) in 1932 and its successor the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1936. He remained with the CBC until his resignation in 1940. Plaunt was a member of the League for Social Reconstruction and in 1933 he founded the New Canada Movement to enlighten rural youth about farm problems and the need for a changed social order. Through his various activities he was closely acquainted with David Lewis, Eugene Forsey, Frank Underhill, Frank Scott, and George Grube. Plaunt was married to Dorothy Plaunt Dyde and he died of cancer on September 12, 1941.

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