Brown, Frank Herbert

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Brown, Frank Herbert

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Frank Herbert Brown was born in Birmingham, England, on April 26, 1894 to Edwin and Elizabeth (Attridge) Brown. He had one sister, "Madge" Ada Brown. His father eventually remarried; Brown’s stepmother was Florence Brown. Frank H. Brown studied at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland, matriculating with honours. He married Elizabeth McIlroy, daughter of Rev. Jas. McIlroy, on April 28, 1917, and had two sons: Dr. Thomas C. Brown and Alex G. Brown. Brown died on January 16, 1975.

Brown moved to Canada in 1911 to join the staff of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. He served in WW1 as a private with the 196th battalion (western universities) in 1917, though his health restricted him to clerical duties and returned him to work at the Bank by the end of the year. Brown remained on staff at the Bank after the war, rising in rank, becoming an inspector at the head office in 1927 and Assistant Corporation Executive from 1929 to 1936, doing business reorganization work, part of which took him to Cuba in 1934 on an inspection tour to see the CBC manager there. In 1939 he was appointed Superintendent of the home office.

In 1941, Brown was seconded to the Department of Munitions and Supply at Ottawa as Associate Director-General of Munitions productions and became successively in 1942, Director-General of Munitions Contracts; Secretary, Joint War Production Committee of Canada and the United States; Assistant Deputy Minister and, finally, Financial Advisor from 1942 to 1946 in charge of contracts, financial arrangements, negotiations, etc.; Member, Control Committee, Sorel industries limited, 1942-1946. In 1946 he was appointed Deputy Minister for National Revenue (Taxation), undertaking a reorganization of the Canadian Taxation Division before retiring in late 1947 due to his health.

In July 1946, Brown was awarded the C.B.E. for war services.

Brown moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1948, establishing a practice as a financial and industrial consultant. He held executive posts in many companies over his 27 years in Vancouver, including (though not simultaneously) the following:


  • The White Pass & Yukon Corp. Ltd.
  • Georgia Recreations Ltd.
  • Hecate Development Ltd.
  • Kitimat Pulp & Paper Co. Ltd.
  • Martin Paper Products Ltd.
  • Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Ltd.
  • Powell Stores Ltd.
    Vice President:
  • Noctin Investment Corp. Ltd.
  • Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Ltd.
    Chairman of the board:
  • British Columbia-Yukon Railway Co.
  • British Yukon Exploration Co. Ltd.
  • British Yukon Navigation Co. Ltd.
  • British Yukon Ocean Services Ltd.
  • The British Yukon Railway Co.
  • Pacific and Arctic Railway and Navigation Co.
  • Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Ltd.
  • Skagway Terminal Co.
  • The White Pass & Yukon Corp. Ltd.
  • Yukon Pipelines Ltd.
  • Anglo-Scandinavian Investment Corp. of Canada
  • Betrust Investment Corp. Ltd.
  • Canadian Vickers Ltd.
  • Colonial Steamships Ltd.
  • Fidelity Life Assurance Co.
  • Georgia Recreations Ltd.
  • Grosvenor International Ltd.
  • Hawaiian Western Steel Ltd.
  • Locana Corp. Ltd.
  • Locana Securities Ltd.
  • Loiselle Transport Ltd.
  • McLennan, McFeely & Prior Ltd.
  • MacMillan, Bloedel and Powell River Ltd.
  • Martin Paper Products Ltd.
  • Morrison Steel and Wire Co. Ltd.
  • National Trust Co. Ltd.
  • Neon Products of Canada Ltd.
  • Neon Products of Western Canada Ltd.
  • Noctin Investment Corp. Ltd.
  • Pacific Coast Fire Insurance Ltd.
  • Powell River Sales Co. Ltd.
  • Redhill Investment Corp. Ltd.
  • Scott Misener Steamships Ltd.
  • West Coast Shipbuilders Ltd.
  • Western Bridge and Steel Fabricators Ltd.
  • Western Canada Steel Ltd.
  • Westview Investment Corp. Ltd.
  • The White Pass & Yukon Corp. Ltd.
  • Yorkshire Corp. Ltd.

Brown maintained a lifelong interest in music, writing song lyrics and poems, performing in musicals, and generally supporting musicians and musical endeavours. He had trained early in life to be an opera tenor, but realized there was little opportunity, and so became involved in finance instead. He was also greatly interested in cancer research, participating in at least two national cancer societies. In the mid-1950s Brown formed an interest in stereoscopic (3D) photography, taking many photos and getting them developed into stereoscopic slides and View-Master reels.


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