McPherson, Glenn

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McPherson, Glenn

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1910-1998

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.

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