1966 Fredericton Convocation

Bennett, William Andrew Cecil

Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Orator: Cattley, Robert E.D.

Image Caption
L to R: Sir Max Aitken, William Andrew Cecil Bennett
Second Image Caption
Source: UA PC-5 no.8(26)


to be Doctor of Laws

How valid still is the slogan "Go West, young man!" time will not tell: Time, in its issue of September 30th, has already told!

"Cece" Bennett, the Conquistador Premier of British Columbia, went West from New Brunswick. Born, with the century, in Hastings, he attended school in Hampton, and learned the hardware business in Saint John. That apprenticeship taught him the future for an alliance of electricity, salesmanship, and a hard cutting edge.

He went first to Alberta. But when this 'stout Cortez first with eagle eyes stared at the Pacific', there was no 'wild surmise' -- he knew. He knew that romantic B.C. was developing only a fraction of a vast natural wealth. Giving heart and brain unreservedly to his new province he has, with uncanny instinct and success, opened up its key
resources. His methods have raised eyebrows but they have lowered interest rates. And he has consistently delivered, and is delivering, "the goods".

Premier since 1952, he can point to buoyant revenues and marathon construction, with the burden shifted to
Bennett's public utilities three,
The Hydro, the Ferries, and the P.G.E.,
of which each is required to pay its way, and pays it.

Indeed, the last of this famous triad, the Pacific and Great Eastern Railroad, can boast that its initials, which once (in the popular mind) stood for Past God's Endurance, now fitly designate Paying Guest Extraordinary!

What, however, has revealed Canadian individualism at its ruggedest has been his intransigence over the Columbia dams. There have been dam(n)s of another sort raised in other High Places at this selling of a national birthright literally "down the river". But American dollars and the Peace River are, in the Bennett logic, a matched and
matchless combination. And Bennett has had his way.

Such is the man who in political life seems invincible, in private life is unassailable, and who by birth, as he is about to become by degree, is one of us -- a New Brunswicker.

Cattley, Robert E.D. Honoris causa: the effervescences of a university orator. Fredericton: UNB Associated Alumnae, 1968.

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