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George Reginald Geary

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George Geary
Minister of Justice
Attorney General of Canada
In office
August 14, 1935 – October 22, 1935
Prime MinisterR. B. Bennett
Preceded byHugh Guthrie
Succeeded byErnest Lapointe
Member of Parliament
for Toronto South
In office
October 29, 1925 – October 13, 1935
Preceded byCharles Sheard
Succeeded byRiding abolished
35th Mayor of Toronto
In office
1910–1912
Preceded byJoseph Oliver
Succeeded byHoratio Hocken
Personal details
Born
George Reginald Geary

(1872-08-12)August 12, 1872
Strathroy, Ontario, Canada
DiedApril 30, 1954(1954-04-30) (aged 81)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyConservative
Profession
  • Barrister
  • counsel

George Reginald Geary PC KC MC OBE (August 12, 1872[1] – April 30, 1954) was a Canadian politician. He was a Conservative member of the House of Commons from 1925 to 1935. He also served as Mayor of Toronto from 1910 to 1912.

Background

Born August 12, 1872, in Strathroy, Ontario, the Geary family moved to Sarnia, Ontario, when Geary was age one. He attended and graduated from Toronto's Upper Canada College. He graduated from the University of Toronto law school in 1896 where he was a Member of Alpha Delta Phi.[2] Geary enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on January 7, 1915. He served in World War I and was awarded the Military Cross and the French Legion of Honour. Geary was also awarded the Military Cross and Croix de Guerre during World War I. On March 24, 1919, he was discharged. He was also a member of the Orange Order in Canada.

Municipal politics

Soon after graduation he became interested in politics. In 1904 he became a school trustee in Ward 4. Then an alderman from 1905 to 1907. From there he became counsel for the Ontario government. Then in 1908 he ran for mayor and lost to Joseph Oliver. Geary was elected mayor in 1910, re-elected in 1911 and acclaimed in 1912. He resigned in October 1912 in order to accept a position as the City of Toronto's legal counsel.

During his term in office he announced plans for a new Harbor board. Geary said, "We have a magnificent harbor but we have failed miserably to avail ourselves of nature's generosity. We have barely sufficient wharfage to accommodate the lake traffic today, to say nothing of the future. We have been to neglectful of our shipping and harbor interests."

Federal politics

In 1925 he was elected as a member of parliament as a Conservative from the riding Toronto South and remained an MP until 1935. In 1935 he briefly served as the Minister of Justice in the Cabinet of R.B. Bennett and accordingly became a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. He and the Bennett government were defeated in the 1935 federal election. Geary attempted to regain a seat in the 1940 federal election but was defeated by Arthur Roebuck.

Legacy

He died in Toronto on April 30, 1954, aged 80. He was buried in the St. James Cemetery. In 1990, his former residence was declared a historic site by the province, naming the home "Geary House".[3]

In 1912 Geary was the namesake for a tugboat, built for the city of Toronto, named the G. R. Geary.[4]

References

  1. ^ "Ontario Births, 1869-1912," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VNLJ-XY4 : 15 January 2016), George Reginald Geary, 12 Aug 1872; citing Birth, Strathroy, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, citing Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,845,041.
  2. ^ Catalogue of the Alpha Delta Phi: 1832-1966. New York, NY: The Executive Council of The Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity. 1966. p. 202.
  3. ^ "City of Toronto: Intention to Designate Geary House, 124 Park Road" (PDF). Conservation Review Board. August 27, 1990.
  4. ^ "G.R.Geary". Polson Iron Works. 2012. Retrieved 2018-11-02. The G.R.Geary, tug, was built by Polson Iron Works for the City of Toronto in 1912, and owned by the City until 1954.

Further reading

  • The Municipality History of Toronto, by Jesse Edgar Middletown, 1923, Dominion Publishing Company.
  • Toronto Star, January 3, 1910.
  • Additional Information can be found in The War Book of Upper Canada College Toronto by A.H. Young.
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George Reginald Geary
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