RBCM Archives

Item AAAB4249 - Lawrie Wallace interview

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Lawrie Wallace interview

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  • sound recording

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  • Source of title proper: Supplied title based on item contents.

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AAAB4249

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  • 1981-04 to 1981-07 [date recorded] (Creation)

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CALL NUMBER: T3835:0001 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Family life and early manhood PERIOD COVERED: 1913-1938 RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1981-04-16 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mr. L.J. Wallace recalls his early life at the William Head Quarantine Station, B.C. Born April 24, 1913. Siblings: Robert, Mary and Jack. Father was Chief Steward at Quarantine Station. Discussion of Wallace's forebears, mainly in the Metchosin area. Family to Victoria in 1916. Father's occupations. Father on Victoria School Board prior to death in 1938. Anecdote about great-great-grandmother, Granny Vine, of Metchosin. Genealogy of wife's (Lois Inata Leeming) family. Married 1942. Discussion of Wallace's siblings. All trained as educators. Active in First Presbyterian (later First United) Church. Church basketball in Victoria in 1920s. Victoria Normal School, 1931-32. Taught at Alberni Indian Residential School, 1933-36. Schooling: Bank Street School, George Jay School, Victoria; High School. TRACK 2: More on Victoria High School in 1920s: Ira Dilworth, Harry Smith, Bill Roper and other teachers. Wallace not a "recreational" reader. Admirer of Rev. Bruce Gray, Rev. W.G. Wilson, Prof. Walter Gage, William T. Straith, Ira Dilworth and Harry Smith. Part-time and summer jobs. Post-secondary education at Victoria College, Victoria Normal School and University of British Columbia. Graduated B.A., 1938 in history and mathematics. Master of Education from University of Washington 1946-47. Victoria College in the early 1930s. UBC, 1936-38. Member of Psi Upsilon fraternity. More on Alberni Indian Residential School.;

CALL NUMBER: T3835:0002 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Early teaching career and the Royal Canadian Navy PERIOD COVERED: ca. 1920-1946 RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1981-04-16 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Mr. L.J. Wallace tells of his parents' education. Father a member of Victoria School Board. Father prominent member of Masons and Orange Lodge. Wallace graduated UBC 1938. Taught at Duncan High School, 1938-41. Involvement with co-curricular activities while at DHS. Joined Navy in 1941. Part-time training at Naden, late 1941. Officer training at Royal Roads, 1942. Active Naval Service, beginning April 1942. Married Lois Leeming, April 1942. More on Royal Roads training. Service on RCN corvette, "Ville de Quebec". TRACK 2: More about the new RCN corvette, "Ville De Quebec". Convoy duty out of Halifax, 1942. Transferred to Fairmiles submarine chasers. Caribbean duty based in Miami, 1943. On staff of King's College, Officer training school, Halifax, 1943-45. Taught navigation and "c;ommand" techniques. Commander of training ship "Charney". V-E Day in Halifax, 1945. Wallace has command of the new training ship, "New Liskeard". VJ Day in Lunenburg, N.S. Discharged from RCN in December 1945 with rank of Lieutenant Commander. University of Washington for M.Ed., starting spring 1946. Began teaching at Victoria High School, September 1946. Daughter Marilyn born 1944.;

CALL NUMBER: T3835:0003 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): World War II and teaching career PERIOD COVERED: 1940-1953 RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1981-04-23 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Lawrence J. Wallace comments on the cooperative spirit displayed in Canada during World War II. Comments on Wallace's family life during the war (short track, about 5 minutes). TRACK 2: Effects of the Depression on the Wallace family. Wallace's father out of work. Comments on the C.C.F. and Social Credit during the 1930s. Wallace briefly a member of the Liberal Party during the late 1940;s. Father was president of Victoria Liberal Association. Taught at Victoria High School, 1946-53. Basketball at VHS. Founding of the Vancouver Island High School Basketball Championship (short track, about 15 minutes).;

CALL NUMBER: T3835:0004 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Teaching career and British Columbia public service PERIOD COVERED: 1946-1967 RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1981-04-23 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Lawrence J. Wallace discusses his career as a teacher at Victoria High School, 1946-53. Wallace the chairman of the project to build Memorial Stadium at VHS. Assistant Director of the summer school for teachers. Unwilling to leave Victoria to become a school administrator. Joins Department of Education as Director of Community Programs Branch, October 1, 1953. Also Director of Adult Education. Wallace's appointment to the Centennial Celebrations Committee in 1955. Ray Williston and Ken Kiernan recommend a Centennial celebration for 1958. No models to follow for the 1958 Centennial. The structure of the Centennial Committee. TRACK 2: More on the structure of the 1958 Centennial Committee. The "matching grants" scheme for community projects. The scheme adopted for the Canadian Centennial in 1967 (short track, about 15 minutes).;

CALL NUMBER: T3835:0005 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): "Mr. Centennial" PERIOD COVERED: 1958-1971 RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1981-05-19 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: L.J. Wallace discusses his work on the B.C. Centennial Committees for the Centennials of 1958, 1966-67 and 1971. Visit of HRH Princess Margaret in 1958. Century Sam. More on the 1958 Centenni;al celebrations. Fort Steele Historic Park. TRACK 2: Wallace's assessment of the lasting significance of the Centennial celebrations. Wallace becomes Deputy Provincial Secretary, 1959. Centennial time capsules. Comments on Hon. W.D. Black. The Royal Tours of 1959, 1966, 1967 and 1971. Story of the British Columbia flag.;
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ALL NUMBER: T3835:0006 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Deputy Provincial Secretary and Deputy to the Premier PERIOD COVERED: 1959-1977 RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1981-05-21 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: L.J. Wallace describes major changes during his tenure as Deputy Provincial Secretary, 1959-1977. The British Columbia Civil Defence Program. The B.C. Civil Service Commission and the demise ;of "patronage". Wallace's various government appointments. Replaces George E.P. Jones on the Purchasing Commission, 1965. W.A.C. Bennett invites Wallace to become Deputy Premier. Wallace declines but agrees to become "Deputy to the Premier". TRACK 2: Discusses the change of government, 1972. Receives many job offers after defeat of Social Credit government, 1972. More on the 1972 change of government. Wallace asked by "every major party" to run for office. The working relationship between Wallace and W.D. Black. Wallace took cabinet oath, 1972. Wallace's relationship with cabinet. The NDP as ;a new government, 1972.;

CALL NUMBER: T3835:0007 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Deputy Provincial Secretary and Deputy to W.A.C. Bennett PERIOD COVERED: 1959-1975 RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1981-07-09 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: L.J. Wallace discusses his working relations with various ministers. After hours and emergency work including tsunami at Port Alberni. Wallace appointed to Purchasing Commission, 1965. Operation of Purchasing Commission. The construction of Heritage Court as a Centennial project in 1967. Delegate to meeting of Colombo Plan, 1969. Peace Arch meeting between Prime Minister Pearson, President Johnson and Premier Bennett. Named to Order of Canada, 1971. More about the provincial elections, 1972 and 1975. TRACK 2: Speculation about W.A.C. Bennett's intentions regarding resignation. Relations between Phil Gaglardi and W.A.C. Bennett. Bennett expected to be succeeded by Leslie Peterson. Succession scenarios. Wallace encouraged to run for public office but declines. Violence incident in ;New Westminster during 1972 cabinet tour. Election night, 1972. W.A.C. Bennett as Leader of the Opposition. W.A.C. Bennett's ideas about his sons in politics. The redistribution commission of 1975.;

CALL NUMBER: T3835:0008 SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): Agent-General and Deputy Minister to the Premier PERIOD COVERED: 1959-1981 RECORDED: Victoria (B.C.), 1981-07-31 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: L.J. Wallace discusses his role on the Capital Improvement District Commission, 1959-77. Electoral Redistribution Commission, 1975. Change in government, December 22, 1975. Appointed Agent-General in London, 1977. Mandate as Agent-General. Made freeman of the City of London, 1978. Pays tribute to wife and family. Comments on growth of bureaucracy. Victoria High School Centennial, 1976. Becomes Deputy Minister to the Premier, 1980. As Deputy, established "Premier's Ministry". TRACK 2: Comments on his terms as deputy to W.A.C. Bennett and W.R. Bennett. The pressures on a premier. Role ;as an administrator versus policy maker. Role of "advisor". Scheduling for the Premier. Comparisons between W.A.C. Bennett and W.R. Bennett. Wallace's views of public service. Comments on attitudes in; the public service. Feels he and his brothers would have been successful in private life as well as public life. Wallace offered position in federal public service. Summary remarks. (End of interview)

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Provincial Archives of British Columbia. [staff members], [1974-1987]

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  • Complete transcript on file.
  • Reference cassette copy available in container 000443-230 and -231.

Restrictions on access

No access restrictions apply. [WAS: Tapes/transcripts not to be released during lifetime of L.J. Wallace, except with his permission. (Per L.J. Wallace, 1981-08-18.) Wallace died 2006-01-12.]

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication


  • Copying Restriction: None.
  • Use Restriction: As determined by the BC Archives.
  • Copyright Status: Copyright British Columbia Archives.

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Accession number(s): T3835

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speaker: Lawrence James Wallace, interviewer: Derek Lawrence Reimer

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