Fonds PR-2372 - Lawrence J. Wallace fonds

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Lawrence J. Wallace fonds

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  • textual record
  • graphic material
  • multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • 1862-2002 (Creation)
    Wallace, Lawrence James, 1913-2006

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Physical description

9 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Lawrence James Wallace was born at William Head on April 24, 1913, the son of John and Mary (Parker) Wallace. He was the youngest of four children. He was educated in public school, attending the Victoria Normal School 1931-32 to become a teacher. He received his BA from UBC and his MEd from the University of Washington. His 1947 thesis (M. Educ.) was entitled "A study and survey of participation in extra-curricular activities in the high schools of British Columbia ...".

Wallace's teaching career began in Alberni and Duncan but was interrupted by the outbreak of WWII when he volunteered to join the Royal Canadian Navy. He attended the newly opened Royal Roads Military College for his training and was posted to Halifax as a Sub-Lieutenant, serving in the North Atlantic and Caribbean.

When the war ended Lieutenant Commander Wallace returned home to Victoria and became a teacher at Victoria High School (Vic High) where he taught mathematics, was a counselor and coached basketball.

Wallace married his wife, Lois Leeming of Duncan in April 1942; they had three daughters.

In 1953 Wallace joined the provincial public service, serving as Deputy Provincial Secretary from 1959-1977. Between 1969 and 1977 he also served as Deputy Minister to the Premier. From 1977-1980, he served as British Columbia's Agent General for the United Kingdom and Europe. Upon returning from London he served, again, as Deputy Minister to Premier Bill Bennett, retiring from public service in 1981.

During his public service career he became known for his leadership and organization of four centennial celebrations in 1958, 1966, 1967 and 1971. In 1983, Wallace served as Canadian Secretary to the Queen for her state visit to Canada.

Among his many honours and recognitions, Wallace received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 1971; was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1971 (invested in 1972); was made a freeman of the City of London in 1978; received an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from UBC in 1978; and received the Order of BC in 1991.

Wallace died in Victoria, BC on January 12, 2006.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records created or acquired by Wallace in the course of his life as a teacher, public servant and retired member of the community.

The records reflect events held across the province in celebrations of the 4 centennials in British Columbia in 1958, 1966, 1967, and 1971.

The records are primarily photograph albums or scrapbooks and were arranged by Wallace as volumes in chronological order.

A small number of records contain correspondence and personal records related to Wallace’s family history in addition to collected ephemera related to centennial celebrations.

Published material included in the donation has been transferred to the archives’ library.

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The records were donated by Wallace’s family in 2017.


BC Archives has kept the arrangement of the records as housed by Wallace in his home.

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General note

Accession number(s): 2017.1

Physical description

Includes ca. 8700 photographs. Scrapbooks and albums were disassembled and rehoused into file folders for preservation and access.

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