AGREAT many readers of Maclean's have been subscribers for so many years that they regard themselves and we regard them— as members of the family.
Therefore we feel sure that you won’t mind if once in half a century we divert our editorial page to a family affair. As a matter of fact, it may turn out to be quite interesting to you.
On December 11, in the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, the staff of the MacLean Publishing Company, their wives and children—numbering in all more than 1,000—held their Christmas Party.
We have had many Christmas parties, but this was a special one. It commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the first MacLean publication, The Canadian Grocer, and it climaxed the seventy-fifth birthday of the Founder and Chairman of the Board, Colonel John Bayne Maclean.
To pay tribute to Colonel Maclean, and to present to him. on behalf of the staff, an illuminated address signed by nearly 900 of the company’s employees in Canada, Great Britain and the United States, came the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, the Honorable Albert Matthews.
What His Honor said will, we think, interest the readers of Maclean's. He said this:—
“I have known the Founder and Chairman of this far-flung organization for many years. We spent some time together at the first World Economic Conference held at Geneva ten years ago.
’’I got some insight then of his wide interest in national and international affairs and the meticulous care he took to meet and talk to everyone whom he thought could furnish some information which could be used either directly or indirectly as background knowledge for the enlightenment and guidance of readers of his numerous publications.
“I believe the publications you produce will stand comparison with those published in U. S. A. or Great Britain, and they have the great merit of dealing with Canadian subjects. “They are all national in scope.
“What would we do without them?
“Would the people of one province know as much about the people of the other eight provinces if it were not for the national publications which reach them from week to week and month to month?
“Ten years after Confederation, Colonel Maclean established his first publication. They are now two score in number.
“Confederation provided a basis for development of national unity. The machinery is there but we must have an informed and enthusiastic people to make the best use of it.
“The people in the various provinces have many common interests, but they are apt to be overlooked if there is not leadership of a broad statesmanlike character. We have such leaders in each province, but it requires a national forum, a common meeting ground for discussion of the many problems which confront us. The national magazines and periodicals have done much to supply this need.
“It is a great accomplishment to build up a circulation for a group of newspapers, magazines and periodicals which ensures 3,000,000 readers.
“It is especially creditable to know that this has been achieved with a good clean type of reading matter, without any cheap tawdry sensationalism. It is a tribute not only to the publisher but to the people of Canada that such a clientele could be secured in a country of eleven million people.
“It is a great responsibility to have a large and intelligent audience of this kind. I hope it may always be used for the benefit and advancement of the best interests of Canadians.
“Some of the hundreds of children whom I see before me will probably be present at some such gathering as this in another fifty years time. May they carry on the traditions of integrity, virile independence and love of country which have been implanted in this business during this first fifty years.”
Those of us who are associated with Colonel Maclean know how sincere and unselfish has been his devotion to the cause of Canadian unity and welfare; how fearless in the cause of honesty and decency in public and business life, and in the business of reporting and commenting on affairs.
There have been occasions when we have cost this company plenty by telling the truth. Never have we been left in doubt as to the course to follow. The Colonel’s motto has been, “If you are sure you are right, and the welfare of the public is to be served, let nothing stop you.”
We appreciate his support, his experience, his ideals. And we thought we’d like to get up in front of everybody and say so.
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