Staff of MacLean Publishing Company Honors Founder at Christmas Party

February 1 1938


Staff of MacLean Publishing Company Honors Founder at Christmas Party

February 1 1938


Staff of MacLean Publishing Company Honors Founder at Christmas Party


A GREAT many readers of MacLean publications have been subscribers for so many years that they regard themselves as members of the family. We so consider them.

Because of their interest in the growth of the MacLean organization and in the service it gives, we present to them this memento of our Christmas Party.

Held in the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, on the afternoon of Saturday, December 11, and attended by more than 1,000 members of the staff, wives and children, it was a memorable event in the history of The MacLean Publishing Company.

We have held 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 the contribution Colonel Maclean has made to national and Empire unity came the Honorable Albert Matthews, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario. And on behalf of the MacLean staff, His Honor presented to the Colonel a handsomely bound and beautifully executed illuminated address signed by nearly 900 employees in token of their affection and esteem, and of their appreciation of the interest their chief has shown in their welfare.

From New York, Chicago and Montreal came representatives from the company’s offices and publications. And from a balcony, Mrs. Maclean shared what the Colonel has said was the happiest and proudest time of his life.

The huge concert hall of the Royal York was filled with employees and their families when, with the singing of “O Canada,” the program began.

The Guard of Honor

nrO THE popping of balloons and the massed juvenile crunching of candy, the ageless drama of Punch and Judy was unfolded. Telegraphed assurances from Santa Claus that no northern blizzard could prevent his prompt arrival were greeted with cheers. On the silver screen, Mickey Mouse added to the fun.

At the tick of three came the skirl of bagpipes. In marched the pipers, and following them the guard of honor for the Lieutenant-Governor. We want to pause a moment in front of that guard of honor. Every man of the thirtyfive in it was a staff man who served in the Great War. Uniform in blue berets cockaded with the Maclean tartan.

and tartan ties, wearing their medals, they marched and stood as smartly as a crack company of the King’s Guards. They were men from every division of the business. Men from the pressrooms and composing room; men who are heads of departments. Men who in the army were privates; men who were officers. There were men with the Military Medal; men with the Military Cross. They had drilled together for this occasion; elected their own Officer Commanding.

A crisp word of command. The guard snapped to attention. Through the big doors of the concert hall came His Honor in company with Colonel Maclean and attended by the Governor’s aide, Captain Matthews. Following came Mrs. Matthews, escorted by H. T. Hunter, president of the company, and officers and directors and their wives —Mrs. Hunter, Mr. and Mrs. H. V. Tyrrell (vice-president and general manager), Mr. and Mrs. George Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Napier Moore, Mr. and Mrs. F. Brocklebank, representing the Mechanical Department, and Mrs. Chipman, whose husband, representing the Montreal office, was in the Guard of Honor.

The audience rose to its feet. The pipes played the National Anthem.

His Honor inspected the guard, pausing to speak to several of its members. It was the first guard he had inspected since taking office, and he was greatly impressed by it.

Then to the platform, where Chairman J. A. M. Livingston officiated.

The president, Mr. Hunter, introducing the LieutenantGovernor, said:

“Your Honor, may I, on behalf of the entire staff of The MacLean Publishing Company, express to you our great appreciation of your presence here today.

“To us, this is indeed a memorable and historic occasion.

"The 50th anniversary of the founding of the company, the 75th anniversary of the birth of the founder.

“The significance of these events is not due to the span of years, but to what has been accomplished in that time.

“His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor has honored us with his presence today. He has also put us under a further debt of gratitude by bringing with him his wife, who will always add a grace and charm to every event in which she participates.

“When his appointment was announced, we stated in The Financial Poil he was the ideal man for the position.

“As a private citizen, he has given real leadership in the field of education and business.

"The prestige of the high position he now occupies will make this work even more effective.

“His Honor will now officiate on your behalf at a function in which every employee of the company has a direct personal interest.

“The Honorable Albert Matthews, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Ontario.”

Proceeding to the microphone amid prolonged applause, His Honor said;

The Lieutenant-Governor’s Address

“It is a great pleasure to me and to my wife to be present with the members of The MacLean Publishing Company organization, their wives and children, at this Christmas Tree Party.

“I do not feel that I am a stranger here, for not only do I know personally a number of your officers and members of your staff but I am constantly brought in touch with you as I have for many years been a regular reader of a number of your publications.

“I did not realize until recently that it took a staff of 900 full-time employees to edit, print and sell these publications.

“I have known the founder and chairman of this farflung organization for many years. We spent some time together at the first World Economic Conference held in Geneva in 1927. I also have had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Maclean, his charming wife, who has been a great help to him.

“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.(XX),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 11 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 50 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 50 years.

“Colonel Maclean, your staff wanted you to have a personal message from each one of them to commemorate your 75th birthday and the 50th year of the founding of this business. They have therefore signed this illuminated address which has been very artistically engrossed and bound, and it will always be a reminder to you of the loyalty and affection of each one of them.

"I am very happy to have the honor of presenting it to you on their behalf.”

With his concluding words, His Honor handed to Colonel Maclean the Illuminated Address.

Thfe text of the Address which was beautifully inscribed and decorated by Alexander Scott Carter and bound in blue morocco leather by Douglas Duncan, of Paris and Toronto, was read by Napier Moore. It reads:

Text of Illuminated Address

ON THIS eleventh day of December, 1937, on the occasion of their Christmas Party, the members of the staff of The MacLean Publishing Company, Limited, their wives and children, do present


Founder and Chairman of The MacLean Publishing Company, Limited, this book

In commemoration of his Seventy-fifth Birthday and of

the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of The MacLean Publishing Company, Limited.

And as a token of their affection and esteem; their appreciation of the interest be has shown in their welfare, and their recognition of his long and valuable service to the people of Canada and the Empire.

From The Canadian Grocer, established by him in the year 1887, has grown the institution which today publishes two score magazines, business newspapers and subsidiary publications in Canada, Great Britain and the United States; an institution which gives service to and enjoys the confidence of more than three millions of readers in Canada and abroad of the intelligent and influential class, an institution which in all its branches employs about 900 people.

It is with pride in their association with his name, and with boundless wishes for the continued happiness of Colonel Maclean and of his gracious wife, that the members of the staffs of all departments of The MacLean Publishing Company do inscribe their names.

Then Colonel Maclean rose to reply and a roar of cheers greeted him. Speaking with emotion, the Colonel said:

Colonel Maclean’s Reply

“Your Honor,

“A man of sympathetic understanding you will, I think, appreciate the difficulty I find at this moment in adequately expressing my feelings.

“I am deeply sensitive to the honor you yourself confer upon me and upon my organization by your presence here today. And while my business is that of words, I cannot phrase the emotion kindled in my htart by this demonstration of loyalty and affection on the part of my family—I like to think of them as my family; as my boys and girls.

“Nothing could have given me greater joy than this book. Beautiful as is the craftsmanship evident in the making of it, I shall treasure it because its pages bear the personal touch of every one of my people. Some have been associated with me as long as 40 years and more. Some for lesser periods. But from all I enjoy the staunchest of loyalties, and, I believe, friendship. And in that fact lies my happiness.

“You, sir, referred to the establishment of this business 50 years ago. It was a very compact business then. It had a publisher, an editor, a business manager, a treasurer and a reporting staff. I never had any trouble with them. They agreed with me in everything. They were all named John Bayne Maclean.

“To be serious, our origin was quite simple. I was commercial and assistant financial editor of a daily—the Toronto Mail. Neither we nor our colleagues on other papers could get space for much of the very important news that was absolutely needed by businessmen across Canada. Daily newspaper publishers then, as today, had to give first consideration to their mass readers. So to supply that news I established two special weekly newspapers. To businessmen they gave news of value which hitherto they

had not been able to secure. Thus these papers met with unusual success.

“Shortly after, my brother, Hugh, joined me in the enterprise, and his ability and energy played no small part in its development during the following ten years.

“All our other papers are a natural growth from those first two business newspapers. They had the same genesis. They were created to satisfy demands for more specialized news, interpretations thereof and editorial policies based thereon.

“Not only that, but we have been forced to provide special free services for readers seeking helpful information. Not only is there a constant stream of people seeking information from our editors and specialists, but many thousands of enquiries reach our various departments through the mails each year.

“And now, half a century later, you see gathered in this hall the result of those beginnings of which I have spoken. Or rather part of the result. For, in years past, a great many men have gone from the MacLean organization to take important posts in this country and in other lands.

“But we have with us today those who have stayed with me and who have carved out their careers and won success with me. And in their advancement I find a satisfaction and a pride nothing can take from me.

“First comes Miss Forbes, who joined us in November, 1888, and who, I am sorry to say, is not well enough to be with us today. It is the first Christmas gathering in the history of our institution which she has missed.

“Then Mr. Tyrrell, our vice-president, who has been with us since 1897; Mr. Caswell, 1901; Mr. Wales, 1902; Mr. Hunter, our president, 1903; Mr. Spicer, 1908.

“We have also with us Fred Edge from our pressroom who worked on the first issue put out by me in October, 1887. Later, when we established our own printing department, he was a press-feeder. He left us to become a sailor but returned in 1923, and has been continuously with us since.

“Another name I would like to mention is that of one of my official grandchildren, S. M. Huestis, whose father, R. B. Huestis, has been with us—with a short interval of absence—since 1908. ‘Buster,' as he is known, was recently promoted to the management of our New York Office.

‘Throughout these 50 years my object has been to make my papers instruments of Canadian unity. Through them I have consistently fought for those things which will bestow understanding, tolerance, goodwill, prosperity and happiness upon the peoples of this Dominion.

“That object is the object of all the men who are today in charge of MacLean publications. I rejoice in their enthusiasm for the principles upon which I founded the business; principles which I know will be adhered to by the generations which will follow me.

“Today we all have a very responsible place to fill. Playing no favorites, we must serve all Canada consistently, no matter what our own interests may be. We must serve Canada by promoting still more aggressively understanding, unity and honest government within Canada.

among the provinces, among all classes and religions, and particularly through the great class fields of agriculture, commerce and industry. We must help them by gathering from world sources helpful information and presenting it clearly and without bias. We can help Canada by making Canadians more successful in their undertakings, by demonstrating how they can produce things of the highest quality at the lowest cost, how they can satisfy the buyer. If more of our products are wanted, especially abroad, it means more work; more men and women employed on the farms, in our mines, fisheries, forests and factories. That in turn means more prosperity and happiness for all Canada, and particularly for all of you—my official family.

“Today is our Christmas Party. It means as much to me as it does to the tiniest toddler. It enables me to visit with the wives and children of what each year becomes a larger family. You, sir, will have observed that they are splendid wives, handsome and sturdy children. They too are part of the responsibility borne by the executives of our company. They are no small responsibility, but a very delightful one.

“It is particularly the children’s party. Therefore we must not impose too long upon their anticipation by delaying the entrance of one who has even a bigger family than I have, and even more important duties than those of a Lieutenant-Governor—Santa Claus.

“So, then, may I tell you all how immeasurably proud 1 am of you all, how very glad I am that you are here today.

“And as for this book and the thoughts behind it—I hesitate to attempt to tell you how deeply I have been moved; how warmly I shall prize it. Perhaps it is in the simplest of words that sincerity can best be conveyed. Thank you. And God bless you all.”

Loud and hearty cheers again saluted Colonel Maclean as he concluded.

The chairman next read a letter received from Honorable Herbert A. Bruce, who recently retired from the Lieutenant-Governorship of Ontario.

“My dear Colonel Maclean,

“Our friendship of many years and the high esteem I have always held for you combine to make me regard it as a personal misfortune that I cannot be with you on this happy occasion.

* “I shall not be denied this welcome opportunity, however, to send you this most sincere, though inadequate, expression of my great admiration for the fine qualities of integrity and uprightness of character which have enabled you, while building up a great publishing Company, to make a tremendous contribution to all that is best in the life of this Province and of this great Dominion.

“Most cordially do I congratulate you upon a career so great in accomplishment and so rich in the fruits of devoted labors inspired by the worthiest of ideals. There are no greater responsibilities than those of a publisher who is also a molder of public opinion. The high standards of thought and speech which have always distinguished the House of Maclean’s are sterling evidence of the manner

in which you have discharged the responsibilities vested in you. It is but natural and indeed inevitable that you should be associated in my mind always with the lady who has been your helpmate and constant companion through the years of your remarkable achievement.

“May your days be long in the land you have served with such great distinction.

“Yours very sincerely,

(Signed) Herbert A. Bruce.”

The chairman then voiced our appreciation of the presence of Mrs. Matthews, and Marion Jean Tyrrell presented Ontario’s first lady with a bouquet of flowers tied with the Maclean tartan.

Cheers again lifted the roof when Laura Newton handed to Mrs. Maclean, our own first lady, a similar bouquet.

The official party then left the platform.

Then ice cream and more movies. And Santa Claus. Right on the dot, and laden with gifts. We don’t know why, but there was something vaguely familiar about Santa Claus. He reminded us very much of Linotype operator Jim Rodgers, or rather what Jim would look like if he suddenly sprouted white whiskers. A hard-working chap, that Santa. But even he couldn’t give 300 children their presents rapidly enough. And so he had enlisted the aid of a bevy of good-looking Santa Clausesses.

And so the job was done. It was the grownups’ turn now. The orchestra swung into swing, and the dance floor quickly filled. Tea appeared. Joy was unconfined. And through the crowd, Colonel Maclean moved, chatting with as many as he could reach.

At seven o’clock—“God Save the King.”

A great day had ended, but the pleasant memories will last many years.

Among those who came from outside points were Mr. and Mrs. Murray Chipman, A. B. Caswell, O. M. Gilmaster, R. W. Matthews, L. Craig, of the Montreal staff; S. M. Huestis, New York Office; J. L. Frazier, editor and business manager, The Inland Printer, Chicago; Nathan C. Rock wood, president, The Tradepress Publishing Corporation, Chicago; George C. Williams, general manager, Tradepress Publishing Company, Chicago, and Mrs. Jack Thompson, Chicago.

* ♦ ♦


An Editorial in the Toronto Globe and Mail, December 14, 1937

SATURDAY was a great day for the Macleans. For the MacLean Publishing Company it marked 50 years of progress toward an outstanding position in the publishing business, and for its founder and president, Colonel John Bayne Maclean, who has completed his seventy-fifth year, it was the occasion of many glowing tributes from his 900-strong staff and from many other friends. When in

reminiscent mood, and recalling the humble beginning of his business career half a century ago. Colonel Maclean must be a bit astonished by what he has achieved; or being a Scot, is it just what he expected? Maclean tartan ties, evident everywhere during the celebration ceremonies, were not only individual tributes to the chief, but perhaps outward and visible signs of determination by a staff to achieve success.

Anyway, only wonderful co-operation in a spirit of loyalty can account for what has been done. And the result of 50 years of combined effort under the Colonel’s direction is that the MacLean publications, voicing always the Canadian and Empire outlook, are known all across Canada and far beyond. It surely was heartening to the Colonel that, on this occasion, he was surrounded by all the company’s employees and their children, and that Lieutenant-Governor Matthews was present to add his congratulations.

These tributes were to Colonel Maclean, the businessman, whose success has meant the establishment of a great industry that has provided employment for a host of men and women and has become something of a Toronto institution. But Colonel Maclean, the individual, also holds a warm place in the hearts of innumerable personal friends. His ability and energy command respect, and his friendship is wholehearted and enduring. Few men have a keener grasp of Canadian and world affairs. He has travelled extensively, is a close observer, and in many countries has acquaintances in important stations who place high value on his opinions.

During the years Colonel Maclean’s forecasts of important world events have been amazingly accurate. He has gone far since the day he published his first trade journal, and his success is accounted for largely by a delightful personality, plus, of course, hard work and clear foresight.


■piFTY YEARS ago there was a great need in Canada for specialized information for the various trades and industries. At that time, the first MacLean trade newspaper was started, and from this commencement have followed many trade and technical newspapers with distinctive characteristics which make them of educational value to the trades and industries with which they are identified. Through specialized services to their respective fields they have become an integral part thereof.

These specialized services have been developed by trade and technical newspapers in such a large number of fields and to such a great extent during the past half century, that governments of several countries, including Canada, use the market and other services provided by these papers as the basis for price indices, commercial bulletins, etc. The price services in trade newspapers are also used by trade associations, wholesalers and purchasing agents, as well as by the purchasing departments of governments, railways and industrial concerns.

Furthermore, MacLean technical publications have played an important part in the development of manufacturing in Canada. The value of these papers was never better recognized than during the war period when they took a leading part in spreading among Canadian manufacturers vital information regarding munition manufacture.

Such publications have been an important factor in interpreting various branches of trade to each other, and in bringing them together for their common good.

MacLean trade and technical newspapers include:

Canadian Grocer, Hardware and Metal, Canadian Paint and Varnish Magazine, Sanitary Engineer, Stylewear, Men's Wear Merchandising, Bookseller and Stationer, Drug Merchandising, General Merchant of Canada, Le Prix Courant, Canadian Hotel Review and Restaurant, Canadian Machinery and Manufacturing Neivs, Modern Power and Engineering, Canadian Automotive Trade, Bus and Truck Transport, Canadian Printer and Publisher, Canadian Advertising, Canadian Trade Abroad.

NATIONAL MAGAZINES: Maclean's Magazine—

with the largest magazine circulation ever attained in Canada, Maclean’s, in leadership and readership, matches the world’s best in family journals. Its articles serve the interests of Canadians everywhere; its entertainment features are clean. Chatelaine—the magazine for Canadian women. Smart fiction, provocative articles; news about home decoration, home-making, diet, dress, beauty, entertaining. In the famed Chatelaine Institute recipes are devised, home equipment tested, rooms decorated. A staff architect advises in building design and decoration, and on home improvement.

Mayfair and Canadian Homes and Gardens—more specialized in appeal, Mayfair portrays the society, style and cultural life of Canada. Canadian Homes and Gardens creates the atmosphere of good living and parades the interior decorators, landscape gardeners, architects and painters.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE: The Financial Post— established in 1907 ; today a national newspaper read from coast to coast, keeping men and women “financially posted” and interpreting the broad trends of public affairs, business and finance. Supplementing its weekly issues, The Post provides such specialized services as The Business Year Book, The Survey of Mines, The Survey of Corporate Securities, The Survey of Canadian Oils, The Directory of Canadian Directors and Officials, The Financial Post Corporation Service.

OTHER MACLEAN SERVICES: The Canadian Press Clipping Service—supplying clippings of interest and value to businessmen, individuals, governments, etc.; The Direct Advertising and Printing Division—for those desiring fine printing; the Trans-Canada News Company and the Fidelity Subscription Agency, the facilities of which are used by other publications.

OUTSIDE CANADA: The MacLean Publishing

Company owns a group of publications in both Great Britain and the United States. They are edited, managed and printed in the markets they serve.