The Association in Operation
By May 1927, the necessary steps had been taken to organize the Edmonton Real Estate Association. The first general meeting was held on May 16, 1927. Joseph Mothersill's presentation stressed the pitfalls of new organizations and a few of the things a real estate association might do. John Blue, secretary of the Edmonton Board of Trade, discussed the value of an organization among the members of any profession or business and also the need for immigrants to Alberta. Musical presentations were also part of the program.
The Membership, Program, Publicity, and Legislative committees were most active between 1927 and 1938. In June 1927, the Publicity Committee informed local newspapers of the proceedings of the Association. The Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Bulletin showed no interest since virtually no press coverage of the Association's activities is evident before the 1950s.
In July 1928, the Association launched its first membership drive. Both Sid Lawrie and Luke Winterburn joined as a result of this effort. Their contributions would include serving as presidents of the Association.
The problems of decreasing membership and low attendance at the meetings became acute during the 1930s. Fees were dropped to as low as $1. In 1935 the Association considered joining the real estate section of the Chamber of Commerce. One reason suggested in support of the idea was that a delegation from the real estate section would have more impact on governments than the Edmonton Real Estate Association would. Frank Lorimer, however, objected to the way the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce was run. He said: "that all they had done was to get a person's membership, arrange for a few speakers, invite the entire membership and that was practically all there was to do."
This article is extracted from John Gilpin, Responsible Enterprise: A History of Edmonton Real Estate & the Edmonton Real Estate Board. (Edmonton: Edmonton Real Estate Board, 1997). The Heritage Community Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation would like to thank John Gilpin and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for permission to reproduce this material.