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The Honourable Richard Reid, 1934 - 1935

The Honourable Richard G. ReidAfter serving as a Cabinet Minister for thirteen years, Richard G. Reid was appointed Premier of Alberta by Lieutenant-Governor William L. Walsh following the resignation of John E. Brownlee in 1934.  His was the briefest administration in the history of the Province.

Richard Gavin Reid was born on January 17, 1879, at Glasgow, Scotland.  He was the son of George Reid and Margaret Ogston.  Richard G. Reid attended Hutchison's Grammar School in Glasgow and was a Presbyterian.

He served in the South African War (1900-1902) in the Royal Army Medical Corp with the rank of Lance-Sergeant.  Following his immigration to Canada in 1903, he worked briefly on a farm at Killarney near Winnipeg, Manitoba, and following that, in a lumber camp in western Ontario.  In 1904, he began homesteading in the Mannville district of Alberta when it was still part of the North-West Territories.

On September 19, 1919, he married Marion Stuart, daughter of Kenneth Stuart of Mannville, Alberta.  They had five children: Stuart, Flora, James, Richard, and Kathleen.

Prior to his election as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Richard G. Reid served on the Mannville Hospital Board, was a member of the Buffalo Coulee Municipal Council, served as Reeve of the Buffalo Coulee Council, and was President of the Battle River United Farmers of Alberta political association.

At the provincial general election of July 18, 1921, he was elected the Member for the electoral district of Vermilion.  During his political career, he served as Minister of Public Health (1921-23), Minister of Municipal Affairs (1921-23, 1925-34), Provincial Treasurer (1923-34), and Minister of Lands and Mines (1930-34).  Richard G. Reid's greatest contribution to the Province of Alberta was his ten year tenure as Provincial Treasurer during the Greenfield and Brownlee administrations.  During that period of time, he was involved in all major provincial financial matters.

Following the resignation of John E. Brownlee, Richard G. Reid was appointed Premier of Alberta by Lieutenant-Governor William L. Walsh effective July 10, 1934.  As well as serving as President of the Executive Council, Richard G. Reid was also Provincial Secretary (1934-35).  During his brief administration as Premier, measures were taken to provide debt relief for farmers and access to telephone service for all Albertans.  When political support for his United Farmers of Alberta Government shifted to the Social Credit and Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.) Parties, he was defeated at the general election of August 22, 1935.

Following his tenure as Premier, which officially ended on September 3, 1935,  Richard G. Reid became a commission agent, and he also served on the Canadian Government Mobilization Board during World War II.  During the latter part of his life, he was in charge of the Canadian Utilities Limited Library in Edmonton.

Richard G. Reid was an Honorary Member of the Edmonton Library Association.

He died at Edmonton on October 17, 1980, and his ashes were buried in the Edmonton Cemetery.



Reprinted from Premiers of the Northwest Territories and Alberta 1897-1991 with the kind permission of the Legislative Assembly Office.

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