A Governor General Takes a Shot

Earl of Bessborough and W D Ross, photo by Alexandra Studio, Toronto from the City of Toronto Archives

Toronto. After George Dunbar sent me the LIFE photo of Lord Halifax which I posted yesterday, journal editor Bob Lansdale shot a note across suggesting a Canadian theme would be more appropriate given the coming celebration of our 150th anniversary. And what could be more appropriate than this shot taken c1933 in Toronto (?) by the Alexandra Studio? The photograph is in the City of Toronto Archives fonds from Alexandra Studio – home of the famous Toronto photographers, the Turofsky brothers.

The scene features two dignitaries in bowler hats. On the left with the camera cable release, is the Earl of Bessborough –  Canada’s governor general 1931-1935. The Earl is famous for participating in the first trans-Canada telephone system in 1932 and in the creation of the CBC. I remember as a kid my dad paid a radio licence for each radio in the house with the funds going to the CBC. We had a big Stromberg Carlson radio made in late 1939 especially for Toronto’s 25 cycle ac power (I still have it today).

And the gentleman on the right? Well, it is Sir William David Ross, a Scottish philosopher best known for his 1930 book on ethics “The Right and the Good“.  I never did find out what he was doing in our fair city or why he was photographed with the kibitzing Earl of Bessborough and a cluster of photographers.

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