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William Andrew Cecil Bennett
Birth: Sep. 6, 1900
New Brunswick, Canada
Death: Feb. 23, 1979
Kelowna
Central Okanagan Regional District
British Columbia, Canada

25th Premier of British Columbia. A member of the British Columbia Conservative Party and then the Social Credit Party, he served as British Columbia's Premier from August 1952 until September 1972. To date, he was the longest serving premier in British Columbia history. Commonly referred to as W.A.C. Bennett, he was also known by the nicknames "Wacky" (based on the first letters of his given name) or "Cec." Born one of five children in Hastings, New Brunswick, Canada, his father was a farmer. He dropped out of school after the 9th grade and worked at a hardware store. Near the end of World War I, he joined the Canadian Air Force but was not sent overseas. He then moved with his family to Alberta, Canada and in 1927 he and a business partner opened a hardware store but he sold his interest in 1929 and relocated to Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada and opened another hardware store. In 1932 he partnered with two others and opened a winery. Five years later, he entered politics when he ran and lost the Conservative Party's nomination as the British Columbia legislative representative from South Okanagan. In 1940 he left his winery to run for the same seat again and was elected the following year. He served two terms until May 1948 when he left to run as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the Yale district federal by-election but was defeated. The following year, he regained his South Okanagan legislative seat, which he retained during his tenure as Premier of British Columbia. In December 1951 he switched to the Social Credit (Socred) Party and in July 1952 he was chosen by the British Columbia government as premier. He also served as Minister of Finance and kept a tight control over fiscal spending. His government oversaw major highway expansions, the northern extensions of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (or British Columbia Railway), publically funded healthcare, the establishment of the University of Victoria (1963) and Simon Fraser University (1965), and the Columbia River Treaty with the US (1961). In the 1972 election, his Socred Party was defeated by the New Democratic Party and he was succeeded by Dave Barrett as Premier of British Columbia. He then as Leader of the Opposition until he resigned his legislative seat in June 1973. In 1976 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He died in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada at the age of 78. In 1988 he was honored with his image on a Canadian postage stamp. The W.A.C. Bennett Dam on the Peace River near Hudson's Hope in British Columbia is named in his honor. His son, William Richards "Bill" Bennett, would later become the 27th Premier of British Columbia and serve from December 1975 until August 1986. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  William Bennett (1932 - 2015)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery
Kelowna
Central Okanagan Regional District
British Columbia, Canada
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Sep 19, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 6415
William Andrew Cecil Bennett
Added by: quebecoise
 
William Andrew Cecil Bennett
Added by: Nathaniel Christopher
 
William Andrew Cecil Bennett
Added by: Nathaniel Christopher
 
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- chevydelray55
 Added: Nov. 12, 2016
The first time I could vote I voted for you sir! Good old Social Credit Party of BC. After all my Great, Great. Uncle was in your cabinet Rest in peace sir.
- Herbert Rickards
 Added: Jan. 13, 2016
Thank you for your public service to British Columbia. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Jan. 13, 2016
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