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 William Andrew Cecil Bennett

William Andrew Cecil Bennett

Birth
New Brunswick, Canada
Death 23 Feb 1979 (aged 78)
Kelowna, Central Okanagan Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Burial Kelowna, Central Okanagan Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Memorial ID 6415 · View Source
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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


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 19 Sep 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6415
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Andrew Cecil Bennett (6 Sep 1900–23 Feb 1979), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6415, citing Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, Kelowna, Central Okanagan Regional District, British Columbia, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave .