Old St. Andrews



Sir James Dunn



Sir James Dunn


St. Croix Courier
Feb 9/1928
L. Smoot of Washington, DC, was a guest of Seaside Inn for a few days. Mr. Smoot was here in connection with his summer home that is being built here.


Sept 12/1912
Sir William Van Horne had had as guest lately Mr. James H. Dunn and two other English millionaires. On Saturday night they went through by special train to Bathurst, Mr. Dunn’s native place. (Dunn’s first visit to SA?)


St. Croix Courier
Oct 4/1928
Harry Russell, who has just completed the residence of Mrs. Smoot and also the gardener’s cottage for the same house. . .


St. Croix Courier
Sept 6/1945
Many visitors to town to inspect a real live German submarine, including Sir James Dunn, Montague Allen, Wes Stuart, Fraser Keay.


St. Croix Courier
Aug 3/1950
Shiretown Items
Worrell compliments Sir James And Lady Dunn on $1,000 donation to arena: “One thousand dollars is a lot of money in this little town and the gift made quite a stir among the townsfolk. . . . This handsome gift proves what we have for some time believed that Sir James and lady Dunn, though among the more recent of our summer folks, are also among the best.”
            Canasta tournament at Casino netted 900.00 for District Nurse Fund. “It was just another example of the great interest these good people have in the welfare of the town and their willingness to help and their constant generosity are much appreciated both by the committee in charge of district nurse affairs and by the townsfolk in general.” Worrell.


St. Croix Courier
Oct 5/1950
Shiretown items: Various items on Men’s Club members. Gov. Gen Viscount Alexander, Lt. Gov. McLaren, Senator Wilson, Sir James Dunn and others.


St. Croix Courier
Dec 28/1950
Shiretown Items: Sir James Dunn (Piece on Dunn’s philanthropy, esp. donation to Dal for law students, also CC Hospital, Maritimes in general.)
            Sir James Dunn, Bart., K. C., L.L.D., one of Canada’s leading financiers, a native citizen of NB and one her most distinguished sons, is becoming noted for his generosity and philanthropy, especially in the Maritime provinces, where during the past few years he has given large sums of money for the furtherance of education. His latest gift, in the name of Algoma Steel Corporation of which he is president, and in which he hold a controlling interest, is for the purpose of established a Chair of Law at Dalhousie University to provide post-graduate work leading to a Master’s degree in law. Since 1947 he has been giving scholarships at the University of NB amounting to $5,000 a year. His gift to the Charlotte County Hospital was outstanding, as also his donation to the St. Andrews Arena. These noted gifts make Sir James honored and respected by all men. But best of all are the gifts placed where he has knowledge of a personal need. These gifts inspire love and affection, and although they receive no publicity among men they are written in letters of gold, in the great book of life. Sir James was born in Bathurst, where he still owns a home and other property. He now spends most of the year in St. Andrews where he owns a lovely home near the Algonquin hotel. he keeps in daily tough by telephone with his interests in Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario, and makes flying trips to the plant several times each year. He is a graduate of Dalhousie law school and after graduation practised in Nova Scotia, North West Territories and Quebec. He afterwards went to London, England, where he founded an influential firm of investment bankers and embarked on a notable career in finance and industry. A baronetcy was conferred on him in 1921 for his services in the First World War. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Dalhousie, UNB, and Bishop’s University. Although Sir James has passed the allotted age of three score and ten he still enjoys excellent and vigorous health and performs a daily round of duties which might well prove insuperable to many a younger man.


St. Croix Courier
Nov 4/1954
Sir James Dunn is Made Freeman of St. Andrews. Resident last 9 years--1945. Brief informal ceremony at Andraeleo Hall. 80 years old that day. Cuts cake. History of Freemen, why Dunn came here.
            Multimillionaire industrialist and philanthropist Sir James Dunn, QC, was made a freeman of St. Andrews Friday at a brief, informal ceremony in Andraeleo Hall attended by civic, business, religious and Canadian Legion leaders of the community. He was the third person to be so honored in the town’s 51-year history since incorporation.
            Silver-haired Sir James, celebrating his 80th birthday the same day, was presented with a gold key to the town by Mayor Leigh Williamson, a birthday cake inscribed “happy birthday, Sir James, from the town of St. Andrews and Passamaquoddy branch, Canadian Legion” and a rousing, spontaneous rendition of For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow by the 50 guests present.
            Thanking the gathering for the honor bestowed upon him, Sir James said he first came here “because there was an airport (Pennfield) nearby” but stayed on after it closed because of “the kindly welcome I have received when walking down the street here, the excellent service which I try to reciprocate, and an unequalled climate.”
            He said he would carry the key in his waistcoat pocket, if “it assists me to continue to open hearts to friendships which I have formed here.” Sir James, who told the gathering he had been pleased and happy to receive birthday greetings that morning from, among others, Sir Winston and Lady Churchill, and Rt. Hon. C. D. Howe (a fellow sometime resident of the town) was also tendered the best wishes of citizens of Sault Ste. Marie, headquarters of Algoma Steel Corporation of which he is president and chairman of the board, via a telegram from the mayor of the Sault read by St. Andrews Con. William O’Neill.
            During his short talk, Sir James, alluding to Pennfield where his aircraft is based, said he had been promised that some of the airfield’s facilities would be restored to allow what he called “contact with the outside world to be resumed.” He added that he had continually worked for at least a partial re-opening of the nearby airbase.
            First man to be made a freeman of the town as present at Friday’s ceremonies. He is F. L. Mallory, of SA, county secretary-treasurer, who was made freeman March 10, 1949, in recognition of over 30 years service to the town as clerk and treasurer. Seven days later, Barbara Ann Scott was similarly honored following an ice skating show presentation here in which she starred. Miss Scott subsequently spent a summer vacationing here. . . .


St. Croix Courier
Jan 5/1956
Sir James Dunn Rites are Held
Funeral for Sir James Hamet Dunn, 81, world-famed industrialist and financier who died at his home in St. Andrews Sunday at 12:30 noon after an illness of less than a week, was held privately Tuesday morning at Fernhill crematorium, Saint John.
            Service was conducted by Rev. Canon Joseph McAlden of St. Andrews. Only members of Sir James’ immediate family and staff at St. Andrews attended.
            A memorial service will be held this afternoon (Thursday) at 2 o’clock at St. Luke’s Pro-Cathedral at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
            Dr. E.A. Stewart of SA, who had been attending Sir James, said he died from a heart ailment. Dr. John Oille, a leading Canadian heart specialist, was flown from Toronto after Sir James’ illness entered a critical stage.
            Sir James’ son and heir to the baronetcy, Philip Gordon Dunn, 50, flew from London, England, and was at his father’s bedside when he died.
            Besides his son, he is survived by his widow, Lady Dunn, the former Marcia Christoforides, whom he married in 1942, and four daughters Mrs. Robert Adeane, Mrs. Charles Dutton, Countess Peter Wollf-Metternick and Ann Dunn.
            Sir James Dunn, who rose from a clerkship in a Bathurst law office, to become one of the Canada’s most fabulous millionaires had maintained his St. Andrews home, Dayspring, since 1945.
            In 1920, while in England, he was made a baronet for secret industrial services carried out on behalf of the British government during World War I. To stop the flow of nickel from neutral European countries was one his reported assignments. Sir James was born at Bathurst Oct 29, 1874. His father, Robert, a shipbuilder in the waning days of wooden ships, died when Dunn was a year old.
            After he left high school and went to work in a Bathurst law firm, he met two other clerks, Dick Bennett and Max Aitken. All eventually became great public figures and all won titles. Rt. Hon. R. B. Bennett was prime minister of Canada and later a member of the House of Lords, while Aitken became Lord Beaverbrook, publisher of the London Daily Express.
            Counting his pennies to finance his tuition, James Dunn enrolled at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. He once worked as a deckhand to keep himself in college. Graduating in law in 1899, he was subsequently admitted to the bars of NS, Quebec, Northwest Territories and Ontario. After graduation, he went to Calgary with Max Aitken, where Bennett had already established himself and the three-way friendship formed in those days continued through the years.
            Sir James returned east to Ottawa where he entered a law partnership and by 1892 [sic] he had gained a healthy reputation. Bowwoing $20,000 he bought a seat on the Montreal stock exchange and after selling $1,090,000 worth of bonds for Havana Electric Co. in London, he formed his own banking house there and opened continental branches.
            From that point, his career progressed by leaps and bounds and by the time he was 40, he was a multi-millionaire.
            Sir James’ connection with Algoma Steel Corp. began in 1907 and by 1935 he had emerged as chairman, president and principal owner of the company. Putting modern machinery into operation, he turned a defunct business into one of Canada’s most important steel industries and he saved Sault Ste. Marie at a time when its people began to drift elsewhere seeking employment.
            gaining control of Canada Steamship Lines in 1951, Sir James found himself operating a fleet of 50 Great Lakes freighters, a fleet of tugs, grain elevators and hotels. One of the biggest bulk carriers on the lakes, the $5,000,000 Sir James Dunn, was included in his freighter fleet.
            Sir James had numerous honorary degrees conferred on him during his lifetime from various universities.  These institutions included Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS; Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Quebec; Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; Mount Allison university, Sackville; St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish; Sacred Heart University, Bathurst.
            Making many public donations, chiefly to the causes of health and education, Sir James endowed many universities with scholarships and professorships. Sir James had been providing the University of NB with a series of graduate and under-graduate scholarships value at $5,000 a year since 1947.
            One result of these donations, the thesis of a Sir James Dunn Scholar, A. B. Baldwin, on Bathurst ores, was instrumental in the base metal discoveries in that area.
            Sir James also presented a professorship to Mount Allison University to be maintained by Algoma for 25 years to help the university develop its geology facilities. Dalhousie university received both a chair and a foundation in law from him and Laval University in Montreal receives $10,000 annually for a chair in its school of mines.
            Among his foundations was Bathurst Hospital. He contributed to Charlotte County hospital. He was president of Algoma Ore Properties Ltd., Cannelton Coal and boke C., Lake Superior Coal, Co., Elborn Limestone Co., and Canadian Furnace Co.
            Less than a year ago, Sir James gave $25,000 to UNB for the establishment of a chair in geology. The many philanthropies of Sir James Dunn were recognized publicly during the 1955 session of the Legislature when a member referred to him as a great son and benefactor of NB.