Meighen, Frank Stephen
Frank Stephen Meighen. Patron of the arts, impresario, army officer, b Perth, Ont, 26 Dec 1870, d Montreal 19 Jan 1946; BA (McGill) 1889. He inherited his father's fortune and was an astute businessman involved mainly in railways and the milling trade. Although he studied piano with Paul Letondal, his passion was opera. Deploring the absence of a regular company in Montreal, he collaborated with Albert Clerk-Jeannotte in 1910 to found the Montreal Musical Society, which the following year became the Montreal Opera Company. In three seasons, 1910-13, the company gave close to 300 performances in Montreal and other Canadian and US cities. Meighen financed the undertaking, which, at the time of its dissolution, had cost him more than $100,000.
As a lieutenant-colonel, then a general, in the Canadian army, he served at the front during World War I. Upon his return to Canada in 1919, he displayed his generosity again, underwriting the concerts of the Canadian Grenadier Guards Band at the Orpheum Theatre 1919-20 and at His Majesty's Theatre 1920-3. He served 1927-9 as president of Gagnier'sMSO. From 1936 until his death he was a member of the board of directors of the Montreal Festivals Society and of several other musical initiatives, including the MSO. He published several articles in the Montreal Gazette. He was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1915 and an Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1924.