John Fitz-William Stairs
John Fitz-William Stairs, merchant, shipper, politician (b at Halifax 19 Jan 1848; d there 24 Sept 1904). Eldest son of William Stairs, MLA and a leading merchant, Stairs studied at Dalhousie. Elected to the NS Legislative Assembly in 1879, he resigned in 1882. From 1883 until 1896 he sat as a Conservative in the House of Commons. President of many companies, including Nova Scotia Steel, Eastern Trust, Trinidad Electric and Royal Securities, Stairs was also director of the Dartmouth and Halifax Steamboat Co, Nova Scotia Sugar Refining, the Union Bank of Halifax, Consumer Cordage, and dominated the financial elite of the Maritimes during the last 15 years of his life. He also employed Max AITKEN (Lord Beaverbrook) at the beginning of Aitken's business career, hiring him in 1902 when he set up Royal Securities, the first investment firm in eastern Canada.