Reid, Richard Gavin

Richard Gavin Reid, farmer, politician, premier of Alberta 1934-35 (b at Aberdeenshire, Scot 17 Jan 1879; d at Edmonton 17 Oct 1980). Reid served in the British Royal Army Medical Corps in the SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1900-02 and sought his fortune in Canada in 1903. Following interludes of lumbering in Ontario and farming near Winnipeg, Reid moved to a homestead S of Mannville, Alta. One of the successful UNITED FARMERS OF ALBERTA candidates in the 1921 provincial election, Reid held several portfolios over the next 13 years. When Premier John E. BROWNLEE resigned in 1934, Reid was selected as his successor and sworn in as premier, president of the Executive Council and provincial secretary on 10 July 1934. Despite bringing in innovative debt adjustment legislation, Reid and his government were placed in an impossible political position facing, on the one hand, UFA executive preference for the new Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and, on the other hand, the strong appeal to farmers of William ABERHART's Social Credit proposals. The UFA government was swept from office in the 1935 election. Reid set himself up briefly as a commission agent, then served on the Canadian government's mobilization board during WWII, and finally acted for many years as librarian for Canadian Utilities in Edmonton.