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Sir George Stephen, Lord Mt. Stephen

Arms: Or issuant from a mount in base Vert a tree proper between in chief two fleurs de lis Azure.

SOURCE, NOTES & CREDITS: Blazon for arms & B&W background illustration were from "Debrett's Peerage 1904". Revised blazon and colour illustration by J. H. Gaylor. Text adapted by D.Q. Wedvick from Debrett's & internet articles from Wikipedia and Moray Connections and “Van Horne’s Road”, by Omer Lavallée, Railfare, Toronto, 1974, 4th printing 1990, pages 224-225 in particular, but the whole book for general background and "From Telegrapher to Titan", Valerie Knowles, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2004, a biography on Sir William Van Horne, particularly: page 188 for Vancouver, BC and page 202 for Craigellachie, BC.

Sir George Stephen, 1st Baron Mount Stephen ( 1891) and a Baronet (1886) was the first Canadian to become a UK peer. He was however born in Dufftown, Banffshire, Scotland 5 Jun 1829. A younger cousin of Donald Smith he emigrated to Canada and had his own rags to riches story.

He got into banking and became a partner with Donald Smith ( Lord Strathcona & Mount Royal ) in railroads first with the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba RR then in the
Canadian Pacific Railway of which he was the first president preceding Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, KCMG (Hon.). George Stephen and Donald Smith focused on financing and politics for the CPR with frequent trips to Ottawa, London & New York, whilst Van Horne focused on the organization and actual building of the CPR as a transcontinental railroad. Van Horne, by the way named, the station and place where the last spike was driven in by Donald Smith, Craigellachie, BC, at 9:22 AM 7 Nov 1885. He also named the Pacific terminal end of the CPR ... Vancouver, BC., yes that Vancouver, BC across the border from Seattle, WA ! There are wonderful stories connected to these two namings, see above in SOURCE, NOTES & CREDITS for the references.

Sir George Stephen’s home in Montreal was built at a cost of some $600,000 in 1880 and became after his death in 1921 at age 92, a private club in 1928...the Mount Stephen Club which has a gourmet restaurant. We have had the privilege of dining there a number of times and the place and food is fabulous !
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The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor

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