14 November

Calgary Eye Opener

People are always ready to admit a man’s ability after he gets there.

                                                                   -ROBERT C. EDWARDS, 1912

It is well that there is no one without a fault for he would not have a friend in the world.

                                                                                                -ROBERT C. EDWARDS, 1915

It's as easy to recall an unkind word as it is to draw back the bullet after firing a gun.

                                                                                          -ROBERT C. EDWARDS, 1916

The difference between a friend and an acquaintance is that a friend helps where an acquaintance merely advises.

                                                                                                                                                    -ROBERT C. EDWARDS, 1921

If you want work well done, select a busy man— the other kind has no time.

                                                                            -ROBERT C. EDWARDS, 1922

Bob Edwards, who died on November 14, 1923, was not what might be called a man of distinction, yet he was voted the most colourful pioneer in western Canada. Edwards, who was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, arrived in Canada in 1894, and founded a newspaper at Wetaskiwin in the Northwest Territories which, according to him, had "287 souls and three total abstainers." He wanted to call his paper Wetaskiwin Bottling Works because it was sure to be a "corker" but settled for Wetaskiwin Free Lance. It was the first paper to be published between Calgary and Edmonton.

Edwards' most famous publication, Eye Opener, originated at High River in 1902. Soon he moved it to Calgary and it began to gain a national circulation. Bob Edwards had no respect for people in high places. His definition of a statesman was "a dead politician, and what this country needs is more of them." The Eye Opener often contained a column of social notes the whole country waited to read.1 A typical item would be "The family of Mr. And Mrs. W. S. Stott, 11hth Avenue West, all had mumps this week. A swell time was had. Mr. Stott will not be able to deliver his address today at the Rotary convention, much to the relief of those who have heard him speak."

Another was "Mrs. Alex F. Muggsy, one of our most delightful West End Chatelaines, has notified her friends that her usual Friday musicale is called off for this week. Her husband, old man Muggsy, has been entertaining his own friends with a boozical for a change and is in an ugly mood."

Edwards was a heavy drinker, and it is said that liquor interests offered him money to support their cause before Alberta voted on prohibition in 1915. The prohibitionists also went to see him and asked for his support. Edwards asked how much money they would pay, but they replied that they did not have any money. He replied, "That settles it. I'll be with you. The next issue of the paper will be for your cause."

He fought for many worthwhile causes ahead of his time. They included provincial rights, conservation of soil, trees, and water, votes for women, senate reform, and even hospital benefits and old age pensions.


14 November

-1684    Bishop Laval sailed for France to resign.

-1775    Benedict Arnold tried to force Quebec to surrender.

-1954    French Premier Mendes-France visited Quebec and Ottawa.

-1955    A four-month strike ended at the De Havilland Aircraft plant, Toronto.

-1957    Prime Minister Diefenbaker announced a $125 million power development for the Maritimes.

-1962    Sioux Rock, depicting Indian legends, was found at Port Arthur, Ontario.