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Lake, Sir Richard Stuart (1860-1950)

Richard Lake.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-B450

Lake was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, on July 10, 1860, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Percy G.B. Lake (His Majesty's 5th and 200th Regiments) and Margaret Phillips (of Quebec). He was educated at Heversham Grammar School, Westmoreland, and was employed in the British civil service from 1878-83, working for the British Admiralty in Cyprus for the last three of those years. He came to Saskatchewan in 1883 to homestead near Grenfell with his younger brother Arthur, and their parents who arrived the following year. He was vice-president of the Territorial Grain Growers Association, and a Justice of the Peace for the region. Lake was elected to the North-West Territories Assembly as a Conservative in 1898 and remained in that assembly for seven years. He failed to win a seat in Ottawa in 1900 but won in 1904 and helped the Conservatives in the House of Commons until defeated in 1911. Lake married Dorothy Fletcher in 1910 and they had one daughter and four sons (one of whom was born at Government House). Lake served on the Public Service Commission until 1915 when he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan. He was appointed to increase the commitment to the war effort on the home front. His father was a British war hero and his older brother Percy was serving with great distinction in the military, and later would be knighted. Lake was the first president of the Regina Recruiting League and the provincial president of the Red Cross. He improved the prominence of the latter organization to the point that Saskatchewan became the world leader in per-capita donations to the Red Cross in 1918. That year, Lake was created Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG). In 1921, Lake declined to serve a second term as Lieutenant-Governor and moved to Victoria. He continued to play an active role in the Red Cross and the Canadian military effort in World War II. He had a brush with death on the Athenia, a passenger liner which was torpedoed by the Germans on September 3, 1939. Sir Richard Stuart Lake died in Victoria on April 23, 1950.

Jeremy Mohr, Judith Silverthorne

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