Missing Royal Flagpole Incident
Date(s) of occurrence: September - October 1940
Origins: In June 1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth embarked on a tour of the Maritimes and included a stop in Fredericton. The Lady Beaverbrook Residence was chosen to hold a luncheon for the royal couple. While making preparations for the visit, Lieutenant Governor Murray MacLaren noted there was no flag-pole at the residence from which to fly the Royal Standard flag, and he therefore had one erected in front of the building. After the Royal tour ended, the Union Jack continued to be flown for the entirety of the 1939-40 academic year as a lasting monument to the Royal visit to the building.
Account of events: Shortly before the opening of the 1940-41 academic term, the new Lieutenant Governor, William Clark, appropriated the flagpole for himself. Students were outraged at the loss and, sometime between the night of September 28 and the early morning of September 29, a group removed the flagpole from the Lieutenant Governor's house and placed it back in its original position outside the Lady Beaverbrook Residence; they accomplished this feat by using the concrete from the Lady Beaverbrook Gymnasium construction site. By the next afternoon, the Union Jack was once again flying in front of the residence. That same day, the Lieutenant Governor sent his aide to UNB president Dr. Norman MacKenzie, demanding the flagpole be returned to him.
On October 1st the flagpole was removed again, but during the process the pole fell and cracked into two pieces. Small pieces of the flagpole were carved into paddles and sold for twenty-five cents each as entries for a draw to win a miniature replica of the original flagpole; the proceeds of which were donated to the Spitfire Fund.
Note(s): In the early 1950s another flagpole was erected outside the Lady Beaverbrook Residence where it remained until the summer of 1967 when it was removed just in time for the Royal visit from Queen Mother Elizabeth to be placed in front of the Burden Schoolhouse.
- The Brunswickan. "Memorial to Royal Visit Missing." Vol. 60, no. 1, 27 September 1940, p. 1.
- Montague, Susan. A Pictoral History of the University of New Brunswick. University of New Brunswick, 1992, p. 85.
- Lloyd, Hugh and Wade, Scott. "Flags and Poles." In Behind the Hill. Fredericton: Students' Representative Council, the Associated Alumni and the Senate of the University of New Brunswick, 1967, p. 171-173.
- The Brunswickan. "College Mourns Loss of Flagpole." Vol. 60, no. 2, 4 October 1940, p. 1, 5.
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