Allan Boag Scholarship

The objectives of the Boag Foundation, the furtherance of workers' education in the fields of history, economics, social and political economy and trade union organization, reflect the vision of Allan Boag that a humane and equitable society could be achieved through the development of a democratic socialist society.

After arriving in Vancouver from Scotland in 1894, he worked at his trade as a foundryman until 1918.  Because of the recession at that time he spent several years as a self-employed grocer and nurseryman, acquiring properties throughout Vancouver.  The subsequent increase in value of these properties made Boag a man of modest wealth.  True to the views he had formed about the failings of the economic and social system which prevailed, Boag turned over all of his possessions to a trust with the aforementioned objectives.  Allan Boag died at age 85, in 1944.

From its origins during Boag's life, and especially since his death, the Boag Foundation Ltd. has worked diligently to fulfill that trust.  Harold E. Winch, former provincial leader of the CCF and long-time Member of Parliament for Vancouver East has served continuously as a director.  Two other original directors, Wallis W. Lefeaux and C. Grant MacNeil, are deceased, after many years of faithful service.  During the Foundation's 40 years, the late Fred Vulliamy and Jessie Mendels also served as directors.

The Foundation's activities have been diverse.  Annual scholarships are maintained at three universities.  Grants of books, studies and special collections have been provided to university and college libraries.  The Foundation has published and has assisted authors to publish.  For many years the Foundation operated a labour school called Boag House and continues to assist special programs at the Canadian Labour Congress Winter School.  For three consecutive years the Foundation published a calendar which received international acclaim for its identification of significant dates in workers' history and for its outstanding reproduction of art by and about workers.

In 1978, the Foundation played a major role in bringing the Congress of the Socialist International to Vancouver, the first such Congress to be held outside Europe in this century.  A major conference entitled "Democratic Socialism: The Challenge of the Eighties and Beyond" was held in Vancouver in 1983.  This resulted in a book of the same name, published by New Star Books in 1985.  In organizing this conference, another significant step was taken toward making the vision of Allan Boag a reality.

The Allan Boag Scholarship has been awarded annually at the University of Victoria since 1977.  It is given to a student majoring in History, Economics, Law, Political Science, or Sociology who writes the best essay or report on some aspect of socialism.

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