Edward B. Paul Memorial Scholarship

Edward Burness Paul (1850-1937)

Dr. Edward Burness Paul was one of the most respected figures in the history of British Columbia education. As a prime mover in the creation of the original Victoria College (1903-1915) and the chief advocate of its re-establishment in 1920, he is revered as a founding father of the University of Victoria. He was twice Principal of the institution, from 1903 to 1908 and from 1920 to 1927. Over the course of a long career, he was admired and loved as an exceptional teacher of Latin, Greek, and ancient history.

Dr. Paul was born at Banchory-Devenick near Aberdeen, Scotland, son of the Reverend William Paul, D.D. A gifted and talented student, he had earned his M.A. degree in Classics by the age of 19. In 1871 he entered the diplomatic service, spending almost a decade in Japan and Korea. Leaving the service, he emigrated to B.C. in 1885, teaching first at Lillooet and then becoming in 1886 the founding principal of Nanaimo High School. On July 1, 1892, he was promoted to the principalship of Victoria High School.

It was as Principal of Victoria High that Dr. Paul negotiated the affiliation of Victoria College with McGill University in 1903. In his five years at the helm of the new college, he taught not only classics (both Latin and Greek), but also French, a language in which he was fluent. (He had also acquired a command of Japanese.)

From 1908 to 1920, Dr. Paul was Municipal Inspector of Schools for Victoria. In 1920, however, he again became Principal of Victoria College, which had now been revived in affiliation the University of British Columbia (UBC). He led Victoria College into Craigdarroch Castle in 1921, and helped to secure the excellent reputation that it had earned by 1927, the year of his official retirement. Thereafter, even beyond the age of 80, he was still known and admired by students at Craigdarroch as an occasional lecturer or tutor in Classics.

Dr. Paul received many accolades and honours. In 1910-11, he was Grand Master of Freemasons in British Columbia. In 1924, his alma mater, Aberdeen University, conferred upon him an honorary LL.D. He was awarded a second LL.D. from UBC in 1932. Among the most heartfelt tributes was the presentation to Victoria College in 1931, by the College Alumni Association, of a bronze bust of Dr. Paul (the work of a former student and colleague, Earl Clarke). This bust still keeps alive his memory at the University of Victoria.

Dr. Paul was a warmhearted family man, devoted to his wife (the former Ada Whitfield Hilton), their four children (three sons and a daughter), and five grandchildren.

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