|Honorary Degree Recipient, George Urwin, November, 1962 (Photograph Collection, A-4300)|
Convocation date: November 17, 1962
Discipline / contribution: co-operative organizations ; public service
Citation / biographical information:
George Urwin was born in Hampstead, Middlesex, England in October of 1886. At the age of twenty he emigrated to Canada, and at twenty-three, only five years after the passage of the Saskatchewan Act, he filed a claim on a homestead in the South Western part of this Province. In a real sense, George Urwin and the Province of Saskatchewan have grown up together, and each has found life the richer because of this association.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
A man may be measured more easily by what he does than by what he says The measure of this man is a matter of record, a record that traces out more than a half-century of public service; a record that shows consistently a greater interest in the job to be done than in the reward for its doing.
George Urwin has served with equal enthusiasm and effectiveness as secretary of his local school district, a position which he held for thirty years; as reeve of his municipality, a position which he held for seven years; and as President of Interprovincial Co-operatives Ltd., a position which he still holds. A complete cataloguing of his activities would be virtually impossible, but any sample would have to include such items as: the Vice-Presidency of the Saskatchewan Federation of Agriculture; Chairmanship of both the Western Development Museum and Pionera; Chairmanship of the Red Shield campaign, and membership in the Canadian Trade Mission to Great Britain in 1957.
His first 1ove but one, has been the co-operative movement. What can be described only as an infatuation began in his earliest days as a homesteader. He served first as Secretary of the trading department of his local Grain Growers Association and later, when it was organized, as President of the Beechy Co-operative Association. For the seventeen years between 1925 and 1942, he represented his district as Wheat Pool delegate. Participation in the affairs of local cooperative organizations drew him inevitably into the wider life of the co-operative movement. He served the Cooperative Wholesale Society and, as it has more recently been designated, Federated Cooperatives Limited, in a progression of offices as he moved from the position of local representative on the Board of Directors to Vice-President and ultimately to President. He has various times been the President of the Saskatchewan Co operative Superannuation Society, of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Refineries Ltd., and member of the Co—operative Securities Board, He retains the last mentioned position in addition to the Presidency of Interprovincial Co-operatives Ltd.
I speak of his first love, but one. His first love he married in 1912. Four children have graced the family table. Of these, the youngest son graduated from the College of Engineering of this University. Mr. Urwin has maintained an active interest in the University of Saskatchewan and since 1957 has been a member of the Board of Directors of the University Hospital.
Rumour has it that he retired in 1959. Characteristically - retirement has provided him only with more time to spend looking for jobs that need to be done.
Degree presented by: T.H. McLeod, Dean of Commerce
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