A History of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Vol. 1

A History of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Vol. 1

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Excerpt from A History of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, Vol. 1: With an Account of the Other Banks Which Now Form Part of Its Organization

The suggestion that I undertake the preparation of a record sufficiently comprehensive to embrace the events surrounding the origin and history of the several banking units, some of ancient lineage, which in the half century since Confederation, came together to form the present Canadian Bank of Commerce, was first broached to me by my friend, the late Alexander Laird, then general manager of the bank. Although the task threatened to absorb the already scant leisure hours of a journalist's life, the prospect of studying our banking system from its primitive beginnings, and its part in building the nation which has come to a high place in the British commonwealth, was alluring. The commission - which I accepted - was very simple. Together with wide latitude as historian and commentator, it ensured me untrammelled liberty as to my appraisement of men and my interpretation of events, which guarantee has been scrupulously and faithfully observed.

I should have entered upon my work with less trepidation had I realized the volume of historical data that was to be opened to me in the bank's archives and through the efforts of its officers and friends, and the wise counsel of which I was able to avail myself at every turn. Indeed so much of the result belongs to others that this preface must needs be of as composite a nature as is the book itself, and it would be sadly incomplete did it withhold recognition of the assistance derived from the marvellous memory, and the profound understanding of almost every subject upon which the narrative touches, of Sir Edmund Walker, the president of the bank. The selection and preparation of the illustrations, which I feel must prove the chief attraction of these pages, and which have involved infinite patience and discernment, have been entirely his, and this has been only a part of his service.

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