Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gordon Graydon (December 7, 1897, Snelgrove, Ontario - September 19, 1953) was a Canadian politician, who was House Leader of the Opposition from 1943-1945 because John Bracken, the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives, did not have a seat in the Canadian House of Commons and chose not to seek one until the 1945 general election.
He was one of thirty-five candidates who survived the landslide of the 1935 federal election, winning Peel for his party.
Gordon Graydon, B.A., LL.D., Q.C. (1896-1953 - Born in Snelgrove, Ontario, Canada) received his early education at S.S. No. 6 Chinguacousy. He was undoubtedly one the ablest of Peel's native sons to ever make a name for himself in the Canadian political field.
Graydon became House Leader of the Opposition from 1943-1945 because John Bracken, the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives, did not have a seat in the Canadian House of Commons and chose not to seek one until the 1945 general election.
When he was chosen Leader of the Opposition the journalists were puzzled about his origins in a country riding. He modestly said that he had been interested in politics from the time he was just a small boy listening to political talk in the farm homes of Peel. It was said that he was an Ontario Orangeman, well-liked in Quebec, admired by the Irish and the Agrarians who were a force in Graydon's formative years.
He was one of thirty-five candidates who survived the landslide of the 1935 federal election, winning Peel for his party. This was the beginning of his career as a national figure. He attended Brampton High School and had been a star student at University of Toronto in Political Science, graduated from Osgoode Hall in 1924. He became a partner of the late Justice William Raney, one-time Attorney General of Ontario.
In 1933, at the age of 36, Gordon became the President of the Peel County Conservative Association, the youngest man ever to hold that position. In 1934 he helped rejuvenate the party by forming Young Conservative Clubs at a time when the party existence was threatened. Optimism, confidence, acumen and an appealing manner were some of the assets of this unusual leader. The election of 1935, disastrous for the party, gave him the federal seat for Peel, which he retained until his death in 1953, when he campaigned in spite of a serious illness.
In the meantime, he grew with his responsibilities and as Leader of the Opposition, he commanded respect from far beyond party lines. In 1945 he was Canadian delegate to the San Francisco World Conference and delegate in London representing Canada on the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations in 1945. He was Alternate Delegate for Canada at the United Nations' 1st General Assembly 1946, Parliamentary advisor to Canadian Delegate United Nations General Assembly in 1950 and in New York, 1952.
He was a member of Grace United Church, Brampton, of several local lodges, including Campbell's Cross L.O.L. of the Board of Regents of Victoria College and of the Peel War Records Board. During the period of his life when he represented the nation at the world conference tables of the world, he did not forget to bring world affairs home to the people of his own riding through the newspapers of the County of Peel.
In more recent years, a public high school has been named in honor of him. But his devotion to his country and to those he represented is an example to the younger political leaders of our area more important that any memorial to him.
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