H. Montagu Allan

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Lt.-Col. Sir Montagu Allan
Sir Montagu Allan.jpg
Born Hugh Andrew Montagu Allan
(1860-10-13)October 13, 1860
Montreal, Canada East
Died September 26, 1951(1951-09-26) (aged 90)
Montreal, Quebec
Residence Ravenscrag
Occupation Banker, ship owner & Lieutenant-Colonel of the Canadian Expeditionary Force
Known for Donated Allan Cup, championship trophy of amateur hockey in Canada

Lt.-Colonel Sir (Hugh Andrew) Montagu Allan, CVO (October 13, 1860 – September 26, 1951), of Ravenscrag in Montreal's Golden Square Mile. He was the principal heir of his father, Sir Hugh Allan, and became deputy Chairman of the family-owned Allan Steamship Line. He was President of several major Canadian financial institutions and the Montreal General Hospital. He co-founded and was President of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Montreal. In 1942, he and his wife donated their home, Ravenscrag, to the McGill University Faculty of Medicine, when it became known as the Allan Memorial Institute. He is best remembered as a sportsman who donated the Allan Cup, the trophy that is still awarded today to the Canadian men's amateur ice hockey champions.

Early life[edit]

Montagu Allan, 1867

Born in Montreal's Golden Square Mile, he was the second son of Sir Hugh Allan of Ravenscrag [1] and Caroline Matilda Smith (1828-1881), the daughter of John Smith (d.1872), of Athelstane Hall, Montreal, and his wife Betsy Rae. From 1878 he was known as H. Montagu Allan to avoid confusion with his cousin Hugh Andrew Allan (1857–1938). He studied at Bishop's College School in Lennoxville, Quebec, then in Paris, before joining the family's shipping business, the Allan Line.

Business career[edit]

Ravenscrag, the Allan's home in Montreal, 1903
Montrose, Cacouna, the Allan's summer residence, 1901

Sir Montagu rose to Deputy Chairman of the Allan Steamship Line, retiring from the family business in 1912. By then he was President of the Royal Securities Corporation, Acadia Coal Company, the Canadian Rubber Company, the Canadian Paper Company, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which he co-founded. He was a director and the President of the Merchant's Bank of Canada (which had assets of $190 million in 1921) during its amalgamation into the Bank of Montreal in 1922. He also served as a Councillor and Treasurer of the Montreal Board of Trade.

He served on the Board of Directors of several major companies including: Canada Steamship Lines; Royal Trust Company; Montreal Light, Heat & Power; Montreal Rolling Mills Company, the Montreal Street Railway Company; the Ogilvie Flour Mills Company; the Montreal Investment Trust and The Guarantee Company of North America.

Public Life[edit]

Allan was Chairman of the Bishop's College School Association; President of the Montreal General Hospital; President of the St. Andrew's Society of Montreal; Vice-President of the Montreal Racquets Club and was one of the founders of the Mount Royal Club and the Winter Club. He was a leader in the Charity Organization Society and a director for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Sir Montagu Allan [2] was honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the 5th Regiment of The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, and in 1915 was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, accompanying them to Europe where he fought in World War I.

Allan was an avid sportsman and outdoor enthusiast, and a member of a number of sporting clubs. He had a special passion for horses [3] and served as Master of the Montreal Hunt; President of the Canadian Racing Association; Director of the Royal International Horse Show in London; President of Montreal Jockey Club and Chairman of Montreal Horse Show Association. He owned a thoroughbred horse-racing stable, and his horses won several Queen's Plates, Montreal Hunt Cups, Members' Plates and the Hunters' Handicap Steeplechase Cup.

Montagu Allan was created a Knight Bachelor by King Edward VII of the United Kingdom in 1906 and the following year was decorated Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. He held the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan (3rd Class), after entertaining Prince Fushimi Sadanaru at his Montreal home, Ravenscrag,[4] where he also hosted Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn [5] and King Edward VIII.

Among other clubs, Allan was a member of the St. James' Club, the Mount Royal Club, the Forest and Stream, The Toronto Club, the Rideau Club and the Manitoba Club. At New York City he was a member of the Knickerbocker Club and in London he was a member of the Junior Carlton Club.[6]

The Allan Memorial Cup[edit]

When the Stanley Cup was restricted to competition between professional ice hockey clubs, amateur teams no longer had a championship to which they could aspire. Allan was a well-known ice hockey enthusiast and in 1908 he donated the Allan Cup, a trophy that would represent the highest level of achievement for amateur hockey teams across Canada.

The Cup is awarded annually to the National Senior Amateur Men's Ice Hockey Champions of Canada, and is still competed for to this day. Like the Stanley Cup, the Allan Cup was originally a challenge trophy, meaning teams could issue challenges to the reigning champion hoping to defeat them and earn the status of champion for themselves. But when challenges for the Allan Cup grew so frequent that they became unmanageable the format was altered in 1914 so that regional champions would compete for this prestigious national trophy.

Beginning in 1920, when hockey was first introduced to the Olympic Games, the reigning Allan Cup champion was chosen to represent Canada. This continued until Father David Bauer introduced a National Hockey program that produced a team of selects at the Innsbruck 1964 Winter Olympics.

For his contribution to the sport of Ice Hockey, in 1945 Allan was made a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders category.[7] His cousin, Lady Brenda (Allan) Meredith (1867–1959) donated the Lady Meredith Cup in 1920, which was the first ice hockey trophy to be competed for amongst women in Canada.

Family[edit]

Sir Montagu and Lady Allan at the Guy Street theatre, Montreal, 1940
Lady Marguerite Allan with her two youngest daughters, 1906
The Allan children at Cacouna, 1901

On October 18, 1893, Montagu Allan married Marguerite Ethel Mackenzie (1873–1957), daughter of Hector MacKenzie (1843-1901) of Montreal, and his wife Martha Alger, granddaughter of Cyrus Alger and Holmes Hinkley, both of Boston. Lady Allan's father was President of J.G. Mackenzie & Co., Montreal; director of the Hudson's Bay Company; vice-president of the Merchant's Bank; vice-president of the Montreal Telegraph Company and President of the Montreal Philharmonic Society.[8] Lady Allan was a niece of The Hon. Frederick Mackenzie and sister-in-law of Edward Ermatinger, of Montreal. The Allans were the parents of four children, all of whom they outlived:[9]

In May 1915, during World War I, Lady Allan, along with daughters Anna, 16, and Gwen, 15, were aboard the RMS Lusitania when it was sunk by German U-boat U-20. After she and her daughters jumped into the water, Lady Allan [11] was severely injured. While she was rescued, both daughters drowned. Anna's body was never found but Gwendolyn's was recovered the next day and returned to Montreal for burial. Rita Jolivet, the wife of Sir Montagu's Scottish cousin, Jimmy Allan, was also a passenger on the Lusitania. Two years after this tragedy, the War claimed their third child, Hugh, who was killed in action.

Sir Montagu and Lady Allan lived at Ravenscrag in the Golden Square Mile during the winters and Montrose at Cacouna during the summers. Allan also owned Allancroft a farm near Beaconsfield where he reared his horses. Allancroft burned down in 1938. After the death of their youngest daughters, the Allans spent less time at Montrose and in 1941 they sold the house to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin for $10,000.[12] After their last child died, the Allans gave Ravenscrag to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal. They are interred in the Mount Royal Cemetery next to two of their daughters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ravenscrag, Montreal, 1901
  2. ^ Colonel Sir H. Montagu Allan, 1912
  3. ^ "The Stables at Ravenscrag, 1903". 
  4. ^ The Drawing Room at Ravenscrag, 1911
  5. ^ Prince Arthur at Ravenscrag, 1906
  6. ^ Sir H. Montagu Allan
  7. ^ Biography of Sir Montagu Allan at the Hockey Hall of Fame
  8. ^ Hector Mackenzie, of Montreal
  9. ^ The Allan Children at 'Montrose', Cacouna, 1901
  10. ^ Obituary of Lt. Hugh Allan
  11. ^ Lady Allan's Biography at the Lusitania Resource
  12. ^ Cacouna