Aemilius Jarvis

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Aemilius Jarvis
Aemilius Jarvis.jpg
Born Edward Aemilius Jarvis
(1860-04-25)April 25, 1860
Bonshaw, York County, Upper Canada
Died December 19, 1940(1940-12-19) (aged 80)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation businessman, equestrian, and sailor
Lady Eaton and Aemilius Jarvis at Eaton Hall in King City, Ontario, Canada.
Admiral Jellico, head of the Navy, Aemilius Jarvis, and Mayor Tommy Church in Toronto - Jellicoe is on the left, Jarvis in the centre, and Church to the right of Jarvis (1918/19)
Sir Thomas Lipton (4) at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto Island 1903 - Commodore Aemilius Jarvis (5), Vice-Commodore Stephen S. Haas (3), & Rear-Commodore George H. Gooderham (6).
The Canada's Cup is a perpetual trophy awarded to the winner of a sailing match race between a yacht representing a Canadian yacht club and a yacht representing an American yacht club. Aemilius Jarvis sailed for the cup five times, winning the inaugural series in 1896, & repeating in 1901.
In 1899 the Toronto Hotel Company was founded by Aemilius Jarvis – with the support of George Cox (of Canada Life and the Bank of Commerce) and George Gooderham (of Gooderham & Worts Distillery). Jarvis & his Toronto Hotel Co. built the King Eddy, & it opened in 1903.

Edward Aemilius Jarvis (April 25, 1860 – December 19, 1940[1]) was a successful Canadian financier, celebrated equestrian, and champion sailor.

Life and career[edit]

Commodore Aemilius Jarvis at the Griffin Theatre, Thorold; recruiting for the Royal Navy. (1914-18)

A member of a prominent Toronto family, Jarvis apprenticed as a banker, and eventually became president of the Trader's Bank of Canada. Jarvis founded the Steel Company of Canada. He built Toronto's iconic King Edward Hotel and created the British Columbia Salmon Canning Industry. Jarvis also formed AEmilius Jarvis & Co., earning the friendship and respect of such men as Lord Minto (Governor General of Canada), J.P. Morgan, Sir Thomas Lipton, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Henry Pellatt, and world-champion rower Ned Hanlan. He was the most celebrated yachtsman, and winning-est skipper, on the Great Lakes in his time. Jarvis was instrumental in forming the Royal Canadian Navy during World War I, recruiting both ships and men, & acted as a spy for King George V while visiting Tzar Nicholas of Russia in 1915. He also operated a famously successful stud farm -called Hazelburn- in Aurora, Ontario, breeding hunter-jumper horses.

Jarvis' grandson Robert Aemilius Jarvis published the dramatic biography/auto-biography of his grandfather, "The Last Viking".

Legendary yachtsman[edit]

Jarvis famously sailed alone around Lake Ontario, from Hamilton to Niagara-on-the-Lake to Whitby and back, in a tiny dinghy aptly called Tar Pot when he was just twelve years old.[2] (This journey was reported in newspapers at the time, beginning the legend of the sailor.) Later in life, he spent two years sailing the world in a square-rigger sailing vessel. He designed and built numerous innovative and successful racing sailboats, founded the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, and was a longtime member of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, of which he was elected commodore seven times.[3] He won the inaugural Canada's Cup yachting race in 1896 sailing the "Canada", a 57-foot cutter. Additionally, he won over 100 international freshwater sailing events while at Royal Canadian Yacht Club (& more than 300 overall[3]), including a second Canada's Cup in 1901.

Aemilius skippered in every Canada's Cup from 1896-1907 with the sole exception of the 1905 edition;[2] Cup Defenders Rochester Yacht Club made it a stipulation that Jarvis not skipper in order to accept R.C.Y.C.'s challenge. R.C.Y.C.'s Temeraire ultimately lost the 30-foot class match-series to Rochester's Iroquois.

As a skipper, Jarvis lived by the credo, "A place for everything, & everything in its place," a saying which he took so seriously (for in-race safety reasons) that he was known to throw crew members' items overboard if found laying haphazardly about.

He published an account of sailing his yacht, "Haswell", from Toronto to the Caribbean in the winter of 1920-21 entitled, "5,000 Miles in a 27-Tonner."

Ontario bond scandal[edit]

The Canada's Cup, originally unnamed, was named after it's unnaugural victor, the yacht Canada.
The yacht Canada (left), skippered by 'Skippadore' Aemilius Jarvis, crosses tacks with Vencedor on Lake Erie, near Toledo, Ohio, in the inaugural 1896 Canada's Cup match-racing series from which Canada emerged victor.

Jarvis was convicted on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the government of the Province of Ontario, after having saved that government millions of dollars in the retirement of war bonds. Though he was jailed for six months, for the remainder of his life he stoutly defended his innocence.[4] He'd refused, against all advice, to testify in his own defense, and one theory as to why is that he was shielding/taking a fall for his son, also charged in the affair, after having tragically lost another son previously in World War I. Countless of his high-profile business peers signed a petition detailing the reasoned argument for Jarvis' innocence, which was proven when he at last did take the stand in the trial of another charged in the affair. He was ultimately technically cleared, though not officially by the Ontario Government.[5] The former Premier of Ontario, Ernest C. Drury (United Farmers of Ontario party), labelled him "Canada's Dreyfus," a reference to Alfred Dreyfus who was wrongfully charged and jailed in his native France (around the turn of the century) for blatantly political reasons. It seems likely that this scandal is the reason why Aemilius perhaps isn't remembered today to the degree that he should be, given his achievements, plus his substantial contributions to Canada's World War I effort.

Military[edit]

Aemilius Jarvis recruited ships & men for Canada's WWI effort. In the 1st year of the war he established a naval recruitment centre in his Toronto office.
Aemilius Jarvis recruited ships (incl. anti-submarine), & over 2000 men for Canada's WWI effort. In the 1st year of the war he established a naval recruitment centre in his Toronto office.

Jarvis was instrumental in forming the Royal Canadian Navy during World War I, recruiting anti-submarine (& other) ships, and over 2000 men.[3] He acted as a spy for King George V while visiting Russia on business in 1915,[6] delivering a message to George's cousin Tzar Nicholas via an intermediary encouraging Russia stay in the war to maintain two fronts on Germany.[7] (The intermediary was shortly thereafter assassinated on a train platform immediately following passing -and ignoring- Jarvis in a train-car corridor, with several "ugly" men following close behind her.) Aemilius was awarded the Navy League of Canada's Special Service Decoration for his wartime contributions.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Great Canadian; Aemilius Jarvis Passes". The Express Herald. 23 December 1940. 
  2. ^ a b "Royal Hamilton Yacht Club". www.rhyc.ca. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  3. ^ a b c "Express Herald (Newmarket, ON), 23 Dec 1940, p. 8: The Era: Newmarket's Digital Newspaper Project". news.ourontario.ca. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  4. ^ "Newmarket Era (Newmarket, ON), 23 Dec 1940, p. 5: The Era: Newmarket's Digital Newspaper Project". news.ourontario.ca. Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  5. ^ "Newmarket Era (Newmarket, ON), 7 Jul 1933, p. 4: The Era: Newmarket's Digital Newspaper Project". news.ourontario.ca. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  6. ^ "Newmarket Era (Newmarket, ON), 18 Jun 1915, p. 2: The Era: Newmarket's Digital Newspaper Project". news.ourontario.ca. Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  7. ^ Jarvis, Robert Aemilius (2004). The Last Viking. 
The photograph includes a view of the Aurora, ON farmhouse called Hazelburn that was owned by Aemilius Jarvis. Jarvis is on the third horse from the left.
Royal Hamilton Yacht Club (ca 1910)
Aemilius Jarvis organized the establishment of the Hamilton Yacht Club in 1888.
(King Edward Hotel, 1919.) In 1899 the Toronto Hotel Company was founded by Aemilius Jarvis – with the support of George Cox (of Canada Life and the Bank of Commerce) and George Gooderham (of Gooderham & Worts Distillery). Jarvis & his Toronto Hotel Co. built the King Eddy, & it opened in 1903.