Arthur Ryan Smith

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For other people named Arthur Smith, see Arthur Smith (disambiguation).
Arthur Ryan Smith
Member of Parliament
for Calgary South
In office
Preceded by Carl Olof Nickle
Succeeded by Harry Hays
Personal details
Born May 16, 1919
Calgary, Alberta
Died June 30, 2008(2008-06-30) (aged 89)
Calgary, Alberta
Political party Progressive Conservative
Residence Calgary, Alberta
Profession Business Man
Religion Anglican

Captain Arthur "Art" Ryan Smith Jr. OC AOE DFC (May 16, 1919 – June 30, 2008) was an oilfield worker, fighter pilot, executive business man, magazine editor, he also worked in public relations as an advertising executive and was a Canadian politician on the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.

Early life[edit]

Arthur Ryan Smith was born in Calgary, Alberta on May 16, 1919 to parents Arthur LeRoy Smith and Sara Isobel Ryan. Smith grew up in Calgary, and later in British Columbia. He got his first job as an oil field worker at the age of 16 in Turner Valley, Alberta and spent 4 years working in the oil patch.[1]

At the outbreak of World War II Smith enlisted in the Canadian Forces. He became a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and flew 34 combat missions on Lancaster bombers. He was awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for his military service. When Smith returned home from the war he went back to working in the oil patch. He worked his way up from Roughneck to Assistant of the President at the Anglo-American Oil Company.[2] In 1952 he became editor for the publication Petroleum Exploration Digest.[1]

Smith soon became interested in a political career and he ran for Calgary city council in 1953.

Municipal politics[edit]

Smith began his political career by running for Calgary city council for the post of Alderman in 1953, He won his first term in office and served until 1955 when he decided to run for a seat in the provincial legislature.

Smith would return to City council after retiring from federal politics in 1963. He would run for the Alderman position in 1965 winning election and hold his seat until 1967.[2]

Provincial politics[edit]

Smith ran as a candidate in the Calgary provincial electoral district in the 1955 Alberta general election. He finished first in the vote counts winning on the first ballot transfer. He held his seat in the provincial legislature until he resigned in 1957 to run for federal politics.

Smith is still active behind the scenes with the provincial Progressive Conservatives, he recently endorsed candidate Mark Norris in the 2006 leadership election.[3]

Federal politics[edit]

Smith ran for a seat in the Canadian House of Commons in the 1957 federal election. He would defeating 3 other candidates and winning by a 10,000 vote plurality over second place candidate Donald McKay. Parliament would dissolve a year later in the 1958 federal election and he would run for re-election winning a plurality of about 23,000 votes in front of the nearest candidate. Smith would run for his third and final term in office in the 1962 federal election. His margin of victory was significantly reduced, but he still won his district in a landslide. Smith retired from federal politics a year later in 1963 at the dissolution of the house. During his time as a Member of Parliament, he served as a Delegate to the United Nations.[1]

Smiths' father, Arthur LeRoy Smith served as Member of Parliament for Calgary West from 1945 to 1951.[1]

Late life[edit]

Smith became an influential business man after his career in public office.In 1961 he and Milt Harradence used their political influence with Prime John Diefenbaker to make Lynn Garrison’s Lancaster Memorial Fund a success. This saw Lancaster FM-136, purchased from Crown Assets Disposal Corporation by Lynn Garrison, displayed at McCall Field, Calgary as a memorial to those who had trained under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Smith had won his Distinguished Flying Cross while flying Lancasters during World War II. He served as an executive on numerous companies, public boards, and volunteered in youth sports programs.[1] In 1988 he was appointed Chief of Protocol for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary.[4]


Smith has been awarded numerous honors in distinctions over the course of his life. He became a member of the Order of Canada in 1988 and current holds the rank of Officer since 2003.[4] That same year he was also given an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Calgary. He was later awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence and in 1997 he became Honorary Colonel of the 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Arthur R. Smith fonds". University of Calgary. Retrieved 2007-08-31. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "City of Calgary Aldermanic Gallery" (PDF). City of Calgary. p. 138. Retrieved 2007-08-31. [dead link]
  3. ^ Jason Fekete (16 September 2006). "Smith throws weight behind Norris". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  4. ^ a b "Order of Canada Arthur R. Smith, O.C., A.O.E., D.F.C., LL.D.". Governor General of Canada. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  5. ^ "Arthur Smith fonds" (PDF). University of Calgary Archives. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 

External links[edit]

Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Preceded by
Paul Brecken
Howard MacDonald
MLA Calgary
Succeeded by
Ernest Watkins
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Carl Olof Nickle
Member of Parliament Calgary South
Succeeded by
Harry Hays