Bernard Keble Sandwell

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BK Sandwell
B. K. Sandwell.jpg
B. K. Sandwell in 1939, by Yousuf Karsh
Born Bernard Keble Sandwell
(1876-12-06)December 6, 1876
Ipswich, England
Died December 7, 1954(1954-12-07) (aged 78)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater University of Toronto
Occupation Editor, essayist
Awards Pierre Chauveau Medal

Bernard Keble Sandwell,or BK as he was more commonly known, (December 6, 1876 – December 7, 1954) was a Canadian editor.

Born in Ipswich to George Henry Sandwell, a congregationalist minister and Emily Johnson, he remained in Canada when his father's mission ended, and attended the University of Toronto from 1893 to 1897, where he gained a BA in Classics. On leaving university, BK joined the staff at The Evening News in Toronto, eventually moving to Montreal in 1904 to write a drama column for the Montreal Herald. He joined the Montreal Financial Times in 1911 as an associate editor and remained there until 1919, when he joined Stephen Leacock at McGill University as an assistant professor of economics. Subsequently in 1923, BK took the post of Head of English at Queen's University.

Often in demand as a public speaker, BK made several speeches to the Empire Club of Canada through his career, as well as writing several books and being a frequent contributor to the Reader's Digest :

  • The Musical Red Book of Montreal (1907)
  • The Privacity Agent and other modest proposals (1928)
  • The Molson family (1933)
  • The Diversions of Duchesstown and other essays (1955)
  • The Canadian People (1941)

Returning to Toronto in 1931, BK became the editor of Saturday Night, and made the magazine the mouthpiece of Canadian Liberalism until his retirement from the journal in 1951.

A man with a prolific output, BK in his later years appeared to increase his work rate. In 1944, he was appointed rector of Queen's University and in the same year he was appointed was Governor of the CBC, a post held until 1947. He died in 1954 of lung cancer, and was survived by his wife Marion Street Sandwell and a sister, Vera. BK's younger brother Captain Arnold Sandwell flew with the RNAS in World War I and served with the Royal Canadian Airforce until his death in 1940.


  • Toronto has no social classes - Only the Masseys and the masses
  • I am what libraries and librarians have made me, with a little assistance from a professor of Greek and poets.

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