John Wallace de Beque Farris

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The Hon.

John Wallace de Beque Farris

John Wallace de Beque Farris.jpg
Senator for Vancouver South, British Columbia
In office
Appointed byWilliam Lyon Mackenzie King
Attorney General and Minister of Labour, British Columbia
In office
Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Vancouver City
In office
10th President of the Canadian Bar Association
In office
Preceded byHenry Hague Davis
Succeeded byLouis-Émery Beaulieu, K.C.
President of the Law Society of British Columbia
Personal details
Born(1878-12-03)December 3, 1878
White's Cove, New Brunswick, Canada
DiedFebruary 25, 1970(1970-02-25) (aged 91)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Evlyn Fenwick Farris
RelationsLaughlin Farris, New Brunswick M.L.A. (father); John Ferris, M.P.; New Brunswick M.L.A. (grandfather)
ChildrenKatherine Hay, Donald Fenwick, Ralph Keirstead and John Lauchlan Farris, Chief Justice of British Columbia
Attorney General (1917-1922)
Minister of Labour (1917-1922)
President of the Executive Council (1917)
CommitteesChair, Standing Committee on Banking and Commerce (1949-1950)

John Wallace de Beque Farris, QC (December 3, 1878 – February 25, 1970) was a Canadian lawyer and politician.

Born in White's Cove, New Brunswick, the son of Laughlin P. Farris and Louise Hay, he was educated at St. Martin's Seminary, received his Bachelor of Arts from Acadia University and received his Bachelor of Law from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1905, Farris married Evlyn Fenwick Keirstead of Windsor, Nova Scotia. They had four children : Katherine Hay, Donald Fenwick, Ralph Keirstead and John Lauchlan.[1]

He was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1903. He founded the law firm now called Farris LLP and was the first prosecutor of Vancouver, British Columbia.

In 1907, he ran unsuccessfully for the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for the riding of Vancouver. He lost again in 1909 for the riding of Richmond.

He was elected in 1916 as a Liberal MLA for the riding of Vancouver and was re-elected in 1920. From 1917 to 1922, he was the Attorney General and Minister of Labour.

Farris was active in the Canadian Bar Association, serving as President in 1937-38.[2]

In the 1930s and 1940s, Farris was instrumental in raising funds and persuading the provincial government to create the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia.[3]

In 1937, Farris was appointed to the Senate of Canada representing the senatorial division of Vancouver South, British Columbia. He served until his death in 1970. Late in life, he was known within the Liberal Party as a staunch supporter of Pierre Trudeau's leadership and an opponent of Senate reform.[4]

Other spellings of name[edit]

  • John Wallace Debeque Farris
  • John Wallace deBeque Farris


  1. ^ "John Wallace de Beque Farris, 1878-1970: An inventory of His Papers in the Library of the University of British Columbia Special Collections Division"
  2. ^ Canadian Bar Association: Past CBA Presidents
  3. ^ "UBC Law Faculty Kicks Off Building Campaign with $1 Million Gift from Farris", UBC Media Release, September 25, 2006
  4. ^ Winnipeg Free Press, 25 January 1969, p. 29.

External links[edit]

  • John Wallace de Beque Farris – Parliament of Canada biography
  • "John Wallace de Beque Farris fonds. - 1918-1969". Retrieved December 28, 2005.
  • "Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP History". Retrieved December 28, 2005.
  • Francis (ed), Daniel (2000) [1999], Francis, Daniel (ed.), Encyclopedia of British Columbia, Harbour Publishing, p. 222, ISBN 1-55017-200-XCS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Giles, QC, Jack (January 2010), "J.W. de B. Farris, Q.C.", The Advocate, Vancouver: Vancouver Bar Association, 68 (January 2010): 45–51, ISSN 0044-6416