Fonds MG2062 - Duncan Stuart Forbes Fonds

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Duncan Stuart Forbes Fonds

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  • 1879-1965 (Creation)
    Forbes, Duncan Stuart, 1889-1965

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Physical description

4 m of textual records, photographs and motion picture films

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Biographical history

D.S. Forbes was born in Toronto in 1889, the son of portrait painter J. Colin Forbes. He graduated from McGill with a B.Sc. in 1911, a B.Arch. in 1915, and a reputation for both academic and athletic excellence. After distinguished service in World War I as an artillery officer with The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, he returned to McGill briefly as Assistant Professor of architecture. As the youngest major in Canada, he served for a short time with the Canadian Permanent Force. At the request of Sir Arthur Currie, Forbes returned to McGill in 1924 to become Athletics Manager, a position he held until his retirement in 1947. Forbes was on leave from McGill during World War II, when he served as Senior Machine Gun Officer for Canada, rose to the rank of Lt.-Colonel, and was awarded an O.B.E. He loved the outdoor life, was an enthusiastic cook, and a talented designer: he created McGill's decorations for the visit of Princess Elizabeth in 1951.

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Scope and content

These papers contain Forbes' personal files of correspondence and clippings, some design materials and films of McGill football games. The personal files contain biographical materials such as his birth certificate, military commission and service records, and letters concerning his employment at McGill. Other files concern Forbes' designs for decorations for the 1951 Royal Visit, the McGill C.O.T.C., the Forbes Trophy for athletics, Forbes' involvement with McGill athletics and museums, and the career of his brother Kenneth Forbes, a painter. A number of diplomas and certificates awarded Forbes, as well as a photograph album, complete this series. Materials for designs include files on heraldry, a collection of illustrations from 19th century periodicals, designs for the Royal Visit decorations (a few, by Percy Nobbs, were used for the 1939 visit), maps, linocuts, bookplates, and programmes designed by Forbes for McGill events, ca 1925-1950. Thirty-four reels of motion picture film record McGill extramural football games (1947-1951). Films with sound track show the construction of the Currie gymnasium (1939-1940), and demonstrate the swimming techniques of Matt Mann. Additional biographical material is provided by obituary notices and letters of condolence to Mrs. Forbes, and by clippings of articles about Forbes.

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Originals, printed materials, photographs and motion picture films

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