Fonds MSG 1231 - William Tetley Fonds

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William Tetley Fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title from content of fonds.

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  • 1945-1952 (Creation)
    Tetley, William, 1927-

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Physical description

1 notebook (170 unnumbered pages) ; 28 x 21 cm
1 photograph : black and white ; 7 x 9.6 cm
1 postcard

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Biographical history

William Tetley was born in Montreal on February 10, 1927, the son of Francis William Tetley and Gertrude Aubrey. He attended the Town of Mount Royal High School, the Royal Canadian Naval College, McGill University, and the Université de Laval. Tetley served in the navy and in the Reserve from 1945-1951. He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in June of 1952. He practiced law in Montreal until 1968 and represented Canada at the Congress on International Law in Athens (1961), Stockholm (1963), and New York (1966). He entered municipal politics and was elected as a councillor for the Town of Mount Royal in 1965, and elected to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec in a 1968 by-election as the Liberal Party representative for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. He was appointed Minister of Revenue in 1970 and became Minister of Financial Institutions, Companies, Cooperatives and Consumer Protection later than year. During his second mandate in this position, Tetley led the adoption of Quebec's first consumer protection act in 1975. Before his retirement from politics, he served as the Minister of Public Works and Supply from July 1975 to November 1976. He was appointed a professor at McGill's Faculty of Law in 1976 and was an associate professor of maritime law at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, from 1984 to 1998. He authored numerous books and articles on maritime law. He was named to the Order of Canada in 1995. Tetley married Rosslyn on Mary 14, 1955, with whom he had four children. He died on July 1, 2014, in Montreal at the age of 87.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of notebook kept by Tetley chiefly during the Second World War, while on active duty with the Canadian Royal Navy. The first entry is dated August 14, 1945, and begins with Tetley reporting for duty. The diary records daily activities onboard. From February 21, 1946, entries describe daily life in Montreal and at McGill, with detailed impressions of friends and acquaintances, often with full names and addresses. The final full daily entry is dated February 28, 1946. Following that, entries record major events, such as moving to Quebec in summer of 1949 or convocation, with acquaintances made and Tetley's descriptions and impressions of them, often with names and contact information. Other events noted include Provincial Congress at Quebec, September 1950; "Soirée à la Marine," February 10, 1950; summer in the navy in England, 1951; Boy Scout Campaign, February 1952. Final entries are undated, but the journal appears to end in 1952. The fonds also includes some items previously laid in to the diary, including one black and white photograph of a coastline (laid in before entry dated Sept. 18, 1945), 2 loose leaves with lists of names and some addresses and a postcard, and 2 doctor's notes certifying Tetley's vaccination laid in between pages 92 and 93. Other items laid or tipped in include: invitation to McGill Founders Day Convocation 1950, with notes, and pages from address books.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Warren Baker, December 2018.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Chiefly English, with one entry in French.

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Perfect bound, yellow McGill ruled notebook. McGill in black in upper case on front cover. Red edges.

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