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Finding Aid - Foundation of the Bar of Ontario fonds (PF171)

Foundation of the Bar of Ontario fonds

1938-1984

16.5 cm of textual records

Administrative History
The Foundation of the Bar of Ontario was established by Samuel E. Weir, Q.C., an Ontario lawyer, in the early 1950s. Conceived of as a charitable organization and influenced by the work of the Montreal Advocates' Benevolent Association and Law Association for the Benefit of Widows and Families of Solicitors in London, its initial purpose was to provide financial assistance to the families of Ontario lawyers in the event of death or illness. This proposed role later expanded to include issues of jurisprudence and law reform, the awarding of medals, prizes and scholarships, and the general promotion of ethical standards in the legal profession. Membership was to be open to all members of the Bar of Ontario for the annual fee of five dollars, headed by a board of thirty directors.
 
 Though the foundation initially collected fees from members and established a bank account, it never attained charitable organization status, and the monies collected in the late 1950s were not used. This was likely due to the difficulties faced by Weir when attempting to incorporate the foundation in the 1950s and 1960s. Opposition to Weir's foundation by the Law Society of Upper Canada played a role as well, as seen in the formation of a special committee to consider the issue of its incorporation. In addition, the Law Society of Upper Canada created a similar foundation, the Law Society Foundation, in 1962, which fulfilled many of the goals of the Foundation of the Bar of Ontario. These circumstances, and Weir's declining health, ended his pursuit of the incorporation of the organization in the mid-1960s. After Weir's death in 1981, his estate donated the funds gathered for the foundation, a sum of approximately $1,500, to the Law Society Foundation.
 
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records pertaining to the Foundation of the Bar of Ontario and its founder, Samuel E. Weir, an Ontario lawyer. The records in this fonds document Weir's work to establish an organizational charter, incorporate the foundation, enroll members, and garner support for the foundation from the legal community in Ontario. The records in this fonds include correspondence, memoranda, membership forms, financial records, charters, and petitions.
 
Languages
Some items pertaining to the Montreal Advocates' Benevolent Society are written in French.
 
Restrictions
No restrictions on access.

PF171-1 Charters, applications and memoranda

1951-1968
2 cm of textual records

Scope and Content
Series consists of records pertaining to the activities of Samuel E. Weir, an Ontario lawyer, and the establishment of the Foundation of the Bar of Ontario. These records document Weir's efforts to incorporate the foundation, garner support and membership among legal colleagues, and draft an organizational charter. The records in this series are correspondence, memoranda, charters, drafts, and applications.
 
Reference Code / Title / Date
991009-001 The Foundation of the Bar of Ontario - unincorporated body - 1957. -- 1951-1963
991009-002 Foundation of Bar of Ontario. -- 1957-1968

PF171-2 Correspondence

1953-1984
4 cm of textual records

Scope and Content
Series consists of records pertaining to the management and development of the Foundation of the Bar of Ontario by Samuel Weir. These records document Weir's efforts to garner support for the foundation, the level of membership during 1957, and the allotment of foundation money after Weir's 1981 death. The records in this series are correspondence, organizational charters, and memoranda.
 
Reference Code / Title / Date
991009-003 Correspondence. -- 1953-1960
991009-004 Correspondence - 1957. -- 1957
991009-005 Correspondence, memoranda and charters. -- 1957-1958, 1984

PF171-3 Financial accounts

1957
2.5 cm of textual records

Scope and Content
Series consists of records pertaining to the financial activities of the Foundation of the Bar of Ontario. These records primarily document the collection and management of membership fees for the foundation in 1957. The records in this series are bank account statements and a cash book.
 
Reference Code / Title / Date
991009-006 Account statements. -- 1957
991009-007 Cash book. -- 1957

PF171-4 Membership

1938-1982
8 cm of textual records

Scope and Content
Series consists of records pertaining to membership in the Foundation of the Bar of Ontario. These records document contact information about 1957 members and their financial contribution to the foundation, as well as, to a lesser degree, the work of Samuel Weir to develop the structure and purpose of the foundation. The records in this series include correspondence, membership forms, lists, receipts, and cheques.
 
Reference Code / Title / Date
991009-008 Membership application forms - A-K. -- 1957
991009-009 Membership application forms - L-Z. -- 1957
991009-010 Subscriptions. -- 1938-1982
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