Sir Joseph Wesley Flavelle
Sir Joseph Wesley Flavelle, meat packer, financier, philanthropist (b at Peterborough, Canada W 15 Feb 1858; d at Palm Beach, Fla 7 Mar 1939).
Sir Joseph Wesley Flavelle, meat packer, financier, philanthropist (b at Peterborough, Canada W 15 Feb 1858; d at Palm Beach, Fla 7 Mar 1939). Inspired by Methodism's demand for personal holiness, self-denial and careful stewardship, Flavelle rose from humble origins to become one of Canada's most able, respected and influential businessmen as president of the British Empire's largest pork packer, William Davies Co of Toronto, and as chairman of the Bank of Commerce, the National Trust Co and Simpsons Ltd.
Successful in business, he devoted much of his wealth and energy after 1900 to charities, needy individuals and public service. He played a major role in the affairs of the University of Toronto, the Methodist Church, the Toronto General Hospital and the CNR. Chairman of the Imperial Munitions Board in WWI, Flavelle converted a scandal-ridden and inefficient industry into a vast, well-organized operation and received a baronetcy in 1917 - the last resident citizen of Canada to receive a hereditary title. Shortly thereafter, he and the William Davies Co were accused of profiteering from the wartime bacon business and, though an inquiry exonerated him, the episode sullied Flavelle's reputation.