AME BC History - 1910s

On April 23, 1912, a group of concerned, forward-looking men gathered together in the council chambers of the Vancouver City Hall, formed the Vancouver Mining Club (soon renamed the Vancouver Chamber of Mines), and elected the first president, Robert R. Hedley, of what is now known as AME BC. Early records state that the “Chamber of Mines is a nonprofit institution, organized to foster mining in British Columbia.”  The first description of AME BC’s objectives concluded with the statement that “its services and advice are free alike to miner and investor, irrespective of whether they are subscribers or not, and no pressure is to be brought to bear on anyone to become a subscriber.  Its rules prohibit charges of any kind being made for services, rendered either as commissions or otherwise, and is a strictly nonpolitical organization.  Its executive is to a large extent made up of well-known mining men of recognized technical and practical experience.” 

At the first Annual General Meeting on October 29, 1913, when L.W. Shatford was elected president, the financial statement showed total receipts of $4,096.65 and expenditures of $5,581.66.  AME BC fortunately survived those early, difficult financial years.  Early in 1922 the signing of a five year lease in a building located at 438 West Pender Street signaled that better financial times had arrived.  During this period, and in later years, financial aid was provided by both the City of Vancouver and the Province of British Columbia. 

Immediately after its formation, AME BC began establishing its library, its impressive mineral collection and on, November 28, 1918, held a series of lectures that later developed into the finest Prospectors Training School in the world. Presidents during the years when AME BC was being established were, after Robert Hedley, L.W. Shatford (1913-1914), Dean R.W. Brock (1915), Professor J.M. Turnbull (1915), Nicol Thompson (1916-1917), A.B. Clabon (1918) and Arthur M. Whiteside (1919). The Mineral Exhibit set up at the Pacific National Exhibition during these formative years continued until 1942 when the exhibition was closed to house Japanese Canadians pending their shameful transfer to the Interior.