In 1973 when I lived in Vancouver BC for a year, attending the University of British Columbia as an undergraduate, I was kindly invited to the home of my mother’s first cousin Geoffrey ANDREW. Not only was Geoff a relative, but he had worked in management and on the teaching staff at UBC between 1947 and 1962. So for a shy young woman from a small town, not used to the big city nor experienced in mixing with important academics and professionals, the thought of visiting Geoff and his family was somewhat intimidating. But Geoff was very skilled at putting me at ease, and seemed interested in my education and plans for the future. And I got a sense of family from him. Perhaps his voice as well as his appearance seemed familiar to me (I have recently found an audio recording of one of his lectures online, and his patterns of speech and his sense of humor remind me of my Uncle Dean Andrew, Geoff's first cousin). Of course as I look back I see the missed opportunities for learning more about his own family and life. Now I have so many more questions to ask! But I had a lovely visit and meal at their home on West 13th Avenue, also meeting his wife Margaret and youngest daughter, my second cousin.
When it was time to start his career, Geoff gained experience as an English Teacher and Senior Housemaster at Upper Canada College in Toronto Ontario, which (according to wikipedia) is a long-established private school for boys between Senior Kindergarten and Grade Twelve, operating under the International Baccalaureate program.
He met and married Margaret Monro GRANT in 1937. She was the daughter of William Lawson Grant, and granddaughter of George Munro Grant, the distinguished president of Queen’s University. Margaret was a graduate in economics, social work and librarianship. They started a family, and it is no surprise that their five children have inherited their parents' combined drive, interests and scholastic abilities.
During the Second World War, Geoff was the Secretary of Wartime Information Board in Ottawa from 1943 to 1945. He subsequently held the position of Director of Canada Information Services from 1945 to 1947. In 1947 he was approached by Norman "Larry" Mackenzie who he had worked with during the war and who was then the president of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC. So in September 1947, Geoff and his young family moved west and he started work at UBC as Professor of English and Executive Assistant to President Mackenzie. In 1953 he was promoted to Dean and Deputy President, and became a member of the UBC Senate. Also in 1953 he was appointed by the Carnegie Foundation to study university administration in Canada, the USA, Great Britain and Europe. Sometime before 1960 he was part of an international team that spent three months in New Zealand as consultants to their government on higher education development. I really don’t know where he found the time for it all!
Geoff decided to leave the University of British Columbia in 1962, and his new job took him back to the nation’s capital as Executive Director of the Canadian Universities Foundation. In 1964 he visited Vancouver and gave a lecture on "Provincial and Federal Responsibilities for Higher Education" for the Vancouver Institute. The organization's name changed in 1965 when it became the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), and Geoff continued working there until his retirement in 1971. He was then 65 years of age.
Geoff and Margaret returned to live in Vancouver where he was active in the Alumni Association, and enjoyed fly-fishing expeditions with his friends in the Harry Hawthorn Foundation. Margaret became active in the school board, which seemed to entail "30 hour days". They were active supporters of the arts and humanities in the community, including involvement in the Vancouver Festival.
On a personal note, I sent Christmas cards to Geoff and Margaret for a few years after my visit in 1973. And in return I was thrilled to get not a card, but a poem written by Geoff, creatively updating us on their past year's activities. Thankfully I have managed to retain three of these special poems, which bring back wonderful memories.
In June 1981, Geoff and Margaret ANDREW attended a dinner at the UBC Faculty Club in his honor. The following month he turned 75, and a year after that his wife passed away. Geoff died at home in Feb 1987 from cancer at the age of 80. He is surely well and dearly remembered. A memorial tribute to Geoff ANDREW was recorded by the UBC Senate. Included were statements about Geoff's character and his roles outside their university:
With the passing of Geoffrey Andrew, this University has lost one of its last links with the great period of its expansion which occurred after the Second World War. Geoffrey Andrew was an active witness to U.B.C.'s transformation from a small provincial university to a major national centre for teaching, research and public service. ...
Dean Andrew participated in a wide range of public service activities —Chairman of the Vancouver Branch of the Canadian Institute for Public Affairs, President of the Vancouver Arts Council, a Director of the Canadian Institute for the Blind and Director of Community Chest.
Geoff Andrew was a passionate believer in liberal education and a staunch defender of the role of the arts in society. He was also a tireless spokesman for greater accessibility to higher education and gave strong support to the expansion of educational opportunity throughout the Province of British Columbia.
From 1962 until his retirement, Geoff Andrew served as executive director of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. His voice in promoting the cause of universities was heard in every corner of the nation.
Geoffrey Andrew maintained his deep affection for this University throughout his retirement years. As an educator in the classic university mould [sic] he had few equals. ...
REFERENCES and FURTHER READING
Photos of Geoffrey ANDREW - UBC Library Digital Collections
Lecture for the Vancouver Institute: Socialized Education in New Zealand [misnamed] - by Geoffrey C Andrew, recorded 1960-11-05 - introduction includes speaker bio
Vancouver Island Institute Lectures, 1950s
UBC, Charles Woodward Memorial Room Collections - transcribed 1985 interview with Geoffrey ANDREW regarding the startup of the medical faculty at UBC
UBC Calendar, Officers and Staff, 1947-1948: Geoffrey C ANDREW listed on pages 9 (Staff) and 18 (English)
The Harry Hawthorn Foundation Collection - Geoff ANDREW's friends for extracurricular fly fishing
University of King's College - wikipedia
A Brief History of the University of British Columbia