Home Up Why Collect? Fun Learning Credits


Press baron, financier, British cabinet minister, and Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick, Sir Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook) corresponded closely with acquaintances in Newcastle and occasionally returned to his childhood home there. His legacy as the province's greatest benefactor is well known, and buildings bearing Beaverbrook's name can be found in many New Brunswick cities and towns. When Louise Manny's knowledge of the Miramichi region caught Beaverbrook's attention in 1946, he proposed that she oversee the restoration of the old burial ground at Wilson's Point, and later, the preservation of the Old Manse (his childhood home) as a public library. 

Working with Beaverbrook posed certain interpersonal challenges, and although she sometimes despaired of his caprices, Manny was up to the test. Realizing that "if once we get into an argument, and he is not convinced, that is the end of the whole matter," she wielded a measure of diplomacy which proved essential to the furtherance of their mutual projects. Contemporaries described them as friends, but the archival record reveals a relationship more akin to that of employer and employee, with Manny methodically submitting precise project details (titles of books purchased for the library, for instance) to the absentee patron in the hopes that he would approve them. His disapproval occasionally compromised or spelled the end of ongoing projects.