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Home: Surnames: Murdock Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: James Y. Murdock, Toronto, Ont. : Maple Leaf Hockey team connection??
Posted by: Stu (ID *****0757) Date: April 17, 2013 at 08:00:21
In Reply to: James Y. Murdock, Toronto, Ont. : Maple Leaf Hockey team connection?? by Daryl LaBine of 1462

Mr. James Young Murdoch (1890-1962) was associated with the Maple Leafs as he was on the Maple Leaf Garden's Executive Board during the 1940's. Note that Murdoch was also sometimes spelled "Murdock".

During the war, Conn Smythe (majority owner of the maple Leafs) actively encouraged his hockey players to enlist with the Canadian Non-Permanent Active Militia (NPAM) units.

From the journal Sports History Review (2006) is the article titled "The Paradox of Conn Smythe: Hockey, Memory, and the Second World War", note the reference to "J.Y. Murdoch" below:

"Smythe informed them the club was working on a plan to have them (hockey players) join the Toronto Scottish Regiment, and that even the executives of Maple Leaf Gardens were getting involved: the president, G. R. Cottrelle, had been appointed controller of oil for Canada; Chairman of the Board J. P. Bickell had been “placed by Lord Beaverbrook on British aeroplane production work in that country” and was helping to organize Ferry Command; and Directors F. K. Morrow and J. Y. Murdoch had been appointed directors of “our government-formed companies for the purpose of supplying munitions and tooling of the munitions factories.” Many non-executive Gardens employees had enlisted as well. Smythe expressed confidence that the Leafs players would make a significant contribution to the war effort:

From Canadian Encyclopedia:
James Young Murdoch, lawyer, mining executive (b at Toronto 29 July 1890; d there 18 Apr 1962). A graduate of Osgoode Hall, Murdoch practised mining law in the Toronto firm Holden and Murdoch 1913-62; he was created King's Counsel in 1929. He drafted the incorporation of NORANDA Inc and served as its first president 1923 to 1956, when he became chairman. Murdoch expanded and diversifed Noranda's original copper-mining interest in Québec through various investments. In WWII he held senior positions in 2 wartime crown corporations, was president of the National War Services Funds Advisory Board, chairman of the National War Services Committee of the YMCA and was awarded an OBE. Murdochville, Québec, was named after him in 1952, and for his contribution to the mining industry in Canada he received the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy's Blaylock Medal.

From Canadian Mining Hall of Fame:
James Y. Murdoch (1890 - 1962) Inducted in 1989

A lawyer by profession, James Y. Murdoch, who became first president of the fledgling Noranda Mines in 1922, at the age of 32, was one of the greatest its builders Canada has ever produced. Not just a mine-builder, but a nation builder.

He was president of the company for 30 years, until 1956, and chairman until his death in 1962. His “temporary” appointment became famous as “the most permanent temporary appointment on record”.

Out of the “important-looking” discovery of prospector Ed Horne in the wilds of northwestern Quebec, Murdoch masterminded the growth and development of Noranda into a massive complex of mines and processing facilities. His energy and judgment could be seen in every step of consequence Noranda took during Murdoch’s 30 years as president.

From the earliest days of its development, Murdoch saw Noranda as more than just the mine that Horne discovered. He visualized, instead, a rounded industry that would refine and fabricate its metals as well as producing them, proving that Canadian raw materials could be processed to the finished state within Canada.

He accomplished this in copper, but did not live to see Noranda’s zinc refinery in operation, another of Murdoch’s dreams and goals.

Born in Toronto in 1890, Murdoch took a law degree in that city and on graduation joined the Toronto law firm of Holden, Murdoch, Walton, Finlay, Robinson and Pepall as a junior. Soon recognized as a brilliant young practitioner in mining law, he was retained by a New York syndicate to advise on its Canadian mining interests.

The syndicate took on that “important looking” discovery of Ed Home’s, and when it became apparent a separate company was needed, the syndicate, almost as an afterthought, asked Murdoch to incorporate it, and to act as its president. That was in 1922. The rest of course, is history.

At the time of his death, Murdoch was a director of some 35 companies, many within his own organization, but others in the fields of banking, paper, oil, insurance, railways and other industries.

Among the many honors he received in his lifetime were the Order of the British Empire, conferred for his work during World War II with the National War Services Funds Advisory Board.

Murdoch once said, of Noranda’s great growth under his direction, “none of it could have happened if Canada had not been what it is, a great and rich young nation whose frontiers beckon the man in whom the spirit of high adventure is strong.”

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