Mr. Rector, I have the honour to present to you Mr. Edgar Andrew Collard, Editor Emeritus of The Gazette.
This University, as every university, has a mission to discover knowledge, to preserve it and to communicate it to the world. Few have done all three with such joy and, surely, fewer still have done them so long and so effectively as has Edgar Andrew Collard.
In addition to his work as a teller of history, Mr. Collard has pursued a distinguished career as a journalist. As an editorial writer for The Gazette, he has won a record four National Newspaper Awards for his work. He became editor of The Gazette and, when he retired in 1970, was named Editor Emeritus. That was followed by admittance to the Order of Canada.
Des milliers de Montréalais et Montréalaises auront eu le plaisir de lire les articles d'Edgar Andrew Collard grâce à un projet tout simple du journal The Gazette, qui a pris naissance en 1942. Cette année là, en effet, marquait le 300e anniversaire de fondation de la Ville de Montréal et The Gazette avait décidé de souligner l'événement en engageant un journaliste - Edgar Andrew Collard, pour ne pas le nommer - qu'elle chargerait de rédiger, mais seulement pour un an, une chronique hebdomadaire sur l'histoire de Montréal. Comment le journal pouvait-il se douter alors qu'il s'apprêtait de ce fait à actualiser un tout nouveau chapitre de cette même histoire?
There was a short break after his first series, but throughout the 350th birthday of Montréal and beyond, Edgar Andrew Collard's column is still a popular feature of the Saturday edition of The Gazette. Within months, his column will have appeared weekly for fifty years without a break surely a world record for any newspaper column. For many, many thousands of us over these many decades, Edgar Andrew Collard has been a loved teacher of our history.
Et pendant ce temps, M. Collard a trouvé le moyen de publier 17 livres, tous très appréciés du grand public. Certains, comme All Our Yesterdays ont inspiré nombre d'historiens professionnels.
In the process of writing his history columns, Mr. Collard indulged his love of books and documents by amassing a huge collection, much of which he has generously given to the Public Archives of Canada. He is now busy cataloguing that collection for future researchers.
Mr. Rector, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors -- and as well with respect and gratitude for the generations of us who have read him weekly for almost fifty years -- it is my privilege to present to you Edgar Andrew Collard that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.