William Ethelbert Mason (1866-1951)
Financial Sense Makes a Mayor
William arrived in Regina in 1905 to open a branch of the Canadian Permanent Mortgage Corporation. He was very active in various relief efforts after the Regina cyclone. Active in civic politics in the 1920s, he was a member of council before serving as mayor in 1925 and 1926.
Besides pursuing a number of other business interests, he was appointed Regina’s first magistrate. Mason contributed abundantly of his time and energies throughout Regina’s building era.
A native of Toronto, William came to Regina in 1905 where he opened a branch of the Canadian Permanent Mortgage Corporation. In 1920, he retired as manager and opened the W. E. Mason Discount Company which he managed until his death. He also headed the Prudential Trust Company in the 1930s and 1940s.
Aside from his business pursuits, William was also active in civic politics. A member of city council for five years in the early 1920s, he served as mayor of Regina in 1925 and 1926. He served on the board of trustees for the city sinking fund until the late 1940s.
William served as Regina’s first magistrate, promoted the Metropolitan Methodist Church and the YMCA. A member of the Masonic Order and the Assiniboia Club, he was also a founder of Regina College and served on its board of governors for 23 years.
In 1891, William married Helen Agnes Cockburn (1867-1947) of Ontario, who was an invalid. They had four children. He was a hunter and resided at 3118 Albert St. which housed an assortment of animals: chickens, pigeons, a cow, pony and horse. The Masons entertained in a grand fashion, with musicians in a minstrel’s gallery playing for the frequent dances held in the three rooms below.
Their second-oldest son was killed in a hunting accident in 1914. Their only daughter, who volunteered as a nurse in England during the First World War, died just before her wedding day — a victim of the flu epidemic of 1918-1919.