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A Study in Vanity by Louis Blake Duff

On October 24, 1952, the University of Western Ontario conferred on Louis Bake Duff the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

For more than thirty-five years chairmen of meetings have been introducing Louis Blake Duff to audiences all across Canada and the United States. Depending upon the auspices under which he was speaking, the organizations which he was addressing, and the caprice of the introducer, Mr. Duff has been labeled as a successful newspaper man—intimating perhaps, that he began as a reporter and ended as a publisher—and this is true;he has been called an historian—and this too, is accurate, as his twenty-five years as secretary of the Welland County Historical Society. As his term as President of the Ontario Historical Society, and his twenty-five years on its council, and his membership on the Canadian Historical Association, will testify; he has been classed as an author, not only as a writer of scores of reviews, literary notes and contributions to newspapers, magazines and learned journals, but as the author of books which have given him stature as a Canadian writer; he has been styled a public speaker—and one need only recall his, “Cabbages and Kings,” “the Immortal Memory,” and “ An Appreciation of Stephen Leacock.”some of his lectures which have appeared in printed form, to understand why examples of his writings and his addresses appear in Robbins’ Book of Canadian Humour.

Mr Duff has been called a bibliophile and his famous library on the history of printing and his Canadiana alone warrant his admission to this class.

In fact, Louis Blake Duff has been called a lot of things—but all relative to his status as a great Canadian and it is this composite man to whom the University wishes to pay tribute—a true scholar, an eminent historian, a dignified compatriot, an inimitable humorist, and a solid citizen of this country.

Mr Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate of the University of Western Ontario, I request you to admit to the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Louis Blake Duff, that he may have the added distinction of being like each of his daughters, a graduate of Western.