Ruskin Literary and Debating Society

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Ruskin Literary and Debating Society

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Dates of existence

1900-

History

The Ruskin Literary and Debating Society was established in Toronto in 1900 as a voluntary organization devoted to literature and discussion of topics of the day. The second meeting of the Society witnessed debates on government ownership of railways, canals and gas companies. James Simpson, the Toronto labour politician was a member of the Society in its first decade. While it continued to meet annually throughout the century, by the 1960s the membership began to decline, and reforms to the constitution were introduced, the result of which led to a revitalization of the society in the 1970s. In the 1980s' topics of debate at society meetings included, an elected senate for Canada, the banning of nuclear arms, the reinstatement of capital punishment, immigration laws, and the Meech Lake constitutional proposal. The officers of the Society include an honourary president, a secretary, a historian, and a critic whose role is to offer criticism of the members' debating styles, arguments and presentation. The society holds an annual banquet, and bequeaths prizes to members in the areas of best essay, and best debating skills. Each meeting of the society is presented with a programme of discussion topics.

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2014-07-22: last updated
2018-03-28 KCP: added VIAF

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