People: Scots of Windsor's Past
George Mair (1852-1936):
"He has bulk, physically and mentally; and, like the British Navy, maintains the two-standard power."
~ Border Cities Star [17 September 1918]
George Mair was born in Morayshire Scotland, and immigrated to Canada in 1872 as a young man of twenty. He lived in Toronto for many years working at the Canadian Bank of Commerce before relocating to Windsor in 1893 to open a branch of the Trader's Bank of Canada. Mair continued to act as branch manager even after the Trader's Bank was absorbed by the Royal Bank of Canada in 1912, and he continued to act in this capacity until his retirement in 1921. Dubbed southwest Ontario's "Dean of Banking" by his colleagues in the business and financial world, Mair's commercial activity played an important part in building up the city of Windsor. In 1927 he was made an honorary lifetime member of the Border Chamber of Commerce, which he served as president for two years.
Golf enthusiasts, however, remember Mair not for his banking legacy but for his role as the founder of the Essex Golf and Country Club, which he established in 1902 after deciding that the Walkerville links course was unsuitable for serious play. He socialized with Windsor's ruling elite, particularly other like-minded Scottish families such as the McGregors, MacDonalds, and Bartlets, "I enjoyed all life's lighter aspects," he once told a reporter, "but was temperate in everything." 1