James Alistair McLellan1

#23268, (1921 - 1983)
FatherJohn Alexander McLellan1 (1884 - 1970)
MotherAbigail Mildred Hemstreet1 (1888 - 1966)
RelationshipGreat-grandson of William Inkster
ChartsDescendants of John Inkster & Abigail Marion
Abigail Inkster & William Hemstreet descendants

Life Events

CalledJames Alistair McLellan went by the name of Alistair or Al. 
BirthHe was born on 12 Oct 1921 in Pense, Saskatchewan.1
MarriageHe married Florence Marie Marilda Langlois.2
Research Note Alistair and Florence had three children - Jim, Dick, Sue. The others noted in his obituary were stepsons from a second marriage. 
DeathJames died on 13 Jan 1983 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Details from the death registration: James Alistair McLellan, residence 16885 26 Avenue Surrey, married to Grace Elizabeth Margaret Stewart, occupation newspaper man for the Vancouver Sun, born October 12 1921 in Pense Saskatchewan, age 61, father Alexander McLellan, mother Abigail Hemstreet, informant son Trevor French.1 
Newspaper Published 14 Jan 1983 in the Vancouver Sun.

For a great many years The Vancouver Sun and the community it serves have reaped untold benefits from the love affair Al McLellan had with both of them.

Al, who died yesterday, was promotion manager of The Sun for 29 years. He was the acknowledged dean -- although the word doesn't conjure up the right image of Al -- of his end of the newspaper business in Canada, and the national and international awards he brought to his newspaper covered a vast expanse of wall.

In his own happy way he was an anachronism in the world of the slick marketers in their three-piece suits. But they came to listen and learn from Al and to envy the style and enthusiasm that were all his own. Al always left the impression that he was born to be a snake oil pitchman on the back of a covered wagon.

And yet most of the really good promotion ideas that have strengthened the bond between his newspaper and its community were his from inception till the last banner was painted. He was the Sun Free Salmon Derby. How many tens of thousands learned to swim in the free classes he organized? Before he collapsed in his office on Wednesday he was jubilant that the Sun children's Fund had again achieved its goal.

Both Vancouver and The Sun owe him much. We'll miss him.3
Newspaper Published 14 Jan 1983 in the Vancouver Sun.

Sun's promotion manager dies at 61
James Alister (Al) McLellan, The Vancouver Sun's promotion manager for 29 years who was internationally acclaimed for his professional excellence, died suddenly Thursday in St Paul's Hospital at the age of 61.
Mr McLellan, who lived on a four-acre farm at 16885-26th Avenue, Surrey, became ill Wednesday while at work and was taken to hospital, where he suffered a cardiac arrest Thursday.
The feelings of Mr McLellan's scores of friends were summed up by Art Cameron, former manager of the Hotel Vancouver.
"I was shocked by the sad news. He was one of the nicest and most interesting men I have ever known. Al was a great community leader and worker. He will be sorely missed."
Mr McLellan joined The Sun on Aug 1, 1953, as its promotion manager, and immediately began to play a vital role in the newspaper's growth.
He won many awards over the years, including the coveted Silver Shovel Award in 1970 when he was named Promotion Man of the Year by the International Newspaper Promotion Association, representing newspapers around the world.
In 1966, he won the National Newspaper Promotion Association award for the best circulation promotion in North America.
In addition to winning awards, he used his initiative and creative skills to build projects such as the Sun Free Salmon Derby, the Sun Tournament of Soccer Champions, the Sun free swim lessons program and the Sun Match Play Open for golfers.
He was also an untiring worker for The Sun's Children's Fund and several other charities.
Mr McLellan loved animals and, in keeping with this, two years ago he was instrumental in bringing the Ken-Jen Petting Zoo to the area, giving young people on the Lower Mainland an opportunity to see and pet animals at shopping centres.
Mr McLellan was born Oct 12, 1921, in Pense, Sask. He attended public and high schools in Regina and later in life graduated from the Banff School of Advanced Management.
In 1938, he joined the Regina Leader-Post as an office boy and, after three years in the accounting department, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served as a pilot officer, instructing aircrews in bombing and navigation.
On discharge, he went to Moose Jaw as branch manager for the Leader-Post and returned to the Regina office as circulation promotion manager in 1948.
He moved on to the Edmonton Bulletin in 1949 as circulation promotion manager and later served as advertising manager and then promotion manager of the Western Producer in Saskatoon before joining The Sun.
Mr McLellan was a skilled hockey player in his youth and later played for an RCAF team. When he was in his 50s he played oldtimers' hockey for a team organized by Charles Schulz, the creator of the cartoon Peanuts.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, daughter Susanne and sons Richard, James, Trevor and Gregory.
Funeral arrangements are not complete.4
ObituaryHis obituary was published on 15 Jan 1983 in the The Vancouver Sun.

McLELLAN - Suddenly on January 13, 1983 James Alistair (Al), aged 61 years of Surrey. He is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth, 4 sons, Trevor, Gregory, Richard and James and 1 daughter Susanne and 3 grandchildren, 4 brothers and 2 sisters. Funeral service Tuesday, January 18 at 11 AM from Christ Church Cathedral, Burrard and Georgia Rev. Graham Witcher officiating. Cremation at Garden Chapel Oceanview. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Sun Children's Fund, 2250 Granville Street or a charity of your choice.5
Last Edited12 Jul 2014


  1. Death certificate registered in the Province of British Columbia. James Alistair Mclellan, #83-09-001788.
  2. E-mails from Paul Richard McLellan, BC, to J Kolthammer, February 2012 -.
  3. The Vancouver Sun, "Al McLellan", 14 January 1983, Editorial page, Page 4. Image viewed at Google news archives.
  4. The Vancouver Sun, "Sun's promotion manager dies at 61", 14 January 1983, , Page 15. Image viewed at Google news archives.
  5. Obituary of James Alastair McLellan in The Vancouver Sun, 15 January 1983. Digital image viewed at Google News Archives, February 2011.