Biographies and Article - Hon. Sydney Dara Blandford
BLANDFORD, Hon. Sydney Dara - High Sheriff of Newfoundland.
Born in Greenspond Bonavista Bay Newfoundland on June 12, 1868. Son of the Hon. Samuel A. Blandford and Sara A. Edgar. He married Lillian May Reynolds in 1905. Educated at the Methodist College, St John's and by Private Tuition. Barrister and Solicitor, Sidney practiced law in St John's before winning election as a member of the United Opposition (Conservative) Party in 1904, succeeding his uncle, Darius Blandford, as MHA for Bonavista. He held an Independent seat in 1907. In 1908 he joined the People's Party of Edward P. Morris elected, he entered cabinet the following year. Sidney was defeated in the election of 1913, but received an appointment to the Legislative Council and remained in cabinet until appointed High Sheriff in 1917.
High Sheriff of Newfoundland. Born June 12, 1868, at Greenspond, Bonavista Bay, the son of Hon. Samuel Blandford and Sarah A. (Edgar) Blandford. Educated at Methodist College, St. John’s and by Private Tuition. Barrister and Solicitor. Elected for Bonavista 1904. Took Independent seat 1907. elected on People’s Party for same District, 1908, and elected again in 1909. Chairman Agricultural Board, 1909. Delegate from Newfoundland Government to Royal Agricultural show, Norwich, 1911. Defeated in General Election, 1913. Minister of Agriculture and Mines and member of the Executive Council, member of the Legislative Council, 1914. Member of the Board of Commissioners in Lunacy and Secretary to the Board, 1917. President of the Newfoundland Hotel, Fort William, St. John’s, in the promotion of which Company he was the founder. Appointed High Sheriff for Newfoundland 1917. Married, 1905, to Miss Lillian May, daughter of George H. Reynolds, Halifax. Had two sons and five daughters. Clubs: City, St. John’s Royal Colonial Institute, London. Recreations: Fishing and hunting
Excerpt from an article in the Telegram by Burt Riggs
The Bonavista seat remained in the Blandford family after Darius retired in 1904. His nephew, Sydney Dara Blandford, was elected, carrying on the family tradition. Sydney Blandford was born in Greenspond on June 12, 1868, a son of Samuel Blandford and Sarah Edgar. He was educated there and at the Methodist College in St. John's, before completing the necessary clerkship to enter the legal profession.
The Newfoundland House of Assembly went through a radical change between the elections of 1904 and 1908. Bond's Liberals had won 30 of 36 seats in 1904, but the following year Michael Cashin left the Liberals to sit as an independent. He was followed by Bond's Justice Minister, Edward Morris, and several others in 1907. Morris was able to unite the disaffected Liberals and the Conservative opposition into a new party with himself as leader. Sydney Blandford became a member of this new People's Party.
The Liberal Party and the People's Party each won 18 seats in the 1908 election, but the People's Party won a majority the following year. Blandford was elected both times, and in March 1909 was appointed Minister of Mines and Agriculture in Morris's Cabinet, a position he held until the formation of a National coalition government to direct the war effort in 1917. In 1911 he represented the government at the Royal Agricultural Show at Norwich, England.
Blandford lost his seat in 1913 in the wake of a new political force, the Fishermen's Protective Union, which won almost all seats along the northeast and northern coasts. He retained his Cabinet portfolio by virtue of his appointment to the Legislative Council. In 1917 he became High Sheriff of Newfoundland, a position he would hold until his death. He also served as Secretary of the Board of Commissioners in Lunacy after 1917.Sydney Blandford was a founder and President of Newfoundland Hotel Facilities Limited, the company which built the Hotel Newfoundland in 1925-26, and operated it until 1931 when it was taken over by the government. He married Lillian May Reynolds of Halifax in 1905. They were parents of two sons and fve daughters. He died in St. John's on October 28, 1929.
These three generations of the Blandford family made substantial contributions to Newfoundland in the mercantile, fishing, sealing and political arenas for 100 years, from Darius's arrival in 1829 to Sydney's death in 1929. Their names were household words along the northeast coast for many decades, especially in Greenspond, which they proudly called home.