Max Aitken, later Lord Beaverbrook
I knew him very well at one time. When spending several months in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with my grandfather William J. Stairs and his wife Susan in 1900, it was thought fitting to send me to stay with sundry other relatives in Halifax. Max Aitken, then a young man who had been befriended by my grandfather's eldest son, Uncle John, thought very highly of him [see The Kaulbacks pp 91-92] and was often at his house.
To me, when undergoing my visit there, he was indeed a very present help in trouble. Uncle John was away and it was his eldest daughter, Cousin Ethel, who deputised as my hostess. Very many years older than I, she filled me with dread for she was very critical. I think now that poor Cousin Ethel must have been heartily sick of her many young cousins, including myself, for Halifax teemed with them.
But she was very fond of Max and whenever he was about, which was often, she was quite different towards me, so that I was able to escape all criticism on those occasions. I don't remember him showing any tender feelings towards me, but he did take me out tobogganing.
I met him only once after he had left Nova Scotia and received his peerage, but have always felt gratitude for the help he probably never knew he had given me.