Sigma Alpha Phi

Sigma Alpha Phi

After the chartering of Theta Zeta Chapter at Toronto in 1906,

Beta Theta Pi pursued no further plans for expansion in Canada.

A few possibilities were actually discussed in reports made to the General Convention in the 1920s, but no definite actions were taken.

If any Beta brother had been asked at that time for a prediction about Beta’s next route of Canadian expansion,

he might well have replied that it was doubtful there would be any more chapters set up in Canada.

 However, if pressed for a prediction, he would probably name one of the schools close to the University of Toronto — perhaps McGill,

a name which was suggested on more than one occasion.

It’s most unlikely that our mythical brother would give any thought at all to the University of British Columbia.

In part, this would be a product of the normal outlook of easterners in both Canada and the United States at that time.

The eastern majorities in both countries were apt to regard their respective west coasts as wild and uncultivated territory.

Undoubtedly, many men in both countries would be quite surprised to learn that such things as universities existed at all in these backwater regions!

Indeed, as we will see, at least one leading Beta held that view.

If our mythical brother had been told, with the aid of a crystal ball, that the next Beta chapter in Canada would be located at the University of British Columbia, he might well have laughed outright.

Yet, this was precisely what was about to happen.

The unusual events which brought British Columbia into Beta’s Broad Domain were a combination of the hard work of a group of young men and one very special older gentleman.

Like the senior Canadian chapter at Toronto, the Gamma Omicron of Beta Theta Pi sprang from a local fraternity.

But there was an important difference.

Sigma Alpha Phi at the University of British Columbia had an independent existence of some four or five years standing before definitely deciding to pursue affiliation with an international fraternity.

The subsequent battle for acceptance into Beta Theta Pi took another six years!

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