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History of the Bank of Nova Scotia 1832-1900
The Fiftieth Anniversary

Halifax, 15th February, 1882.

IN pursuance of the usual notice, the Annual General Meeting of the Shareholders of the Bank was held in the Banking House this day, the President in the chair. The following Shareholders were present, viz.:

The Minutes of the last Annual Meeting havipg been read and approved, the report of the condition of the Bank as at 31st December last was read to the meeting. The President, in moving the adoption of the report, called the attention of the meeting to the fact that this was the Bank's Fiftieth Anniversary. He turned to the Minutes of the first General Meeting of the Bank and read the names of the original Shareholders and Directors, only one of whom, Mr. John Metzler, is now living. He also gave an interesting comparison of several of the Bank's reports of different years, showing the progress which had been made, and said he confessed to feeling a little elated at being able-to present such a statement to the Shareholders as they had before them.

His Lordship, the Bishop, seconded the adoption of the report, and while congratulating the President and Directors on the very satisfactory exhibit which they had made, said there was just one thing he would speak of which he thought perhaps the Directors might have done— he referred to his suggestion of last year—that on the occasion of the Bank’s Fiftieth Anniversary, a bonus to the Shareholders would have been rather appropriate, considering that they had had so large an amount to add to the Reserve Fund. He could hardly find fault however with the Directors while they were doing so well, and he had much pleasure in seconding the adoption of the report.

Mr. Burns was of a different opinion from his Lordship in regard to the addition to the Bank’s Rest. He thought the Directors had done just right in that matter, as in the Bank’s fiftieth year they had added $50,000 to it, or $1,000 for every year they had been in existence. He had recently been looking into the published statements of a large number of Banks and Insurance Companies, and he was struck with the fact that the best of them—those in the highest standing—had all very large Reserve Funds. He mentioned the Norwich Union Insurance Company, the Union Bank of Newfoundland, and the Chemical Bank, of New York, and he hoped to see the day when the Reserve of this Bank would be as large as its Capital. It was no loss to the Shareholders; on the contrary it was greatly to their benefit, as they got liberal and steady dividends, and they could sell their stock in the market, if they wished, at a correspondingly high price.

The Hon. James Fraser rather dissented from his friend, Mr. Burns. He was not much in favor of paying high dividends, or of paying out everything that was earned, but he thought that when large dividends were earned, they should be paid.

Mr. W. C. Silver remarked that everything indicated at the present time that we were in a period of general prosperity. He said that these periods of prosperity came in waves and always alternated with times of general dullness and depression. He illustrated his remarks by referring to the returns of imports and exports, which showed the extreme fluctuations to which trade was subject. The present time was undoubtedly a prosperous one, but we might look forward to a very different state of things, and that in a very few years; when no such figures as $9,800 and $10,200 would cover our overdue notes and overdue debts secured, as they do in the present balance sheet now submitted. He therefore thought that the Directors were acting very prudently in saving all they could at the present time.

The President then introduced the subject of an increase of the Bank’s stock. He explained that it seemed probable from what had already come before the Directors, that several small country Banks in the Lower Provinces might decide before long to amalgamate with other institutions ; and they wished this Bank to be in a position, if possible, to take advantage of any such opportunity, if definite proposals for amalgamation were made to them. He explained that any amalgamation could most advantageously be made by giving the shareholders of the other bank our stock at a fair valuation. After some little discussion of the matter, the following resolution was read:

“It having appeared to the Directors that several of the smaller Banks in the Lower Provinces may desire to become amalgamated with larger institutions, to their mutual benefit as well as that of the community at large, therefore', Resolved, that, in view of the advantages that may be secured to this Bank by any such amalgamation, the Directors are hereby authorized to apply to Parliament for power to increase the Capital of the Bank to an amount not to exceed $2,000,000; (Two Million Dollars) no part of such additional stock to be issued without the consent of the Shareholders at a special or general meeting to be called for that purpose.”

This resolution was proposed by Mr. Silver, seconded by Mr. Parker, and passed unanimously.

After a vote of thanks had been passed to the Directors and Officers of the Bank for their successful management of its affairs, the meeting proceeded to the election of Directors. Mr. Parker and Mr. Farquhar were appointed scrutineers, and they declared the result of the voting to be the unanimous re-election of the old Directors.

(Signed) J. S. Maclean,

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