The Preacher

Lieutenant Colonel C. B. Keenleyside
249th (Saskatchewan) BattalionKeenleyside

The plain fact is we shall live forever. Please lay down these pages and think of that: We shall live forever.

And the life yonder beyond the tomb will depend upon our life here. This gives the rushing moments dignity and importance. In a brief tale of fourscore years, or half, or quarter of that number, we fix forever our destiny.

(C. B. Keenleyside, What is Your Life? 1906, 23)

Clifford Benjamin Keenleyside was a real estate financier and Methodist missionary. Born in London, Canada West on 9 December 1865, Keenleyside moved west as a young man and settled in Winnipeg. He established himself in the newspaper business and real estate market before moving to Regina where he became a city alderman. He connected his business interests and political philosophy with Christian values by spreading the word of God.

As a layman preacher, Keenleyside published numerous missionary booklets that called on his fellow men to be workers for Christ. In a pamphlet on the meaning of life, he explained that for the “citizens of Heaven,” “He lives longest who lives the most. Years are not the measure of life.”

In addition to his proselytizing, Keenleyside was connected to the 90th Regiment in Winnipeg and the 95th in Regina. During the Great War, he first enlisted as paymaster for the 195th Battalion before receiving a command of his own in October 1916.

The under-strength 249th merged with Lieutenant Colonel Hastings’ 250th and sailed to England in March 1918. Keenleyside’s cousin, Captain Samuel Richard Hosford, who had helped to raise the 249th, was killed in action on 1 September 1918.

Keenleyside died in Regina on 1 May 1935.

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