‘When the Emperor Came To Lunch’ by Herbert Rosengarten

On April 26, 1967, Haile Selassie, Lion of Judah and Emperor of Ethiopia, arrived in Vancouver en route to Montreal and Expo.  He was greeted by civil dignitaries, then whisked off to lunch at the UBC Faculty Club.  I was working in my office in the Buchanan Building that morning; somehow, perhaps from a local news outlet, I heard that the Emperor was coming to campus at lunchtime, so I grabbed my camera and hurried over to the Club.  There was a large black limo outside the entrance, with a driver and a Mountie, but there was no crowd to welcome our visitor; indeed, I think I was the only person in the parking lot.  I didn’t have to wait long: a large group tumbled out of the building—security people, various big-wigs, mostly tall men in dark suits almost obscuring the small figure of the Emperor.  I stood on the far side of the limo, and took four or five snapshots; no-one stopped me, or asked for my credentials, or told me to step away from the car; but of course the world was a rather different place almost half a century ago….

In the pictures Haile Selassie can be seen with UBC President John B. Macdonald and UBC Chancellor John Buchanan.