The Joseph A. Caulder Collection
Past Rotary International Director 1928-29   -  Regina, Sask., Canada

"Eyewitness to Rotary International's First 50 Years"


JOSEPH A. CAULDER - An eyewitness to Rotary International's first 50 years.

Rotary Information Book 3

Pages A.1 to B.5          Pages C.1 to C.80          Pages D.1 to I.20      Pages O-1 to W-17 

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Page J. 1 (Pagination as in Original)


CREDIT, ONT. on July 26th l950.

"Some 86 years ago, there was a dinner at which the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth was being celebrated. One of the speakers on that occasion was Thomas D'Arcy McGee. In referring to Shakespeare, he spoke, in part as follows:-

"I come, as a debtor to acknowledge his accounts to his creditor, as a pupil to pay homage to his master, as a poor relation to celebrate the birthday of the founder of his house, as a good citizen to confess his indebtedness to a great public benefactor, and as an heir-at-law, to repay, in ever so imperfect a manner, his obligations to a wealthy testator, who has left him riches, far beyond that which he could ever hope to have acquired by any labour or exertions of his own".

It is in that spirit that I approach the subject of my remarks today. However, before I speak of the man whom I have chosen to call Canada's greatest ambassador of Rotary, I should like to say something generally about Rotary and what it means. I want to approach my subject in this manner because it leads into what follows.

If you have given the matter any thought, I believe you will agree with me when I say that great and good movements which have lived, have not been movements based solely on reason. It is quite true that we do reason about them, and we do seek to explain and to define them in terms of practical gain. But there is something

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more than reason behind them. We have responded to them as good movements because there is something within us which is divine, answering to an overtone which is itself divine.

Rotary, at least in its ideal sense, is a love of men for their fellows. Love is not something that belongs in the realm of reason. It is not something that can be expressed in terms of formulae or equations. It cannot be confined within the four walls of a contract. Rather, it is a giving. To me, Rotary is a movement in which men give of themselves for the help of mankind. That is what is meant by service. When we say: "He Profits Most Who Serves Best", it is but another way of saying that if the men of this community will but give of their best to each other, they will find themselves in a community made better by their giving.

"But", you say to me, "one can carry this business of giving too far. Do not overlook the fact that each of us has to make his own living." To which fact I reply: "It is the distinguishing mark of Rotary that it combines these two things - the earning of our living, and our giving to our fellows." Let me illustrate.

It has always been my understanding that when a lawyer become a Rotarian, he engages that in pleading a case in Court, he will give something of himself into that case, and that he will not take a case into which he cannot give something of himself. When the merchant Rotarian


Page J. 3


sells something across the counter, he pledges that he will pass along something of himself together with the article sold. When the physician Rotarian goes on his calls, the engineer Rotarian constructs a bridge or a viaduct, the advertising writer Rotarian composes an advertisement, we look to each of these men for two things: first, that they shall do honest, work, and secondly, that they shall add something of themselves to that work. The soul of Rotary is in this element of giving through one's work.

To some it may seem a marvellous thing that a movement which has giving for its spirit should have spread around the earth during the lifetime of one man. Rotary's founder Paul Harris, died just a little more than three years ago. Yet, it really is no marvel. You all recall Winston Churchill's famous speech on Trinity Sunday in May 1940, when he summoned the youth of the British Commonwealth and Empire, and what did he have to offer? Nothing, you will remember, but "blood, sweat and tears". Yet, he did have something more to offer, namely, the opportunity to fight for the impalpable good of a thing called freedom. As a result, some of the men who are here today, heard that call as to something within them which was divine. Really, it is no wonder that Rotary should have gathered unto itself generous men. It is a very co-partnership of the generous.

I realize that I should not assume to list the leaders of Rotary in any particular order to say that this one was great, and another was greater. I may find myself

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confounded like the story of the nobleman in the legend who would erect a great temple. This temple was to be his tribute to God, and him only. He would pay for every brick, for every blow of the mason' s mallet. For every bit of coloured glass that went into the building. But when the cathedral was finished, the legend goes on to say that God exhibited to him in a vision a long procession of givers to it, and the chief among them in God's eyes was a peasant worth who had given wisps of hay to the horses as they dragged the sleds of stone up the hill in front of her cottage.

Be that as it may, I have long wanted, and opportunity has come in recent months, to satisfy a sense of obligation, to reach back among the giants of this movement, and put my hand in gratitude upon the man, who, more than any other, it seems to me, has been responsible for making Rotary a worldwide movement. Time after time, and deservedly so, a tribute has been paid to Paul Harris for his contribution to Rotary. But it is not of Paul Harris that I would speak today. For the balance of my time, I want to turn your thoughts to one of whom it is warrantable to say that he spent his richest years in giving unto Rotary, and through Rotary, in giving to mankind. I am sure that if he were here today he would find himself uncomfortable to hear himself spoken of as anything more than one in a fellowship of those who gave what they could. Of their own merits, modest men are dumb.

(Cont' d.)

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The man to whom I refer is the late James Wheeler Davidson, of Calgary, Alberta. The God who has set labour and rest as day and night to each other, called this one of his sons unto himself on an evening in July 1933. Davidson had lived fully, and that death which is the brother of sleep, came to him after a career of useful business and profession, a life of travel and adventure such as few men have ever experienced, of giving himself in measures too deep for any but great hearts to fill.

May I mention the highlights of his career before he became a Rotarian. He was born in U.S.A. in his early days he went on an expedition to the Arctic with the explorer, Peary. He became a war correspondent, attached first to the Chinese, and later to the Japanese army. He was one of the few native-born United States citizens prior to 1900 who could speak Japanese fluently. For a time he served his country as a consul on the Island of Formosa. While he was there he wrote a book about the island which is still widely read and used by people interested in that part of the world. Later he served his country as Consul-General at what was then the largest of its overseas consular stations, that at Shanghai.

Had his career ended with that service in 1903, Jim Davidson would have been written down a success. But in 1906, he opened another chapter. He moved to Calgary, and after a time, he became a Canadian citizen.

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When Rotary was disclosed to him there in 1914, its message of giving apparently went straight to his heart. The new chapter of his life, from that time onward, became one of a journeying forth, to carry the Ideals of Rotary from Calgary to the far places of the earth.

I have no information as to his activities within his own club, but I have no doubt that he took his full part.

The first big thing, that he did, of which I have record, was in 1921, when, together with the late Colonel Ralston, he took a year off from business, and went and established Rotary in the British Dominions of Australia and New Zealand. Following that, he served Rotary as Governor of the old Fourth District in the Canadian West, a district that used to extend all the way from the Rockies to Port Arthur, and which still extends east to Kenora. He further served Rotary as Chairman of the Extension Committee, as a Director, Third Vice-President, and Chairman of the Committee on International Service.

All of these services are comparatively insignificant when related to the service I am about to mention. Davidson's business experience and wide travels had accustomed him to think and to plan very broadly. So it was in August 1928, he and his wife and their daughter, Marjory set out on a journey which was intended to bridge the gap in the Rotary circle which at that time extended all the way from the Caspian Sea to the Chitin Sea, with one exception - there was a


Page J. 7


Rotary Club at Calcutta, but in its 8 years of existence, it had failed to add other clubs in India. They had expected to spend some eight months on the journey, and Rotary International, recognizing what Davidson might be able to accomplish, conferred upon him the title of Honorary General Commissioner of R.I., and gave him $8,000.00. Instead of spending 8 months on the journey, they spent over 30 months and instead of spending $8,000.00, Davidson spent one-quarter of one million dollars of his own money - money which he neither asked nor expected to be returned to him- one-quarter of one million dollars and more than 30 months spent in the full-time service of Rotary - surely there is some justification for referring to Jim Davidson as Canada’s greatest ambassador of Rotary.

I said that he was accustomed to plan broadly. In preparing for this trip, he gathered up testimonials as to the worth of Rotary from Presidents and Prime Ministers of different lands, from Kings of Belgium, Italy and Spain, and from hundreds of Rotarians. He spent a full week in Paris gathering information which would be of value to him in making contacts in French Indo China.

More than two score Rotary clubs in the Middle and Far East today are the direct result of his energy and enthusiasm. In some instances, his problem was one of inducting into Rotary self-organized clubs - that is to say, clubs that did not call themselves Rotary clubs - had never heard

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Page J. 8


of Rotary- but which met more or less regularly. In other communities, he persuaded high government officials, in one instance, even the brother of a king, to participate actively in the formation of clubs. In India, he had to contend with a rigid demarcation of society by lines of caste. In other cases he had to overcome the aloofness of the men who were best able to comprehend the ideal of giving for the good of mankind. There were many other difficulties to be met and conquered. For example, Davidson landed in Athens at a time when there had been nine changes in the government within a period of 13 months – a most unstable political situation. Further, the habits of the people were against him. Nearly everyone was accustomed to lunch at home, and then to take an afternoon nap. The stores were closed and the city asleep until 3.00 P.M. - not the sort of situation to encourage the holding, of noon luncheons. The difficulty in Jerusalem was an almost complete lack of business and professional men. In most of the larger communities Davidson visited there had been one or more previous attempts to form Rotary clubs, which had, of course, ended in failure. This was true of Bombay. Delhi was short of classifications despite a population of 350,000. There were not more than two dozen classifications among the permanent residents. It was customary for a large and important part of the community to pick up its belongings in early spring, and move over two hundred miles into the hills to reside and carry on its work in duplicate offices and residences for half the year. Technically, it would be wrong for a club to have the

(Cont 'd.)

Page J. 9


right accorded to half of its members to carry on meetings in another city for six months each year. I have already told you that there had been a club in Calcutta for eight years. But it had no ether Rotary contacts for thousands of miles. Often a year would pass without a Rotarian visitor from, another club. One meeting had been held at which the total attendance was five, two of them being guests. Davidson was the first official visitor from R. I. to Calcutta, and on its 10th Anniversary some 200 were present, including the guests. Perhaps no club for which Jim Davidson was responsible had a greater number of nationalities than that of Singapore - no less than 18. Moreover, this club grew to 144 members in a single year.

It is said that adventure is to the adventurous. The Davidsons underwent hardships that might have daunted even the explorer Peary. For example, on one occasion, their automobile was upset into a ditch of water in the Malay jungle from which they were rescued by the natives and ministered unto in their thatched huts. Davidson himself had several fevers. His daughter was dangerously poisoned by insect bite. But every traveller knows how the next land beckons, and since the next land meant Rotary to the Davidsons, their stay in the East lengthened on and on, despite the perils and the mishaps and the calls of business, and of home. Davidson was firmly convinced of two things: first, that a Rotary club could be formed in any

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COMMUNITY WITH SUFFICIENT POPULATION, providing the organizer knew his Rotary, and was in a position to spend the time necessary to do the work and secondly, that the approach should be to men as individuals, rather than as a group. In this way, the man not interested can be eliminated without his views influenced others, or perhaps his doubts may be quietly overcome.

If there is Rotary today in the ancient city of Athens, Jim Davidson took it there. If there is Rotary today in Cairo, in Bombay, in Delhi, in the Federated Malay States, the Straits Settlements; if there is a club in every city in Asia today to which Western men can commonly travel, and there is, Jim Davidson planted it there. Moreover, the Rotary argosy, so far as Jim Davidson was concerned, wasn't any mere putting into coves and sailing away. Thirteen years after he visited Australia, a member of the Faculty of the University of Melbourne paid this tribute to him.

"Thirteen years have passed since Davidson and Ralston founded in Melbourne the first Antipodean Rotary Club. Time in its course is taking from us one by one those who were privileged to enter into the circle of Davidson’s friendship and to come under the spell of his enthusiasm, but the movement he started goes on in ever increasing plume, range and energy, and his dynamic personality survives in what the future will reverence as a fitting memorial to a man guided by a great ideal".


Page J. 11


I have already told you that Jim Davidson died in 1933. It was not my privilege to have known him personally. But those who did know him tell me that that rather familiar phrase '"his dynamic personality" does not wholly describe Jim Davidson. Everything about him was big - head, body, brain, voice, laugh, straight-look-of-the-eyes, heart, purpose, ideal, and of course Love of Rotary. His business was big - he became an extensive owner of real estate in Western Canada. His faith was vast. He and Mrs. Davidson and their daughter Marjory strengthened the ties of rich family devotion by winding them about with common experiences around the world - by travel- that great test of companionship-travel by steamers on ocean and river, by automobile, rail and aeroplane, and by pushcart, camel and elephant. These conveyances bore the man Davidson to more than 2200 other men whom he interviewed individually in their offices and in their counting rooms. Everywhere he went he was a torchbearer, shedding the light of sympathetic understanding upon the peoples of the earth newly entered into the fellowship of Rotary.

At the International Convention in Detroit in 1934, the year following Jim Davidson's death, a portrait of him was unveiled on the platform at the Convention. Past President Allen D. Albert of Rotary International, one of the early President of R.I., was asked to pay tribute to him as the portrait was unveiled. In part, this is what Allen Albert said:-

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Page J. 12


"We who are the brothers in Rotary of Jim Davidson think of him in this memorial hour not as one who has gone from us so much as one who remains with us through that which he gave along with his work. In an International Assembly of Rotarian's we have consciousness of his presence. We know that the two who knew him best and loved him most have the same consciousness and we would that our gratitude might strengthen it.

The soft wings of peace now cover him round. But the thing that is divine in us is not confined by our death. Where ever there has been glowing generosity, radiant sympathy, a giving of self through work in our little companies of the Rotary brotherhood, those qualities shine on and on when we are gone as the stars shine in the Canadian night."

I should like to tell one final story before I sit down. Back in my university days, a prominent student of the time was greatly concerned about the apparent growth of atheism among the student body. It was his opinion that far from leading one to atheism, a university education should lead one to Christianity and to God. He used to speak publicly on the matter, and he had a habit of ending his speech with these phrases:

"Study Botany, and study it right, and it will lead to the Rose of Sharon. Study Astronomy and study it right, and it will lead you to the Star of Bethlehem. Study Agriculture and study it right, and it will lead you to the Shepard of Galilee.


Page J. 13

Study History and study it right, and it will lead you to the Cross of Calvary and the empty tomb."

I’m going to suggest that had he been a Rotarian, he might have added this:-

"Study Rotary, and study it right, and it will lead you into a fuller participation of as fine a group of your fellowman to which you may ever hope to belong, apart from the Christian Church."

(Footnote by J.A.C.)

Ken Partridge has prepared a fine story on Jim Davidson’s work for Rotary, in 1928-30. Jim returned broken in health but happy over the job done. I was on the R.I. Board 1928-29 so was familiar with Jim’s very interesting reports on each club organized. He failed only in Turkey because Turkish top men feared antone or any idea coming from U.S.A. The clubs organized by Jim in Athens, Cairo and Jerusalem were personal triumphs for a man who knew Rotary and knew men as few do or did. Many charter members in these clubs hated (outside the Rotary lunch hour) many other charter members, but as time passed and Rotary influences and friendships developed these hatreds passed away. It is correct to say that no man in all Rotary’s history ever attempted and succeeded in face of such difficulties, and only for Jim Davidson, Rotary world not be the worldwide organization it is today, neither would it have the world influence it now

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Page J. 14


has. Lillian Davidson’s book entitled "Making New Friends" which was written during and just after the trip finished, is a great story of Jim's work during those interesting but difficult two and a half years. Had Jim’s health not been impaired, he undoubtedly would have been President of R.I. in the early thirties. No one can ever duplicate Jim’s work because there are now not sufficient worlds to conquer for Rotary.

(Additional footnote by J.A.C.)

Ken Partridge served as Governor of District 247 in 1951-52 and as Director of R.I. from Canada for the years 1954-55 end 1955-56. He was the first from Canada to serve the two year term on the Board, and for both years, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board. His untimely passing on November l1th, 1958 took one of Rotary's brightest figures.

NOTE – Also see pages M.10 – M.14 re James W. Davidson



By: Harold J. Spell-Rotary Whizz-Winnipeg

May 7th, 1963


"The first missionary effort so participated in by the district was in 1921 when James W. Davidson of Calgary and J. Layton Ralston of Halifax were sent to carry the message of Rotary to Australia and New Zealand. This


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step owes its origin to the insistence of Dr. Crawford C. McCullough of Fort William who, that year, was 1st V.P. of the I.A.R.C. In previous years sporadic efforts had been made but without success. Dr. McCullough was determined that something tangible must be accomplished and decided that Canadian envoys would be most likely to succeed. International funds being insufficient he persuaded the board, after considerable difficulty, to permit Canada to raise the balance.

The consent of the Extension Committee having been obtained, the job was turned over to the Ca. Advisory Committee and, under the chairmanship of R.J. Lydiatt of Calgary, they not only persuaded Jim Davidson and Layton Ralston to give up six months of their time and travel to the other side of the world but they raised $2,902.00 from thirty-seven Canadian Rotary Clubs. Every club in the Fourth District participated and the district contributed $1,019.00 of the $2,902.00 subscribed. The Winnipeg Club had the honor of leading all Canadian clubs in amount contributed.

In connection with the expenses of the trip, the report of the Canadian Advisory Comm. Has this illuminating side comment. "It may be of interest to state that Rotarians Davidson and Ralston took their wives with them and the trip cost Rotarian Ralston about $5,000 and Rotarian Davidson about $6,000 although the former’s expense statement to the Association is for $2,506.99 and the latter’s $2,333.11.

Commissioner Davidson left Calgary on February 18, 1921 and after spending some

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DAYS IN Chicago with Commissioner Ralston preparing themselves for the trip they sailed from San Francisco on march 1st, arriving in Sydney, Australia on March 22nd.

The first club was organized at Melbourne on April 21st and the second at Sydney on April 26th. The Commissioners then proceeded to New Zealand where the Wellington Club was organized on June 7th and Auckland on June 13th. The Commissioners sailed from Auckland on June 15th and arrived back in Vancouver on July 5th, 1921.

Thus was Rotary given its initial impetus in the far east and the organization as an international body had taken another long step forward.

The Committee, in assaying the hard work put in by the Commissioners, points out that, after deducting time spent on steamers, Sundays and holidays, the working time averaged fourteen days per club. This record is all the more remarkable when it is known that the Commissioners encountered the Easter holiday season which dislocated business for some two weeks. Furthermore, it should be remembered that Rotary was an unknown quantity in these countries, every prospective member has to be solicited personally and the Commissioners not only had to all the organization work but stay for the first luncheon and see the clubs were started as going concerns. In this connection (and as indicating the closeness with which the work was followed) the committee’s respect says - -

(Cont. P. J 17)

Page J. 17


"with the exception of a total of four days when trips were made in Australia and New Zealand to certain scenic resorts at times when the progress of their work would not be interfered with, the Commissioners were continually at their task."

It was in this spirit of personal self sacrifice that Rotary was born in that section of the world - - an augury of still greater work and sacrifice that the Fourth District’s representative, Commissioner Davidson was to make later on.



It was a fortunate day for Jim Davidson and for Rotary when Jim met Lillian Dow somewhere in the Far East when Jim was doing an important job for the U.S. Government and Lillian's parents were also serving in some capacity in that little known part of the world at the start of the 20th century.

When Jin agreed, in 1928, to make this famous trip for Rotary he of course decided to take Lillian and their young daughter Marjory along. Through all this, almost two and one-half years of Rotary organizing around the world, the educated, world travelled and gracious lady did a thorough job of writing a story on each connection and took hundreds of fine photographs.

On their return to Calgary in 1931 Lillian started her book, "Making New Friends" and it was published in 1934. A very wonderful book 9" x 14" and containing 175 pages.

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These pages tell the story of the trip that began on August 23rd, 1928 and only after months of preparation.

From Chicago to New York; London; Holland; Paris; Athens; Turkey; Egypt; Baghdad; Indian; Ceylon; Burma; Singapore; Bali; Indonesia; Bangkok; Cambodia; Hong, Kong; Shanghai; Manchuria; Formosa; The Philippines; Japan plus many side trips.

Lillian tells of the beauties of these lands but of none of the hardships and the risks the western traveller had to take even as late as 1928 to 1931 in some of these countries. Not a word of Jim's illness during the long period, nor of the financial cost. The strain was great on all three but especially on Jim who worked very long hours,

Paul Harris wrote an introduction to this book December 17th, 1934.

Rotary had many Ambassadors during the years 1918 to 1940 but Jim Davidson was named Honorary General Commissioner.

It was fortunate Jim could take Lillian along with her or else this wonderful book would never have been published. One thousand copies were produced and autographed by Lillian Dow Davidson by hand and presented to close friends. As I write this I note I have number 22. I prize it highly and I only wish every Rotary member could read the Jim Davidson story and Lillian's book.

Jim passed away on July 18th, 1933 after a great life. No man will ever equal his contribution to Rotary in spreading it around the world. Truly he was an internationalist.

Lillian is now (1963) living, in Vancouver and Marjory is happily married. The name Jim Davidson must never be forgotten by Rotarians. (J.A.C.)

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In the preceding pages of this book, J. 1 to J. 14 by the late Ken Partridge and pages J. 14 to J. 16 by Past District Governor Harold J. Snell of Red Deer, Alberta, and pages J. 17 to J. 18 by this writer on Lillian Dow Davidson, and again on pages M. 9 and M. 12 by J.A.C. on Rotary’s only Special General Ambassador, the reader will have read considerable about The Davidsons, but as Jim was one of the very great men of Rotary, I feel more must be told.

I am indebted to Harry Hutchcroft of Calgary, Alberta, an old and dear mutual friend of Jim and myself, for considerable information of value about Jim.

Jim was born on June 14th, 1872 at Austin, Minnesota. He grew up there and early displayed a weakness for Geography and stories exploration. He also had a weakness for traveling circuses. As a young man he organized a string of small theatres and attracted the attention of Major James Pond who asked him to come to New York. There he met H. M. Stanley of Africa fame and Commander Peary. Later Peary picked Jim as one of 1500 applicants for the trip to the North Pole in 1893. On a treck of 1300 miles over the Great Ice cap his feet were badly frozen and this resulted in some trouble all through the remainder of his life.

On his return there was trouble brewing between China and Japan. He secured a job reporting in the Far East for the New York Herald. He took part, as a reported, in many exciting events and in one of these he won the lasting admiration of the

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Formosan people. Harry Hutchcroft above referred to, was allowed by Mrs. Davidson, after Jim's death, to read his diaries covering the Pole trip and his years spent in the Far East. These are most interesting. His travels and writings brought him to the attention of President Cleveland and he was appointed Consular.Agent for U.S. to Formosa. During his years in that part of the world he became fluent in Japanese, and to a degree in the language of Formosa. He wrote a text book on Formosa for the U.S. Government and this is still the standard work on that country (now Taiwan). He also had appointments in the Far East from President McKinley and President Teddy Roosevelt. President Roosevelt sent him on special missions to Manchuria and later to inspect the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia. We have special names for these jobs in 1963.

When Jim met beautiful and talented Lillian Dow from san Francisco when she was visiting Kobe, Japan with her father, a U.S. businessman. They changed Jim’s future and gave Rotary its greatest Ambassador. They were married and returned to Minnesota where Jim made money in land and very soon after they settled in Calgary. This was in 11906. The late Jeff Lydiatt of Calgary, a theatre man and Jim became great friends and Jeff got him to join the Calgary club in 1914. This club had just been formed and after a year or so Jim became a very ardent Rotarian. He continued to make money a (and friends) in Alberta land and in lumber. At that time little did Jeff

(cont’d. page J-21)

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or Jim realize that both would become Presidents of the fine Calgary club and later District Governors, and later still each to serve on the Board of R.I., and Jim to be a Vice-President.

Jim continued to love the circus and was always on hand at 3 or 4 A.M. when the train pulled into Calgary and noon saw him at his office that day. He ate his meals for the day with the circus people and went home when their train left for the next show place. Years later a circus troop on a stop at Vancouver attended in a body at Ocean View Cemetery and placed a wreath on Jim’s grave and paid homage to an old friend. Jim also loved the fine boat he kept on the Kootenay Lakes and he also loved his pipe organ which he played like a professional. A man of many parts.

Ken Partridge, in his address on Jim, said "no doubt he was active in his club." That is an understatement as he loved it and lived it. His fine home was about halfway downtown from Calgary’s swanky district and six mornings per week Jim and Lillian held open house from 8 to 9 A.M. and each day 10 to 20 Rotary friends dropped in for a cup of coffee and a word with them. Such was Rotary in Calgary from 1916 to 1928.

Ken and Harold Snell, in the pages mentioned, have told about Jim and Layton Talston’s trip to New Zealand and Australia in 1921 and I will just add a work or two. Before these men arrived in Australia the word had arrived that Rotary was a temperance

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Organization. The Australians like a drink sp always the canny boys "down under" asked them to have a drink. This would be when calling on top business men to ask them to join Rotary. Layton Ralston was a teetotaler so Jim told us on his return that if he has not been able to drink for them both, there would have been no Rotary in Australia in 1921.

When in Australia Jim made the friendship of Prof. Wm. Osborne of the University of Australia and asked Bill to be sure to come to the Los Angeles convention in 1922. U.S. was dry and so was Bill, so Jim promised him two quarts of his special blend if he would come. That made the deal. In June 1922 we had a specxial train from Calgary to Los Angeles but traveled by boat from Vancouver to Seattle. Jim had to hide these tow 26 oz. bottles from the Customs men in dry Seattle. All might have been well if a porter had not stumbled on the gang plank and one bottle was broken and Mrs. Lydiatt’s evening dress was ruined. It was in her bag as she was a sure risk being like her husband Jeff, a teetotaler, but the fumes were easily noted and a search located the second bottle in Jim’s bag and ardent begging failed to weaken the officer in his duties. Professor Osborne was a disappointed man when we arrived in Los Angeles. Anyhow history records a great job done by Jim and Layton. Jeff had proposed Jim to R.I. and C.J. Burchell of Halifax (Vice President of R.I. in 1925-1926) nominated his partner Layton for the trip. Layton later was to become The Hon. J. L. Ralston, Minister of Defense.

(cont’d. page J-23)

Page J -23


Jim continued to be very active in Rotary and served as club president, District Governor and 3rd Vice President of R.I. in 1926-27.

In 1928 requests from all over the world for someone to come and organize Rotary. R.I. had no surplus money so had to find not only a great Rotarian but a man with world wide experience and plenty of money, and a willingness to spend it for Rotary. Jim Davidson was the only name considered and he accepted. After months of preparation, including many medical shots, Jim, Lillian and daughter Marjory left Chicago for an eight months trip that turned out to be two years and eight months. To London and Holland; Paris and on to Athens. Athens was to the first stop. No man eve had a more difficult job to start on. Greece had been split in 1910 when Venizelos became Premier. In the Balkan War 1912-13 Venizelos had backed the Allied cause when King Constantine had backed the central powers. The King was forced to resign in 1915. Thus Jim faced a split city where old friends had not spoken to each other since 1910. Only a Jim Davidson, and with his backgrounds, could have finally organized a club of 36 top men with 18 from each side. A tremendous job. Then on to Constantinople where he faced his only real failure. Mustapla Kemal was rebuilding Turkey and would have no dealings with anything from England or America. This Athens story is one of the greatest in Rotary annals.

(see over)

Page J.-24


At Cairo a Mr. Martin of the Shell Oil Co. and Mr. Todd of cooks had been interested in a club in Cairo. Stanley Leverton, one of Britain’s great Rotarians, had interested Sam Gluckstein of the London club in the Cairo affair and also Rotarian Sargent of London. These men got along nicely in interesting top men but when they returned to London the idea died. Then the Davidsons arrived and lived at the famous (old) Shepheards Hotel and in November the organization was again started and on January 2nd, 1929 the club came into existence with Martin the first President and Todd the first Honorary Secretary.

Then to Jerusalem, a great success, and another great story. Then on to Baghdad and to India.

As I was on the R.I. Board in 1928-29 I got all Jim’s reports and have just now reread them. Bombay, Madras, Lahore, Delhi, Colombo, Ceylon,, Bengal, Rangoon, Bangkok (the Siam now Thailand), Thatetmyo, Mandalay, Sumatra, Java, Jakarta, China, Japan, Hong Kong (this was Jim’s last club), Manchuria, Manila and many others.

Lillian wrote a great book "Making Friends in Rotary" and all he close friends received an autographed copy about 1933 or 1934.

Also Lillian in the May 1930 issue of The Rotarian has a fine article on Athens and Turkey and Egypt. In the issue of Sept. 1931 a story of Java, Balavia, etc,; in

(cont’d. page J-25)

Page J – 25.


In the December 1931 issue Cambodia, Bangkok, Saigon (Vietnam); in the September 1932 issue Manchuria and especially Mukden and in the October 1932 issue The Philippines. There had been a club in Manila since 1919. The issue of November 1932 told the story of Formosa and Korea. All tremendously interesting and of course this was old and loved familiar ground to both Jim and to Lillian.

The pace for over 30 months was telling on Jim and finally he was laid low with Dungue Fever. His trip home was not a pleasant one. His report is contained in the April 1931 R.I. Board minutes "Exhibit 9100".

Jim passed away at his home ion Vancouver on July 18th, 1933.

Up to the end he still loved his boat and his organ and Rotary and the travelling circus.

Paul and Jean Harris wrote, "was it by virtue of the interposition of Devine Providence that Jim became one of us?" In any event, he has some and gone and his memory will be revered by legions; his work more admired as the passage of time lends broader perspective. At this time Rotary may well pause in contemplation of Jim’s great gift, his unswerving self-sacrificing devotion to the cause. No man could have given more!

Jim Davidson – Ambassador At Large of Rotary International and Friend of All Men – May You rest in Peace.

Paul and Jean Harris.

(see over)

Page J-26.


I have devoted many pages to Jim Davidson because I am anxious for his name to be remembered and revered.

No one ever equaled Jim’s work for Rotary extension and never will, as there are few and only small lands now to be brought into Rotary.




Are you willing to forget what you have done for others and to remember what others have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you and to think what you owe the world; to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weakness of those no longer young; to stop asking how much your friends love you and ask yourself whether you love them enough – are you willing to do these things, even for a day? If so, then you can keep Christmas. And if you keep it for a day, why not always?

By Henry Van Dyke

American Clergyman, Educator and Diplomat


Page K.1



published in 1949 by a non-Rotarian after an exhaustive study of the social impact of Rotary on the British Isles.

- - - - - - - -

THE book starts out by relating the history of the clubs in England, going back several hundred years, and the Two Penny Club, one of London's most ancient clubs, had some rules much the same as Rotary adopted in 1905.

It will be remembered that the British Rotarians formed a National Association in 1913. By 1921 it was obvious that something had to be done to work out a better relationship between the Rotary Clubs of G. B. and I and the rest of the world.

The British Association mare it very clear that they must not be asked to surrender their membership in the British Association; also that each nation must have control over its own clubs. There were many other stipulations and it took many years to work out a satisfactory solution, such as we are operating under today. Even yet they refer to District Chairmen rather than District Governors.

The beginning of World War One in August 1914 gave Rotarians in the British Isles an outstanding opportunity to show their value to the country. Their war work was truly amazing.

see over)

Page K.2


In 1927 British Rotary took up Vocational Service in earnest. The individual members talked on Vocational Service in schools, in boys clubs and in technical institutes.

The Clubs established a Career Corner in local libraries stocked with books on general and selected careers and the choice of the most suitable. They published hand-books for presentation to school leavers showing which jobs were represented in the Rotary Club and declaring that the advice of a Rotarian on such jobs was to be had for the asking. The Clubs, in this work, co-operated with the National Institute of Industrial Psychology, the Ministers of Labour and Education, the Home Office, the Industrial Christian Fellowship, the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A., and all other organizations which were organized for service. The Ministry of Education, in 1936, e.g., asked the Rotary Clubs to prepare reports on existing contacts between education and industry.

The Aims and Objects Plan was brought into existence in G.B. and I. in 1927. This was later adopted by Rotary International.

This book records the tremendous amount of work done by clubs for underprivileged children and for adults who wore in very poor circumstances. Some clubs adopted the son, or sons, of deceased airmen. Many clubs took a very important part in carrying on Marriage Guidance Counsels. In 1949 the General Secretary of the National Marriage Guidance Counsel paid high tribute to the Rotary Clubs of Great Britain. Other clubs worked on visiting, prisoners and made


Page K.3


a very fine contribution in this work.

Since 1924 over 1,000 Rotarians from Districts l0 and 17 have shares the expense and responsibility of operating a Rotary Boys' House. Later District #/6 joined in this work-by 1941 - 3,500 Rotarians were paying an annual subscription of three shillings expense to help carry on this work. In the year 1949 more than 7,000 of these boys were given a free holiday at the seaside, and the Bristol Club, in this connection, gave one donation of Ł400.

British Rotary also backed the Boy Scouts, the Y.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A., also the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Since 1922, when the Rotary Club of Canterbury received its Charter, only four men have served as Mayor who were not Rotarians. Also for the period of 27 years following the formation of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, a Rotarian was Chairman of the Chamber of Trade for the district in all but six years.

The Rev. Basil Jelicoe, a nephew of the Earl of Jelicoe, a clergyman in St. Pancras district in the city of London, joined the St. Pancras Rotary club. Working through the Rotary Club of St. Pancras over one hundred thousand pounds was raised in order to clear out slums and by 1949 the Society owned over 800 new houses.

(see over)

Page K.4


In 1931 a member of the Rotary Club of West Ham called attention to the fact that in Paris there was a scheme for supplying blind people with white walking sticks. It was later learned that a blind resident of Bristol had proposed the same idea in 1921 and had made some headway in the movement. However, in 1931 the Rotary Club of West Ham took this matter up enthusiastically and by 1949 almost every club in G. B. and I. had followed suit. The idea spread to many parts of the world.

The theatre was not neglected and in 1923 Bristol Rotarians organized the Bristol Playgoers Club. This spread all over England and Stanley Leverton, now Vice-President of R.I.B.I. and his family have taken a very active part in the development of theatricals.

In London and other cities an emergency car service was organized and each club had three members who were ready to turn out at any time between midnight and 6 A.M. to drive people to hospitals who were ill or relatives to see people who were ill and in a serious condition.

In World War Two the Rotary Clubs of G. B. and I. provided military ambulances and X-ray units at a cost of ten thousand pounds. The Liverpool Club, in 1940, raised nearly nine thousand pounds by the sale of old gold and silver plate on behalf o the fund for the welfare of men and women at Merseyside. This fund was administered by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.


Page L.1


We cannot read Mr. Hewitt's book without being tremendously impressed with the virility of the Rotary movement in the British Isles. Mr. Hewitt never belonged to Rotary.



December 18th, 1951

This is a Rotary project about which very little is known insofar as the present members of Rotary in Canada are concerned.

So far as I knew this is the only National project ever undertaken by Canadian Rotary Clubs. In August 1950 I wrote the National Council on Education, Winnipeg, and received the following reply:-


505 Time Building

Winnipeg, Canada

August 15th, 1950

Dear Mr. Caulder: -

Referring to your favor of the 11th inst., Miss Watson is in England with our summer tour parties and I am without a Secretary at present.

The National Council of Education really has not functioned since 1941. Major Ney was engaged in special work in Africa and the Middle East during the war and devoted his spare time to promoting the Empire Youth Movement. Since the close of the war that

Page L.2


has been his chief interest. He paid special visits to So. Africa, New Zealand and Australia in connection with the Movement and was seriously ill in New Zealand for some months.

The Overseas Education League was started in 1910 and was well established when the First World War forced a suspension of its activities. We had to cease operation during the last World War and are now getting underway again.

We plan to re-open our Toronto office next month when Miss Watson returns so possibly you may see her a little later.

The N. C. Ed. suffered a severe blow in the death of Mr. James Richardson. He was arranging to get together a group to provide finances when he died. He was very generous in his support of the work, as was Mr. Beattie, President of the C.P.R.

I trust this is the information you are seeking.

Yours sincerely,
R. Fletcher,
Hon. Treasurer,
(Overseas Ed. League)."


The following is taken from Rotary International's weekly letter #22, dated January 12th, 1920, and it will be noted that the item is headed "National Bureau of Education for Canada", consequently there is some variance in terminology.


Page L.3



The following is a resolution adopted by the Canadian Advisory Committee at its meeting in Winnipeg at the time of the National Conference on Character Education in that city. This resolution was adopted by the Committee after attending all the sessions of the National Conference, and was embodied in the Committee's report to the International Board with the request that the International Board give its endorsement to the movement for a National Bureau of Education for Canada.

WHEREAS, the Tenth Annual Convention of the international Association of Rotary Clubs, held at Salt Lake City in June, 1919, recognized the interest of Rotary in education and urged the inauguration of a concerted international movement of all Rotary Clubs for the educational, moral and social development of the growth of all countries and the development of a love of country, and an understanding of the underlying principles of freedom and liberty:

AND WHEREAS, the Rotary Clubs of Canada have been privileged to make possible, by the support rendered under the leadership of Past International President Pidgeon, the holding of the National Conference on Character Education in Relation to Canadian Citizenship in Winnipeg, Canada, October, 1919;

AND WHEREAS the aforesaid National Conference on Character Education in relation to Canadian Citizenship resolved to establish


Page L.4


a National Bureau for purposes of educational investigation and as a closely house for
educational under the direction of the National Council of the Conference, and that such bureau be maintained by voluntary support;

AND WHEREAS: the members of the Canadian Advisory Committee of the International Association of Rotary Clubs have been in constant attendance at the aforesaid conference and, after deliberation, have unanimously concurred in the project of establishing a National Bureau of Education;

THEREFORE be it resolved that the International Association of Rotary Clubs be respectfully urged to give its unqualified endorsement and support to the establishment of a National Bureau of Education for Canada as above outlined.

The International Board upon the advice of the Canadian Advisory Committee has given its unqualified endorsement and support to the establishment of a National Bureau of Education for Canada."

The following is a copy of a letter written May 22nd, 1931 by Frank R. Freeze of Calgary, who was at that time a Past District Governor, and who was on that date, Chairman of the Canadian Advisory Committee. This contains some very interesting information


Page L.5


Canadian Advisory Committee

Rotary International

Chairman’s Office - 231 Eighth Ave.W. - Calgary.

May 22nd, 1931.


Re: National Council of Education.

C. J. Burchell, K. C., of Halifax, has written me under date of April 15th, in reference to the above. A synopsis of his letter is as follows:-

"About 12 years ago Leslie Pidgeon visited a number of Canadian Rotary Clubs for the purpose of obtaining funds to finance a convention to promote the National Council of Education and $20,000 was collected. The idea had been started in Winnipeg some time
prior to this convention but the present movement owes its force to the impetus given by that meeting which was held about 1920. Those responsible for this organization saw its possibilities for popular education and the upbuilding of the citizenship of Canada. In addition to this $20,000 Rotary contributed a further $52,000 making its total contribution over $70,000. During the past six months the Rotary Club of Halifax by arrangement with the National Council of Education took charge of arranging for good attendance at the public meetings of the National Council and the selling of the tickets; A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the tickets going to the Rotary Club for its charitable fund. The result was that in addition to a Rotary financial

(see over)

Page L.6


gain a much larger attendance was secured for the meetings."

Charlie wonders if other Rotary Clubs throughout Canada have failed to maintain contract with the National Council of Education and while it must be conducted by those in charge of it, yet the helpful assistance which the Rotary Clubs of Canada could give to this movement would be greatly appreciated and at the same time do good to the clubs assisting.

I have written Leslie Pidgeon, who confirms Charlie's ideas and also states that in Montreal this year the National Council experimented with daily broadcasts, in which the Professors of McGill and many other educationalists of the city took part. This has been so successful that he thinks it will be extended and Leslie also thinks that Rotary could do much by keeping in touch with this work.

In Calgary, the president and secretary of the National Council have always been Rotarians and the Rotary Club is officially represented by membership on its board.

Charlie Burchell is a former member of the Canadian Advisory Committee, having been along with Jeff. Lydiatt, another member of the same committee, responsible through this committee, for James W. Davidson and Layton Ralston establishing Rotary in Australia and New Zealand. Leslie Pidgeon is a past international president and a member of this year's


Page L.7


Canadian Advisory Committee.

I am passing on these suggestions from Charlie and Leslie to the Presidents of all Canadian Rotary Clubs with the idea that they may be interested or perhaps are already carrying out the ideas herein set forth. I presume this will be of particular interest to the clubs of the larger cities.


Canadian Advisory Committee."


It will be noted that Major Ney of Winnipeg carried on the work of the National Council of Education as its active head from about 1919 or 1920 until 1941. The late Past International President John Nelson, the late Past International President Leslie Pidgeon, Past International President Crawford C, McCullough, were all very active in this National Council of Education.

It will also be noted that the late Sir Edward Beattie, President of the C.P.R., and the late James Richardson of Winnipeg, were behind the project; also C. J. Burchell, K.C. of Halifax; the late James W. Davidson of Calgary, and the late J. L. Ralston of Halifax, Montreal and Ottawa.

It is now my intention to ask Mr. Fletcher and Miss Watson for more information on this project which was a very large and very important one.

It is rather sad to note that nearly all of

(see over)

Page L.8


The men connected with this project many years ago have passed on.




In 1921 when Rotary was young and trying to feel its way, a member in the Rotary Club of Moose Jaw, Sask. (No. 247) reported a 13 year old girl badly crippled and wondered if each to send the girl to Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minn. Every hand went up. Arrangements were made. The C.P.R. provided free transportation. The President of the Minneapolis Club, a leading banker, met the scared child and took her to his beautiful home overnight. Next day drove her the 90 miles to Rochester. In three months she was back in Moose Jaw walking on crutches. Every Moose Jaw member and his wife was at the train to greet her. There were few dry eyes. In three months she was walking. Later she married and raised a family. The club wrote the Mayo Clinic for a bill.

It arrived and was $1,500.00 but it was also stamped "Paid in Full". The wonderful job did not cost the Club members a penny. Sixty members of the Club were changed to sixty ‘real Rotarians.’


Page M. 1

Oct. 1950.


The statement has often been made - That Rotary has gone around the world without R.I. ever paying had a paid organizer.

This is true if we exclude those fine men who gave up good positions to accept traveling expenses and a salary of one-half the amount they had been earning and others who received expenses only, and again men like the late Jim Davidson of Calgary, who received no salary and only a fraction of the travelling expenses of himself and his wife and daughter. No one has ever received a commission or fee for organizing a Rotary Club, However, Rotary could not have grown from one small club in 1905 to over 7000 today with nearly 350,000 members without the splendid leadership given at great financial sacrifice by the men I will now talk about.

On July 26th this committee heard Kenneth Partridge of the Brampton club tell the thrilling story of Jim Davidson’s 2˝ year trip around the world for Rotary International. Today I will try to tell you about the job he and the late J. L. Ralston did in Australia and New Zealand in 1921

First, however, I want to tell you about other men who made outstanding contributions to Rotary in all parts of the world.

Herbert P. Coates - "Don Heriberto" to his Rotary friends, was a manufacturers agent in Montevideo, Uruguay - National Cash Register - Toledo Scale Co.,- Burroughs Adding Machine Co. - Studebaker

(see over)

Page M.2


Corporation - Royal Typewriter Co., etc. He was District Governor 63 District, (Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) in 1930-31. Member of the South American Advisory Committee on collaboration among Rotary clubs in 1939-40 and Chairman of that committee in 1940-41. He died in 1940.

Herbert was a British subject from Yorkshire, England, long a citizen of Montevideo, Uruguay, was in Cincinnati, Ohio at the time of the 1916 Convention of Rotary. He attended some of the sessions and became interested in Rotary and in August 1916, visited with the Secretary of the International Association of Rotary Clubs and attended a meeting of the Chicago Rotary Club. Coates carried his interest in the movement back to Uruguay and organized the Rotary Club of Montevideo in 1918, this being the first Rotary Club to be organized in the whole of South America.

Coates did not let down once he had his own club going in Montevideo. He was constantly in touch with prominent men in other cities in other countries of South America, trying to interest them in the movement and offering his assistance.

In 1919, Coates was officially authorized by the President of the I.A.R.C. to look after the extension of Rotary in South Aamerica.

In addition to laying the groundwork in other countries, he was instrumental in forming the first Rotary club in each of the following countries of South America


Page M. 3


during the years indicated below:-









In June 1936, Rotarian Coates tendered his resignation as Honorary General Commissioner because he felt that his age prevented him from doing the work justice. In accepting his resignation the Board of Directors of R.I. recorded the following:-

"The Board accepts the resignation of Honorary General Commissioner Herbert P. Coates and records its sincere appreciation of the devotion with which he has served Rotary International for nearly twenty years by assisting with the introduction of Rotary into South America, with extension work and guiding and strengthening Rotary clubs there and by giving generously of his time, energy and counsel in promotion of the welfare of Rotary in all ports of the South American continent,"

I knew Herbert Coates well and he did a great work for R.I. in South America


Federico A. Pezet, Diplomatic Service, Lima, Peru. Served as Honorary Commisioner for Central and South America from April 1919 to July 1919; died in 1929.

Fred Warren Teele - from the information on file we find that Fred was a consulting engineer and hailed from West Newton, Massachusetts. Before becoming a Special Commissioner of Rotary International, he served as chief engineer of the

(see over)

Page M. 4


Boston Elevated Railway Company, general manager of the Puerto Rico Railways Co. Limited, and general manager of the Mexico City Tramways Company and Mexican Light and Power Company. Fred was also Past President of the Rotary Club of Mexico City. He served as Special Commissioner for Mexico, Trinidad, British Guiana and Venezuela from October 1922 to March 1923, and was appointed as Special Commissioner for Europe from March 1923 to December 1927. Our records indicate that Fred went back to West Newton, Mass, under the classification of "Consulting Engineer". His membership changed to "Honorary" on 25 June, 1934; His death occurred on January 21st, 1939.

James H. Roth - hailed from Ventura, Calif. Upon graduating from college he entered employment of the California Packing Co. of Ventura and remained with them for seven years. He then went to Mexico for a year where he represented several American firms. Later he went into the consular service of the U.S. where he remained for ten years serving in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

James H. Roth entered the employ of R.I. on July 1st, 1925 as Special Commissioner and was assigned to duty in Europe, particularly in Spain and Portugal, under the supervision of Special Commissioner Fred Warren Teele.

After a year in Europe, Roth was directed by the Board to proceed to South America on July 1st, 1926, to assist in extension work


Page M. 5


on that continent.

Roth continued his work in South and Central America as Special Commissioner until June 30, 1933.

He was on duly in the central office from then until July 1st, 1934 when he was sent by R.I. as Field Representative to Latin America and served in this capacity until June 30, 1942.

While he organized many clubs in many countries, he was successful in introducing Rotary to the following countries:-









Costa Rica




Jim Roth spent these many years in outstanding service to R.I. among our friends in South America - - organizing new clubs and giving expert assistance to those already in existence.

Jim is now Executive Secretary of the American Brazilian Association in New York.

A grand fellow and I knew him very well. (J.A.C.)

F.J. Mitchell, Managing Director, John Dewar & Sons, Calcutta, India. He served as Honorary Commissioner for India and Ceylon from April 1925 to February 26, 1928. According to last reports Mr. Mitchell was employed as Managing Director of St. Paul’s Advertising Service Ltd., St. Pancras, England.

(see over)

Page M. 6


A. C. Wentworth-Lewis, Editor, The Englishman, Ltd., Calcutta, India. Served as Joint Honorary Commissioner with F. J. Mitchell from April 24, l925 to September 30, 1928.

B. M. Gerbel. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Vienna, Austria and held the classification of "Engineering". Mr. Gerbel served as Honorary Commissioner for the continent of Europe from July l, 1930 to September 30, 1933, and served as Honorary Commissioner for Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland and Roumania from October 1, 1933 to September 30, 1938. The records indicate that he terminated his membership in the Vienna Club on March 18, 1938. (A war casualty no doubt - J.A.C.)

Juan A. Meana, Madrid Spain. "Served as Special Representative for Spain and Portugal from March 1926 to May 31, 1928.

Guillermo Q. Carvallo, classification "printing", Vera Cruz, Mexico. Served as Special Representative for Mexico from October 1, 1927 to September 30, 1928 and served as Special Commissioner for Mexico and Central America from September 1, 11927 to September 30, 1929 and as a Special Commissioner for South America from Oct. 2, 1929 to September 30, 1930.

Paul T. Thorwall, classification "publicity – advertising service", senior partner, The

Lukemainonta Yhtio Adverising Agency, Helsinki-Helsingfors, Finland. He was a member of the European Advisory Committee during 1931-32, 1932-33 and 1933-34. He served as Honorary Commissioner for Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania


Page M. 7


From July 1, 1933 to September 30, 1935. He was the Second Vice-President of R.I. in 1934-35. Paul was Governor of the 69th District in 1946-47 (Finland) and served as a member of the European Consulting Group in 1946-47. According to 1atest information on file, Paul is now an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Helsinki-Helsingfors, Finland.

Dr. Eduardo Moore, classification "physician, and surgeon", Santiago, Chile. Dr. Eduardo served Governor of the 64th District (Chile) in 1926-27 and 1927-28. He was Third Vice-President of R.I. in 1928-29, and served as a member of the Administration Committee in 1987-29. Dr. Eduardo served as Honorary Commissioner for South America from October 1, 1930 to Sept. 30, 1931. He organized about 30 clubs in

South America. In 1932-33 he again served as Governor of the 64th District. He dies on November 6th, `1941.

It was my privilege to serve on the Board of R.I. with Eduardo. A more kindly man I never knew. In those days it took a month traveling each way to Chicago for a Board Meeting. Knowing such men causes us to reflect on the fact that amongst the "so-called foreigners" we meet some wonderful men. (J.A.C.)

T.C. Thomsen. Upon the resignation of Fred Warren Teele as Special Commissioner of R.I. on the content of Europe, T. C. Thomsen, Aarhus, Denmark was engaged for a period of three years commencing Feb 1,

(see over)

Page M. 8


1928, however, he actually began his work several weeks earlier.

His duties entailed general supervision of Rotary on the continent of Europe and at the beginning was technically in charge of the branch office of the secretariat at Zurich. even though he spent very little time in his office.

Merit of his time was expended travelling around Europe aiding clubs already established which needed assistance, organizing new clubs and giving advice and assistance to District Governors.

Due to ill health of Mrs. Thomson, it was necessary for "T.C." to resign as Special Commissioner after only one year of service. During this year he was instrumental in organizing 50 new clubs on the continent, all of which were in countries in which other clubs had already been organized.

The great value of his work cannot, however, be estimated by the number of new clubs organized. He met and dealt admirably with innumerable, problems during his year and did much for the stabilization and advancement of Rotary in Europe.

From time to time after his resignation as Special Commissioner, "T.C." served in an Honorary Commissioner capacity, thus giving additional valuable service to Rotary in Europe, during some very important years.

Next to Jim Davidson I have always felt


Page M. 9


that T.C. Thomsen did the greatest job of all our Honorary Commissioners. He often related to me the problems involved in getting clubs from adjoining countries in Central Europe to mix with the hated foreign devils only a few miles away. He always succeeded except with clubs in Yugoslavia and Italy where they never got together. (J.A.C.)

Sir Frederick Ernest James, Madras, India. According to information available he was also a Past President and long time member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta, India.

Sir Frederick served as Honorary Commissioner for India, Burma, Federated Malay States, the Straits Settlements, Java, Sumatra and Siam from August 1926 to September 30, 1936. He held the following assignments in Rotary International: Chairman, International Service Committee 1934-35; Chairman, Commission on R.I. Administration 1934-35; and 1935-365 Governor, 89th District (Afghanistan, Burma, Ceylon and India) 1936-37; Chairman, Commission on R.I. Administration 1936-37; Member, International Service Committee 1937-38; Governor 89th District, 1938-39; Member, Extension Committee 1939-40; Member, Rotary Foundation Honorary Trustee 1943 and 1944. Sir Frederick was admitted into thee Rotary Club of Delhi, India, on May 18th, 1944 and was reported as having terminated his membership in July 1948.

James W. Davidson of Calgary, Alberta and J. Layton Ralston of Halifax, N.S.

As already stated, the committee heard a

(see over)

Page M. 10


few weeks ago the story of Jim Davidson's great work for Rotary in 1928-1929-1930.

However, this story deals with Jim and Layton (later Hon. J. L. Ralston, Minister of Finance and Minister of National Defense in the Dominion Cabinet) and I now read for you the official record from R.I. covering the organization of the first Rotary Clubs in Australia and New Zealand.


The suggestion that Canadian Rotarians should be commissioned to organize clubs in Australia and New Zealand first came from the Association’s Committee on Extension. The suggestion having met with the approval of both the Canadian Advisory Committee and the International Board, the question of financing the undertaking arose and it appearing that the funds of the Association available for much work were limited, the Canadian Advisory Committee offered, on behalf of the Canadian Clubs, to furnish additional fund for the undertaking. This offer was accepted by the International Board.

The Board requested the Canadian Advisory Committee to nominates two Canadian Rotarians for this mission and although it was expecting a good deal to find two active qualified Rotarians who would be willing to give up their business for approximately six months and go to the other side of the world, on a mission for which they could receive no remuneration, the C.A.C. did succeed in getting


Page M.11


two excellent men in the persons of Rotarian JAMES W. DAVIDSON of Calgary and J. LAYTON RALSTON of Halifax.

During the month of February, 1921, both Rotarian Davidson and Rotarian Ralston at

Different times visited International Headquarters in Chicago and spent several days in conference with Secretary-General Perry in preparing themselves for the undertaking.

The Commissioners sailed from San Francisco March 1st, 1921 and arrived in Sydney, March 22nd. After some preliminary investigation was deemed advisable to proceed to to Melbourne and after two weeks of careful preparation for the "Special Organization Group" met at luncheon and enthusiastically decided to proceed with the permanent organization. This was accomplished on April 21st when the Melbourne Club was formally installed with Professor W. A. Osborne of Melbourne University as President and Walter A. Drummond as Secretary.

The Commissioners then returned to Sydney arriving there April 26th with the preliminary work accomplished in March, supplemented by the special interest of the newly elected Rotarians of Melbourne, the organization proceeded quickly and on May 17th 1921, the second club was duly installed with Sir Henry Braddon, President and Benjamin R. Gelling as Secretary.

From Melbourne the Commissioners proceeded to New Zealand and owing to the brief time remaining in order to have the work effect-

(see over)

Page M. 12


ively done before sailing date, the Commissions worked individually, Jim Davidson proceeding to Auckland and Layton Ralston to Wellington.

The Auckland club was formally installed on June l3th, with the election of Hon. George Fowlds, President and H. T. Merritt as Secretary.

Commissioners Davidson and Ralston sailed from Auckland on the S.S. Niagara on June 15th and arrived in Vancouver July 5th, their mission having taken over four months in accomplishment.

(Footnote by J.A.C.)

It was my good fortune to know both Jim and Layton for over 25 years. As always the recorded official statement on great work by great men falls short of telling the real story. Jim Davidson in 1921 was a successful operator in the Lumber business and in selling Alberta lands. He had already, however, made his name as an Artic Explorer (Peary to the North Pole) as a writer (his book on Formosa is still the best record of that country in print) and as a consular agent for U.S.A. in several lands. Layton Ralston was a partner in the firm of Burchell and Ralston (Rotariann C.J. Burchell) Halifax. Charlie Burchell was an expert in Marine Law and Layton in Commercial Law. Time to Layton meant money but like Calgary Jim, he loved Rotary.

When Jim and Layton arrived in Australia, a rumor had preceded them to the effect


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that Rotary was a U.S. Temperance Movement and prohibition was an unpopular subject in Australia. Consequently, everywhere they went they were immediately offered a drink. Layton was always a teetotaler and on Jim's return to Western Canada, he always said that this put a real strain on him as he had to prove the rumor wrong, by accepting one for himself and one for Layton. Dear old Prof. Bill Osborne, President of the University of Melbourne, Australia, was chosen as the first President of Melbourne (the first Rotary club "Down Under"). Years later I saw Jim try to get two quart bottles of (cough medicine) through Customs at Seattle for his old pal Professor Bill, but the Customs agent was too smart for Jim and as it was prohibition days in U.S., he confiscated (no doubt for his own use) the two quart bottles. Jim almost wept and Professor Bill did when we arrived in Los Angeles minus the medicine.

This story shows, we hope, the kind of men who spread Rotary around the world. The President of Australia’s first club was also a University President. Every man served at great personal financial sacrifice. It seems as though today we miss such men as these. We must, as best we can, carry on where they left off.


Sept. 20th, 1950.

Note - Paul Harris, in his book "My Road to Rotary", page 239, states: "Fred Teele gave up $18,000 per year in Mexico to accept $5,000 per year from Rotary spreading

(see over)

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the seeds in Europe. His work culminated in Rotary opening an office in Zurich, Switzerland. (J.A.C.)

NOTE - Also see pages J 1 to J 14 (Book 3) on James W. Davidson.



Phil Lovejoy, General Secretary of R.I. from July 1, 1942 to December 1952, often said "All good works come about by some individual saying, Why can’t we do so and so?" One day a member of the Rotary club of North Bay, Ont. Asked the question, "Why can’t we take into membership one or more of our little known citizens from other countries?" His idea was accepted and an Italian shoe repair man was approached. He was shocked but delighted. In due course he was introduced as a new member. Every week 11 A.M. he closed his shop, went home, got into his Sunday clothes and attended the Rotary luncheon. Then home and into work clothes and back to his shop. Rarely did he say a word but never missed a meeting. The club was active in work with crippled children. The new member offered to make all special shoes required and to repair all as needed and no charge. When this fine member died his brother replaced him and when he died his son took his place. All because a thoughtful member one day said, "Can we not take in one of our good citizens who was born in Europe?", and so are Rotary members changed to be Rotarians.




Copyright© Daniel W. Mooers

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