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.
Album 2 - Canadian R. I. Directors 1916-1929, Pages 3-23
NOTE BY JOE CAULDER
[AS IN ORIGINAL ALBUM]
Itwill be noted there are no Directors shown here between 1914-1915 when Butcher and Archibald served as the first members on the Board of The International Association of Rotary Clubs, until Jeff Lydiatt's year of 1922-1923. The reason is as follows: The Rev. E. Leslie Pidgeon of Winnipeg, Vancouver and Montreal served on the Board as 3rd Vice-president in 1915-1916 also 1916-1917 and was president in 1917-1918, and as Immediate Past President in 1918-1919. Then Dr. Crawford C. McCullough of Ft. William served on the Board for the year 1920-1921 and as President in 1921-1922. Both these men's photos' are shown as president. For the year 1919-1920 Canada did not have a man on the R. I. Board.
[Remembered by Joe Caulder]
I first knew Jeff Lydiatt in 1918 when we met at the Rotary District Conference at Winnipeg. Jeff was living in Calgary and I in Moose Jaw. Jeff left his name firmly impressed in the minds of all Rotarians in those early days. He was in the entertainment field but was a high-class gentleman and a total abstainer. He was elected District Governor of the old 18th District in 1917. That was when the 18th took in all the four Western provinces except the clubs of Vancouver and Victoria. On July 1st, 1918, when Jeff's year ended, the 18th became the 19th but excluded B. C. During Jeff's year he organized clubs at Regina, Saskatoon, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. In 1922-23 Jeff served on the Board of Rotary International and Canada's reputation did not suffer in Rotary councils. Shortly after,1923 the Lydiatts moved to Chicago and an illness proved fatal just when Jeff was in his prime. Mrs. Lydiatt and the family moved to Toronto where Mrs. Lydiatt still resides with her daughter Margaret.
How I remember the trip to the Los Angeles convention of Rotary International. I was just finishing my year as Governor of the old 19th; Dr. Crawford C. McCullough from Ft. William, Ont. was completing his year as International President. At this convention Jeff was elected as Director from Canada. Jim Davidson of Rotary fame, a good friend of us all and a great Calgary citizen, was along, also Lillian and Marjorie Davidson. We had a special train from Seattle and travelled from Victoria to Seattle by ship. Jim was carrying Mrs. Lydiatt's evening gown in his baggage and was also carrying two large bottles of special medicine to Los Angeles for his pal Prof. Wm. Osborne of the University of Australia, whom he had come to know in 1921 when he and J L. Ralston spent four months in Australia and New Zealand planting Rotary . Jim had promised Prof. Bill two good bottles. The large bottles were labelled as follows (take one teaspoonful after each meal). The bottles were in separate bags and unfortunately a porter stumbled when leaving the ship at Seattle and one bottle broke and saturated Mrs. Lydiatt's evening gown. That was serious enough for non-drinking Jeff and Mrs. Lydiatt, but it also started the U. S. customs man on a hunt for "more of the same"!! He found the other bottle
and although Jim Davidson pleaded his case the customs man confiscated the bottle and Mrs. Lydiatt's dress was ruined, and it was obvious Prof. Bill Osborne's thirst would not be quenched on Jim's arrival. It was a very sad affair. Jim had to fess up to Mrs. Lydiatt that he was trying to smuggle liquor into dry U.S. and fess up to Prof. Osborne that he had failed to keep his promise.
They were great days. It was our first trip to sunny California. Los Angeles was booming in a small way compared with now but to anyone from Moose Jaw it was a big boom!
We were sorry to lose Jeff as his kind, even then, was becoming rare.
J. A. C.
[Remembered by Joe Caulder]
John Gibson, later Dr. John J. Gibson, was one of the finest men I have ever knowm. We first met at the Salt Lake City Rotary convention in June 1919. We were fast friends from then until he passed away on September 2, 1948.
John Gibson started the Chartered Trust Co. in 1907. The staff consisted of John and a stenographer. The financial backing was, I think, from his father-in-law Hon. W. A. Charlton. When John died in 1948 the Chartered Trust and Executor Co. (as it was known up to1951) was one of the soundest and most respected Trust Companies operating in Ontario. To John Gibson must go most of the credit. His integrity was never questioned. In the Rotary Club he was known as "honest John" and one often heard a member say, "no one can be as honest as John looks." John, however, always replied; "You are wrong as no man can look as honest as I am." He was highly respected in the Rotary Club as he was in all other organizations where he was known.
He gave his time and money to all worthy causes. He served on many United Church bodies, on the T. B. League; the Ontario Society for Crippled Children; Board of Governors of the University of Toronto, and many others. John joined Rotary in 1918 and was elected to the Board of Rotary International at the St. Louis convention in 1923 and served for the Rotary year 1923-24. He had done an excellent job as President of the Toronto Club in 1921-22. The R. I. convention was to be held in Toronto in 1924 so all the usual objections to a man being elevated to the R. I. Board without having served as a District Governor were waived. In his case this was perfectly safe as John had attended more Charter Nights than anyone in the club and had assisted several District Governors in their jobs' so knew Rotary from the ground up. The success of the 1924 Toronto convention speaks well for John, also for Sidney McMichael (Toronto) who was Chairman of the Toronto convention committee and who drew up a convention plan that has, with certain modifications, been used by R. I. ever since. John attended almost every International convention from 1919 to 1936. We were neighbors for years. He lived at 68 Teddington Park Blvd. and we built our new house at 81 Teddington (almost across the street) in 1931. I was his chauffeur for many years and used to pick him up at 8: 30 A.M. If I was to be even one minute late I would call him and this got to be a great joke with John. We moved away in 1939 and from then on we were not so close but always great friends. He had to retire, owing to ill health, in 1946 and his last two years were very sad as he had always been so active. Although he was far from well I drove him to the Atlantic City Rotary convention in June 1946. He told me then that this would be his last convention. However, in May 1948 the International Rotary Assembly and Institute was held at Quebec City and he insisted on going. I had been ill but our grandson, Peter Brown, was delighted to be our chauffeur so we attended. When we got home he thanked me very warmly and said, "Well Joe that was great but it also was our last trip together". I assured him such was not the case but I well knew it was and he passed away the following September. I lost a great and valued friend, Rotary a good member and Toronto a fine citizen. Mrs. Gibson had gone a few years earlier and John told me he was anxious to rejoin her. His only child, Mrs. Crossley Krugg and family, still live at 68 Teddington Park Blvd.
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