Arthur Child Heritage Museum opened this weekend. It seems like a particularly appropriate time to finally research the question,”Who was Arthur Child?”.
This quote sums up well what I found out about Arthur Child.
“Mr. Child’s interest in the well-being of the community spanned almost every aspect of community endeavours, from the arts to poverty, from politics to education and the military. His breadth of interests and involvement in the Calgary community, in Canada and throughout the world never ceases to amaze me.” – David Elton
At first glance it seems Arthur Child has little connection to Gananoque. He was born in Surrey, England, on May 19, 1910. When he was three, his family emigrated to Canada. After graduating from Queen’s University, Arthur went to work for Canada Packers, rising from office clerk to Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer. In 1960, Child became President and CEO of Intercontinental Packers. Six years later, he was asked to become the President and CEO of Burns Foods, a company facing bankruptcy. Under Child’s leadership, the company turned around and began to thrive again. Child remained CEO for three decades. Arthur Child died in Calgary on July 30, 1996.
- In 1985, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
- He is the only Canadian to receive the apartheid regime’s medal of honour.
If this was our Gananoque Arthur Child what was the connection? Turns out Arthur Child and his parents lived on Elm St in Gananoque after emigrating to Canada. Arthur graduated Gananoque High School at the top of his class. He must have had fond memories of growing up here. Arthur wanted to ensure the preservation of the rich history of the Thousand Islands region. His ideas and generous contributions to Gananoque include helped give us the Museum and preserve the clock tower.
His main legacy appears to be the Arthur J E Child Foundation
“To carry on anywhere, or to provide assistance to other persons who carry on anywhere, the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, the advancement of medical research, the delivery of healthcare services, the preservation of historic sites and buildings, the support of law enforcement agencies and the promotion of peace, order and good government, and other purposes beneficial to any community.”
Just a few of the things this Foundation has supported:
- Arthur J.E. Child Scholarship in Business, University of Calgary
- The Arthur Child Graduate Fellowship in Public Policy, Queen’s University
Arthur J.E. Child Memorial Bursary in History, University of Calgary
Arthur J.E. Child Award in Economics, English, and History, University of Lethbridge
- Inn from the Cold., Calgary (family shelter)