Branch and Member News 2013



H17417 John Ross Matheson

Matheson, John Ross – 1917-2013 – The Honourable John Ross Matheson of Kingston ON; formerly of Gananoque, Rideau Ferry, Ottawa, Brockville, Barrie, Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, and Quebec City. He was the oldest child of Gertrude (McQuaig) and Rev. Alexander Dawson Matheson.

John was born in Arundel and raised in Quebec City. He attended Queen’s University, graduating in 1940 with a B.A. Honours in Economics. He served in World War II with the First Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, 1st Canadian Infantry Division. As a Forward Observation Officer, he was wounded near Ortona, Italy in 1943. He convalesced at the Veterans Hospital in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, where he met Edith Bickley. They married in 1945, after which John studied Law at Osgoode Hall, graduating in 1948. He later earned degrees from Mount Allison University (Master of Arts), and the University of Western Ontario (Master of Laws). John was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1967. He also received Honorary Doctorates from Queen’s University and the Royal Military College in Kingston.

John’s loyalty and service to his alma mater, Queen’s University, were exemplified by his Chairmanship of the Board of Management of Queen’s Theological College, tenure as a University Councillor, founding membership in the Cha Gheill Society, and two decades on the Board of Trustees.

In 1948 John and Edith settled in Brockville, where he was a founding member of the firm Matheson, Henderson and Hart. John was elected Federal Member of Parliament for Leeds in a 1961 by-election. He was re-elected in 1962, 1963, and 1965 and served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Pearson. In 1968, he returned to the practice of law and was appointed Judge for the Judicial District of Ottawa-Carleton. In 1979 he moved to the County Court of Lanark, Perth Ontario. In 1985 he was appointed a Judge of the District Court of Ontario and served on the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) from 1990 to 1992.

During his political career, John was a leading member of the parliamentary committee which successfully shepherded the adoption of the Canadian (Maple Leaf) flag by parliament in 1965. Years later, his masters thesis was published under the title “Canada’s Flag: A Search for a Country”. He also provided the concept and the background research that led to the design of the Order of Canada in 1967.

A devoted Mason, he was a member of numerous lodges in Ontario and Quebec and cherished the practice of Freemasonry. Heraldry was another of John’s passionate pursuits. He was a driving force in the foundation of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. Proud of his military associations, he held honorary militia appointments of LCol and then Col with the 30th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery from 1972 to 1982.

John was named Brockville Citizen of the Year in 1967. In 1993 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1999 he was the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians. He was a Knight of Justice in the Venerable Order of Saint John and a Knight Commander of Merit in the Order of Lazarus. He received the Canadian Centennial Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada Medal, and the Canadian Forces Decoration.

John was adored and will be dearly missed by loving wife Edith (Bickley) and sisters Dorothy Parnell of London ON, Catherine Carty of Montreal QC, and Margaret Slemon of Toronto ON; children Duncan and his wife Madeline (Coté), Wendy and her husband Michael Simpson, Jill and her husband David Van Every, Donald and his wife Kathryn (McWhinnie), Roderick and his wife Janet (Biewald), Murdoch and his wife Mary Jane (Cook); eighteen grandchildren, and one great grandson.

The Matheson family wishes to thank the staff of St Lawrence Place Residence, Fairmount Home and the Kidd 2 ICU at Kingston General Hospital for the loving care provided to John and his family for the past fifteen years.

John was lifelong member of the United Church of Canada, most recently Chalmers United, in Kingston, where a Celebration of Life ceremony will be held in the Spring of 2014 - notice to follow.



E4613 Art Neadow

We are very sorry to report that branch member E4613 Art Neadow died in hospital early on Christmas morning, a couple of months before his 82nd birthday. He had been in hospital for minor surgery and had an MIR for kidney and liver issues. According to Charlene Fawcett, "He had recently been out to lunch with his Rotarian friends and seemed in good spirits."

Obituary for Art Neadow:

NEADOW, Arthur Joseph R.H - (L/Col retired) - 1932 - 2013 Born 2nd February 1932 and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Arthur passed away peacefully at Kingston General Hospital on 25th December 2013. Arthur was the son of the late Arthur Neadow and Nora (nee Bell) Neadow. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean Margaret (nee Wilson) Neadow, two sons, Chris and Jamie, one daughter Jo-Anne, and predeceased by his son Mark. He is also survived by four sisters, and predeceased by one brother. Arthur has several grand children, great grand children, and several nieces and nephews. Arthur lived a long and fulfilled life as a professional soldier who served with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) for over thirty years. Upon retirement from the military, Arthur earned his license as a Stock broker employed with Wood Gundy, retiring from his investment career in the mid 90's. He graduated with a Bachelor of Military Arts and Science (First Class Distinction) degree from Royal Military College at the age of 77 and for his exemplary work as a Rotarian he was named Rotarian of the Year 2002-03 receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship Award in 2004. For many years, Arthur and wife Jean were avid Scottish Dancers; he enjoyed reading, mathematics, and music. The family will receive friends during a Celebration of Arthur's Life at the JAMES REID FUNERAL HOME RECEPTION CENTRE , 1900 John Counter Boulevard, on Saturday - 4th January 2014, between the hours of 3:00 p.m and 5:00 p.m. Words of Remembrance will commence at 4:00 p.m. (Please enter the Reception Centre from the rear parking lot). As expressions of sympathy and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.

"I am very sorry to report that Art Neadow died in hospital early on Christmas morning, a couple of months before his 82nd birthday.  He had been in hospital for minor surgery and had an MIR for kidney and liver  issues.  He had recently been out to lunch with his Rotarian friends and seemed in good spirits. 

I knew Art for over 40 years and always admired his zest for life.  At the end of my year as President I awarded Art ‘Rotarian of the Year’, and said this about him:

“The person I have chosen is one of Rotary’s ‘behind the scenes workers’ He undertakes anything thrown at him – cheerfully grumbles and mumbles but, nonetheless, unselfishly has contributed to our club over many years. His organizational skills are formidable and based on the first principle of war. That is: ‘Selection and maintenance of the aim’. Its application is fundamental to winning battles and obviously to running hugely successful Gala Auctions!  Art is a septuagenarian with the energy and appearance of a much younger man. He is cheerful, humorous, boisterous, generous and loyal. Not only did he take on the Gala and lead his committee to the great result it achieved but also he undertook, at the time, to help Reg Shadbolt with our very successful PolioPlus campaign. Art has collected and sent eyeglasses over the years to Operation Eyesight and has been a staunch supporter of all Rotary’s fundraising activities and many events in the broader community”.  Since that time he organized a Rotary Habitat for Humanity day project and also helped raise money for Polio with Christmas tree decorations.  Besides leadership in these events, Art was always helping with our club fundraisers, especially the Nut Drive.

Last but not least he started the after meetings social ‘World Affairs Committee’, although depleted in numbers, it still exists to this day."

Art joined Rotary over 28 years ago and was recently made an Honorary member.

He will be sorely missed by his friends in Rotary.   We offer our sincere condolences to Jean and the family."

Adrienne Brown, Club Secretary, Rotary Club of Kingston


Biography of Danny McLeod

"Always a Leader: The Lives of Danny McLeod"

 is now available. Book details for purchasing available by contacting:


New Branch Project - A Volunteer needed!

To Project Manage an Initiative to Preserve the RMC Cadet Records


When an officer/naval cadet first enters RMC, a file is opened to record the individual’s performance until they graduate or leave the College prematurely. Up until sometime in the 1990s, all these cadet records were printed on acid based paper with the result they will deteriorate and become illegible over time. In order to preserve the oldest of the cadet records, the Kingston Branch of the RMC Club undertook a four year project to interleaf all cadet records up until the closing of the College in 1941 with acid free paper. The interleafing is complete but is only a temporary solution that will slow the degradation but will not halt it. A project manager is required to seek a more permanent solution and to lead its implementation. The project is expected to be completed in three phases.

Phase 1 – Scoping

The initial effort will be to become familiar with the background – the key personnel involved, the quantity of records, where and how they are stored, what database to use, etc. Apparently an overzealous employee destroyed a quantity of post World War II cadet records before it could be stopped. There are several people who claim that these records were microfilmed before they were destroyed and the copies are stored in the Ottawa archives. But to date no one at the College that we are aware of has been able to locate them. This needs to be resolved and the mircofilms or whatever located so they can be accessed and hopefully included in a single database.

Phase 2 – Explore the Options

About two years ago, the Massey Library manager did invite representatives of the Kingston Branch to a meeting where the option of hiring a specialized firm was explored to digitize some of the College archives. The cost at that time was considered prohibitively expensive. The RMC Club faced a similar concern since it was storing all ex-cadet records in Panet House. The ex-cadet records differ from the cadet records in that they belong to the RMC Club of Canada and record the accomplishments, significant activities such as marriage, births and deaths of ex-cadets after they leave the College. The Kingston Branch purchased a scanner and provided several of its members over approximately a three year period during which all the ex-cadet records were scanned into the joint data based shared by the Club and the Foundation.
A project similar to that used by Panet House may be the only affordable option. The Kingston Branch can purchase one or more high speed scanners and, based on previous experience; it is not difficult to find ex-cadets who are willing to participate. The College should be able to provide a suitable data base that will improve access as well as backup. However there is still the issue of the original post WW II records that were supposedly destroyed. If they exist on microfilm, how can they be accessed and digitized or whatever so they are stored in a common data base with all cadet records.

Phase 3 – Implementation

The Project Manager will be expected to submit a summary of options and the recommended solution to the College and the Branch for approval. Following approval, he or she will be expected to participate in the purchase of any equipment such as scanners that may be required and to manage the implementation. The Branch has a history of successfully providing the manpower to complete similar projects and the task maybe to setup one or more suitable workstations and to effectively schedule the volunteers depending on the recommended solution.

If you are interested, please contact 5256 Gwyn Griffith at or 613-766-2777.
Prepared by G Griffith 13Jun13



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