The Business Man, The Community Builder
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 2 Feb 1922, p. 21-29


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Barclay, Lyman W., Speaker
Media Type:
Text
Item Type:
Speeches
Description:
Some personal reminiscences by the speaker about his childhood, the strictness of his father, the lack of companionship for boys. The necessity for boy companionship, of passing on idealism into the life of a boy which will lead him on. A consideration of the cause of Canadian boyhood. A discussion of the three great fundaments in Canadian education for the next fifty years: training our youth to be good, strong, healthy, sane physical creatures; a training in morale; training in character. These as the basis of the Scout movement. The plan of the Scout movement, by which local men, practicing with local boys, build the local community, and by building the local community, building the nation. Of what a community is made. The importance of home life. The element of the church and the school in the community. The Scout movement as a supplement to the home, the church, the school. The problem of establishing this type of training for boys, and the problem of the companionship of older men. The speaker's great wish to see the right sort of companionship in the Scout movement in Canada, and especially in the Province of Ontario.
Date of Original:
2 Feb 1922
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Language of Item:
English
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The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
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Full Text
THE BUSINESS MAN, THE COMMUNITY BUILDER
AN ADDRESS BY LYMAN W. BARCLAY, DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FOR THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA.
Before the Empire Club of Canada, Toronto,
February 2, 1922.

THE PRESIDENT, Sir William Hearst, introduced Mr. Barclay who was received with loud applause.

LYMAN W. BARCLAY.

Fellow Canadians,--It is usually at least embarrassing for a man who is still a boy to come back into the community from which he came and find himself called upon to speak as an expert. I have had the opportunity of seeing a great many experts, and of course you know the definition of an experta very ordinary man a long way from home. (Laughter) I cannot assume that position today, because I am pretty close to home.

As I look into your faces I cannot help but go back some years to the County of Middlesex, which has had something to do with the history of Canada, and to my own township, the township of Lobo, where I was born in a country village and grew up under the tuition of Dr. Goggin's Grammar, possibly learning to speak such English as I can speak through the inspiration from that book; and as I am

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Mr. Lorne W. Barclay, New York, was educated at Parkhill, Ontario, and at Yale University, and is director of the Department of Education for the Boy Scouts of America. For two summers he was director of the Special Officers' Training School for the French Boy Scouts' Association in France. In recognition of his work in France he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour.

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in this environment I cannot help but think back to my boyhood days--a boyhood which was very similar, undoubtedly, to that which many of you have had--in some ways a boyhood under rather a strict fatherhood. Maybe that is the reason that I ran away from Canada. At any rate, my father was a typical Canadian father, strict, strict. He took a great interest in the things that I must not do. His philosophy of life seemed to be expressed in "My boy, don't do this, and don't do that, and don't do the other thing." I think back to that community a good many years ago, when there was practically no one except the village doctor who cared a continental about my future.

My father was concerned, of course, that I should at least be as good a man as he-which is a good deal for some fathers to admit; but the man who gave me the ideal, who gave me the urge, who gave me the enthusiasm, who gave me that energy which gets into the soles of your feet and draws you on and upward, was the country doctor; and the process by which that came was through companionship, friendship; fraternity, brotherhood. And as I stand here today, it is with the purpose that I shall say something that will send you men out from this place with a deeper conviction of the necessities of brotherhood, with a deeper conviction of the necessities of boy companionship, of handing out from your character, if it is good, that idealism into the life of a boy which will lead him on. That is the reason I appear here today.

In those days we did not know of organized manmark you, I say man-companionship for boys. My judgment, educationally, is this: that it is in the hands of the present generation of men to determine what happens to the world in the next decade through the present generation of boys. (Applause)

If we have a manhood today which can transfer over to boyhood its good character, the only means by which it will be transferred is by companionship. Someone has said that character is caught, not taught, and generally there is a great deal in that. There was not any Boy Scout movement in those days. There was a very strict--and if there are any members of that Ontario Board of Education which was in control of things in my day here present, I hope they will hear this--there was a very strict interpretation of what was meant by training me to know a certain thing. I learned, in young life, that it didn't make so much difference what I knew, but it did make a great deal of difference what I did, what habits I developed, what ideals of living I had. Gentlemen, I come to you today, which is a new day in Canada, to discuss with you what I will grant you is somewhat a one-sided proposition, for it is rather to assert than to discuss. It is a good thing that you will consider with me here the cause of Canadian boyhood.

It is true that out of that struggle, out of that rigorous discipline of that father, who was certainly a definite sort of individual, who meant what he said, there certainly came much of value. It may have driven some of us to another country. It is true that in New York City there is a band of Canadians, every one of whom is a leader in his particular line, and many of them came from Ontario. We talk about happy relations with the States; but do you know why there cannot be any real serious difficulty with the United States, as far as difficulties with Canada or difficulties with Great Britain are concerned? I will tell you the reason. One out of every hundred people living in the United States was born in Canada. (Applause) One million and a quarter of people live in the United States who were born in Canada; and I may say, in passing, that that one out of a hundred is generally the leader of the other ninety-nine. Now, I will just put aside all questions of the imaginary line, because to me there isn't any. We belong to the English-speaking world.

I want to express myself, since I have an opportunity, on what seem to me the three great fundamentals in Canadian education for the next fifty years. Let the past be as bright and glorious as it may have been, but the world today is facing the need for men in every sense-real men, men who are trained to be men, and after being trained to be men are men. And so I want to leave with you three great principles in education, which from my point of view, must penetrate every educational system of self-governed peoples.

First, we must train our youth to be good, strong, healthy, sane physical creatures. We must see to it that we do not handicap coming generations by inherited diseases, or by lack of physical opportunities, so that they shall go into the battle of life with that fullest equipment of physical vigor and health which is absolutely essential today. I therefore say that in any educational system in self-governing countries, the primary objective should be to develop men and women, boys and girls, who are physically fit, who do not go into life handicapped because of neglect of that very great fundamental principle.

Second--and I consider this very important, but not on a par with the training in physical development--a training in morale. Now, in Canada, you have a natural-born morale. If you are born in Canada, if you join a dozen countries, one after another, as some Canadians do as they go around the world, you are always a Canadian. It is the funniest thing in the world that, whether it is on the Mediterranean Sea or in the South Sea Islands, Canadianism seems to come to the top. You can always pick them, you can always tell them. Why? It is because naturally in this country there is a system of training in morale. What shall I call it? Loyalty, esprit de corps, a belief in the institutions of your country; in fact some of us are still living on those things which we got under eighteen years of age in the home, the church and the school of this country.

Third--and I maintain that from the standpoint of public education this is the most essential part for successful manhood and womanhood-training in character. Ideals are wonderful, but an ideal will not hold us on the track unless we have had practice in living up to the ideal to the extent that we have developed a habit of keeping on the track. The world today, more than ever before, is demanding people of character, not who are trained in the knowledge about character. We all know about character, but it is men who by practice of virtues have character.

Those are the three great educational needs, in my judgment, of the world today. Practice in writing, reading, arithmetic is, of course, essential; they are a product; but character, morale and physical fitness are the great objectives. That is the basis of the Scout movement. The Scout movement is ingenious, because it brings out those three great fundamentals in the essentials of training for citizenship.

Why is it that Canada stands out today as a tremendous force? It is because my father and some of your fathers rode a hundred miles in the woods from Toronto to Western Ontario, where there was only a village. They hewed down the trees; they built the country; they made the city. We have passed on to another period. It is not now the physical ability of Canada, but her spiritual ability that will tell; and it is through the boys and girls that this quality will come through the development of physical fitness, the development of training in morale, and the development of character. Whatever I say of boys will apply also to girls. If the boys of Canada make their fullest contribution to English-speaking civilization, in which you men are all so interested, it will be because the men of this generation have made it possible for them to do so through stressing the three objectives which I mentioned.

It is up to the present generation. It cannot be foisted on to future generations. Every community in Canada is just exactly what its individuals are. Its towns, its villages, its rural communities, its cities, the strength of this country, is the strength of all those communities. The 'place to build a country is in the homes. So I hand out to you men of Toronto the challenge, that whatever is the condition of boyhood in Toronto, it is an index of what the men have been. You have it in your hands to mould the lives of the boys as you will; but it takes consecrated genius, actual service.

The thing that has put the Scout movement forward is that we have 126,000 men, men like yourselves, who are actually carrying on the work with over half a million boys. Scouting has been sold to the business man as an opportunity to build his community through training the boyhood in his community. To me that is the social significance of the Boy Scout movement, which is entirely different from anything that has been introduced into the States, at least-the plan by which local men, practicing with local boys, build the local community, and by building the local community they will build the nation. (Applause)

What is the community? I am not going to attempt to answer that question, but the community is certainly made up of the homes of the people, at least. If our homes were functioning as they should most of our other problems would disappear. (Applause) In my judgment, one of the most neglected duties is the failure to meet the responsibilities of home life. A self-governing country will surely fail, without the full functioning of the home. (Applause) It is in the homes you build those fundamentals, those principles of character, those relationships of co-operation and brotherhood which make possible a self-governing country.

And let us not fool ourselves with the idea that the public school or any other educational effort can take that duty off our hands. So I urge you to make your homes in Canada the best that can be made. That is the glory of France today. The thing that has maintained and enabled France to go on, has been that fine quality in the French home. I know that in the United States I never lose an opportunity to talk to mothers and tell them that we must not forget that in these days it is still the home, the home, the home. There is no Scout Master that can be put in the place of the boy's father, and there is none that can take that responsibility for him.

What is another element in the community? Certainly the church in Canada has stood out and stands out today, as making more progress along progressive church lines, I think, than any other country. It is beginning to see boys in the relationship in which it should serve them.

Certainly the school is a fundamental thing in community life. The Scout movement is devised not as a substitute for the home, not for the church, not for the school, but as a supplement to them, to vitalize them, to help them to function, to help them to carry over their own work. No man can do the work of a father properly, no church can do the work of a church properly, no school can do its work properly, without such an agency as the Boy Scout movement to reinforce the home, the church and the school. The Boy Scout movement is intended to supplement, and not to be a substitute for those other agencies, nor to do their work for them.

What is the problem in this whole proposition? Not money. It is the problem of establishing this type of training for boys, and it is the problem of the companionship of older men. You cannot expect your boy to grow up into the right type of boy if you permit him to associate with "boobs," if you permit some inefficient, ineffective individual to provide leadership for him; because as you give to those boys the right sort of men for leaders, they will become the right sort of men. One of the great wishes I have just now is to see the right sort of companionship in the Scout movement in Canada, and especially in the Province of Ontario; and I would like to pay my compliments to some of these men for the leadership they are showing in making this thing valuable.

Here you are, the Empire Club. You men are interested in getting the civilization of the English-speaking races on an understandable and widespread basis. You are interested in having other countries understand, and if possible adopt, those principles of English-speaking civilization which you enjoy here. There is no agency today that is doing as much good as is the Boy Scout movement. I had a chance to see in London an international organization of the Boy Scouts, covering thirty-five countries. I have had a chance to help to organize some of those countries. I know the influence that is coming from the English ideal--an ideal which is most powerful in the States, an ideal which is most powerful in its own country, an ideal that is growing in great strength in the continental countries. There is actually no propaganda which will bring you to your objective more quickly than will the Boy Scout movement. (Applause)

Gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be here; it is a great pleasure to have visited with you, although the visit has been pretty much on my part. I will leave with you the desire, the plea, the urge of a young Canadian. It is this: your country, Canada, has a tremendous place in the sun, not from the standpoint of size, which is immaterial, but from the standpoint of its spiritual leadership. As goes the Scout movement in Canada, a very practical result will obtain in other countries. I am here as a representative of the United States because of our friendly feeling for what is being done here; and so I lay upon the hearts of you men, and through you men on the citizens of your city, the citizens of your province and of your country, the challenge, to make the best of your boyhood and girlhood through every agency, especially the Scout movement, for bringing to pass that type of citizenship that stands for loyalty to God, loyalty to country, service to other people, and the individual development of the boy. (Loud applause)

MR. W. K. GEORGE conveyed the thanks of the Club to Mr. Barclay for his interesting address, and the meeting closed with three cheers and a tiger for the sneaker.

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The Business Man, The Community Builder


Some personal reminiscences by the speaker about his childhood, the strictness of his father, the lack of companionship for boys. The necessity for boy companionship, of passing on idealism into the life of a boy which will lead him on. A consideration of the cause of Canadian boyhood. A discussion of the three great fundaments in Canadian education for the next fifty years: training our youth to be good, strong, healthy, sane physical creatures; a training in morale; training in character. These as the basis of the Scout movement. The plan of the Scout movement, by which local men, practicing with local boys, build the local community, and by building the local community, building the nation. Of what a community is made. The importance of home life. The element of the church and the school in the community. The Scout movement as a supplement to the home, the church, the school. The problem of establishing this type of training for boys, and the problem of the companionship of older men. The speaker's great wish to see the right sort of companionship in the Scout movement in Canada, and especially in the Province of Ontario.