RI Theme "Meeting Rotary's Challenge in the Space Age"


Born in England in 1895, Russ came to British Columbia with his mother, young sister and brother in 1901. His father had preceded with five older children. As there were no universities in B.C. when he finished regular schooling, he enrolled in a Teacher's College and then taught two years; one in B.C. and one in Alberta. In 1913 he enrolled as a law student under Articles with an outstanding member of the bar, both in B.C. and Alberta.

W.W.I. interrupted his study to serve with the Canadian Forces overseas in the 10th Infantry and later at G.H.Q. in the legal department. Returning, he was called to the bar in July, 1919, and has enjoyed the practice as an Advocate and Judge until his retirement in 1979. He is highly respected in his profession, and has a host of friends. He has been active in politics both in the Kootenay and in the Vancouver area having been both Alderman and Mayor of West Vancouver, and chairman of the Greater Vancouver Waterworks. He has also been active in Masonic Orders, the Angelican Church, and in military organizations. The most vivid memories of his eventful life are those of his military services.

Russ and his wife, Nan, love to travel, and her relatives in Australia are a great pull in that direction. Their three children and eleven grandchildren keep them busy.


He joined the Rotary Club of Trail in 1935, and on moving to West Vancouver, was instrumental in the establishment of the West Vancouver Club in 1953. He was that Club's second President. Because of his many civic activities, his participation in District matters was nominal, although he showed his interest at all times in developing Rotary.

Until 1963, and for a few years thereafter, District Governors were chosen at the District Conference immediately preceding the time a Governor took office. It was the current Governor's duty to find a successor. No Club having made a nomination for Governor that year, it became the duty of Ed "Fletch" Fletcher to find a qualified Rotarian (Dr. Johnson, the immediate Past Governor had died). After reviewing his notes on all the Clubs in the District, Fletch determined that Russ was his man. He was a proven organization leader. Fletch was a persistent salesman, and so Russ accepted, was nominated by the Conference and was on the way to Lake Placid for his training as Governor in short order.

Since his year as Governor, Russ has continued to be active in the affairs of both his Club and the District.

His Club honored him with a Paul Harris Fellowship in 1976.


His year as Governor was memorable for the matched district program instituted by R.I. President Miller, and for the Alaska earthquake. North Island, New Zealand was matched with District 504 so Russ organized with the Governor in Auckland, a tour in which 49 Rotarians from many parts of our District visited Rotarians in New Zealand and Australia, and saw much of those countries. Since then many exchange visits have been made both ways by those who were on the tour, as well as others.

The earthquake that destroyed much of Anchorage occurred in early spring, and Russ immediately started organizing relief through Rotary sources, which effort was much appreciated by the Alaska Rotarians. During his year the Williams Lake Club was chartered, and the Glacier Bay Club well under way.