Author-Explorer Tells Vivid Story: 0042.0170
The Cranbrook Courier, November 25, 1926 (p1)
AUTHOR-EXPLORER TELLS VIVID STORY - Thrills High School Pupils With History
of Attempted Dash to North Pole
Here is what "Who's Who in Canada" has published concerning James
Wheeler Davidson, F.R.G>S., resident of Calgary and third vice-president
"Educated North West Military Academy, Highland Park, Illinois.
Member of Peary Arctic Expedition to North Greenland, 1893-94; War
Correspondent Chinese Army 1895; with Japanese Army 1895-96; U.S. Consul,
Formosa and Loochoo Islands, 1898-1903; U.S. Consul successively at Nanking
and Antung and Consul-General Shanghai, 1904-05; Fellow Royal Geological
Society, Asiatic Society of Japan, Explorers' Club of America; decorated
with order of Rising Sun (Japanese); author of "Formosa Camphor and its
Future," 1895; "Review of History of Formosa," 1896; "Formosa Under Jap
Rule," 1905; "Island of Formosa, Past and Present," 1903; contributor to
scientific societies and magazines; third vice-president Rotary
*Vividly Describes Arctic Life*
Using colored slides to illustrate his narrative, while speaking to
pupils of the city schools, yesterday, Mr. Davidson carried his audience
from Canada, the point of departure of the Peary Arctic Expedition, to the
North Pole, tracing the route on a map. His story, as told in natural
sequence of happenings, fairly electrified the four hundred young people
in the Star theatre, kindly loaned by Mr. Blaine for the occasion.
*A Tidal Wave Works Havoc*
Going on from a description of the wolf-dogs of the Arctic, the manner of
their harnessing as beasts of burden and the building of snow igloos as
shelters against the raging blizzards of the north, Mr. Davidson told of a
tidal wave sweeping away all of the fuel supplies of the exploring party,
together with much of its food and a quantity of lumber.
*Dogs Victims of Storms*
Speaking of the Eskimo dogs and their masters, the Eskimos, Mr.
Davidson drew a series of wonderfully realistic word pictures of life in
the barren and storm-swept north. He told of the cleverness of the natives
in building their igloos, of their quaint tribal customs and their
indifference in hardships. The dogs he described as half-tamed wolves
ready to rend even their masters on the least provocation. But hardy as is
the Eskimo dog, frequently he falls a victim to the terrible blizzards that
sweep over the Arctic wastes, Mr.
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Davidson quoting instances of dogs frozen to death and imprisoned in
drifts of snow hardened into ice by the force of the wind. He related that
on one occasion a storm which lasted for nearly a week took a toll of 22
dogs out of a complement of 80. That loss, said Mr. Davidson, was the real
reason of the expedition turning back before reaching its objective.
Mr. Davidson, showing a slide photograph of Commander Peary,
discoverer of the North Pole on a subsequent expedition, referred to the
famous explorer as a "remarkably determined man" and a "highly-skilled
*Rotary International Side*
Speaking before the local Rotary club the previous evening, a meeting
to which wives and lady friends of Rotarians were invited, Mr. Davidson
(Jim to his fellow Rotarians) took for his theme Rotary International aims.
In effect, Mr. Davidson stated that the need of closer fellowship of
nations had called Rotary into being. But for its practice of the religion
of good fellowship, the organization would cease to exist. Rotary has
spread over every country in the civilized world.
*Recognize Other Rights*
Fellowship between the nations is assured, Mr. Davidson said, if the
world at large will practice the virtue of tolerance. Each individual, or
group, or nation is entitled to its own views on religion or politics, and
each possesses excellent qualities all its own. A proper understanding of
the other fellow's problems is necessary to an understanding of the other
*Co-operation Also Necessary*
To bring into action all that is best in the nations for the good of
the world at large, co-opeation of the nations is necessary. That
necessity Rotary recognizes as is evidenced by its counting most far-seeing
men in the world today. Rotary is encompassing the earth with a bond of
good fellowship, Mr. Davidson declared.