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Camsell Medal

2002 Winner - Alan O. Gibbons

Billiards and Geography
Alan O. Gibbons’ introduction to The Royal Canadian Geographical Society began after the Second World War in the billiards room of Ottawa’s Rideau Club. In one of his first tournaments there, he competed against one of the club’s leading players: Charles Camsell, the founder and first president of the RCGS. Gibbons won, much to his surprise.

The competitors struck up a friendship. “Charles Camsell was a father figure to me,” says Gibbons. Over time, Camsell whetted Gibbons' interest in the Society, and Gibbons joined the Board of Directors in 1975, serving for more than a decade during one of the most trying periods in the Society’s history.

At the time, the Society was struggling to survive. For eight years, Gibbons played a key role on its finance committee, which guided the Society through difficult times, then unprecedented growth. His diligence and fiscal savvy have been recognized with the 2002 Camsell Award, for outstanding service to the Society. The award is named after Gibbons’ billiards partner, who died in 1959.

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