Virtual Hall of Fame
Dr. Arthur Stanley Lamb 1933-1939
Professor of Physical Education and Director of the Department of Physical Education at McGill University, was born in 1886 at Ballarat, Australia. He attended Ballarat State and Technical Schools, and received the degree of B.P.E. from Springfield College in 1912, and later those of M.D. and C.M. (Master of Surgery), from McGill University.
He began his teaching at the Y.M.C.A. in Vancouver in 1907 and was instructor of physical education at McGill University from 1912 to 1916. He served as captain with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in France and Belgium. He became director of the Department of Physical Education at McGill University in 1920.
The many special awards and honours which have been given him are evidence of the high regard in which he is held by many professional groups. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Education, and a Fellow of the American Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. He is a member of the Honorary Fraternity Alpha Kappa Alpha, and the Honorary Medical Fraternity of Alpha Omega Alpha. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Public Health, and an honorary life member of the Canadian Branch, Royal Caledonia Curling Club, and honorary present and life member of the Quebec Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
He has been active and held office in many other associations, such as the National Committee for School Health Research, the Health League of Canada, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Medico Chirurgical Society, the Welfare Federation of Montreal, and the Montreal Parks and Playground Association, of which he is now president.
His great interest in athletics has resulted in active work in such associations as the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada, the Canadian Olympic Association Executive Committee, as manager of the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Teams, in the British Empire Games Association of Canada (as vice-chairman), on the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union Board of Governors, as honorary president of the Amateur Skating Association of Canada and as director of the Sportsmen’s Association of Montreal.
He was one of the founders of the C.P.E.A. in 1933 and served as its present for the first six years of its existence, being now its honorary president.
This is a most impressive list of organizations and activities with which Dr. Lamb has been associated, but it is not the whole picture. One must know him to realize fully the great service and leadership which he has given to each one of them. His ever-ready counsel, his expert judgment, his unfailing wit and humour have made his contribution unique and valuable.
I could not complete this citation without referring to his many addresses and articles on technical and professional subjects. They are always carefully prepared, complete in their breadth of understanding and often potent in their effect.
Dr. Lamb well deserves the title of beloved Dean of Physical Education in Canada. He has devoted his life to the cause which he early made his own, and his service is indeed meritorious and distinguished.
1948 R. Tait McKenzie Honour Award recipient
From Ballarat, Victoria County, Australia, he immigrated to Canada
and worked as physical director of the Y.M.C.A. in Vancouver, BC
for two years before entering Springfield College. He graduated
from Springfield College in 1912 (B.P.E) and moved to Montreal becoming
Physical Director at McGill University where he served in various
roles within the School of Physical Education and Athletics until
his retirement in 1949.
Many physical educators know of Lamb as a founder of the Quebec
Physical Education Association in 1923, a founder (some would say
founder) of the Canadian Physical Education Association in 1933,
the three term President of the C.P.E.A. for its first six years
until 1939, its honorary president until his death in 1958, and
the recipient in 1948 of the Association's R. Tait MacKenzie award
for distinguished service to the profession.
Lamb has been called variously "the father of physical education
in Canada," "the father of modern physical education in
Canada," and the "dean of physical education in Canada”.
Quote from PHE journal 1954
Dr. A. S. Lamb says, “are we satisfied with
the “What do I get out of it” attitude, which is permeating
far deeper into our competition than we care to admit? Is the love
of the game for its own sake being forsaken for the returns it may
bring? Intensive competition, the desire to win and gate receipts
are masking our vision as to the more important functions which
sport and recreation should serve. The attendant evils are apt to
make very rapid inroads on our traditions of play, which may become
so impregnated as to create a most serious situation for the rising
Keynote address delivered by our first President,
Dr. Arthur S Lamb
at the first convention in 1933.
We must demonstrate how a modern programme in health and physical
education can transform a community; how health, happiness, general
well-being and proper use of leisure will depend upon intelligent
foresight and planning into these troubled times. We must demonstrate
our faith with Adam Lindsay Gordon when he says:
‘Our hopes are wild imaginings,
Our schemes are airy castles,
Yet these, on earth are lords and kings,
And we, their slaves and vassals.’
Is there, then, any obligation for us to show a unity of interests
and purpose? Are the problems involved not common to all sections
of the country? Even if there were not special and immediate problems,
is there no inspiration to result from the exchange of ideas by
those engaged in a common cause? Few will deny the advantages to
be gained from a unified effort, such as the launching of the Association.
Difficulties have presented themselves and doubtless will continue
to do so. Just how rapid and thorough the growth of the Association
will be depends upon many factors. It must have ideals, objectives,
aspirations, breadth of vision, enthusiasm and courage. If it does
not have these, then its days will be numbered. Its platform must
be basically sound, its vision broad, its ideals high, its enthusiasm
boundless and its courage great. Its members must constantly aspire
towards a richer background of professional training, wider scholarship,
ripe experience and a constantly high purpose to interpret and inspire,
for youth will follow only those who have met these standards…..
It must strive to develop a national consciousness for the full
and complete education of the individual. Our child born at this
meeting, in April 1933 might well respond:
‘Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be.’
CPEA JOURNAL, VOL 1:1
1933-39 CAHPERD President
1939-59 CAHPERD Honorary President
1948 R. Tait McKenzie Honour Award recipient
Dr. Arthur S. Lamb, Dean of Physical Education in Canada Passes
A Tribute by Iveagh Munro Director, Physical Education for Women
But even with all these duties, he always had or perhaps took time to listen to personal problems. To many he was guide, counselor and friend, ready to listen and to help. Perhaps that may explain why he is known to many as “dad”.
THE INDELIBLE MARK OF SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE: Its Role In
Developing Recreation Leadership in Canada 1915 to 1935
Presented by Susan E. Markham, PhD
Many physical educators know of Lamb as a founder of the Quebec Physical Education Association in 1923, a founder (some would say the founder) of the Canadian Physical Education Association in 1933, the three term President of the C.P.E.A. for its first six years until 1939, its honorary president until his death in 1958, and the recipient in 1948 of the Association's R. Tait MacKenzie award for distinguished service to the profession.
The Canadian Encyclopedia - Physical Education