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.