Scott, Robert Clyde, 1879-1960

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Scott, Robert Clyde, 1879-1960

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Robert Clyde Scott was born in Paisely, Bruce County, Ontario on November 15, 1879, the eldest son of Robert Scott and Euphemia McTaggart. He went to Alberta at around 1900, and worked for the CPR as a brakeman and as a lay supply for the Methodist Missionaries of Red Deer. In 1907 he entered Victoria College, Toronto, and in 1911 graduated with a B.A.; he was received into full connexion at the Alberta Conference in 1912. In 1913 Scott came to British Columbia and began marine mission work on Howe Sound, with headquarters at Gibson's Landing. This work involved ministering to the physical as well as spiritual needs of those in the logging camps, Indian villages, fishing villages and lighthouses along the coast. He met Amelia Wakefield while he was stationed at Gibson's Landing, and they married on May 26, 1915. She gave birth to their only child, Robert Wakefield Scott on November 17, 1916. Amelia died in 1950. In 1917 Scott's headquarters were moved to Hazelton, and in 1919 he reopened the Indian Mission at Cape Mudge, the mission boat Iwyll being brought to the coast for his use, and he remained there until 1925. From that point until 1933 he was stationed at Ocean Falls, with the mission boats Thomas Crosby II and Thomas Crosby IV. During the years 1933-1934 Scott was stationed on the West coast of Vancouver Island, with the mission boat Melvin Swartout. He left marine work in 1933, when he was appointed principal of Coqualeetza Residential School (Previously the Coqualeetza Institute), succeeding George H. Raley in that post. The following year, he was elected President of the B.C. Conference of the United Church. When the Coqualeetza school closed, and the Alberni Indian Residential School was opened, Scott moved to the new school as principal, and remained until 1944. For the next four years Scott was on disability leave due to a severe throat condition. In May of 1947, he completed his book My Captain Oliver (United Church Publishing House, 1947), about Captain William Oliver, who built and skippered the Thomas Crosby III. In 1948 Scott retired and took over the position of visiting chaplain to patients in the Coqualeetza Sanitarium, and then to patients in the Hospital for Indians in Nanaimo; later that year, the United Church honoured him with the addition of the Robert C. Scott to its fleet, and he was awarded the honourary degree of Doctor of Divinity by Union College of British Columbia in 1950. On October 5, 1951, Scott married his second wife, Eunice Phillips of Richmond, B.C. He continued his hospital visits until his death in Vancouver on June 4, 1960.


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Revised August 5, 2011


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