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10B United Church Materials
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- Textual record
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28.7 cm textual records,
19 file folders or bound volumes
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John Carl Ridd was born on Aug. 17, 1929 to Dwight Ridd and Isa (Hearn) Ridd. Apart from a brief stint in Fort William, Ontario during his father’s army career, Ridd grew up and attended school in Winnipeg. In high school Ridd was President of the Student Council, played the flute and was involved with sports – especially basketball (see below). In 1946 – 1947 Ridd participated in Winnipeg’s first Eaton’s Junior Executive Council.
In 1950 Ridd graduated from United College, Winnipeg, with a Bachelor of Arts degree (during this degree Ridd was one-time class president and class valedictorian, edited of the Manitoban’s sports page, played basketball and was a member of the university symphony). In 1951 Ridd received his Diploma in Education from the University of Manitoba. Upon graduating, he became employed by Great-West Life Assurance Co. in Winnipeg. In 1952 Ridd married Beverley Tozer; the following year their first child, Laurel, was born.
In 1955 Ridd, having returned to university, graduated with a Master of Arts degree in English. That same year he enrolled as a Theology student at United College, graduating in 1958. During his theological studies, the Ridds’ second child – Brian – was born.
Upon completing his theological studies, Ridd was ordained as a United Church minister and was settled in the Emerson – Dominion City pastoral charge in southern Manitoba. Ridd served here until 1963; during this period of ministry, the Ridds’ third child – Karen – was born.
In the fall of 1963, the family moved to New Jersey so that Ridd could pursue a Ph.D. in literature and religion at Drew University. During his second and third years at Drew, Ridd served as minister for Eastside Terrace Methodist Church in Paterson. Following the completion of the course work and comprehensive examinations for his Ph.D. (the dissertation was completed, and the degree awarded, in 1977) the family moved back to Winnipeg, where Ridd founded the Department of Religious Studies – and served as a professor therein – at United College/University of Winnipeg in 1966. Although Ridd initially also taught English and Theology courses, most of his teaching career at the University of Winnipeg was spent in the Religious Studies department. For a number of years, Ridd served as the departmental chair. Ridd also served the University as the President of the Faculty Association for several years. Ridd was the recipient of the University of Winnipeg’s Clifford J. Robson Award for Excellence in Teaching (1980) and the Clarence Atchison Award for Community Service (1983). In 1995, Ridd retired to become a “full-time citizen.” At the time of his retirement a “Carl Ridd Scholarship in the Humanities” was established at the University of Winnipeg for a student with high marks and a strong commitment to community service. Furthermore, the chapel at the University was renamed “Carl Ridd Sanctuary” in 2008 and the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy as a part of the University of Winnipeg's Global College.
The designation of “citizen” was – for Ridd – a serious responsibility. Beginning in the early stages of his teaching career, he became increasingly active and vocal in relation to social justice issues on local, national and international scales. Ridd’s social activism showed particular interest in Winnipeg’s inner city, the Winnipeg Jets, Canadian foreign policy, homosexual rights, the state of the environment and political changes in Central America. Throughout his adult life Ridd participated in a number of United Church committees that focussed on social justice or civic issues, as well as the Manitoba Energy Council, the Thin Ice coalition and the Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association. Additionally, Ridd was a founding member of Project Peacemakers and “Reaching Out for Central America.”
Ridd was a basketball enthusiast, and through his abilities and interest in the sport he earned many honors. His basketball career began in the early 1940s when he played at Westminster United Church. As a student at Gordon Bell High School Ridd helped the Gordon Bell Panthers reach the High School Basketball Championships 1945 – 1947. In 1952 Ridd went to the Helsinki Olympics as a member of the Canadian Olympic basketball team and, in 1954, participated in the World Basketball Tournament in Rio de Janeiro where he was named to the second all-star team (the first Canadian to be named to the team). Also in 1954 Ridd, as a member of the Winnipeg Paulins, won the Canadian Senior Basketball Championship. Ridd’s other basketball accolades included an invitation to play professionally for the Milwaukie Hawks (the first Manitoban to be offered an NBA contract), being ranked the fourth highest scorer in North American college basketball 1949 – 1950, leading the Winnipeg Senior Men’s League in scoring on numerous occasions and being named to the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame, the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame (their first inductee) and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. Later in life Ridd would continue to enjoy the sport as a spectator, a supporter and as a coach of a Winnipeg inner city youth team. Moreover, the concept of “playing” would remain an important lens through which Ridd viewed life. Since 1970 the Manitoba Basketball Coaches Association has presented the “Carl Ridd Award” to one male and one female graduating player who excel on the court and in the classroom and who are heavily involved in the community.
On March 29, 2003 Ridd passed away after a month-long battle with leukemia.
Scope and content
A variety of types of records comprise the sub-series. Many of the records in this sub-series originate in direct relation to – or directly from – the United Church of Canada. Many of the records in this sub-series were collected, rather than originated, by Carl Ridd. This sub-series pulls together records pertaining to the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario and Winnipeg Presbytery. Prominent topics found in the sub-series include education in the church, Ridd’s participation in several Winnipeg churches, outreach efforts of the United Church, changing theological positions in the United Church and the role of the church in the larger social world.
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- John Carl Ridd (Collector)