Scandal Strikes CEDA — 1953

stack of books

January 22, 2020

By John Kerr

A committee appointed to consider the future operation of the Association reported some startling facts about the Association’s Manager, Mr. Edmunds. In the minutes, President Jack Sharpe listed a string of indiscretions that highlighted his dissatisfaction with Mr. Edmunds’ conduct. These included:

• a $558.02 deficit from previous year was mainly caused by Edmunds making unauthorized trips to the west

• the expenses of the President were put in a “Promotional” account instead of a separate account thereby effectively covering up the Secretary’s drawings

• there was no mention of a $300 loan taken by the secretary

• the budget of the previous year was not approved by the finance committee as reported

• the auditing expense was $300, not $400 as stated in one place

• a promotional expense of $430 was in fact the sum of $10 per week taken by the Secretary for “entertainment”

In the president’s words, “The Secretary’s report was in itself the best evidence that the decision to request and accept his resignation was justified.” A curious footnote was that the Board of Directors granted Edmunds a gratuity of $750 on his severance from CEDA, despite Edmunds’ apparent attempt to defraud the association.

The president’s wrath also fell on the honourary treasurer. He described his report in these terms: “… inaccurate and written apparently in an attempt to embarrass members.”

Both Mr. Edmunds and the honourary treasurer resigned as a result of these revelations.

At the same Board meeting where all of the association’s dirty linen was aired, the directors took another major step in the maturing of the association. They discussed who should pay expenses that the president or a director incurred while travelling on CEDA business. It was decided that “the travelling expenses of the president shall be paid while on official CEDA business. When a director or member is on official CEDA business, specifically requested by the president or the Board of Directors, their expenses shall be paid.”

John Kerr is publisher of CEW.

Source: CEDA: Fifty Years of Service – An Historical Review of the Canadian Electrical Distributors Association, 1934 to 1984, Kerrwil Publications. Please feel free to reach out to us any time if you have great photos, historical anecdotes or perspectives. We would love to hear from you;


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