Roby Kidd, Adult Educator, 1915-1982: The Autobiography of a Canadian Pioneer


224 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 0-7744-0425-6
DDC 374.92





Reviewed by George G. Ambury

George G. Ambury is an associate professor of adult education at
Queen’s University.


What a shock and pleasant surprise to receive a newly published
autobiography of a man whose memorial services I attended more than 13
years ago. The book was compiled and organized by Kidd’s wife,
Margaret, who has allowed Roby to speak with such a liveliness that one
can imagine him saying these very words. Her editorial comments are few
and judiciously placed.

Kidd tells of boyhood memories and lessons learned from experiences
such as Older Boys’ Parliament. Job seeking in 1932 must have been a
daunting experience for many young adults, but Kidd did not seem to know
how to take no for an answer (a trait that never really left him).
Finally, at 20, he began to work for the YMCA in Montreal. The
reminiscences about university studies and his self-questioning about
the pacifist stance he took during the war are enlightening. Stories of
his work in the Canadian Association for Adult Education, his diplomacy
in the international adult education scene, and his role in founding the
International Council for Adult Education are engaging and moving. There
are many gaps, but how could we expect otherwise, for Kidd was
constantly establishing new links for both himself and others as he
sought to make adult education a force to be reckoned with world-wide.


Kidd, James Robbins., “Roby Kidd, Adult Educator, 1915-1982: The Autobiography of a Canadian Pioneer,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,