Davidson India Trip


Mrs Davidson’s 1934 book was produced by Rotary International as a tribute to Jim Davidson who passed away a year earlier.

Lillian Davidson has sent her writings back to Rotary International headquarters as they family progressed throughout the near and far east. Much of the book would appear in “The Rotarian” magazine. The trip which began in August 1928 lasted almost three years and measured about 10,000 miles in distance travelled (and cost Davidson a rumoured $250,000)– such was the dedication of Jim Davidson and his family.

Paul Harris himself was delighted to write an introduction to the book (full text appears below) where he would describe Davidson’s trip as “a journey that was to remake the map of Rotary.”

The book clearly and extensively describes the new cultures that the Davidsons experienced.

Lillian first met Jim in Shanghai when he was American Consulate-General, a role he enjoyed and an experience that would serve him well in his Rotary mission.

In Turkey, Jim managed to secure the assistance of Government officials –especially the Prefect of Police of Constantinople, Sherif Bey- in order to sell the new, ‘western’ idea of Rotary to the Turks. Davidson himself had serious doubts as to whether Turkish Rotary would flourish. He said: “I felt that in few of the many countries that I would visit, could Rotary perform so great a service as in Turkey, for the Turks need a friendly world association which they do not now possess”.