Brenda Richards was born in Toronto, attended Ryerson Public School and Harbord Collegiate, and then enrolled in Central Technical School to study commercial art. Brenda was later employed as an art teacher at Humewoood Public School and continued teaching and assisting until she retired at age 60. Her husband Alfred or "Alf" managed a George Richards men’s clothing store.
Following the death of their 21 year old son, the Richards wished to assist other young men and became involved in the Scouting movement. They became the leaders of the 159th 'B' Cub Pack, which met at Shaarei Shomayim Synagogue in Toronto on Wednesday evenings. In the terminology of Scouting, using characters from Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book’, Alfred, the Cubmaster, was known as “Akela” and Brenda, the Assistant Cubmaster was “ Baloo” (the Bear). At its peak, the Cub pack had approximately 36 members but dissolved in 1970. During Brenda’s career in the Cub movement, she was awarded several “Good Service” medals by the Scouting Council of Canada.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of personal records and artifacts accumulated by Brenda Richards during her service as Assistant Cubmaster of the 159th 'B' Toronto Cub Pack. These include Cub and Cub leader regalia and memorabilia, a collection of photographs of the Cub pack and two scrapbooks documenting their activities. The scrapbooks include photographs, poems and other writings by cub members, news clippings and lists of badges earned by various cubs. Also of note are 4 original drawings by Richards.
Physical description note: Includes 1 folder of textual records, 2 scrapbooks, 4 drawings, 6 badges, 5 pins, 2 medals, 1 whistle, and 1 woggle.
Fonds is part of the Ontario Jewish Archives' project to acquire material created by the 159th Cub Pack, which was a Jewish troop. The project also includes an oral history interview with Brenda Richards conducted by Martin Wolfish.