Fact & Fantasy: A History of Tavistock & District The Editor - Page 5

Carl J. Seltzer

When Carl J. Seltzer accepted the invitation to act as editor of Fact and Fantasy, the members of the Rotary Club of Tavistock, in sponsoring the writing of a history of the Village, had good reason to feel that this Centennial Project was assured of success. It was realized that he had special qualifications to undertake this task by reason of his family background, his long affiliation with Rotary, his professional training and experience, and his involvement in the affairs of this community, where he was born. By good fortune, his recent retirement from the teaching profession provided for him the freedom to devote the necessary time to this assignment.

Carl Seltzer's ancestors made a notable contribution to the development of the Tavistock area, his father, Jacob, having been born here in 1858, a son of Jacob Seltzer, who came from Hessen, Germany, about 1855. His mother, formerly Elizabeth Wilker, was a daughter of Conrad Wilker, whose parents also came from Germany and were early settlers in the area.

It is interesting to note that Carl's two sisters and two of his brothers were school teachers in this community. Another brother is a prominent businessman in Tavistock.

Carl Seltzer began his teaching career at Waterloo College Preparatory School, a residential school for boys. After attending Waterloo College he graduated in 1932 with a B.A. degree, conferred by the University of Western Ontario. In that year he accepted a position on the staff of the Tavistock Continuation School and had been principal for twelve years when the Continuation School was closed in 1955. From this time until his retirement in June, 1967, Mr. Seltzer taught at Waterloo-Oxford District Secondary School.

Many who have continued their studies at University and others who have become successful in various fields, feel that they owe a great deal to their contacts with Mr. Seltzer. He made them realize that, above all, he was interested in the development of initiative and the building of character, rather than the mere teaching of facts.

Mr. Seltzer had been involved in many community activities. He took part in the organization of the first Boy Scout Troop in Tavistock in 1920 and has taken an active interest in promoting the participation of young people in sports such as tennis, hockey and softball.

He is a charter member of the Tavistock Men's Club and Board of Trade and also a charter member, a past president and for fifteen years, secretary of the Rotary Club of Tavistock. During the Second World War he held the rank of Second Lieutenant in the reserve force of the Tavistock Platoon, "B" Company, of the former Oxford Rifles and is an associate charter member of the Tavistock Branch of the Canadian Legion.

He has been awarded a Confederation of Canada Centennial Medal, in recognition of his services to the nation and this community.

His strength of character and sense of responsibility have been demonstrated by his willingness to continue to work as editor of Fact and Fantasy, despite the recent, tragic, accidental deaths of his wife, Anne, and only son Karl. His task has been made easier by the loving support of his two daughters, Karen and Doris Anne.

Dr. H. M. Taylor

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