During the 1980s, the General Fraternity made a conscious decision to embark on a major expansion drive.
A Fresh Start at Last There was a sense that the Fraternity could not afford to stand still any longer.
To hold the line on size would cause Beta to slowly dwindle into a second-rate brotherhood among North American Greek societies.
Although many brothers still questioned the wisdom of expansion, the majority of delegates at the annual General Conventions made it clear that Beta would now have to go forward and grow.
Betas in all the many positions of responsibility were alerted that growth would take place, and that the Fraternity would actively seek suitable fields for new expansion.
Jack Geddes, Western Ontario ’54, Toronto ’55, was one man with a positive reaction to this message.
Since 1979, Jack had been serving as chief of the newlyformed all-Canadian District III.
His two chapters in Toronto and London had a few contacts between each other,
but Jack was seeking new ways to draw these Ontario sister chapters even closer.
A Fresh Start at Last A new chapter between them, Geddes felt, would do the trick.
There were four universities located in cities between the two existing Ontario chapters.
Jack Geddes noted the University of Guelph as a probable good location for expansion.
Here was a sizable school with many resident students, a good image in the community and no existing Greek letter fraternities.
Geddes was certainly well aware of Beta’s many pioneering ventures, and saw that Guelph could make a worthy addition to the list.
He discussed this idea with several of the alumni in the region who were most actively involved in Beta at the time
His untimely death, though, did not signal the end of Canadian expansion.
In fact, quite the opposite was true.
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