When Royden G. Derrick returned to the United States this summer, after serving for three years as president of the England Leeds Mission, he planned to devote a great deal of time to two great humanitarian interests: genealogical research and an inter-American organization. Having sold an intermountain company, of which he was president and general manager, he looked forward to having time for these projects. He had served as chairman of the board of Partners of the Americas, in which forty-four states are allied with areas of Latin America for development of that country. As examples of their success: sixty-three schools have been built in Bolivia with the aid of Utah’s school children, and some 50,000 children are now receiving dental care who previously had none.
However, in September 1976 Elder Derrick was again called by the Church to Britain, this time to serve for ten months as president of the new Ireland Dublin Mission. He will be released July 1, 1977.
When Elder Derrick left for that second mission just weeks before general conference, he had no idea that another call would soon be made. He told the Ensign shortly after the announcement, “When President Kimball called me a day or two ago and asked if I would accept the call, I can tell you it was a surprise. I really never thought that I would receive a call of this kind, and it’s a sobering experience, one that makes you get down on your knees before the Lord.”
Elder Derrick was born September 7, 1915, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Hyrum and Margaret Glade Derrick. He received his early education there and studied engineering at the University of Utah. Later he served for eight years on their board of regents and received an honorary doctorate degree there in 1965. Brigham Young University honored him in 1973 with the Jesse Knight Industrial Citizenship Award.
In 1938 Elder Derrick married Allie Jean Olsen in the Salt Lake Temple, and they have four children: Lynda Jean (Mrs. J. Roger Wood) of Orinda, California; James Royden, an industrial engineer; David Glade, now completing an MBA degree at the University of Utah; and the youngest, Bruce Glade, eighteen, also attending the University of Utah. The Derricks have five grandchildren.
Elder Derrick has a long history of service in the Church. He has served as a teacher in priesthood quorums and Sunday School, as ward clerk, bishop’s counselor, and from 1954 to 1957 as a member of the Sunday School General Board. He was released from that call to serve in the Monument Park Stake presidency. He was called to the general superintendency of the Sunday School in December 1966 and served until June 1971. He has also been a guide on Temple Square.
“As I contemplate this new responsibility,” Elder Derrick said, “I realize what a very high regard I have for those with whom I will be working. I surely do sustain them. I always have.
“I have come to realize who I am really working for, and that is the Savior. This is a call from Him. I pray that my labors will be acceptable to Him.”