Br. Josiah Benedict Lidinsky FSC
Most Lasallians know him as simply the grumpy white man lurking around the corners of the LS building. Some know him only as the man to beat during a mean game of 18-hole golf. His co-workers could have even perceived him as a smart alec, content to rest in his ivory tower (as long as he has his trusty old Mac hooked up there, too). A few of his fellow Brothers see him as the quirky and perennially overworked co-celibate who had a weakness for Baguio and solitaire.
But what people may overlook -- and what countless of alumni will never forget -- is Br. Ben's stalwart dedication to the Brotherhood, the University, and the Alumni Association. He was an outstanding teacher and had a brilliant mind, using his BS degree in Math and Physics from Minnesota's St. Mary's College to the hilt. Various teaching assignments in several colleges in the United States brought him the position of, not surprisingly, Dean of Discipline and Guidance Director at the De La Salle Academy in Kansas City.
Br. Josiah Benedict (born John Wenceslaus Edward Lidinsky on July 7, 1927), was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Czech immigrant parents John Lidinsky and Rose Kudlata. Upon answering God's call at the tender age of 13, he left his family and sister Eleanore (then only 7 years old) and became a high school freshman in Glencoe, Missouri's La Salle Institute, where his years in the junior novitiate ultimately inspired him to finalize his vows as a Christian Brother in 1952.
Upon being assigned to the Philippines after a graduate math grant at Notre Dame University in Southbend, Indiana during the early '60s, his Taft career began and flourished. He was designated as the High School Principal by Br. Gabriel, then-President, Director, and Provincial. He impressively moved to the College's Department of Engineering, and his mastery of Spanish and Mathematics proved a giant asset to the college curriculum.
In 1971, Br. Ben became Executive Officer of DLSU and then Director of the University's First Computer Center from 1972 to 1978. He was elected as the Data Processing Management Association of the Philippines' Executive Vice-President in 1976.
1978 saw him as the Vice-President for Development and Alumni Affairs. Upon Br. Gabriel's death during this year, Br. Ben has almost single-handedly managed the Office; quite a natural evolution, considering his active participation in alumni affairs since his 1958 arrival and his post as moderator from 1963 to 1969.
Aside from having the longest teaching and administrative career in the Taft college/university amongst the Brothers, he also has the longest history in the Taft computer business, is the appointed "apostle of Macs," and could give any surgeon a run for his money with his scotch-consuming injuries. His prowess in the holy game of golf even drove the Association to name a competition cup after him (aptly titled "Beat Brother Ben").
He retired from teaching during the late '90s, and given his deep roots and extensive history and devotion to the DLSAA, he was appointed Executive Director for life.
Considered a living legend in the Association, his work colleagues describe him not only as a virtual DLSAA encyclopedia (sharply rattling off nickname after nickname of former alumni), but also as an institution in himself: brilliant, loyal, and generous. You could always count on him to spice things up with his colorful vocabulary when things got a little dull in the office, too.
The most ardent and dutiful servants of The Christian Brothers, the golf gamer to beat, and yes, the dry-humored grump on the corner: we should have all been so lucky.
Br. Ben was honored with the Br. J. Benedict Lidinsky FSC Program Endowment for Development and Alumni Affairs in April 10th, 2000. He died on the 3rd of January 2004.