J.L. Paton, M.A.
MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND.
The year has passed happily without any of these thrilling incidents which diversified on the stage the chronicles of the Charm School.
The number of applicants was considerably in excess of our accomodations. As these applicants came tumbling in within ten or twelve days of our opening, there were unfortunately 32 fully qualified applicants who had to stand by. There was no accomodation. As it is, the compulsory classes in the first year, viz. English and Mathematics, are seriously overcrowded. The crush was in the first year classes.
This made the question of enlarging the building a matter of urgency. Representations were made to the Government through the Hon. Arthur Barnes and were favourably received. In the meantime, until building can be done, it has been decided to refurnish a couple of the classrooms with lecture chairs, and refit our Assembly Hall so that we can use it for regular lectures. This will make it possible for us to provide for 10 in the Freshmen's year.
The number of students in second year remains unfortunately low, The chief reason is lack of means. There are plenty of students qualified to push on with their studies and give a good account of themselves. But they cannot afford it, they have to earn. It was therefore most opportune when the Carnegie Corporation allotted us a sum of $7,500.00 for the purpose of scholarships. We knew at once to what purpose to apply it. I am glad to say that grants from this fund will enable 3 or 4 of our present Freshmen, 3 of the ablest and deserving, to complete their course with us next year.
Another grant, also of $7,500.00, from the same generous source, is given for purpose of equipment. This grant is well-timed. For two years we have had it in our mind to make proper provision for a full pre-engineering course at the College. It is clear that this country provides a splendid opening for Engineers of all kinds, Civil Engineers, Electric Engineers, Mechanical Engineers and Mining Engineers. The economic future of our country including Labrador, lies in the hands of Engineers. Through the appointment of a Lecturer in Engineering for next year we shall be able to provide the instruction in Draughtsmanship, Surveying, Geology, and Mechanics which are necessary to complete the 3 years of the pre-engineering course. Hitherto it has taken our young engineers 4 years after leaving us to complete their Degree in Engineering. From this time forward they should complete it in two. It will also enable us to give the intending Forester an added year of his course before leaving us.
In this new move we have the full concurrence and support of the large engineering industries in this Island.
There has been able student leadership from the Student Representative Council, under Miss Jean Hayward and Mr. Claude Howse. We have now a College yell, two in fact. We got out a magazine. We put in a team for the National Athletic Association Sports. In ice hockey, basketball and football we have had good success and put the College on the map. We have won 3 silver trophies, but the Trustees have not found it necessary to increase the fire insurance on account of them. In every department the student activities have been carried on with fine College spirit.
The development of the Library has gone steadily forward under the direction of Doctor Hunter. Miss Mansfield took a course in Librarianship last summer at Columbia University and under her guidance the cataloging has gone forward steadily if slowly. A new feature has been the opening of the Library for two hours every evening. This has been a great boon more especially to those students for whom the conditions of study at home are not ideal.
An offer was also made to the general public, throwing open the Library to them in the evening hours, but the offer was made rather late in the season and for that reason perhaps, only few availed themselves of it.
Herein I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the help rendered by Miss Olive Field, B.A., who trained our Ladies' Basketball Team with marked success, and the Principal of St. Bon's College who allowed us so graciously the use of their fine rink.
The student body co-operated with equal efficiency and willingness in three ventures which brought money to our Scholarship Fund. The first was the magazine, the first issued by the College, not without its defects but not without its revenue. Thanks to our friends who advertised, this put a net profit of $224.50 to the fund. The next was the play which Mrs. Baxter kindly put on for us in February. She made a most apt selection in "The Charm School"and we owe to her and her splendid troupe, not only a real artistic success, but the substantial sum of $557.50. Last of all came Captain Bob Bartlett's Lecture. It was a promise of long standing, a promise which we owe to our senior student of last year, Mr. Robert F. Dove, the Captain's nephew. We had looked forward to the fulfilment of the promise with keenest anticipation. The event itself surpassed our highest hope. We owe our best thanks to His Excellency, the Governor and Lady Middleton for their support, to the Hon. Minister of Marine, who took the chair, the Committee who gave us the use of the Hall. The Lecturer above all we thank. He is in both hemispheres inimitable.
In addition to these special efforts we had two bequests of $1000.00 each from the late Miss Elizabeth Browning and the late Miss Mary Browning. We had also two special lectures by Professor Hogg, a centenary lecture on Sir Humphrey Davy and another lecture on Earthquakes, an agitiating topic last November -- and with the sums accruing through these two lectures and sundry gifts, we were able to purchase further bonds, so that the total amount invested in trustee securities is now $12,500.00. We are thus able to finance out of revenue a College Scholarship of $300.00 given every year and tenable for two years at any approved University.
This is a beginning and as a beginning it is satisfactory. But it is far from meeting the need and the need is increasing. We hope the scholarship fund will go on growing in the future not less rapidly than it has grown in the past.
The next stage, as it seems to us, is to establish a Students' Loan Fund. This is the most pressing need now. And we are encouraged by enquiries from other Universities to believe that with an initial foundation of $5000.00 we should be able materially to multiply the number at present going forward to the University. Of the quality of those who are going forward, I will speak later. I hear from the authorities of the Universities who have experience of our students that they will be only too glad to receive more students of the same ability. And I, in reply, tell them that we have quite as many candidates and quite as good who through lack of means do not go forward, because before they can face the further expenditure of upwards of $1200.00 they have to set to and earn it.
Hitherto the Senior Matriculation examination papers have been set and examined by the College of Preceptors, London. The disadvantages of preparing for examinations which we did not control and the results of which we had no means of knowing in detail, are obvious, but as there was not at first any other way, they were accepted. Now, I am relieved to say, the necessity is no longer felt. This year the C.H.E. have entrusted the College with the whole business of examining the Senior Matriculation, including external candidates. The transfer was carried through without a hitch, thanks to the foresight and cordial co-operation of Mr. Andrew Wilson. One result must be welcome to all concerned, whether they succeed or fail, we are able this year to give you within a week after the last paper was taken up, the results of the examination. They are as follows:
Number entered, 72; number passed, 44.
I come now to the Honours List which records the successes of our students in the different Universities to which they have gone forward.
It is worth while pointing out that our students are now to be found in 13 different Universities in Canada, United States of America, England and France; they are distributed practically over all the different Faculties of Arts and Science:
London, W. Ontario; Toronto, McGill, Dalhousie and Kings, Acadia, Mount Allison, Columbia, N.Y., Fordham, N.Y., William and Mary College, Virginia; Bedford College, London, England; Durham, Oxford and Paris.
The place of honour must be assigned to the Centenary Lecture on the St. Augustine Centenary, delivered by Rev. P.J. Kennedy. No lecture has ever drawn a larger audience or commanded keener attention. Professor J.C. Hogg delivered the Centenary Lecture on Sir Humphry Davy. He also at a very short notice gave a masterly lecture on Earthquakes. Both those lectures were broadcast and reached a large audience in this way. Professor Hunter in the Autumn term took as his theme some of the outstanding works of Modern Fiction. In the Lent term he took the Revival of religion in France in the 12th century as expressed by contemporary Art. For these lectures we had the co-operation of the newly formed Alliance Francaise. Mr. R.T. Bevan gave a course of lectures on Music. We shall miss Mr. Bevan very much at the College -- as he will also be missed elsewhere. Professor Hatcher's Lectures on Statistics for business men ran on from October till Easter.
In the Xmas holidays, lectures to young people were given by Prof. Hatcher on the Habitability of Stars, by Professor Hogg on Chemical Magic, by Mr. Chatwood on "Seeing through a Solid" and by the President on Captain R.F. Scott.
Among notable things during the year were:
The reading which Sir. Charles Hutton gave of Bernard Shaw's Joan of Arc.
The visit of Dr. Albert Mansbridge. He spoke to us of those things of deeper spiritual import that lie beneath all the paraphernalia, the text-books, the chalk and talk, the curricula and the examinations. In him these spiritual things, at once higher and deeper, found a voice and the daily round of educational work is done with the right spirit when we have once the great Plan of which our doing fills in some small part.
Finally: I wish to say a word about the White Ensign Flag that hangs upon our walls and the green flags that flank it on either side. The White Ensign was on the Cenotaph in Whitehall last year. The six flags on that Cenotaph are renewed every year, and of last year's flags one was given to each of the six dominions who were represented at the Great Scout Jamboree last August. Our Nfld. Scouts as representing the Oldest Colony were awarded the White Ensign of the Navy, the Senior Service. It is their own Jamboree flags which flank the Ensign on either side. We have to thank His Excellency, the Chief Scout Major Ingpen, the Chief Commissioner and Scout Master Ivany, and the Newfoundland Jamboree Troop, for entrusting to our safekeeping these precious keepsakes of a great historic occasion. May they remind us, as they hang there, of that Spirit of readiness, of brotherhood and service for which Scouting stands. I have often urged upon my old pupils as they go out into life, whether it be business or profession or the University, to find for themselves from the first some voluntary and unpaid work for the sake of their fellowmen, and to throw their whole heart into it. It is up to us people who have enjoyed the privileges of life, which are denied to others--to show that we recognize our obligation, our debt to the community, our gratitude. We have no right to take all we can get and do nothing in return. May I, in my last word, suggest to all students who are leaving us this summer that they carry away within them that sense of debt -- and not to leave the debt undischarged.
I know no happier way of discharging than in taking up work in helping the great world wide movements of the Girl Guides and Scouts.
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