Back to History

Back to Main Page
Back to the 40's
Memorial University College Report of the President
for the Year 1943-1944.

The Chairman of
The Board of Governors of the
Memorial University College.

Sir,

I have the honour to submit the following Report, with certain Appendices, of some of the work of the College during the university year 1943-1944. No financial statement is here given, for one is published annually by the Government of Newfoundland as one of "other Public Accounts" in the "Revenue and Appropriation Accounts".

The Year. It is impossible to review the year's work without the background of the War, since for the fifth time the end of a College year finds our nation still closely engaged with the enemy. Anxiety, distraction and loss still affect our studies as well as our homes and our personal lives. During the year some of our present students and still more of our past students have volunteered for active service. Since my last Report the number of former students known to have enlisted has grown from 220 to 258 and, alas! the number missing or dead from 17 to 24. The events of these momentous months have given a sharp edge of urgency to the work of the thoughtful student and shown us all the importance of higher education and sound training. It is a significant fact, by the way, that from now on the whole high-school career of most students who enter College will have been been passed in the shadow of a great and terrible war.

For our part we have not hesitated to examine anew the essential values and the true aims of higher education and to ask ourselves to what further extent can our College serve the present age and the next generation. As a two-year (or three-year) college it has carried on now for nineteen years, not without success; the quality of its teaching and the stimulus of its active life are nowhere denied. Might not our country find, as all other civilized countries have found, that a university is a principal source of true culture and national enlightenment? Moreover, in other countries, Canada for example, it is expected that the immediate post-war years will see very large numbers of service-men (and women) eager for college education, and plans are in hand to meet the demand. So we must ask what will be the situation in this country and how can our university college prepare to face it.

We see the new far-reaching plans for improved education in other countries, e.g., in England, and we do not want to see Newfoundland lag too far behind. Fortunately we rarely meet now the quite unjustifiable fear of higher education formerly felt by a few persons here. On January 19th, 1944, on the second reading in the British House of Commons of the Education Bill, Mr. Butler, speaking for the Government, said that education should be the ally and not the dreaded competitor of employment. "To the question, 'Who will do the work if everyone is educated?' we reply that education itself will oil the wheels of industry and bring a new efficiency, the fruit of modern knowledge, to aid the ancient skill of farm and field". We may add the words "and sea."

Meanwhile we have continued and expanded our efforts for the education and training of service personnel stationed in this area, as, for example, in our Navigation School and our full collaboration with the Canadian Legion Educational Services. Our own students have been happy to share in entertaining many servicemen during the past year.

Half way through the year we took back the use of our gymnasium, lady-students' quarters and other space which had been lent to the Department of Health for use as a merchant seamen's hospital. Glad to have these facilities restored to us -- for their loss was a real handicap to our work -- we are yet more glad that by giving them up we were able to make small return for the great service given to us all by the brave men of the sea.

Much material inconvenience due to the War has been felt during the year, e.g., in obtaining supplies and equipment, but it appears a very small thing compared with the plight of fellow wearers of the cap and gown in other countries who have lost their liberties and their lives.

The Board of Governors. Early in the year Mr. S. P. Whiteway, B.Sc., LL.D., was made a member of the Board of Governors. Dr. Whiteway's learning and his wide experience as a school-teacher and for several years as Principal of the Normal School make him a very useful member of our governing body.

In December both the College and education in Newfoundland generally shared a severe loss in the unexpected death of Mr. I. J. Samson. This well-known Newfoundlander began teaching in an outport school, served as master in Bishop Feild College for no less than 25 years, was successively Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of Education (Church of England), Chief Executive Officer of the Department and more recently Secretary for Education in Newfoundland. In all these offices he showed such capacity for sound work and such devotion to duty as might serve as a good example to his own or any other profession. All through his administrative career he was interested in this College, first as a member of the Bureau of Education, the original governing body, later as a Trustee and as a member of the Board of Governors of which he was for some years the Vice-Chairman. The College mourns his loss most deeply.

Mr. G. A. Frecker, B.A., B.E., already a valuable member of our Board, has now become its ex. officio member in his capacity as Secretary of Education, he having succeeded Mr. I. J. Samson in that important position.

A new member of the Board, whose appointment we welcome, is Mr. R.L. Andrews, M.A., formerly Professor of Education here.

The Faculty. Mr. R. Duder, absent last season for a year of sabbatical study at Harvard University, has now returned and has been raised to the rank of associate-professor. The vacant professorship of education caused by Mr. Andrews' appointment last July to a post in the Government Department of Education, was given to Mr. P. J. Hanley, B.A., who had been for seven years a supervising inspector of schools. Mr. Hanley's year of service has been a most acceptable one and his work both with the teachers in training and, especially in physical education, with our students in general has been marked with such success that we are sorry to lose him so soon. He goes with our good wishes to an administrative post in the Government Department of Education. Miss Helen Lodge, M.A., was granted a year's leave of absence; she has been much missed, but she will return in September. Miss Lodge will be promoted to full professorial rank. In the department of Physics Mr. B. F. Long, M.Sc., was appointed last September. Mr. Long is a graduate of this College and has won two degrees at Dalhousie. Our new instructor in Art is Miss D. Wilson, B.F.A. (Mount Allison), whose first year of excellent service has well justified the high recommendation with which she came to us. Last Autumn Miss G. Summers was granted leave of absence to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. Miss Summers' temporary loss is felt keenly, for she is quietly efficient and well-liked by both her colleagues and the students. Her locum tenens as assistant to the Registrar and to teach Latin is Miss M. Halley, B.A., a graduate both of this College and Mount Saint Vincent College. A new appointment is that of Miss D. Carnell, one of our own graduates who has also studied at McGill University, as demonstrator in Chemistry. A serious loss to our professorial staff will be felt when at the end of the present academic year. Mr. W. Templeman, M.A., Ph.D., leaves us for an important post in the Government Division of Fishery Research. He has been eight years in charge of the department of biology. His ability as a teacher of this subject, his considerable researches in the field of marine biology, so closely applicable to the Newfoundland economy, and his interest in his students' work and their careers have made him so valuable a member of the Faculty that I view his departure with serious misgiving.

Numbers.- The registration this year was 159 men and 95 women in the regular College classes. The First University Year included 80 persons, the Second Year 63, Third Year and Special Students 45; the Teacher-Training class had 66. Our School of Navigation served 101 persons during the year. Other exterision and evening classes were given to 179 persons. These numbers do not include students in classes conducted in the College by the Adult Education Division or by the Canadian Legion Educational Services.

An Appendix gives lists of passes and distinctions won this year. In Arts and Science 48 have successfully completed the First Year, 16 of them in Class One. The number graduating today in Arts and Science is 46, and the number of Teacher-Training diplomas won is 70, of which 14 are in Class One.

Courses of Study. Our programme of studies is planned both to serve the needs of our country and to fit our graduates to enter without loss of time institutions of higher education elsewhere. There is naturally some variation from year to year, since good teaching must never become stereotyped. Moreover, war-time needs tend to bias one's treatment of almost any topic of instruction. But no radical changes in the curriculum are yet to be reported.

The Department of History has treated as a full subject the history of Newfoundland. Geology is now compulsory for all students of engineering.

For purposes of record I may remind you that we give two university years in Arts and Science, a two-year Pre-Medical course, a three-year course in Engineering, a two-year course in Household Science, and a one-year course in Teacher-Training: all requiring matriculation as pre-requisite. Non-credit courses and various cultural and recreational activities fill out the picture of a full and balanced diet of instruction.

Certan heads of departments of instruction have been asked for special reports; these will be found as appendices to this Report and will, I believe, repay careful reading.

Extension Programme. Our evening and extension classes, though not as large perhaps as they might be, yet form a respectable contribution to the educational life of St. John's. Classes were conducted in accountancy, chemistry for nurses, dietetics, workshop mathematics, blueprint reading, a special course in cookery and, in an informal way, classical music.

A special importance attaches to our School of Navigation. This is conducted in hired premises on Water Street for the convenience of seamen. I pay tribute to the energy and zeal of the principal instructor, Mr. A. G. Parrott. The number given intensive instruction during the year was 101, of whom 83 have at this date (June 4th) qualified for certificates as mate (48) and master (24) for "home trade" and as second mate (10) and master (1) "Board of Trade". As a contribution to our effort in the war -- a large number of those who have passed through it have won naval commissions -- and as a preparation for possible post-war shipping the story of this College activity deserves.to be known.

The College has given a full measure of support to the well-known comprehensive programme of the Canadian Legion Educational Services. This great organization provides instruction of various kinds and at several educational levels for Canadian service personnel in many theatres of war. Its benefits are also available to Newfoundland servicemen and (recently) to our Ranger Force. The work in the Newfoundland area is directed by a Regional Committee, of which your President is Chairman and two of our Governors and five of our graduates are members. The work is an additional task, of course, but we count ourselves happy to give this service to the men and women who wear His Majesty's uniform.

The College has been glad to act as host during the year to several organizations and groups, such as the St. John's Players, a "little theatre"'company of conscientious artists, a Co-operative Movement study-group, the Girl Guides Association, the Art Students' Club, the Old Memorials Association, and the Civil Defence authorities.

The Libraries. I invite you to a careful study of the first appendix to this Report which is the annual report of the Librarian. While a library is not the only thing needed to make a true university, as some have taken Carlyle's famous words to mean, yet its quality and its intelligent and regular use are authentic notes of any place of higher learning. You will observe especially our increased book-stock -- we now have 13,000 volumes --, the careful selection, our concern for better method in reading, co-operation with other College departments and the other St. John's library, and our plans for the future. We are fortunate in having a librarian with good training and also awareness, for librarianship is a real profession and indeed a true vocation.

Out-of-Class Activities. Besides the regular classes, the non-credit courses, their reading and games, our students have been busy in many ways. These other activities are controlled by a Students' Representative Council, elected by the whole student body. This system of self-government has been very satisfactory and I heartily thank the Council for the efficient and tactful way in which they have done their work this year. The S.R.C., to use its intimate name, was made up of Mr. E. W. Hutchings (president), Miss Elizabeth Carter (secretary), Mr. C. Brophy (treasurer), Miss Jean Allen, Miss Jane Clouston, Mr. B. E. Higgins, and Mr. M. F. Howley. They managed well the Union Fund, a sum of some $1,300, and saved enough to contribute to several worthy objects, such as a scholarship of $100 for next year.

The magazine Cap and Gown (editor-in-chief, Mr. D. G. Pitt) was entirely the work of the students themselves, and in spite of many difficulties in its production appears as a creditable undertaking.

Various student societies carried on their programmes during the year. Some of these are of special interest to certain groups of students, though none are exclusive, such as the Engineering Society (president, Mr. B. Higgins), the Pre-Medical Socety (president, Mr. D. Wilansky), and the Student-Teachers' Society (president, Mr. J. Squires). Others are more general in scope, such as the Arts and Science Society (president, Mr. G. Hogan), the Literary Society (president, Mr. M. F. Howley) and the International Relations Club (convener, Miss Mercedes Keough).

The President of the Students' Representative Council has been good enough to make a report on the year's work of the various student organizations, together with some account of the Council's own doings and the other activities it controls. This report is given as an Appendix. It is concise but comprehensive and interesting.

Dramatics, The Dramatic Group (president, Mr. D. Templeton) should be commended for its good work this year. Their production of the three short plays. "Command Performance", "Puppet Show" by S. Bax, and "Love and Cousin Albert" by H. Penson, beside giving the audience much pleasure, showed evidence of much careful preparation. Few activities give such many-sided training of young people as the production of a play. To Miss Baird, Miss Organ and Mr. Duder the group is indebted for direction and advice.

Health and Games. This year all our incoming students were given a complete physical examination by Dr. L. Miller and his colleagues of the Department of Public Health. Defects were detected, the best advice was given and in several cases remedial treatment was provided. This is a splendid service for which on behalf of the College I thank that Department most warmly.

At this point I cannot refrain from expressing our deep sorrow at the recent passing of Dr. H. M. Mosdell, late Secretary for Public Health and Welfare, whose friendliness towards the College was marked in so many ways.

Instruction in matters of health was given in a set of lectures delivered in the College by Dr. Miller. The health programme of the Teacher-Training Department, as well as the emphasis, both direct and indirect, placed on health in such other College classes as Biology and Household Science, is of importance, since our graduates will spread over the whole country.

The progress of College games received impetus this year in two ways. First we found in Prof. P. J. Hanley the right person to head a Faculty committee which united with the students' athletic union to revise and expand the whole programme of games. Then we took back at mid-year our gymnasium again. Prof. Hanley has been good enough to give an account of our athletic progress during the year and this is attached as an appendix to this Report. I hope it will be possible soon to implement the recommendations made in the games report.

Art. The Instructor in Art presents (see the Appendix) a concise report on the work of her department. Miss Wilson's first year with us has been a very good one. She has given regular instruction to the teachers in training, whom she also directed in various interesting projects, such as a puppet-show. The household science programme includes attention to "art in the home" and good design in clothing. Other interesting parts of her work are the Children's Art Class held on Saturday mornings, an exhibit of whose work was held recently, the sketching club, and the Picture-loan plan.

An art appreciation class was held also and we have had as often as once a week the pleasure of seeing a different exhibition of pictures from our fine Reference Set.

The College was glad to be host to an exhibit of servicemen's paintings and drawings arranged by the Art Students' Club of St. John's with the help of the Canadian Legion Educational Services.

Music. The teachers-in-training have had both profit and pleasure from Miss Jennings' well conducted class in singing. Plans for a Glee Club were considered by the S.R.C., but could not be carried out this year, so intensive is the general College programme.

On Friday afternoons an eager group of sudents were helped by Mr. F. R. Emerson, K.C., to understand music better and to love it more. The singing of our own folk-songs, recordings (from the "Carnegie" set) of songs, concertos and sonatas, a study of symphonic structure, illustrations of German Lieder with the help of Mr. S. R. Godfrey's fine voice: these were some of the pleasant fields explored. Mr. Emerson deserves our best thanks. Mr. R. Duder and Miss Mansfield heped us here.

Our thanks are due also to several artists who have sung or played to us at College Assemblies.

Alumni. The ties that bind our graduates and past students to the College are very strong and I am tempted to enlarge on their doings during the year now closing. Some are serving in various parts of their own country, in many cases with real distinction. Others are continuing elsewhere the education they valued here, some winning marks of high scholastic achievement abroad. As many as 258 of them have enlisted in one or other of the Armed Forces of the Crown. A few have been decorated by His Majesty the King, some have suffered imprisonment or loss of health and 24 are listed as missing or dead. In the midst of our sorrow and anxiety it is good to know that the present generation of youth has not held back from following the example of those brave men of the former generation to whom our College is a perpetual memorial.

The Old Memorials Association, whose president is now Mr. P. Lloyd Soper and secretary Miss Iris Lacey, is the organization of the College alumni. Their activities for the year include the provision of a fine scholarship to help an able and deserving student to proceed from the first year to the second.

Gifts. The College has received some fine donations during the year, such as books for the Library, pictures and the like. Moreover we have received three fine gifts, for scholarships.

By the will of the late Reverend Doctor Curtis, a Founding Trustee, whose death we recorded with sorrow last year, the sum of fifteen hundred dollars has come to us; a bursary called the Doctor L. Curtis Bursary has been established and the first holder of it selected.

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, U.S.A., has granted to the College a sum of five thousand dollars to be used for the preliminary education of doctors and dentists. This has enabled us to set up a number of pre-medical and pre-dental schoarships worth from one hundred to three hundred dollars a year for two years.

Next we have a fine gift from a well-known Newfoundlander, Mr. G. S. Doyle, who has donated twenty-five hundred dollars in aid of engineering education. Beyond expressing a special solicitude for the outport young man, Mr. Doyle has left it to the College to choose the nature of the assistance to be given and we have set up the Doyle Engineering Scholarships on a similar plan to the Kellogg Pre-Medical Scholarships.

The College values these donations for several reasons, including the evidence they give of the opinion the donors hold as to the quality of Newfoundland youth and as to the training our national university college is giving.

Social Events. The college life of a Newfoundland student is all too short and we wish it to be happy and rich. Social functions have their place in academic life. Of course they ought to be simple, properly directed and chaperoned. Most of them are planned and conducted by the students as hosts, who thus have a chance to show their natural kindliness and courtesy. The Christmas Tree for less well-to-do city children, the showing of our dramatic performances to groups of service-men stationed here, and the regular help a group of lady-students gave the President's wife in her work for the forces show what kind of young people our undergraduates are.

My wife and I were hosts on various occasions to parties of alumni, students and other friends of the College.

The atmosphere of the College depends largely on the personal relations between its members. Such work as that of the Dean of Women is of great importance here. I append her report to this Report.

Thanks. I offer respectful and sincere thanks, to the many persons who have helped to make the year a success by interest and encouragement, direction and supervision, kindness and benefaction, service and goodwill. The list is a long one. It includes His Excellency the Governor, our Visitor, and Lady Walwyn, the Honourable the Commissioner for Education, the President Emeritus, members of our Board of Governors, the members of the Faculty, especially the Registrar, parents of students, friends and benefactors, principals and teachers of city schools, graduates and my dear friends the undergraduates of the College.

I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
 
A. G. HATCHER,
President.
St. John's, Newfoundland,
June 3rd, 1944.


Celebrate Memorial Home | History | The 40's | 1944 | Contents