Memorial University College Report of the President, 1940-1941

Memorial University College Report of the President, 1940-1941

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


I have the honour to submit the following Report, with certain Appendices, of some of the work of the College during the university year 1940-1941. A financial statement is not included, for this is published annually by the Government of Newfoundland as one of "Other Public Accounts" in the "Revenue and Appropriation Accounts."

The Year. For the second time the College year closes under the shadow of the War. How the university can best assume its share of the nation's effort for war is a question agitating all the colleges of the Empire. Here we have thought it proper to establish compulsory military training for our men students, with appropriate work also for the women; to offer to the proper authorities whatever facilities we have, for example our campus and gymnasium, and the special skill of members of the Faculty; to help forward as many war-time projects as possible both as a college and as individual citizens of Newfoundland; to help our students to understand some of the ideas and ideals which underlie our nation's cause, and to learn some lessons from the grim schoolmaster War; and with it all to strive to do as well as ever indeed, better than ever our immediate work as an institution of higher learning.

From time to time during the year some of our students have left to join His Majesty's armed forces. A large number of our graduates and past students are now serving in various fighting services. At the close of last year's session as many as twenty-two of that year's students volunteered.

The place of education in war, as well as that of specialized training, must not be forgotten. General Ironside has said recently that "a modern army's great essential is education. It is the educated mind, contrary to the opinion of many, that adapts itself best to the strain of war."

Newfoundland's war effort already gives cause for honest pride and it will grow in intensity as the War lengthens. It might be even greater if Newfoundlanders were better educated. The lessons of war added to the experience of peace show clearly the need for higher education in our country.

Retrospect. With this year your President completes his eighth year of this office, a length of time equal to the presidency of Mr. J. L. Paton. It may not be inappropriate to quote here from our first President's last Report. "In bidding farewell I express the hope that the College has been true and faithful in carrying out what was the motive of the people of Newfoundland in founding a university institution eight years ago. A university, as we conceived of it at the time, was the reaching out of a community towards the fulfilment of its higher life and planning, through the preparation of its chosen youth, the fulfilment of those higher mandates without which there is no progress, in short we regarded a university foundation as the nation's answer to the call of the future."

Mr. Paton went from this country eight years ago but, as men said of Pericles, "he has left the spur behind. "

Changes. It is with regret that we have learned recently of the forthcoming retirement from the Government of the Honourable J. Alex. Winter, K.C., Commissioner of Home Affairs and Education for more than five years. The College is grateful for the careful direction and sympathetic interest he has shown and is assured of his continued goodwill. A hearty welcome awaits the new Commissioner, H. A. Winter, Esq., M.A., K.C.

The pressure of his duties as Director of Recruiting having caused our Board of Governors to lose the services of Lt.-Col. W. F. Rendell, C.B.E., the vacancy was filled during the year by the appointment of H. S. Knight, Esq., M.A., B.C.L. The College offers respectfully its thanks to Colonel Rendell and welcome to Mr. Knight. The prolonged illness of Lt.-Col. R. Tilley, S.A., has evoked our sincere sympathy.

Some changes have taken place in the Faculty. Miss M. Howe now completes her first year as Instructor in Art. Mrs. A. M. Fraser, B.Sc., retired on December 31st, after nearly five and a half years of good service as Demonstrator in Biology. Associate-Professor S. J. Hayes left us in March, when temporary substitutes had to be found. We were very fortunate in finding Mr. S. J. Carew, B.Sc., B.E., and Mr. T. Hughes, B.E., available to carry on the work of the Engineering Department from March to June. Of visiting lecturers two are no longer on the staff, Mrs. A. C. Hunter, M.A., in Spanish, and C. H. Hutton, Esq., O.B.E.. K.S.G., in Music. Mrs. Hunter was also Honorary Curator of the Art Collection, and her work there and also in the field of Art Appreciation has earned the cordial thanks of the College. Mr. Hutton's six years of teaching in the College and his longer period previously in the Normal School, together with his well-known service to music throughout the country, entitle him to the high place he holds in the regard of us all.

As Demonstrator in Biology E. Lear, Esq., B.Sc., a graduate of this College and of Acadia University, was appointed on Jan. 1st. Miss M. L. Jennings, L.R.A.M., has come to us regularly to teach singing. Doctor P. L. Lovett-Janison returned in September after a sabbatical year of study and research in Chemistry. For the coming year no promotion or sabbatical year has been authorized.

Numbers. Not including the evening and extension classes the number of students in attendance during the year has been 254, a falling-off which was expected because of the War. Of this number 146 were men and 108 women. The First University Year included 81 persons, the Second Year 62, the Teacher-Training Class 98, and Third Year and Special Students 14. The extension and evening classes, including the Navigation School and special classes for soldiers, served some 375 persons. We are glad to report that during the year our ranks have not been broken by death.

An appendix gives lists of passes and distinctions earned during the year. It will be seen that in the Arts and Sciences 52 have successfully completed the First year, 17 in the First Class. The number graduating today in Arts and Science is 39 and the number of diplomas won by Teachers in Training is 74.

Courses. For a small college we offer a very full programme, including two general university years, a two-year pre-medical course, a three-year course in engineering, a three-year pre-agricultural course, a two-year course in household science, and one year of teacher-training; for all these we require an adequate matriculation on entrance and a satisfactory standard for graduation. Some form of non-credit course or cultural activity is also demanded of all our students.

At the request of the Department of Education a course in Nature Study was given this year to the teachers-in-training. We hope to expand this activity to some extent next year, for it has proved to be a good thing.

We had long wished to set up a course of military training, similar to the Officer Training Corps of Canadian universities, but found it impossible since this country had no army, we are not part of Canada and England is far away. With the outbreak of war, however, and the presence here of training officers as well as the establishment of a Newfoundland force, the way was open. All fit men students of the College are now members of our Cadet Corps, authorized as a compulsory activity last July, with a regular schedule of military training throughout the year. The Military Committee, a standing committee of the Faculty, gave the necessary direction and we were fortunate in having Captain C. Fanning-Evans to take charge of the instruction. We met several obstacles, such as lack of funds for uniforms and equipment and the troublesome influenza set-back, but I can now report a year of sound progress. At a formal inspection by the Honourable Commissioner for Defence in the presence of the Honourable Commissioner for Education the men acquitted themselves well. I here thank Captain Fanning-Evans and the non-commissioned officer instructors and the Military Committee of which the Vice-president, Dr. A. C. Hunter, is chairman and Messrs. E. C. Powell and A. G. Gillingham are members.

To all the women students regular instruction in First Aid was this year given by Dr. N. Rusted; we are obliged also to Dr. H. Roberts for conducting the examinations for the certificate of the St. John Ambulance Association. In addition a regular course of physical training was given to all the women by Miss Lodge throughout the year, and I thank her warmly for this extra duty so well done.

Except for these departures, taken because of the War but of value in themselves, there have been few changes in the courses offered. In some subject, the content has been modified in order to enable students to carry out this year's special programme. They will agree, however, that the work of this session has not been trifling.

Library. The attached report of the College Librarian is worth careful reading. Its usefulness is growing steadily and its value is more and more appreciated. In spite of some reduction in acquisitions, due to the War -- we still order as much as possible from England -- the collection of books is being increased and the equipment extended. The Library is truly the heart of the College, helping to nourish all other Departments.

Student Activities. Our system of student self-government gives valuable training in the management of affairs and the proper use of funds. This year's Student Representative Council were Mr. G. Condon (president), Miss M. Halley (secretary), Mr. C. U. Henderson (treasurer), Misses G. Earle, M. Matthews, and Messrs. G. Andrews, H. Clark, and R. MacLellan. I compliment them especially on their management of the Union Fund. The students, by the way, have been able to make donations to more than one patriotic organization this year.

The magazine "Cap and Gown" (editor-in-chief, H. S. Granter) was entirely the work of the students, except for a section produced by the Alumni, and represents a fine effort. It earned a surplus which, together with a sum raised by the Dramatic Society, will be given as a scholarship to some able and deserving student entering his or her final year.

The Literary Society (president, Mr. T. Harris) reports an active year, arranging debates, questionnaires, addresses, and fostering a Book Club of twenty members.

Other student societies have been active during the year, such as the Engineering Society, the Pre-medical Society, the Arts and Science Society and the Student-teachers Society. They have contributed much to the interest and value of college life and I thank their officers and members very sincerely.

Games and Health. Because of the demands which military training and similar work made on our time and of the time-table difficulties thus raised, the College did not this year enter teams in athletic league contests which would have fixed schedules of games. The students accepted this decision loyally. The report of the College Athletic Union (president, Mr. G. Marshall, secretary, Miss G. Harvey) tells of an interesting programme of games, such as field-hockey, football, basketball, and ice-hockey. Inter-faculty games were played as often as possible, with occasional games against outside teams. There were also such healthful activities as "hiking." I have already reported on the military training for men and the physical culture for women. On the whole we have done more this year than ever before, I believe, to keep our students physically fit.

Our football field continues to be loaned to the Department of Defence for training purposes, and is constantly in use.

Once more I record our deep gratitude to the Department of Public Health and Welfare and to Dr. L. Miller and his colleagues, who gave all our teachers-in-training a thorough medical examination with much "follow-up" and remedial help as well, leading to the issuance of certificates of health. The series of lectures on public health was a most valuable part of the student-teacher's course.

The medical inspection of men for entry into the College Cadet Corps was also of great use in discovering physical defects and hence helping to rectify them. Elsewhere in the general curriculum of the College, instruction in public and personal health is given, directly or indirectly, for example in Biology and in Household Science. Once again, too I point out the value of the course in Health and Physical Training given in the Department of Teacher-training.

Awards for Service. At many universities abroad the award of a college initial is a coveted distinction, usually given for athletics. Our student-body follows this custom -- the letter here is M -- but with a welcome addition; for at the end of each year the Student Representative Council draws up a short list of names of students who have served their fellows in obliging and usually self-effacing ways, and to these the so-called "Service M" is awarded. A list of this year's awards is given in the Appendix.

Guiding. Fifty-two students of the Teacher-training Class were formed into a Cadet Company (First St. John's) of six patrols and placed under the capable direction of Mrs. A. G. Gosling, Commissioner for Training. Two cadets, Misses Coffin and Woolridge, were Acting Lieutenants. In spite of set-backs, such as the influenza epidemic of last Autumn, the Company has had a very good year. Lady Walwyn gave encouragement and conducted an Enrolment on Jan. 20th. Twelve cadets worked for the second class Badge. The report, which I append, thanks Miss M. Collins, Miss Mansfield, Miss Organ and Dr. Powell. My own hearty thanks are here tendered to Mrs. Gosling for zealous and skilled direction.

Art. I invite your attention to the attached report of the Instructor in Art. Among its interesting features are the close attention given in the Teacher-Training Classes to a wide range of projects and activities suitable for schools of various kinds; the Saturday morning class for city children; the Puppet Show, a many-sided activity; interior decoration of the household; an evening class in Art; a good class in the Appreciation of Art; and the exhibition well-patronized by the public.

Music. This has been a good year for our programme in Music. To the teachers-in-training regular lessons in singing were given by Miss M. L. Jennings, L.R.A.M. A voluntary group who came together under Mr. Duder's supervision each week to get a better understanding of music -- and so to love it more -- were so fortunate as to find Mr. F. R. Emerson willing to help them and will always be very grateful to him. An evening class in Musical Appreciation was given most acceptably by Rev. F. Ross. At our weekly Assembly we heard recorded music selected from the Carnegie Music Set. We are much obliged also to Miss M. Kean, Miss P. Giannou (Mrs. Wilansky), Mr. S. R. Godfrey, Mr. W. E. Curtis, Mr. H. Humboldt, Mr. K. Osmond, Mr. A. Pittman, Rev. F. Ross, and Sir Charles Hutton, who sang or played for us on occasions during the year.

Dramatics. The work of a college dramatic society is by no means mere amusement. As education its value is very high, as we see when we consider the many activities connected with scenery, lighting, stage-managing, casting, copyright, costs, not to mention acting itself, which is of course one of the higher forms of self-expression. In the year now closing the Students' Dramatic Society (H. Carter, President), though hampered by the influenza prevalent last Autumn, produced three good one-act plays and a full play "Young April" by the Rouverols. This last I consider to be the best-produced which our College Dramatic Society has yet presented. The Society's report thanks Miss Howe, Miss Organ, and Mr. Duder for their help.

Alumni. It is pleasant to record the activities of our graduates and former students. Some have gone forward to continue their university studies and during the past weeks at least 30 have received degrees in Arts, Science, Medicine, Engineering and Theology. Several coveted prizes and distinctions, including one valuable travelling scholarship, have come to them.

Our graduates continue to take the place in life for which their education and gifts qualify them. We believe that the influence of the College is shown when they show a spirit of helpful service to the community. And now we observe with pride the ready way in which so large a proportion of them have volunteered their services in the cause of human freedom which is our Nation and Empire's in this war. It is hard to give figures, for the number grows almost as I write this Report, but our records show at least 102 Old Memorials as having volunteered for some armed service. Some have already paid a heavy price for their devotion and one has given his life.

The alumni society known as the Old Memorials Association (president, Mr. J. B. Angel) has carried on well this year in spite of the many calls on its members. It has given a fine annual scholarship to a capable and deserving present student, issued a bulletin as a means of keeping in touch with fellow-graduates, formed an extremely busy knitting-club for its women members, held social functions and gave what it could for war service purposes. It is a pleasure to congratulate the Association on its good work from year to year. The loyalty of alumni to Alma Mater is encouraging.

Evening and Extension Classes. For the sixteenth year in succession the College has done its best, with limited facilities in most fields, to extend the benefits of its instruction outside its own four walls. A mere enumeration of the evening courses actually given this season presents some idea of the range of this work. They were Accounting, Art, Blueprint-Reading, Infinitesimal Calculus, Chemistry (two courses), Commercial Law, Cookery, Dietetics, Automechanics, Musical Appreciation, Navigation, Radio Operation, Pharmacy, Seamanship.

The College is represented on the Canadian Legion War Services Education Committee for the Newfoundland area. Hence we are well placed to offer assistance to that organization, which provides instruction in many subjects of vocational or academic value for the members of the Canadian forces here, a service available also to Newfoundland soldiers. We found room in our buildings for afternoon and evening classes which supplemented the Legion's correspondence programme, and we served in this way some 88 Canadians. We were also able to help much in providing instruction for some 22 members of the Newfoundland militia. Details of this work belong to the reports of the above Committee rather than to this Report.

Other uses of our building and equipment include that of our gymnasium by soldiers in training, of our Hall and stage with other rooms by the St. John's Players, and the use of rooms on occasion by the Girl Guides Association, the Boys' Welfare Society, the Old Memorials Association and other groups.

I may be allowed to refer especially to the Navigation School, which the College carries on in hired premises on Water Street. This has been a very busy season. During the past five months 21 men have received instruction, of whom 13 have thus qualified for certificates, 2 for master and 11 for mate. I pay a special tribute to the labours of Captain J. J. Whelan here. In retrospect one may judge something of the value of this school by the fact that of those who have passed through it we can name off-hand 14 men who are now officers in the Canadian Naval Service, 3 as lieutenants, 4 as sub-lieutenants, 4 as chief skippers and 3 as skippers; while in H. M. Merchant Navy there are now serving at least 5 masters and 12 mates. We wish them well in their hard and risky work for the Empire and we are glad we helped to train them.

I cannot close this section of my Report without expressing regret that the Extension Department, authorized last year by the Board of Governors, has not been able to be set up because of lack of means. We want to give still more service to still more people, both in the higher academic reaches and in the wider and vocational fields.

Publications. In this busy and anxious year members of the Faculty have had little time for private study or research. But during the year the following papers have been published.


  • (i) By W. Templeman, B.Sc., M.A., Ph.D., Research Bulletin No. 8 (Fisheries) of the Department of Natural Resources, 1940, "Lobster Tagging on the West Coast of Newfoundland in 1938."
  • (ii) By the same author, Service Bulletin No. 15 (Fisheries) of the same Department, 1940, "The Life History of the Lobster."
  • (iii) By the same author, Research Bulletin No. 10 (Fisheries) of the same Department, 1940, "The Washing of Berried Lobsters and the Enforcement of Berried Lobster Laws."
  • (iv) By the same author, Research Bulletin No. 11 (Fisheries) of the same Department, 1941, "The Newfoundland Lobster Fishery, an account of Statistics, Methods and Important Laws."

    Events of Interest. The life of the College during the year has been full of interest. The usual purely social events have been fewer than in former years, as befitting these times, but certain properly conducted affairs have been held. The Annual Students Dinner was held in December in our own Hall, and was a happy event; as was also the Christmas Tree Party for a group of city children from some of the less wealthy homes.

    At our weekly Assemblies we learnt something of the story of the pioneers of Newfoundland education whose portraits adorn our halls. Visiting speakers told our students of the work of the Jubilee Guild workers, of the difficult but important task of school supervisors in the outports, and of the work of the nurse.

    My wife and I were hosts at a limited number of receptions for graduates, soldiers, students and other groups. The tone of College life has been harmonious and pleasant.

    Thanks. I now 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 forebearance, service and goodwill. Among them are His Excellency the Governor and Lady Walwyn, the Honourable the Commissioner for Education, the Board of Governors, the Founding Trustees, the President Emeritus, the Vice-President, the members of the Faculty, especially the Registrar and Assistant, parents and friends, principals and teachers of city schools, graduates and the members of the student-body.

    I have the honour to be,
    Your Obedient Servant,
    A. G. Hatcher,

    St. John's,
    June 7th, 1941.


History of Memorial University

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