Report of the President for the year 1941-1942

Memorial University College

Report of the President for the year 1941-1942

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 1941-1942. 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. This third year of the War has been, as was expected, one of much difficulty. The effect of war on institutions of higher learning is not easy to analyze but some of the results can now be seen fairly clearly. In countries under despotic rule or lying at the feet of a conqueror the university is either suppressed altogether or abused and coerced into becoming only a means of training in the narrow field of aggressive domination. In liberty-loving countries the university is apt to be more highly regarded in war-time than in times of peace and is seen, not only as a source of scientific ideas and devices or of trained minds for use in the national fight for freedom, but as the guardian of those cultural values which seem to be more precious when threatened and as the nursery of the ideas and ideals which should find expression after war in the better world which all so much desire. It is significant that in England, for instance, grants of money for universities have been increased in war-time, while on this continent the nation's reliance on its universities has lately been stressed to the point of embarrassment.

Our small seat of learning has not escaped either the ferments or the hardships of war. The war has given an increased urgency to the work of our serious minds, pointed us to timely fields of study and enquiry, called our students to as complete military training as they can get here, and taken numbers of our graduates and also present students for active service in the armed forces of the Crown. A few have already suffered wounds and imprisonment and four at least of our former students have given their young lives.

As a College we have tried to serve in various ways. For most of the year, at the request of the proper naval authority, a large space in our buildings was given up for hospital purposes, an acute inconvenience lessened as much as possible by the Surgeon-Commander concerned and cheerfully borne by our loyal students. Our playing-field is in constant use by men of various units of the fighting services. Our Navigation School, mentioned hereunder, contributed directly to the supply of naval personnel. The College Faculty and students have helped much in the various war-time activities of this busy and patriotic city. With it all the regular work of the College has gone steadily on, marked by patient teaching, careful preparation and much good fellowship.

Changes. Near the beginning of the year a new Commissioner for Education assumed charge of this important department of Government. The College remembers the five-year period of Mr. J. Alex. Winter's administration and wishes the Honourable H. A. Winter, M.A., K.C., a very happy and useful term of office.

It was with much sorrow that the College learned of the death of Lt.-Col. R. Tilley, S.A., a former member of the Board of Governors, a man of fine quality of heart and mind. To Brigadier Acton, S.A., his successor on the Board, we give a respectful and hearty welcome.

Several changes in the Faculty have taken place or are impending. Mr. A. M. Fraser, professor of History and Economics, was granted sabbatical leave to undertake the historical section of the survey of Newfoundland's affairs being made by the Roval Institute of International Affairs jointly with the Newfoundland Branch and the Canadian Institute; as locum tenens for the College year Mr. E. B. Doyle, M.A., gave us very faithful service. The vacant post in our Engineeing department was filled by the fortunate appointment as associate-professor of Mr. S. J. Carew, B.Sc., B.E. It is with much regret that we view the departure of Dr. P. L. Lovett-Janison after nine years as head of the Department of Chemistry, for he knows his subject so thoroughly, teaches with such zealous care and administers his department so efficiently that his place will be extremely hard to fill. Dr. E. C. Powell also goes from us now, a man who has been for seven years head of the Department of Education and whose work for the teachers-in-training, as well as his share in the general life of the Faculty, entitles him to a full measure of our thanks as he returns to Canada. His studies in the possibilities of General Science for public schools, whether poorly equipped or well provided with apparatus, will, I trust, be of much use hereafter.

Numbers. The number of students in attendance was 262 ?139 men and 123 women ?in the regular College classes and 175 in the evening and extension classes. The First University Year included 93 persons, the Second Year 55, Third Year and Special Students 19; Teachers-in-Training numbered 95. A few withdrew during the year for reasons of health or personal matters. Causes due to the war, such as limited space and the black-out, reduced somewhat our evening programme, but the classes actually given were for intensive study rather than general interest.

An Appendix gives lists of passes and distinctions won during the year. In the Arts and Sciences 46 have successfully completed the First Year, 16 in the First Class. The number graduating to-day in Arts and Science is 43 and the number of Teacher-Training diplomas won is 79.

Courses of Study. No important changes have been made in our curriculum, which is planned, not only to meet the needs of students for whom this College will probably give their last chance of formal education, but also of students who must proceed to foreign universities. The content of certain subjects will change somewhat from year to year, especially in the hands of such sound instructors as my colleagues are, but radical alterations require careful consideration. The following courses were given: two university years in Arts and Science, a two-year pre-medical course in Engineering, a two-year course in Household Science, and one year of teacher-training. The subjects (five subjects make normally a year's work) taught included: Biology 1, 2, 3; Chemistry 1, 2, 3; Latin 1, 2; Greek 1, 2; Engineering subjects including Drawing 1, 2, 3 Surveying 1, 2 and Mechanics 2, 3, 4, 5; English 1, 2; French 1, 2; Geology; German 1, 2; History 1, 2; Political Science; Economics; Household Science 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Mathematics 1, 2, 3, 4; Physics 1, 2, 3; Teacher-Training subjects including Method, Psychology, Principles, Social Science, English, Health, General Science, Nature Study, Art, Household Science, Oral French.

Several non-credit courses were also available and much enjoyed.

The evening and extension classes are in addition to the above list.

Library. Your attention is directed to the annual report of the Librarian which is an appendix to this Report. It shows that the year now closing has been one of much growth and expansion in our Library and its use. The handsome bequest of more than 1,000 fine books from the library of the late Dr. H. J. W. Milley, son of the late Hon. S. Milley and Mrs. Milley; the steady improvement of our equipment; the care given to choosing reading material to suit these momentous days of our years; and the outlook for the needs of the days ahead: are some of the features of the Library year of 1941-42.

Out of Class Activities. The life of the College has been most active. Beside the regular classes, the non-credit courses and the games, our students have been busy in many ways. These activities are controlled by the Student Representative Council, elected by the whole student body. Thus valuable experience is secured in the conduct of affairs and in the use of money. This year's Council consisted of Mr. R. MacLellan (president), Miss Genevieve Winter (secretary). Mr. P. Loder (treasurer), Misses D. Barnes and S. Morris, Messrs. H. Carter and E. Tuff. They are to be complimented on their careful management.

The magazine "Cap and Gown" (editor-in-chief, Mr. E. Caule) was entirely the work of the students and, in one section, of certain graduates. The Literary Society (president, Miss D. Barnes) conducted debates, including one inter-collegiate contest, as well as questionnaires, and the now popular "quiz."

The Engineering Society (presidents, Mr. F. Kennedy and Mr. R. Johnson) arranged a weekly seminar, talks by guest-speakers, visits and social activities. The Pre-medical Society (president, Mr. J. Baxter), a smaller group, conducted a somewhat similar programme for our prospective doctors, as did the Student-Teachers Society (president, Mr. E. Goff) for the large teacher-training class.

A specially interesting society was the International Relations Club (president, Miss D. Barnes), which used the fine books supplied by the Carnegie Endowment for Peace as a basis for reports, addresses and thoughtful discussion. Mr. E. B. Doyle acted as Mentor to this group.

Military Training. For two years now all fit men and students have undergone a course of military training. The Faculty Committee on Military Training (chairman, Dr. E.C. Powell) has made me the attached report of the past year's work and I commend it to the attention of the Board. We are much obliged to Major A. T. Howell, M.C., O.C. the Newfoundland Militia, for the valuable assistance given us and to other officers and non-commissioned officers who gave instruction. I regard this course as very valuable and wish it were possible for our Cadet Corps to receive facilities similar to those given the Cadet Corps of colleges in Canada, where, I am informed, uniforms and equipment and competent instruction are all supplied by the Department of Defence of Canada; since college students are regarded as the best source of officer personnel.

Music. Miss Jenning's class in singing for the teachers-in-training has expanded its scope somewhat. The large numbers make teaching difficult but the work is well done. In our evening class Dr. H. L. Smith gave interesting lessons in the appreciation of music.

A happy spot in the College is Room 13 where, on Friday afternoons, Mr. F. R. Emerson shared with us his gift of insight into the beauty and meaning of the work of some of the great composers. The Carnegie Music Appreciation Set was found very useful, not only in such a class but with small informal groups of students.

We all need good music in war-time.

Art. The report of the Instructor in Art, given as an appendix to this Report, tells of much activity during the year. Miss Howe is now conducting the voluntary class in the Appreciation of Art and acting as Curator in addition to her more formal teaching. The Monitor Room, used for exhibitions and such work as weaving, has had to be used as a laboratory because of the hospital occupation. Nevertheless some admirable exhibitions have been held in a smaller place and well attended. Our collection of pictures has been increased at small cost.

The regular courses in Art have again been conducted faithfully. A small evening class and a Saturday morning classs for school children were also held. Interesting features of the year's work include a splendid Puppet show, and the possibility of the use of Newfoundland clay for pottery.

Dramatics. In the face of the many conflicting uses to which our Assembly Hall had to be put, the students Dramatic Society (president, Mr. H. Carter) showed great courage in carrying on at all. Nevertheless a well-acted play, "June Mad," was produced. It gave many students valuable experience in the many activities that must go on before the curtain rises as well as in the acting itself. A sum of money was raised to be shared between the Alumni Overseas Fund and the provision of a scholarship. Miss Howe and Mr. Duder helped and encouraged the students.

Games and Health. Once again the war has restricted the programme of games enjoyed by our students, but a good deal of athletics has nevertheless gone on. The report of the Athletic Union (president, Mr. A. J. Wendell and secretary, Miss Judy Moore) tells of football, basket-ball, ice hockey and field hockey, with a revival of boxing and some attention to the new game of touch-ball. There were inter-faculty games but the men entered no organized outside series. The loss of our gymnasium of course handicapped greatly not only the athletics but also the physical training of the women and the military training of the men.

Our playing fields and the campus generally need much more protection than they get now.

I have already reported on the military training for men. For the women a regular course of physical training was provided by Miss H. Lodge, who deserves well of the College for this fine service. First-aid was taught to our women students by Dr. N. Rusted and they sat for the certificate of the St. John Ambulance Association.

The course in Health and Physical training given to the teachers-in-training is one of great value.

The Department of Public Health once more provided a thorough physical examination for our teachers-in-training and some others and our thanks are hereby given, especially to Dr. L. Miller, to whom many of our students feel a personal sense of gratitude.

Guiding. Once more we have had the excellent leadership of Mrs. A. G. Gosling, Commissioner for Training, who conducted the training of the 1st St. John's Cadet Company, as ours is called, with understanding and skill. Her report is attached to this Report. The young ladies of the Teacher-Training class who have had the benefit of this instruction should be well able to spread the Gospel of Girl Guiding still more widely throughout this Island.

I beg to thank Lady Walwyn, Miss Martin (community nurse), Miss G. Adams, Miss M. Adams, Miss M. Andrews, the ladies of the local Association and, of course, Mrs. Gosling herself, with all others who so kindly helped in this work.

Alumni. The College finds increasing satisfaction when it sees its graduates carrying on its life and spirit into the tasks of the adult world. Their achievements are already not inconsiderable. We record first the loyal response which so many have made to the call of the nation and empire in the present war. Our records show 132 as having volunteered for armed service. Old Memorials are serving or receiving training in all the fighting services and in many lands. We know of three who in the year now closing met death in the service of King and country. They are Francis Smith, Harold Learning and Brendan Lacey.

Some of our graduates are engaged in war work of a most valuable kind. Others carry on the tasks nearest them, for example the teachers, with better spirit and higher skill because of the years spent with us. Some of our more recent graduates have lately won remarkably high places in the foreign universities to which they have gone. For example they won the Governor-General's medals for highest places in three Canadian universities last month.

The Old Memorials Association (president, Mr. C. Howse, and secretary, Miss Iris Lacey) has had a difficult but profitable year, raising money for a valuable scholarship, sending packages to all alumni and alumnae in the Armed Forces, and sharing a common fellowship.

Evening and Extension Classes. In this field the College has a record of seventeen years work. Our facilities are limited and this year, because of lack of space and for other reasons connected with the war, we have been specially handicapped. Nevertheless we conducted classes in the following subjects: accountancy, art, chemistry for nurses, commercial law, dietetics, English, auto-mechanics, musical appreciation, navigation, radio operation, pharmacy, blueprint reading. Some 175 persons took these courses, with much profit in spite of this year's special difficulties. Elsewhere some reference is made to certain of the classes. The Navigation School deserves a special mention.

Navigation School. It is with much pleasure that we now see the justification of the foresight shown in the early years of this College when the Navigation School made such a modest start as part of our extension programme. To meet the present demand we began this year three months earlier than usual. The number of men given intensive instruction was 59 (nearly three times last year's registration) of whom 35 have so far qualified for certificates, 9 as master and 26 as mate, while 9 others are ready to be examined and the rest are still attending the School. Their places of service include the merchant navy, home and foreign trade, and the largest group the Royal Canadian Navy. Most of these men are Newfoundlanders but the homes of 15 of them are in England or Canada. I reported last year that 14 men had passed from our School to receive H. M. commissions in the Canadian Naval Service: this numher is now increased. I pay here a warm tribute to the painstaking work of Mr. A. G. Parrott. The advice and help of Capt. J. J. Whelan is once more acknowledged.

Other Service. The College provided this year accommodation and part instruction for the work of the Canadian Legion War Services' Education Programme, by which Newfoundlanders as well as Canadians in His Majesty's Forces are served. The College is represented on the Committee of the C.L.E.S., the Administrator for Newfoundland is one of our graduates, and your President acted for much of the past year as a central agent in this area. We have been glad to help on this good work for the fighting men.

The College also provided some accommodation for the First Aid and Home Nursing courses of the St. John Ambulance Association.

We were again able to give the use, which at first seemed impossible, of our Assembly Hall and other rooms for the admirable work of the St. John's Players. Other rooms have on occasion been used by such organizations as the Girl Guides, the Old Memorials, and, of course, the Civil Defence authority.

Conclusion. In these few pages it has been impossible to give a detailed account of the year's life and work in the University College. I have asked the heads of certain departments, such as Teacher-Training, Engineering, Art, and others to prepare special reports and these are attached to this Report.

The College has received much kindness and help. I have mentioned the Milley bequest of books. A similar thoughtful regard was shown by the bequest of some $3,500 to the College by the will of Mrs. Elizabeth McNeil Ryan, in memory of her father and mother, the late Mr. and Mrs. H. McNeil.

Our former students remember us with affection, shown by the messages we constantly receive, especially from those serving in the Forces.

The social life of the College and its general atmosphere is wholesome and happy. Such events as the Annual Students' Dinner, the Christmas Tree for some of the less wealthy children of St. John's, the students "socials," carefully chaperoned by us and well managed by the students themselves, the receptions at which my wife and I were hosts to the alumni or school supervisors or the staff or certain groups of students, our fortnightly assembly when interesting speakers and friends visited us, the return of our graduates after studying abroad: all these, as well as our close contact with the life of his famous old city and country, make the life of the College much more than a round of narrow studies.

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 forbearance, 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,

St. John's,
June 6th, 1941.


History of Memorial University

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