||February 6, 2009
North Bay celebrates 100 Years of
University began celebrating 100 years of Teacher Education in North Bay with
several events last week. The support material for the event points out that
the Ontario government wanted to improve rural education in Ontario and built
four so-called Normal Schools in the early 1900s. in
Hamilton, Stratford, Peterborough and North Bay to train teachers for these
areas. A delegation from North Bay went to Toronto in 1906 to make sure North
Bay got a school for the north.
North Bay Normal School – Then
In 1953 Normal Schools were renamed
Teachers’ Colleges and eventually the programs gravitated
to Universities where they became Faculties of Education. That happened in 1973
in North Bay when the Education Centre was
established. The Faculty of Education became an independent degree
granting-faculty in 1992 granting education degrees (Bachelor of Education or
North Bay Normal School –
Now-Doug Mackey Photos
The information package on the North
Bay Anniversary in Nipissing’s Review Magazine by
Bob Pipe has some interesting math and some famous quotations. One of my
favourites by Henry Brooks Adams states that “A teacher affects eternity; he (?)
can never tell where his (?) influence stops.” The
math mentioned support the extent of that influence.
North Bay has graduated some 17,000
teachers over the last century. With an average teaching career of 30 years and
30 students per class that comes out to over 12 million students. If each of
those students went on to influence others the prospects are astounding.
I was interested in this story as a
teacher myself graduating from Hamilton Normal
School in 1950 at age 19 and teaching for 36 years. My first job was principal
of a 2 room rural school with 98 students, 48 of whom were mine in grades 5, 6,
7 & 8. My salary was $1,900 for the year.
University through its Institute of Community Studies and Oral History has done
some remarkable work archiving the past of the Normal School and Faculty of
Education. They interviewed past teachers and put the interviews on line for you
to hear and have hosted various reunions as alumni initiatives. Remarkably they
have accumulated the school year books from 1914 to 1994 under the direction of
Sarah Clermont and have put them online for ready access (log on to
nipissingu.ca/100) To print the whole book click on the cover.
North Bay Normal School building, so much a part of North Bay’s history, was
preserved when the Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services added a huge modern
addition and made it its head office in a move toward government
decentralization. Again on another personal footnote I have an interest in the
building having spent 22 years of my career in education as Director of
Education and Director of Staff Training in the
former head office in Toronto and as the principal at Cecil Facer School in
Sudbury before retiring in 1987.
There will be a reunion at the
University for former graduates this summer on July 16-19. See website for
details. They are looking for graduates in general or sub groups of any sort
that would like to meet. Call 705-474-3450 ext 4573 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. They will help set up the sub reunion for you
including mailing invitations.
archives has been helpful to me on a number of occasions. When writing a
story on North Bay artist Tom Cummings I knew
he had gone to the North Bay Normal School. I found his picture with a large
group of men and got the photo and the date. The men and women were
photographed separately. How things have changed!
On another occasion I wrote about an
unidentified photo album that had been found and prompted a search for the
owner. It had some Normal School photos that led to the owner. One of the photos
contained the photo of a former Normal School professor Grace Morgan who had a
scholarship named after her. See the article on
October 12, 2004 on my website below.
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