MCHS grads remember the teachers (some of them under a lot of stress) at the school – and parents who were welcoming
A teacher remembered for her encouragement
One MCHS grad has shared these thoughts:
“… lots of buzz [in recent emails] about the teachers at MCHS during the early 60s. When I look back, most were excellent, dedicated, and kind. Mrs Lamet was the teacher who encouraged me the most in terms of my writing skills, etc. Interestingly, my husband, who was an administrator at the PSBGM, had the occasion to meet Mrs Lamet at the school board offices a few times. She was the English Consultant for a while. He told her how much I appreciated her encouragement so many years ago. I was thrilled that she remembered me and I was happy that at least one of my teachers found out how much I valued her help.
Joys and stresses of teaching
Another MCHS grad has written:
“… some of the foregoing [email messages], about teachers collapsing under the stress of teaching us, suggests that we might have been pretty rough to teach, though not really. Most of our teachers knew they were dealing with big kids crossing over to young adults, with all that entails by way of management. Most of them had the persona to command
the respect needed to deal with it, though a few did not.
“A teacher’s persona could be authoritative in the case of Mr. Lewis (our 11B chemistry teacher), deeply knowledgable (Mr. Hanna on Canadian history), rebelliously insightful (Mr. Edelstein), or downright scary (M. Lafon for 10 & 11 French).
“Sometimes they would surprise us with the unexpected, such as the time that M. Lafon gave us a two hour talk on Napoleon Bonaparte because his field of interest was history, though I suspect he was something of a fan as well. Then there was the time at the end of French class when M. Lafon cast a penetrating look on us, as if about to cast judgement on us, and said ‘Tell me something people (he always called us people); how come you never call me frog?’. The whole class dissolved in laughter over that one. He had a sense of humour after all. Until then we never knew, but we still knew better than to test it further.”
Parents who made a difference
Another comment that has been shared:
“They lived across the street from us on Boul St-Germain. They were great neighbours. His father … played the bagpipes, taught some of us how to bat and drove us to scout meetings. I think he drove a Ford Falcon station wagon, and at one point, one of the first Ford Mustangs. His mother … was also very kind, and made all the neighbourhood kids feel welcome in their finished basement.”
The teacher headshots on this page are of different sizes because the headshots were of different sizes in the yearbooks. The 1962-63 yearbook – the source of the photo of Mrs. Lamet – had the teacher headshots smaller than the ones for students. For the 1963-64 annual – the source of our scan of Mr. Lafon – the teacher headshots were larger than the ones for students. I haven’t figured out how to scale such photos in WordPress, in order to make them the same size.
Cheryl Vince’s favourite teachers
In a comment (see below), Cheryl Vince (MCHS 64) has mentioned her favourite teachers. I’ve posted their photos below. I much enjoyed the comment – I didn’t know, for example, that Mr. Talbot taught English or that Mrs. Schlutz drove an impressive convertible.
My favorite teachers were Mr. Talbot, Principal, for English; Mr. Leroy, Vice-Principal for Latin; Mr. Robert Hill for History; Mr. Lewis for Chemistry; and Mrs. Dunwoodie.
We had a fabulous Czech woman who was one of our PE teachers as well as Mrs. Schultz, who impressed us by driving a jaguar convertible to school.
Hard to think they may no longer be around.
Any way to get pictures of them up too?
Great to read your comment. I’m pleased I was able to find pictures for all of these great teachers. I’ve also posted them as part of a separate post, so that your comment is readily accessible to site visitors:
Please post re Ms Lamet:
The year was 1961 at Mount Royal High School in Montreal. There was no high school in Ahuntsic where we lived. I and my three best friends had to find a high school to attend. We choose Mount Royal High. We were all graduates from Ahuntsic Elementary School. It appeared that timewise Mount Royal might be the easiest to travel to. Everyone who had to transit there hated Mount Royal High School. It was a haven for the rich and arrogant, and their very spoiled children, who all attended Mount Royal High. There was no dress code. The girls would dress to kill, with inappropriate fancy dresses, and even with crinolines. It was rather disgusting and embarrassing, especially for those of us who were not able to, or wanted to ‘dress to kill’ on a daily basis. Eventually the school was forced to bring in a dress code as the situation was so totally outrageous and out of control.
Me and my best friend, Lise Decoste, were in Mr. Dolphins Grade Eight class. One of our teachers was Ms Lamet. Lise was French Protestant and somehow ended up in the English system. Lise was a rather sexy twelve year old, very short, approximately five feet only, with a rather large bosom. It appeared that Ms Lamet disliked Lise. Perhaps she felt threatened by someone who had a little bit of sex appeal. Lise was definitely not the best or most attentive student, like many of us. One day for unknown reasons Ms Lamet ordered Lise to come to the front of the class, facing the class, and then proceeded to shake her in front of everyone. It was truly humiliating. Lise graciously took the shaking for a while and then in her own defense and tremendous embarrassment ran from the classroom. Delirious Ms Lamet ran after her down the hall. There was a great deal of commotion and noise at this point coming from the students. Everything seemed to be in disarray. Out of nowhere Mr. Dolphin came running down the hallway, himself not knowing what was happening, but curious due to all the noise and commotion. Mr. Dolphin was a rather short, husky man who wore huge shoes with wedges to enhance his height. Mr. Dolphin running was a sight for sore eyes. I should mention that Mr. Dolphin was an absolute angel, and loved by all.
Lise ran to her locker, grabbed what personal possessions she could, and ran from the school crying, in a state of shock. Teachers tried to settle her, but to no avail. Lise was truly shaken and very upset.
My good friend Lise never returned to school. That was the end of Lise’s education. Not only was she devastated, but I was as well. My very best friend was gone. She, of course, was not able to negotiate for herself and neither of her parents bothered to complain or investigate the problem that Ms Lamet had caused. Lise’s father did not speak any English and that would have been his reason for not following up this incident, and Lise’s mother worked nights and had to sleep in the daytime.
From Lise’s personal story to me today, approximately sixty years later, she states that the day before her mother had worked the night shift and woke her up in the middle of the night when she arrived home. In the early morning Lise had to prepare her younger brother for school. As usual he did not want to get up and as well did not want to go to school. When Lise arrived at school that morning she had very little sleep and was very tired. She was taking notes for an upcoming exam and Ms Lamet wanted to know what she was doing. As Ms Lamet picked on Lise often, she ordered her to come to the front of the class.
As Ms Lamet made a mockery out of her in front of the whole class and shook her, Lise ran embarrassed from the classroom, with Ms Lamet following her. Ms Lamet grabbed Lise and ripped her blouse, trying to drag her to the Principal’s office. When Mr. Dolphin arrived he advised Ms. Lamet to release her hold on Lise.
Ms Lamet’s inappropriate handling and attitude towards Lise was shocking and humiliating to all, and absolutely unwarranted. Ms Lamet was home free, probably with not even an explanation required at the administration and/or School Board level.
I must say that Lise has done very well for herself in this life, better than most, irregardless of the fact that Ms Lamet destroyed her opportunity to get a high school education. Nearly sixty years later, Lise still remains my very best friend.
Sometimes the truth must be revealed. And now, my friends, you know the rest of the story.
It’s good to read your story, Noreen.
Your story underlines the fact that not all of our recollections are the same; different people in different circumstances have had very differing experiences with a given teacher.
From time to time I think of the fact that some very positive experiences – and, indeed, some very negative experiences as well – were associated with those years, in elementary and secondary school and in the years beyond.
Each of the stories matter. Each of the stories adds to our understanding, of the past, and of the present.