Jim Benedict seeks details about Morison School

Jim Benedict has shared the following comment at the post entitled Cartierville School in Montreal.

Can you help him find the details that he seeks?

His Comment [I’ve corrected the spelling for the school’s name – it has one “R” not two “R”s] is as follows:

“I attended Morison School for part of the 61-62 school year. My father had a job in Montreal at the time. During the summer of ’62 we moved back to Denver, Colorado. I have recently been trying to locate our old home and the school on Google but to no avail. I found some old notes that referred to the home as 5343 Jeanne, St Laurent but maps seem to massage that into Rue Jeanne-Mance. The street view appears as row house architecture so I am quite sure this is not the correct address. My memory is that Morison School was basically down the street (Jeanne) from our home. But that is a 50+ year old memory. I don’t find a Morison School in my research or the correct Jeanne street. Does the school even exist anymore? Was it renamed? Converted to something else? And would you know how I might determine the accurate street name? I would be ever grateful. Thank you.”

 

48 replies
  1. Kathy Hann (Tuff)
    Kathy Hann (Tuff) says:

    I attended Morison at that time. 1962-63 school year I was in grade 3. The school is still there, but is now called Ecole Louisbourg, 11880 rue Michel Sarrazin.

    Reply
    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      This is wonderful to know. I’ve sent an email at once to Jim Benedict.

      The message reminds me that we recently were very pleased to receive an email message from Jeanne (Butcher) Durr who has been in touch with us after learning about the MCHS 2015 reunion online. She too has a connection with Morison School and with Colorado.

      Jeanne attended Morison and also was editor of the student newspaper at MCHS in 1962-63 among many other noteworthy achievements. I was so pleased that she contacted us after learning about the reunion online.

      By way of a quick overview, Jeanne reports that she lives with her husband in Colorado after working as a lawyer, with her husband who was also a lawyer, in Oregon. She has also mentioned that she will perhaps also attend the MCHS reunion.

      It has occurred to me that perhaps the reunion should also include students who attended feeder schools for MCHS such as Morison and Cartierville School even if they did not attend MCHS. I would be interested in any comments on this topic. We are always open to comments from any source, on any topic, whether the comments are positive or negative or anywhere in between. In the process of organizing a reunion, input from every possible source is important, and we make a point of listening closely to what fellow students seek to share with us.

      Reply
      • Gordon Bell
        Gordon Bell says:

        I think the idea of feeder schools would be good one except I don’t think the time remaining is enough to gather all the info.

        Reply
        • Jaan Pill
          Jaan Pill says:

          I guess we can put it this way.

          Here’s a hypothetical question:

          If you as a hypothetical student attended one of the elementary schools in the area – Morison, Laurentide, Parkdale, Cartierville come to mind – and did not proceed to MCHS, would you be interested in attending the MCHS ’60s reunion on Oct. 17, 2015 in Toronto? If the answer is yes, please contact Jaan Pill at jpill@preservedstories.com and we can discuss it further with the organizing committee, which is the source of all decisions, and all wisdom regarding matters related to the MCHS 2015 organizing process.

          Reply
  2. Gordon Bell
    Gordon Bell says:

    Hello:
    I attended both Cartierville School for 7 years and Morison School for 1 year. (Long Story). I think the street that you are looking for is Jean-Masse which is straight down Louisbourg Street. Really not that far from the old Morison School. You can check on mapquest.com and put in the address 11880 Michel Sarazin, Montreal, QC. You will be given a map of the surroundings see if any of the streets jog your memory.

    Reply
  3. Kathryn harrison
    Kathryn harrison says:

    I went to Morison school from 1961-1966 when I graduated from grade 7 in Mrs. Murphy’s class. Mrs. Kerwood was school secretary all those years. I had Miss Bond in grade 3 and Mr. Elvin for music all those years as well. I can’t remember my other teachers names. Morison school bordered Grenet on the west side and ran along the back of a row of apartment buildings on Louisburg (south side). On the north and east Michel-Sarrazin as the street curved around. I don’t know of a Jeanne street and I lived in the area for a good part of my life. I know it was a Peter Hall school for handicapped children but not sure if it still is. The building is still there for sure.

    Reply
    • Lynne Hylands
      Lynne Hylands says:

      Are you related to Malcolm Harrison? He would have graduated Morison in 1967. I was in Montreal in February. I took some photos of the old Morison while Kathy Tuff-Hann and I toured the neighbourhood. I will down load my photos later this week and post.

      Reply
      • Jaan Pill
        Jaan Pill says:

        Would you be able to send some photos, along with captions, to me as attached jpeg files at jpill@preservedstories.com? I would be pleased to post them, especially if there is a story that goes with them. It would be great to have a description of your visit, and what prompted you to take the tour.

        I have a large number of posts that I’m now working on, based on photos that I’ve received about the previous winter, and photos featuring people who’ve shared various stories – people such as Graeme Decarie and Bob Carswell – in recent months at this website.

        Reply
  4. Peter Halliday
    Peter Halliday says:

    I attended Morison from1966 to 1972 when I left for Elmgrove and French Immersion. My teachers were, in order from kindergarten to Grade 6: K: Mrs. Baron; 1:Miss Mackay; 2:Miss Bowman; 3: Miss Mackay (freckled fireball); 4:Miss Jablon; 5 Miss Brownstein; 6: Miss Subatchkoff. I remember Miss Kerwood, Miss Efros, the “gym” teacher, who passed the torch to Mr. Jones. One of the worst human beings I have ever known, Mr [X] was the French teacher.

    Reply
        • Jaan Pill
          Jaan Pill says:

          I’m certain that classmates will know who is referred to. In the course of our lives, we do meet some teachers who are not helpful in any particular way. As has been occasionally remarked, some such teachers occasionally go on to be administrators. It’s one of the features of life. The good teachers, the good administrators, the helpful people in our world in the years we are growing up and beyond, we have reason to celebrate their particular work, their sense of dedication. Each person that we encounter has an influence, for better or for worse.

          Reply
  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Julie Denesevich-Lapointe 7:41pm Mar 24 at the Malcolm Campbell High School Facebook Page commented:

    Go on google and type “Morrison Elementary school montreal”. I found some info there. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    From all that I can gather, from a wide range of sources, the correct spelling is Morison,

    The search via Google turns up several useful links including a Facebook page and links at the Preserved Stories website.

    Linda Biggs at the Malcolm Campbell High School Grads Facebook page recommended Google Maps. The Street View for 11880 Michel Sarazin, Montreal indicates the school is still there:

    https://www.google.ca/maps/place/11880+Rue+Michel+Sarrazin,+Montréal,+QC+H4J+2G4/@45.5267434,-73.708791,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x4cc922852a093dbd:0x6a32ce4d1ae922ef

    Reply
  7. Marty Stockton
    Marty Stockton says:

    Jim’s memory is very good. The street name Jeanne was changed to Louisbourg around the time the park was completed, maybe earlier. I lived on St Evariste between Jeanne and de Salaberry. Attended Morison between 1958-1965. Teachers names are a little fuzzy. There was Mrs. Hazel who taught grade 4 and then I had Mrs Wax in grade 5 and 6. I remember Mrs. Wax coming into the class around lunch time on November 22, 1963. She was crying. The kids in the class were stunned to see a teacher crying. She told us that President Kennedy had been shot and that he was dead.

    Reply
    • Don MacKenzie
      Don MacKenzie says:

      I also attended Morrison ps between 1958 to 1962. I also had Mrs Wax for grade 5. I lived on Michel Sarrizan just across from the school. I have been trying to find some of my class mates, one being Irene Lord who lived in my apartment building. Other names I remember were Brian Ito. It was one of the best times In my life. Maybe we were in the same class. Cheers

      Reply
  8. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Thank you for opening up some great conversations Jim!

    There’s also been extensive discussions and reminiscences about Morison, as a result of your inquiry, at the Malcolm Campbell High School Grads Facebook Group, which is the middle one of the three MCHS FB links listed at this link:

    https://preservedstories.com/2014/06/26/if-you-are-sixties-mchs-alumna-or-alumnus-consider-joining-these-three-facebook-groups/

    The discussion thread can be accessed here:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2389889645/permalink/10152779181819646/

    Reply
  9. Kristina Sladek
    Kristina Sladek says:

    I lived at the corner of Michel Sarrazin and Louisbourg (previously named Jeanne).
    I attended Morison from grade 3 to grade 7, then on to MCHS.
    Mrs. Hazel, Mrs. Wax, Mrs. Burt, Mr. Bursey, Miss Bond, principal Mrs. Clark
    Morison became a school for handicapped, then a post office, then another govt office. I’m not what it is now… I’ll stop by on my next visit to Mtl (I occasionally make nostalgic trips to the area).

    Reply
    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Interesting to know about all the stages the school went through later on, as the years went by. I think I remember returning to that school, or maybe it as another one, and thinking how small the desks and everything appeared. When I was little, the desks appeared much bigger!

      I also remember one year I was working in North York, which is now a part of the City of Toronto. I was working in the early 1980s as a teacher at a school for severely handicapped kids. It used to be a regular school. One day a man turned up at my classroom, on the second floor. That used to be his classroom, many, many years ago. He just wanted to have a look around. He was overcome with nostalgia. He had tears in his eyes. Great thing he had the initiative to just walk in, have a visit. I’m pleased he had the opportunity for one last look, and his visit also made me thinks” “Wow, this school was once a regular school, for regular kids.”

      Some years later, when I had moved on to working at another school, and eventually at a school board in another city, the old school was torn down and a new building emerged as as a huge, private school.

      One time I read about the local history of the area, and learned still more things – about things like the farm-type buildings that used to exist in the area, about how there used to be a farm or farms in the area (near the northwest corner of Bathurst St. and Lawrence Ave.), and how the nearby shopping centre (Lawrence Plaza) used to be an apple orchard, where a friend of mine many years ago (it must have been in the 1950s) used to go with his friends and swipe apples.

      Reply
    • Don MacKenzie
      Don MacKenzie says:

      Did you happen to know an Irene Lord or Brian Ito ? I also went to Morrison School and had Mrs Wax in grade 5. I lived on Michel Sarrizan from 1958 to 1962. It was the best time of my life.

      Reply
      • Klaas Vander Baaren
        Klaas Vander Baaren says:

        Don, did you get any info on Irene Lord? If not, send me am email at Klaas@mylastnnamehere dot com and I will try and connect you. I should be receiving her XMAS newsletter next week.

        You were also at Morison at the same time as my sister, Janneke.

        Reply
  10. Lois Robinson
    Lois Robinson says:

    I attended Morison Elementary from 1960-1968. It was located on Michel Sarrazin I also had mrs Baron for kindergarten, Miss Polly in grade 1, Miss Betula My memory fails me I’m afraid. I left Montreal after my Grade 7 Graduation dance.. in June 1968 . I moved to Toronto and am still here.. happily retired with fond memories of my childhood at Morison. Thanks for the updates!!
    Lois Robinson
    St Evariste

    Reply
  11. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Wonderful to read your message, Lois. Pleased to know of your happy retirement in Toronto with fond memories of Morison! You were fortunate to be at one school from 1960 to 1968. In the previous years, many of us moved from one elementary school to another, never staying for all that long at one school.

    I remember a Mr. Bethel the gym teacher. One time we had a baseball game (I think it was a baseball game) during a phys ed class at Morison and we the students started bickering with each other. Things got really heated. That would have been around Grade 5 but I don’t remember. Anyway, he just halted the game. I still remember that. It was like punctuation – the period at the end of a sentence. The end.

    Another thing I remember was a soccer game at recess one day or maybe it was a phys ed class. These details I don’t remember. John Frost was among the players on our team that day. He was really excited to see how well things turned out that day. I remember John. He was also a classmate at Laurentide School later on. The team I was on was at the Morison playing field was behind on goals but I rallied the team and scored a goal. Then we scored again and won the game.

    I still remember that day. I wasn’t much into team sports but that game, that one day, stays in mind. That one experience taught me a lot. It stayed with me forever. The occasion taught me that having a will to win can make a difference, as does teamwork!

    Reply
    • Don MacKenzie
      Don MacKenzie says:

      I attended Morrison public school from 1957 to1962. I also had Mr Bethel for gym. I remember waiting for gym and tossing one of my running shoes through the basketball net and getting caught in the net just as Mr Bethel came into the gym. I asked him about my running shoe and I learned a new word that day the word was confiscated. I did end up getting them back after a few days, I still thought he was a great gym teacher. Those years were the best time in my life. Cheers

      Reply
      • Jaan Pill
        Jaan Pill says:

        I remember a student from those days whose last name was Ito. I also remember Mr. Bethel. He was a good gym teacher. I remember one time we had a baseball game (well, I think it was a baseball game). Students on opposing sides began to argue vehemently and loudly about some call, that had been made, regarding a recent play. Mr. Bethel listened to the arguing for a moment and said (and I paraphrase), “The game’s over. We’re not going to continue, under such conditions.”

        Reply
  12. Bert Eccles
    Bert Eccles says:

    Hi Jaan,
    I just read this page for the first time. As noted by a couple of your readers above, Jeanne later became Louisbourg. I can verify that Jim Benedict lived on Jeanne during his brief stay in Montreal, as he was in my class and I remember that he lived on the south side of Jeanne (at that time, but soon afterwards known as Louisbourg) about halfway between De Meulles and St. Evariste. At that time Jim called himself Jebby (or sometimes just Jeb), the reason being that “Jeb” was an anagram of his initials as his full name was James Edward Benedict.
    I attended Morison from 1957-1964. Maybe I’ll send you a more detailed reminiscence.

    Reply
    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Wonderful to read the details, Bert. It would be great as well if you send me a more detailed reminiscence. I have all manner of reminiscences myself, of Morison School. Little things that happened, here and there, they have stayed in my memory. I think I was at the school when the class I was at went to spend a day at Ile St. Helene (St. Helen’s Island). I still remember details, here and there, of the bus trip there, and the things we saw and did when we were at the site.

      I remember a class play, that the class I was made a tape recording of, one day. My line was: “You may enter to see King Ahab.” The things a person remembers!

      The memories would not come back to me, were it not for the fact that I’ve been reading bits and pieces of reminiscences of Morison School, at this post about Morison.

      Reply
  13. Klaas Vander Baaren
    Klaas Vander Baaren says:

    It’s been interesting to re-read some of the older discussions about Morison School and feeder schools for MCHS. And I don’t know how people remember all their teachers’ names unless they have an old box of files they have dragged around for 55 years and find all their report cards going back to grade 1 like I did recently. A fun read.

    I went to Ahuntsic School for Kindergarten and grades 1 1952/52 and 53/54. Then we moved to Roxboro which meant I was bused to Cartierville School for grades 2 through 5 (1954 – 1958). Then we moved to General Giruad, a block from Morison school for grades 6 & 7 (1958-1960). I was able to walk home for lunch. My last homeroom teacher in Morison School was D.J. Boule who moved to MCHS when it opened in September, 1960.

    Time for a historical fact: Companies were already using schools for advertising even in the 50’s and 60’s. The envelopes used for the report cards for the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal (PSBGM) were sponsored by The Montreal City & District Savings Bank. The cover picture only changed 3 times during my 11 PSBGM years.

    Speaking of Ile St. Helene, a new topic. Did any other MCHS folks en up working at Expo 67? I worked at the Man and His World Pavilion, Man and the Oceans. I worked as a scuba diver. Lots of fun. 50th anniversary this year and there is a FB site:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2315922460/?fref=nf .
    Lots of great pictures and memories.

    Enough of a mind dump for now. Thanks for the conversation Jaan.

    Reply
  14. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I remember the ads on the report cards. I have some report cards from those years stashed away somewhere. One of my projects over the next year or two is to find the report cards and determine exactly what elementary schools I attended, and in what years.

    When I think of Ile St. Helene I think about the history of Montreal. I’ve been reading about the capitulation of Montreal in 1760 after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. There’s a reference to the billeting of British troops in winter quarters, in houses of Canadian families in Sainte-Genevieve in the winter of 1760-1761. Sainte-Genevieve until that point had been untouched by the war.

    The book is Backs to the Wall: The Battle of Sainte-Foy and the Conquest of Canada (2016) by D. Peter MacLeod, which I’ve borrowed from the Mississauga Library System. Some time, I may write a post with a quotation from the book about the winter in Sainte-Genevieve but today being a Sunday I’m doing as little work online as possible.

    It’s just so good to know that the conversations about Morison School are continuing. It was a long time ago, that we attended. It’s good, really good, to compare notes with other students from those years.

    Mr. Boule was our classroom teacher in one of those years. Maybe grade 6 or 7. I’ve lost track, which is why I look forward to finding the report cards. He liked to play Country and Western style gospel music for us, on a record player, on occasion. I also remember a Geography class when we were learning about Norway.

    One time Mr. Boule asked a question about natural resources in Norway and for some reason I shouted out “Fish!” For whatever reason, that was a wrong answer; I was supposed to have come up with something else and everybody in the class broke into gales of laughter. At least that is my recollection; I’m aware that it was a long time ago and memories are easily stretched out of shape, twisted this way and that. No matter, I still think Fish are a Great Resource in Norway. When I think about Norway, I still think about the Fish!

    Reply
  15. Doug Hambley
    Doug Hambley says:

    Rue Jeanne was between de Salaberry and Dudemaine and was renamed Louisbourg in the 1960s as it aligned with rue Louisbourg in New Bordeaux. Jeanne Durr is not the only Morison person in Colorado. I live in Lakewood, CO and work in Golden.

    Mr. Boulet was Don Boulet not Boule. He attended St. Andrews United in St. Laurent as we did. I had forgotten about the bank ads on the report card envelopes. However, you forgot to mention the Bank of Montreal book covers. At the time BofM (or BMO as it is now) was the biggest bank in Canada. It has since been surpassed by TD and RBC…

    By the way, Morison School was named for a Rev. Morison, who had been the minister of a small United Church located near Bois de Boulogne and de Salaberry in Bordeaux whose congregational records, like those of Norwood in St. Laurent were later merged with those of St. Andrews in St. Laurent as the English protestant population declined in the 1970s.

    Reply
    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      That’s a great overview!

      I’ve checked Mr. Boule’s name in the Malcolm Campbell High School yearbooks. It’s spelled Boule in the yearbooks. It was perhaps a French name, but in the yearbook there was no accent included over the e. It was Boule according to the yearbooks. I checked the 1961-62 and 1962-63 yearbooks. I made a point of checking because I like to verify such things whenever I can. My next step will be to double-check my report card, when I find it, for the year Mr. Boule was my teacher, at Morison School.

      I remember in particular the Bank of Montreal ads. They conveyed, for a quite impressionable child such as I was in those days, a sense of a 1950s view of how things are in the world – about how people relate to each other, and how things are set up in the world. These concepts were conveyed through illustrations, through visual imagery; what was conveyed was a kind of “all is well in the world” view of things, a Norman Rockwell kind of view of what society is about.

      In the late 1960s, that view of things changed, at least for me; it came to be strongly questioned, for a while after which, in time, in my case I regained some of my earlier worldview, regained some elements of my earlier way of looking at the world.

      At the same time, I had by that time (after the 1960s) become aware that there are limitations in the standard 1950s view of things; there was also a backstage, another side of things, that a person had to be aware of.

      By the early 1960s, at Malcolm Campbell High School, as a member (in my case, as president) of the student council I had begun to think about the backstage side of things, the part that was there but not readily evident on the surface, especially as it related to how power relationships were set up, on the part of key decision makers, that is, administrators and teachers, in a high school environment.

      Reply
  16. Bert Eccles
    Bert Eccles says:

    At the beginning of September 1956 I was four years old and about to turn five a few weeks later in that same month. This was an important detail because anyone who would not turn five until October 1 or later would be considered too young to begin school and would have to wait until the following year. September 30/October 1 was always (?) the official cut-off date.

    In those days, however, various employees of the PSBGM were apparently unaware of or confused about the policy, as the following anecdotes will illustrate.

    That year, my mother took me to register at Parkdale School. She was told that I was too young for kindergarten and that I would have to wait until September 1957 to legally begin school. Having been thus advised by a supposedly competent authority, my mother and I walked back home and waited another year.

    In September 1957 we went to register at Morison School. (We lived a virtually identical distance from Parkdale and Morison.) When my mother advised the person there that I would be turning six later that month and that she therefore wanted me to begin kindergarten, she was told that I was too old for kindergarten. The previous year I was apparently too young and now, one year later, I was apparently too old!

    The result was that I never did go to kindergarten and I began Grade 1 in September 1957.
    As further evidence of the lack of proper handling by Board personnel, I can cite the examples of three of my peers during my years at Morison. A girl in my class (to maintain privacy, we’ll call her “R”) was born exactly one year and four days before I was. She had not repeated and clearly should have been in the second grade by then, but she too had been victimized by employees not being totally cognizant of the rules and had not been allowed to register until the year after she had really been eligible. Meanwhile, two boys were born in November – but in different years. One (we’ll call him “E”) was born on November 7, 1951 and the other (we’ll call him “B”, completing the “REB” trio ) on November 30, 1950. Neither had repeated, yet they were in the same grade!

    According to the regulations and the vagaries of the official September 30/October 1 cutoff date, “B” and I were both actually in the “proper” grade (1) at the “proper” time (the 1957-1958 school year ) although I had missed a year of kindergarten because of the aforementioned snafu in 1956. I just made the official cutoff date and was always one of the youngest in my class, whereas “B” missed the cutoff by two months and was therefore always one of the oldest.

    Meanwhile, our female classmate “R” should have been a year ahead of us but had been delayed a year for no fault of her own, whereas our other male classmate “E” should not have started Grade 1 until the following year but saved that year when an employee registered him although he was not yet the mandated age.

    We all began Grade 1 at the same time in 1957 but according to regulations only two of us should have, one should have begun in 1956, and one should have begun in 1958!

    Maybe it was and is all random anyway (just like the arbitrary September 30/October 1 cutoff) since we all made it through Morison in seven years and then MCHS in four, and we all graduated in June 1968. Having said that, however, it certainly seems that there should have been more consistency in the application of the age requirements.

    One final note for this entry: Apparently, space was at a premium at Morison in 1957, so the solution of the powers-that-be was to have two Grade 1 classes alternating in a single room. Thus, my class attended school only in the morning (!) for the first half of the year and then only in the afternoon (!) for the second half. The other Grade 1 class was the mirror image, attending only in the afternoon for the first half and only in the morning for the second. This led to some interesting situations. Obviously, two different pupils used each desk each day. When I was in the afternoon group, I came to school one day and found a half-eaten banana in my desk. Amusingly, I still remember that episode almost sixty years later…but I never learned the identity of my partially-hungry counterpart in the other class.

    The bottom line for me personally was that I never attended kindergarten and then only had a half year of Grade 1. In the first case, I was probably a rarity, but in the second I had plenty of company: namely all the pupils in both Grade 1 classes that year.

    I’ll write more memories in a further post or posts, but this one, due to its length, is now at an end.

    Reply
    • Graham Chartier
      Graham Chartier says:

      I was born on Oct. 1 1952 and although my older brother was already in the senior elementary grades, they would not allow me to begin Kindergarten until the following year when I would be 5 in September. I attended Morison from K to 7 and then attended MCHS.

      Reply
  17. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    This is a remarkable picture of how things were in those days. The arbitrariness of it all is remarkable!

    I like your reference to the fact that things turned out well, in spite of all the hassles.

    In places like Sweden and Finland, in those days and maybe even now, kids don’t start school until age 7. That works out really well.

    It’s wonderful to read your text, Bert, and the texts that other Morison students have shared at this webpage. I look forward to additional reminiscences.

    I’m supposed to be taking a day off from writing things at my computer, but there is a story I want to share. The story has to do with a disability that was a major part of my life in those years. As a child and adolescent I stuttered severely. At the age of 41, I got first-rate speech therapy at a clinic in Edmonton and my speech has been smooth sailing ever since, in part as a result of me doing a lot of work practising, over a period of several years after the Edmonton clinic, the skills that I had learned at the clinic, until the skills were really well consolidated.

    Anyway, in the 1950s speech therapy for stuttering really hadn’t advanced very far, and attitudes about stuttering were based on myths and stereotypes that these days are not quite as strongly held, among the general population, as compared to the attitudes that were widely prevalent in those earlier times.

    Speech therapists in those days didn’t have very effective ways to deal with stuttering. The field had not advanced as far, in those years, as compared to where things are now. Speech therapists working with kids who stutter tried to do what they could, but progress was minimal. In primary school, I was taken out of class for speech therapy. during one of my years at school, but it didn’t do much good.

    When I was at Morison, my teacher called in a speech therapist, who in turn took me out of the class one day and had me fill out a questionnaire that would indicate whether I might be a good candidate for speech therapy. In my responses to the questionnaire I made it clear that I didn’t think that speech therapy would do much good for me, and that’s the last that I heard from the therapist.

    I’m pleased that things have improved, quite considerably, for those of us who stutter. There’s much more information available. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was involved in setting up a national association for people who stutter, a volunteer, non-profit group that engages in public education about stuttering, and organizes conferences and events where people who stutter can get together and compare notes. The group is called the Canadian Stuttering Association. It’s still going strong.

    In those years I also helped to set up an international association – the International Stuttering Association – and a national association in Estonia, which is the country my parents are from. The latter association is called the Estonian Stuttering Association.

    Since my retirement (in 2006) from my career as a public school teacher, I’ve given large numbers of talks to students at elementary schools across the Greater Toronto Area, sharing my story about the challenges I faced as a child who stuttered, and the speech therapy that enabled me to eventually address my disability. I must say, kids always enjoy hearing my story. They find the narrative of huge interest.

    The most recent conference of the Canadian Stuttering Association was in Toronto in October 2016. The keynote speaker was the Honourable Geoff Regan, the Speaker of the House of Commons. He stuttered as a child and in his younger adult years but was able to get effective speech therapy (in Halifax) and went on to a successful career as a politician. I much enjoyed meeting him at the October 2016 conference, and comparing notes about treatment for stuttering with him.

    Reply
    • Bert Eccles
      Bert Eccles says:

      Jaan, you deserve great admiration for resolving the challenge that was presented to you and for reaching out in support of others facing that same challenge. Bravo!

      Reply
      • Jaan Pill
        Jaan Pill says:

        Thank you, Bert! I’m really pleased I found a way to directly address the challenge that I faced, and found a way to help others.

        Reply
  18. Marty Stockton
    Marty Stockton says:

    It’s interesting to see the names of people I remember from those days pop up in this thread, including Bert and Doug. Bert used to chum around with Doug Jackson and Velvel K. One of my pals in those days was Doug’s younger brother Robbie.

    Bert, you missed out on a great teacher and person by missing kindergarten. Mrs Baran was just a great teacher. I wonder how many people attended kindergarten with her? I remember my first day in her class. There was a circle in the middle of the room. The circle was made up of images of various animals. Mrs Baran directed the children to sit on the image of their favourite animal.

    Two of us made a beeline for the Squirrel. The name of the other person was Evelyn, but for the life of me, I can’t come up with her surname. No worries though. Kristina will remember.

    Another odd memory that stands out from that year was the embarrassment of bare feet. If ever your socks came off when you were getting your winter boots on or off, and someone else saw your bare foot, giggles would erupt from anyone within visual range.

    My report card jackets have different artwork for almost every year. The one with “Dad getting home from work and being greeted by an excited daughter” was used in 57/58 and again the following year. The artwork with “Dad cooking on the BBQ” was used twice as well.

    Kristina….the principal when we were in grade 7 was Mary G Matthews.

    One last memory before I close. There was a game of baseball going on, possibly after school one day. Someone hit a home run over the fence in right field. The ball shattered the passenger window of a car parked on the street. Of course the car belonged to one of the teachers.

    Reply
  19. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Marty, I’ve broken your single, longer paragraph into shorter ones, for ease in online reading. I trust that is okay with you. Otherwise, let me know and I will put it back into the original format.

    Among other things, I much enjoyed your comment about the hallway laughter associated with bare feet and snow boots.

    Reply
  20. Bert Eccles
    Bert Eccles says:

    Elementary school is a major part of a child’s world, but it’s not his complete world. I thought it might be interesting to retrospectively look at what was going on outside the walls of Morison during the seven years I was there. Thus, what follows is a completely subjective and personal view of what I remember of the outside world as seen from my limited perspective between ages five and twelve. I hope that others feel inspired to share their own personal memories on these and other themes.

    I’ve listed some examples of key areas that I remember for each year and I’ve used each grade, academic calendar year, and teacher as headings. I think there were two class teachers for my grade each year that I was at Morison; I’ve named my teacher in each instance. I don’t know the names of the teachers of the other classes (although I think the “other” Grade 7 teacher was Mr. Bursey).

    Grade 1, 1957-1958, Mrs. Cook. News/Politics: John Diefenbaker was beginning what would be a six-year run as Prime Minister. Sports: The Canadiens won the Stanley Cup for the third consecutive year. Floyd Patterson was the Heavyweight Champion. Soundtrack: Perry Como: “Catch a Falling Star”. TV: “Have Gun Will Travel”.

    Grade 2, 1958-1959, Mrs. Shakespeare. Sports: The Canadiens won their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup. Ingemar Johansson of Sweden knocked out Floyd Patterson to win the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. Soundtrack: Johnny Horton: “Battle of New Orleans”. TV: “Perry Mason”.

    Grade 3, 1959-1960, Miss McVicar. Sports: The Canadiens won their fifth consecutive Cup. Rocket Richard retired. Floyd Patterson became the first boxer ever to regain the Heavyweight Championship. Soundtrack: Bobby Darin: “Mack the Knife”, Perry Como: “Delaware”, Johnny Horton: “Sink the Bismarck”. TV: “Tightrope”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “The Twilight Zone”.

    Grade 4, 1960-1961, Mrs. Heazel. News/Politics: The Nixon-Kennedy debate led to Kennedy being elected President. The Bay of Pigs invasion. Sports: Chicago (with Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Glenn Hall, and Pierre Pilote) won the Stanley Cup. Soundtrack: Johnny Horton: “North to Alaska”, Joe Jones: “You Talk Too Much”. TV: Checkmate”.

    Grade 5, 1961-1962, Mrs. Wax. News/Politics: the Diefendollar, the Thalidomide tragedy and scandal, the death of Marilyn Monroe. Sports: Toronto won the Stanley Cup. Soundtrack: Jimmy Dean: “Big Bad John”, Dion: “Runaround Sue”, Chubby Checker: “The Twist”. TV: “The Dick Van Dyke Show”.

    Grade 6, 1962-1963, Mrs. Burt. News/Politics: Lester Pearson was elected Prime Minister. Sports: Toronto won its second consecutive Stanley Cup. Sonny Liston, at that time the most feared fighter in the world, demolished Floyd Patterson and won the Heavyweight Championship. Soundtrack: Bobby “Boris” Pickett: “The Monster Mash”, The Four Seasons: “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, Big Bob and the Dollars: “Gordie Howe”. TV: “Car 54 Where Are You”.

    Grade 7, 1963-1964, Mrs. Burt (she moved from Grade 6 to Grade 7, just as we did). News/Politics: Assassination of JFK. Sports: Young Yvan Cournoyer was brought up to the Canadiens for five games and scored four goals. Toronto won its third consecutive Stanley Cup. Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston to win the Heavyweight Championship and then changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Soundtrack: The Beatles: “Roll Over Beethoven”, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, “She Loves You”, and many, many more, as Beatlemania exploded in North America. TV: Burke’s Law.

    Obviously, a lot of other things happened in those seven years, but the ones above were the most memorable for me. What are your memories?

    Reply

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