Grade 7 (1970-1971) picture from Elmgrove French Immersion

"Discovered my Grade 7 pic from Elmgrove French Immersion. 1970-71. A good chunk of these students ended up in MCHS."

“Discovered my Grade 7 pic from Elmgrove French Immersion. 1970-71. A good chunk of these students ended up in MCHS.” – Spiro Couris Athina Maroudas. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Spiro Couris Athina Maroudas has posted this great photo at the Malcolm Campbell High School Grads Facebook page. He has given permission for me to post it at the Preserved Stories website.

He writes on Facebook: “Discovered my Grade 7 pic from Elmgrove French Immersion. 1970-71. A good chunk of these students ended up in MCHS.”

We’ve had quite a bit of discussion at this website regarding the French Immersion programs at Cartierville School and Elmgrove School and elsewhere. You can find previous posts by doing web searches using the internal web search function at this website.

I’ve also been reading about how the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal made a point of introducing French Immersion as a strategic move to ensure that the English-language system would be able to address, as best it could, the changes occurring in Quebec following the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s.

The History of Montreal: Th Story of a Great North American City (2007) includes (p. 65) a redrawn version of an older map of Montreal in 1761, a year after the Capitulation of Montreal (that is, after the British takeover of New France following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759). The map shows Fouberg (Suburb) Saint-Laurent north of the fortified walls of the town. Click on the image to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

The History of Montreal: The Story of a Great North American City (2007) includes (p. 65) a redrawn version of an older map depicting Montreal as it appeared in 1761, a year after the Capitulation of Montreal.  The Capitulation in 1760 occurred subsequent to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. The map shows Foubourg (that is, the suburb of) Saint-Laurent north of the fortified walls of the town. The map also shows suburbs to the east and west and the camps of the British occupying forces. The original older map is featured in Opening the Gates of Eighteenth-Century Montreal (1992). Click on the image to enlarge it; click again to enlarge it further.

As well, I’ve been reading about the creation of the St. Laurent suburb (foubourg) and the later creation of the St. Laurent ward. These are topics that I’ve also discussed in recent posts.

The postwar years are a fascinating period in Quebec and Canadian history, which I have also discussed recently in the context of a 1993 film entitled “The Rise and Fall of English Montreal.” Again, if you are interested, you can do a search at this website.

I also like to relate this history to the present moment, the most important time of all, the filter or frame through which the past, and all of life’s experiences, are viewed. Each generation as it emerges, as historians have commented from time to time, looks toward the past from its own particular vantage point.

I’m a strong supporter of French Immersion. There is so much value, as the research about brain development indicates, for children to be learning two or even more languages. I’m pleased to know there is strong interest in French Immersion across Canada. In my experience, the quality of education offered in the French Immersion stream (in both francophone and anglophone instruction) at the Toronto District School Board, by way of example, is from my anecdotal observations of very high and impressive quality.


12 replies
  1. Sheila (nee Manuel)
    Sheila (nee Manuel) says:

    I attended the French immersion program that same year at Elmgrove, my teacher was Madame Barbent (sp). I transferred there from Carlisle school in TMR

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    This is valuable information, Sheila. We so much appreciate corroboration from site visitors of such details. The name “Elmgrove” is for me like an echo from a distant past and at the same time a word that has never left my consciousness.

    I attended Cartierville School, Laurentide School, and Morison School in the 1950s my primary (starting with kindergarten) school having been Van Horne School which was close to where we lived near the Snowdon district in Montreal, before we moved to Cartierville. I did not attend Elmgrove but quite a few people I know in those years attended it.

    Elmgrove School and the schools I’ve mentioned along with the No. 17 Cartierville streetcar are among the things that stay fresh in mind, close at hand.

  3. Liz Henderson
    Liz Henderson says:

    Can someone tell me the address of Elmgrove Elementary School? I went there in ’72-73. Is it still in existence? Just found my report card. It is…ahem…quite mediocre.

  4. Michael Ward
    Michael Ward says:

    I was there in ’72-73′. Have very fond (but fuzzy) memories of the school and the friends that I met that year. I remember September 72 when the school was distracted by the first Canada-Soviet Union Hockey Summit series. I remember if you were caught speaking English in the halls at recess you had to pay a small fine to these hall monitors. I used to have my pockets filled with coins from my paper-route. We had a chill teacher Mr. Rivet, with his beads, who was very kind. I was not a good french student. My family ended up in Vancouver, and after a long road am a Math Prof. at UBC

  5. Lionel Johnson
    Lionel Johnson says:

    I too was at Elmgrove. Transferred there from the Town of Mount Royal High School. Struggling to remember when – must have been around 1970 – 1971. Remember a husband and wife pair of teachers with the surname Bongard.

    • Debbie wallace
      Debbie wallace says:

      I was at Elmgrove in 70-71 and had M. Bongard – all I remember is him throwing chalk when angry and slamming the yardstick on the desk!

  6. Larry Fagen
    Larry Fagen says:

    I attended Elmgrove in 1977 after Sinclair Laird Elementary, then I went off to Town of Mount Royal High, and Wagar.
    In 1977, I remember some names I’d like to share – not sure if these people were at Elmgrove prior to 1977
    Mr Zakaib – principal
    Mrs Leibson – English Teacher
    Mme Brabant,
    Mme. Azuelos – Math
    M. Lachapelle – he was my main teacher – had a beard, kind of looked like Jesus.
    M. Buche,
    M. Milleret – Geographie – by taking this ‘special course’ we were awarded an extra credit toward the covetted “Bilingual Certificate” all our parents made us strive for. Because of this, we would be allowed to take history in grade 10 in English and STILL get the certificate
    Mr. Tinker – Gym Teacher (I think he was at Elmgrove – or maybe I’m getting confused he was at TMR?)

  7. Joanne Drewett
    Joanne Drewett says:

    Hello! Love the posts and the memories they stirred, especially some of the teacher’s names. I was there in 71-72 I think, from Dunrae Gardens in TMR. There were a few of us from Dunrae Gardens there. It was the best school year I ever had! Full of wonderful people, diverse, lots of field trips, learnt to speak French so well. I was amazed at how I would go home on the 45 minute bus ride and speak French and then have to change my thinking when I got home. It was all so natural after a while. Elmgrove and the people I met there, had a profound effect on my life and I often think back to that wonderful year of schooling… Joanne Drewett

    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Wonderful to read your comment Joanne. It’s most interesting to read bout the 45 minute bus ride and how in time it became natural to switch between languages. Wonderful to be getting to know Elmgrove better as a school. I never went there but through vivid reminiscences such as yours, these many years later, I get an increasingly solid sense of what a great school it was.

  8. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Erika Howard writes:

    I went to Elmgrove in 70-71, which I believe was its second year. I was in Salle 7, and had Mme Bongard, who was Belgian. I had a mad crush ( my first real crush) on my french teacher M. Gilles Rivet, and I have often wondered what happened to him. Headmaster was Mr Hay. Had Mme Brabant, another Belgian, for science.

    I had a great year there, and was miserable when my parents sent me the The Study for high school, as all my friends we’re off to TMR High.


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