Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Montgomery Place Est. in 1946 by Our War Veterans

Montgomery Place.

 Est. in 1946 by Our War Veterans.

General Bernard L. Montgomery watches his tanks move up. North Africa, November 1942
General Bernard L. Montgomery
Photographer: Keating G (Capt)    Imperial War Museums public domain photograph E 18980.

 Canadian Forces veterans  built their homes in the Saskatoon neighborhood community of Montgomery Place during the years 1946-77.   Montgomery Place was established with small agricultural land holdings outside the city of Saskatoon under the Federal Government's Veteran's Land Act (VLA) for men and women returning from World War II (1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945) and the Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953).

According the Library and Archives Canada, the "British and French Governments encouraged former soldiers to settle in Canada."  More than 140,000 veterans applied for grants and loans under the Veteran's Land Act 1942. The Soldier Settlement Act of 1917 "to those who framed the Veteran's Land Act of World War II, which avoided many of the problems inherent in the 1919 legislation."Soldier Settlement

The 1942 Veteran's Land Act was put forward to assist thousands of returning soldiers needing accommodation following the war.  Grants and loans were made available to veterans wishing to construct their own home. Initially, qualified veterans could receive a maximum of $4,800, "of which $3,600 is the maximum for land and buildings and $1,200 is the  maximum for chattels.  But the maximum indebtedness the veteran assumes is $2,400."  A veteran wishing to be settled on a small holding near a village, town or city, in order to secure employment, an apply for assistance to build a home on the small acreage.  Veterans could apply for a loan to be put toward fencing, a well, sundry tools, small implements, household equipment.  10 per cent of the land cost is due the Directory, and 2/3 of the land and improvement cost needs to be repaid over the next 25 years at an interest rate of three and a half percent.   

In life, each of us falls a serious chance, some do not realize the full significance of the moment and miss him. Others, focused and dedicated, grab the opportunity with both hands and use it to the full, and the good people always show scruples in the choice of means to achieve their goals, they do not come on the head those who stand in their way.
~Field marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery

Generally "Land Settlement" refers to settlement on the land for full-time farming operating a wheat farm, mixed farm or dairy.  The Veteran's Land Act of 1942 aimed to provide for those veterans who had no experience nor background to undertake an agricultural operation.  Assistance was offered with the aim that a "small holding settlement or part-time farming coupled with industrial, commercial, or other employment from which it is expected the main income will be derived.  In this way, veterans established in a small holding settlement close to employment opportunities they could follow the trade or profession of their expertise and not feel obligated to start out in a full-time agricultural operation where they have no skill or experience.

 In this way veterans held enough land in a small holding to "erect a home, landscape, and work to his own advantage...the majority of small holders are carrying on year by year with a planned property improvement.  Each year further use and pleasure is being derived from the opportunities afforded by these generous-sized properties.  There is family enjoyment from ample play yards, game areas, and flower gardens and pleasure to be derived from planting your own trees, shrubs, and flowers.  Savings can be realized from the well planned home garden, and in many cases substantial incomes are being derived from special crops such as bush fruits, and perennial vegetables. Many of the small holdings home owners realized sufficient income to meet their taxes, or other expenses through vegetable or fruit crops grown on their property."S-P 08-25-52  I.L. Holmes, acting district superintendent for the V.L.A. in Saskatoon said, "the over-all picture would lead to a lowering of general overhead costs."S-P 08-25-52

 By October 31, 1945, over 500,000 acres had been purchased across Canada by the Veterans Land Act Administration, of which 20,424 acres were purchased as small holdings at a cost of $4,306,280, and of these 12,392 were already in use.  By the end of 1945, it was expected that 80 VLA homes would be completed in Saskatchewan, of which 25 were in the Saskatoon area.  The following year, 1946, six houses were to be readied for occupancy.

"The morale of the soldier is the greatest single factor in war."

~Field marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery

The Veteran's Lands Act aimed at settling the veteran's as part-time farmers or small agricultural holders who could supplement their income with chickens, vegetable growing, fruit trees, and gardens on their half acre lots.  (Property lots in the Montgomery Place neighbourhood have frontages of 30-meters (100 feet).  Several lots are close to half an acre.  This compares to other neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, where property lots average 7.5 meters (25 feet) frontages in inner city areas, and 15-meters (50 feet) in other areas of the city. )

In 1963, Montgomery Place was expanded, and an additional 78 small land holdings of half an acre each were added.  Under the revised VLA arrangements, "if title was secured and the plan approved, a war veteran making application for assistance to establish a small holding could receive a maximum of $12,000SP 5-19-62 in the form of a loan with which to erect a home.  The maximum loan amounts were increased regularly to ease financial burdens upon the veterans due to inflation. The VLA arrangement came to an end in 1971, and non-veterans have also made residence in the Montgomery Place community.  Over the course of the VLA operation over 125,000 veterans settled successfully.

 Discussions to amalgamate the community of Montgomery Place with the city of Saskatoon began in 1954, and the neighborhood incorporated within the city January 1, 1955.   A special property tax agreement was enacted protecting the veteran residents.  This tax agreement expired in 1979, and full city property taxes were assessed.  However, by this year, 50 of the landowners had subdivided parcels of land into smaller lots and sold them.

 The Veterans Land Act was a program offering servicemen a welcome back home and an opportunity to re-establish themselves into civilian life.  The Government supported this period of adjustment and desired to "put the veteran in as good or a better position than he enjoyed if he had not enlisted."S-P 7-17-45

Located southwest of the 11th Street and Dundonald Avenue intersection in Saskatoon,  the neighborhood of Montgomery Place streets and roadways memorialize the war effort; Caen Street, Arnhem Street, Normandy Street, Ortona Street, Merritt Street, Dieppe Street, Mountbatten Street, Currie Avenue, McNaughton Avenue,  Rockingham Avenue, Haida Avenue, Simonds Avenue, Cassino Avenue & Place, Crerar Drive, Crescent Boulevard, Lancaster Boulevard & Crescent, Bader Crescent.

    Arnhem Street        Battle of Arnhem   
    Bader Crescent        Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader ( February 21, 1910 –  September 5, 1982)  Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter ace   
    Caen Street        Battle for Caen   
    Cassino Avenue and Place        Battle of Monte Cassino   
    Crerar Drive, Crescent, Boulevard        General Henry Duncan Graham "Harry" Crerar  (April 28, 1888 – April 1, 1965)   
    Currie Avenue        "Major David Vivian Currie,  (8 July 1912    July 8, 1912)
Sutherland, Saskatchewan – 20 June 1986)"   
    Dieppe Street        Battle of Dieppe   
    Gougeon Park           
    Haida Avenue        HMCS - HAIDA   
    Lancaster Boulevard and Crescent         Avro Lancaster Bomber   
    Lt. Col. Drayton Walker Park        Lt. Colonel Drayton Walker  (1900-1975)   
    McNaughton Avenue        General Andrew George Latta McNaughton,( February 25, 1887 –  July 11, 1966)   
    Merritt Street        Lt. Colonel Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt  ( November 10, 1908 –  July 12, 2000)   
    Montgomery Place and Montgomery Park        Field Marshal B.L. Montgomery ( November 17, 1887 –  March 24, 1976)   
    Mountbatten Street        Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, (born Prince Louis of Battenberg; ( June 25, 1900 –  August 27, 1979)   
    Normandy Street        D -Day, the Normandy Invasion   
    Ortona Street        Battle of Ortona   
    Rockingham Avenue        Brigadier General John Meredith Rockingham ( August 24, 1911 -1988)   
    Simonds Avenue and Lt. Gen. G.G. Simonds Park        Lieutenant-General Guy G. Simonds (April 23rd, 1903 -  May 15th, 1974.)   

Field Marshall B.L. Montgomery 1887-1976

Field Marshall B.L. Montgomery (1887-1976)
Photographer Julia Adamson

 The neighborhood of Montgomery Place, Montgomery Park and Montgomery School all take their name from Field Marshal B.L. Montgomery (1887-1976). According to a plaque erected within the neighborhood, "Montgomery was one of the most inspirational British military leaders of the Second World War. After significant victories over German General Erwin Rommel in North Africa (1942-1944), he was promoted to Field Marshal in command of British and Canadian troops. Montgomery presided over the Battles of Arnhem and Normandy and accepted the formal surrender of the German military at Luneburg Heath on May 4, 1945. His flair for command and the absolute belief in his infallibility made him a legendary, if not always popular, leader."  The BBC reports that Winston Churchill felt that his victory at the Battle of El Alamein was the turning point in the Second World War.

I have always maintained that the army - not just a certain amount in one place people with such a number of tanks, guns, machine guns, etc., and that the strength of the army - not just the sum of its parts. The real strength of the army is and must be much more than this amount. Extending the power it gives morale, morale, mutual confidence in each other commanders and subordinates (in particular this applies to the high command), a sense of camaraderie, and many other subtle spiritual factors.

Raw materials, which have to deal with the general - the people. The same is true for civilian life. I think the managers of large industrial concerns are not always aware of this report, it seems that the raw materials - is iron ore, cotton and rubber - not people, and goods. In talking with them, I would not agree with this, and claimed that their main raw material - the people. Many generals also misunderstand this important moment, not aware of what is behind them, and this is one of the reasons that some of them were not successful.

In battle, the army should be as strong as steel, and make it possible, but just as she began to acquire its best quality only after a lot of preparation, and provided that its composition properly selected and processed. Unlike steel army - very delicate instrument, which is very easy to damage, its main component - the people, and to have a good command the army, you need to understand human nature. In humans lies a huge emotional energy, it breaks out, and need to use it for the intended purpose and to give out so that warms the heart and stirs the imagination. If the commander is to the human factor is cold and impersonal, it has not achieved anything. But if you manage to win the trust and loyalty of your soldiers, if they feel that you care about their interests and security, then you become the owner of priceless assets, and the greatest achievements are you on the shoulder.

The morale of the soldiers - the most important factor in the war, and victory in battle - the best way to strengthen their morale during the war. Good general who wins the battle with minimal losses, but maintaining a high morale and a great loss if the battle is won and the soldiers know that the victims brought knowingly and that took care of the wounded, and the bodies of the fallen gathered and interred with dignity.

Some people think that the morale of the English soldier is highest, if you provide it with all necessary allowances, surrounding clubs, canteens, etc. I do not agree. My personal experience is that they are all determined to win when they are asked to stay in the most severe conditions."

Bernard Law Montgomery Memoirs

Lt Colonel David Vivian Currie

Lt Colonel David Vivian Currie
Library and Archives Canada MIKAN ID number 4233303 public domain image.

Lt. Colonel David Vivian Currie (1913-1986) is honoured by the naming of Currie Avenue.  "Lt. Colonel David Currie is the only Saskatchewan born holder of the Victoria Cross.  Born in Sutherland and raised in Moose Jaw, Currie joined the 29th Canadian Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment in 1939.  An
unflappable and, apparently, unstoppable individual" Currie and his troops defended St. Lambert in the battle of Falaise Gap in August, 1944.  Down to 60 men and 12 tanks, Major Currie held the town against repeated German counter-attacks for 36 hours.  In 1966 he became Sergeant at Arms of the House of Commons" reports the memorial erected in his honour.

General Andrew George Latta McNaughton, February 25, 1887 –  July 11, 1966

General Andrew McNaughton

Library and Archives Canada public domain image MIKAN ID number 4232580

General Andrew McNaughton was memorialized in the title of McNaughton Avenue.  "General Andrew McNaughton first attained prominence in the First World War as a Brigadier General in command of the Canadian artillery at the age of 31.  By the Second World War he was head of the National Research Council, but returned to the army as commander of the First Canadian Division.  He was instrumental in keeping Canadian troops together as one army, rather than distributed amongst British units.  He later served as Minister of Defense and as a delegate to the United Nations."

Lieutenant General Guy C. Simonds (1903-1974)
Lieutenant General Guy C. Simonds (1903-1974)

Library and Archives Canada public domain image MIKAN ID number 4232760

Simonds Avenue identifies the achievements of Lieutenant General Guy C. Simonds (1903-1974).  "Lieutenant General Guy C. Simonds commanded the 1st Canadian Infantry Division in the Sicilian and Italian campaigns.  He then led the Canadian Corps through the Normandy Invasion and the taking of the Islands in the Scheldt Estuary covering the approaches to Antwerp, Belgium.  Lieutenant General Simonds subsequently became Chief of the General Staff from 1951-1955."

Brigadier General John Meredith Rockingham 1911-1988

Brigadier General John Meredith Rockingham (1911-1988)

Julia Adamson photographer

Rockingham Avenue extols Brigadier General John Meredith Rockingham (1911-1988).  Montgomery Place community residents remember Rockingham thusly; " Brigadier General John Rockingham commanded the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade in the campaign in northwest Europe during the last year of World War II.  "Rocky", as he was affectionately known, would be recalled to service in 1950 as the senior Canadian soldier in the Korean war.  His masterful tactics, and his determination that the Canadian Army would not shirk its assigned duties, were instrumental in Canada' contributions in Korea."

Montgomery Place, Saskatoon Monument

Montgomery Place Monument, Saskatoon
Photographer Julia Adamson

Merritt Street remembers and pays tribute to Lt. Colonel Cecil Merritt, who is eulogized as "Lt. Colonel Cecil Merritt (1908-1991) Lt. Col. Cecil Merritt won the first Victoria Cross given to a Canadian in WWII for gallantry and inspired leadership during the disastrous raid in Dieppe. He landed with the South Saskatchewan Regiment at Pourville on August 19, 1942. To capture important high ground to the east, they had to cross the Scie by a bridge under heavy fire. Seeing the situations, Merritt walked on to the bridge, waved his helmet to encourage his men, and shouted: "Come on over, there's nothing to worry about here." After hours of heavy fighting, Merritt and his men were taken captive. Merritt was commended for his leadership while a prisoner."

"Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't do this or that. That's nonsense. Make up your mind, you'll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible."~Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader

Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader

Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader.

UK Royal Air Force Museum public domain image

Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader (1910-1982) was honoured similarly with a plaque which reads, "A hero of the Battle of Britain whose name came to define triumph over adversity.  Bader joined the RAF at 20, and lost both legs in a crash in 1931.  Discharged in 1933, he pestered the RAF until re-instated in 1935.  His disability proved an advantage in dogfights, as he was immune to blackouts caused by blood rushing to a pilot's legs during tight turns.  Bader devised innovative battle formations which led to 22 kills before he was shot down.  Captured in France, he would make many escape attempts, forcing the Germans to take away his artificial legs each night.  Bader was knighted for his work on behalf of the disabled."

" "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools."~Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader

First Canadian Army generals in the Netherlands, on May 20 1945. Sitting, from left to right: Stanislaw Maczek, 1st Polish Armoured Division; Guy Simonds, II Canadian Corps; H.D.G. Crerar, 1st Canadian Army; Charles Foulkes, I Canadian Corps; B.M. Hoffmeister, 5th Armoured Division. Standing, from left to right: R.H. Keefler, 3rd Infantry Division; A.B. Matthews, 2nd Infantry Division; H.W. Foster, 1st Infantry Division; R.W. Moncel, 4th Armoured Brigade; S.B. Rawlins, 49th British Division.
Seated center H.D.G. Crerar, 1st Canadian Army (First Canadian Army generals group picture)
Photographer Ken Bell Department of National Defence / National Archives of Canada, public domain image number PA-137473.

Crerar Drive, Crescent Boulevard acknowledges the impact on the war effort by Lt. General Harry D. Crerar (1888-1965).  Montgomery Place residents recalls, that "as the Canadian Chief of Staff, Crerar wanted a distinctly Canadian corps, bringing together armoured and infantry divisions in a unified fighting force.  In the past, Canadian regiments had been apportioned out to British armies, depending on the needs of the moment.  Crerar created the First Canadian Corps.  It consisted of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, 5th Canadian Armoured Divisions, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade and supporting units.  After D-Day, Canadian troops led by Gen. Crerar distinguished themselves fighting against some of Hitler's crack divisions."

Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Public domain image from the U.S. Federal Government National Park Service employee.

Mountbatten Street shows respect for "Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten (1900-1979). A British Royal, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, received the surrender of 680,879 officers and men of the Imperial Japanese Forces.  He also supervised the ill-fated raid on Dieppe where almost 70% of the fighting force was killed, wounded or captured.  With the American joining the war, he and Gen. George C. Marshall created the first integrated Allied headquarters in 1942.  Lord Mountbatten was assassinated in 1979 by the provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army, who had planted a bomb on his pleasure boat."

Montgomery Place Monument

Montgomery Place Monument

Photographer Julia Adamson

Lt. Col. Drayton Walker Park honours "Lt. Colonel Drayton E. Walker (1900-1975) born in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Drayton Ernest Walker achieved prominence as both a veteran and an educator.  He left a teaching career to serve with the Saskatoon Light Infantry in 1939, fighting in the invasion of Sicily.  He became commanding officer achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  Injured in 1943, he received the Distinguished Service Order.  Walker returned to Saskatoon where he became Principal of Bedford Road Collegiate and later the first Principal of Mount Royal Collegiate.  He retired in 1966 after a 3 year term as Principal of the Armed Services School in Marville, France."

Public Domain Image by Elodie Marnot

Dieppe Street received its title paying homage to Dieppe, "a French resort town, Dieppe was the site of a Canadian - British amphibious raid on August 19, 1942.  The plan was to destroy several German installations and leave immediately.  The timing depended strictly on sunrise with troops having to retreat before the high tide.  It failed.  Of 5,000 Canadian troops to land 900 were killed and 1,300 were taken prisoner.  Many lessons were learned from this ill-fated attack, including the importance of prior air bombings and support of assault troops with artillery fire.  These valuable tactics were implemented in subsequent raids, contributing to the success at Normandy two years later."

Sign monument Montgomery Place

Montgomery Place Monument
Julia Adamson Photographer

Arnhem Street received its appellation to give tribute to The Battle of Arnhem.  "On Sept. 17, 1944 the Battle of Arnhem, in Holland, was the last and most crucial phase of Operation Market Garden.  It was the biggest airborne military operation ever mounted and was designed to bring the war in Europe to a quick end.  The plan was to take control of 8 bridges along the German-Dutch border.  British troops were deliberately dropped 8 miles from the bridges.  It was impossible for them to reach their target before the Germans knew of the attack.  Nearly 6,000 from the 1st Airborne Division were captured and 1,174 killed.  Almost 1,900 men escaped.  The battle was immortalized in the book and movie A Bridge Too Far."

Canadian Armour Passing Through Ortona, by Dr. Charles Fraser Comfort.


Dr. Charles Fraser Comfort public domain image CN 12245 Canadian War Museum.

Similarly another sign honours the Battle of Ortona, the namesake for Ortona Street.  "The Loyal Edmonton Regiment fought at the Battle of Ortona during World War II.  Canadian troops met German troops at the Moro River just outside the Italian town of Ortona, and fought their way into town during eight bloody days in December, 1943.  1,375 Canadian troops lost their lives securing the town.  The Allies also used this seaport battle as a diversion to delay and prevent Hitler from sending troops up to France or on to Rome, where the survivors of the brutal battle eventually wound up."

Battle Of Ortona memorial

Battle of Ortona
Julia Adamson photographer

H Captain Callum Thompson, a Canadian chaplain, conducting a funeral service in the Normandy bridgehead, France, 16 July 1944.

Library and Archives Canada public domain image reference number PA-190111 and under the MIKAN ID number 3520665

Normandy Street received its designation recalling D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.  "On June 6, 1944, Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in France.  Canadian sea and airmen were among the first into action.  Their high casualty rate reflected the specific tasks of the Canadian Army during the campaign and the fact that it continually faced the best troops the enemy had to offer.  D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, which led to the end of WWII, was one of Canada's most significant military engagements.  The armies of the Nazi regime had suffered a resounding defeat.  In the process, Canada's troops had been forged into a highly effective army."

Sign monument dedicated to Caen Street in Montgomery Place

Julia Adamson Photographer

A plaque within the community commemorates Caen Street,  "Caen, a town in the Normandy region of France, was captured by Canadian and British troops following D-Day in 1944.  After two days of vicious battle, during which company casualties frequently reached 25%, the Allies clawed their way in and declared Caen their own.  The Germans still occupied much of the surrounding area including the airfield to the west and the high ground ridge to the south.  Much Canadian blood would be shed during the following weeks in order to finally seize these key positions."

Monte Cassino

Monte Cassino

Public Domain Images from the Army Quartermaster Museum Collection at MOUT Image Collection

The Battle of Cassino is memorialized in the naming of Cassino Avenue and Cassino Place.  The plaque reads "The town of Cassino, Italy and the nearby Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino were the scene of one of WWII's most fierce battles.  Monte Cassino overlooked the road the Allies needed to travel to reach Rome.  German artillery placed around the Abbey prevented any use of the road by Allied troops.  Finally, after five months of repeated attempts to dislodge the Germans by ground assaults, air strikes and one of the largest artillery barrages in history, a combined force of Polish and Canadian troops succeeded in taking the Abbey.  Monte Cassino Abbey was reduced to rubble, but has been largely rebuilt."

Avro Lancaster PA474

    Avro Lancaster PA474

Public domain image from the photographer Adrian Pingstone

Lancaster Boulevard & Crescent pay tribute to the Lancaster Bomber.  Montgomery Place honours this plane thusly; "The Lancaster Bomber was built by the A.V.Roe Company during World War II.  It was a favourite with bomber crews due to its strong reliable performance and was said to be "a delight to fly."  Along with the Halifax Bomber, it was the mainstay of the RCAF.  Some 7,378 planes were manufactured, with 403 being built in Canada.  During the war it flew 156,023 sorties and dropped 608,612 UK tons of bombs, more than all the rest of the British bombers combined.  Its service life extended far beyond World War II, with many converted for peacetime use."

HMCS Haida

    HMCS Haida (G63)

Public domain image from the photographer (Rick Cordeiro)

The reputation of HMCS Haida is observed in the title given to Haida Avenue.  "The destroyer HMCS Haida served Canada during the Second World War.  Named after the native people of the Queen Charlotte Islands in BC, she escorted merchant ships to Russia on the Murmansk run and was on the scene when the Scharnhorst was sunk.  In a little more than four months in the English Channel the convoy of ships she serviced in, sank or helped destroy two large torpedo boats, two destroyers, a U-boat, trawler, minesweeper, cargo ship and patrol boat.  HMCS Haida is proudly displayed in Toronto."

"Every soldier must know, before he goes into battle, how the little battle he is to fight fits into the larger picture, and how the success of his fighting will influence the battle as a whole."
Bernard Law Montgomery

Article Written by Julia Adamson

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Although my team doctrine requires sufficiently detailed explanation, in principle they can be reduced to one word: leadership.

In his memoirs, Truman said that of course he got the following stories: "The leader - a person who has the ability to make other people do what they do not want, and still experience the pleasure."

Leadership may be too complex a phenomenon to fit it in such a short definition. On the other hand, the word is often used somewhat loosely, not realizing its full value. I give a definition of leadership: "The capacity and the will to rally men and women to achieve a common goal, and personality, able to summon the confidence."

This ability alone is small, the leader must have the desire and the will to use it. This means that his leadership is based on truth and the peculiarities of his personality: the leader can not lie about the purpose and needs to have a strong character.

Not everyone understands the need for truth. Leader has to speak the truth to his subordinates. If he does not, they soon find out that he lied to them, and no longer trust him. I have not always told the soldiers in the war the whole truth. This is not was necessary, moreover, it would place at risk kept secret.

I told them all they needed to know to successfully complete their task. But I always told them the truth, and they knew it. Thus was worked out and strengthened mutual trust. Good military leader subdues the tide. It should just let things be strong for him, and he immediately ceases to be a leader.
When all is said and done, the leader should actively influence the course of events, which largely depends on his personality - from the "heat" that it can emit, the flame that burns in him, magnetism that attracts the hearts of those around him . Personally, I would like to know about the leader of the following:

Where is he going?

Whether he will go to the end?

Does he have this ability and the necessary data, including the knowledge, experience, and courage?
Will he make decisions, taking full responsibility, whether ready if necessary to take the risk?

Will it be in this case, to share power and go whether to decentralize command and control, after having built the system of organization with the specific decision-making centers, providing fast and effective implementation?

Crucial role played by the problem of "solving" the plan. The current trend - to avoid making a decision, to play for time in the hope that all by itself. A military leader has no other option but to be decisive in the battle and show calm in critical situations. Well guided by these principles and political leader.

I am of the opinion that a leader must know what he wants. It must clearly define their target, and then focus on its achievement, it should bring to everyone what he wants and that is the basis of his strategy. He should provide strong leadership and give clear guidance. It is required to create what I call the "atmosphere", and in this atmosphere will live and work his subordinate commanders."
Bernard Law Montgomery Memoirs

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Naval Monument honours prairie Royal Canadian Navy seamen and ships H.M.C.S. Regina (K234) and H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173)

Naval Monument honours Royal Canadian Navy prairie seamen and RCN ships
H.M.C.S. Regina (K234) and H.M.C.S. Weyburn (K 173)

John Thompson RCNVR (V 34087), a cook aboard the HMCS Regina aged 24 son of Robert Parker Thompson and Helena Thompson, of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan was one of the naval seamen honoured on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at an unveiling ceremony held on Navy Way in Regina, Saskatchewan in front of the HMCS Queen naval reserve unit.

The Friends of the Navy have honoured Royal Canadian Navy sailors who hail from Saskatchewan, particularly those who fell in World War II. The new Saskatchewan Naval monument honours the naval ships, Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Weyburn and the HMCS Regina who were both lost in World War II. The HMCS Weyburn on the 67th anniversary of its sinking was commemorated earlier during the centennial year of the Royal Canadian Navy in 2010. Royal Canadian Navy ships paid tribute to dozens Saskatchewan Communities in their naming including the HMCS Waskesiu and the HMCS Estevan.

The HMCS Weyburn (K 173), the namesake for the city of Weyburn was a flower class corvette mainly serving in the Battle of the Atlantic. This smaller ship was needed as an escort ship and equipped by minesweeping gear. However, on February 32, 1943 at 11:17 a.m., the Weyburn struck a large SSMA (Sonder Mine A) magnetic mine laid by German U-boat U-118. The mine, new technology for the time, could be laid as deep as 350 meters, and the Weyburn taken three weeks after the charge was laid was one of the first victims. Though HMS Wivern assisted Weyburn after the initial explosion, two depth charges exploded, everyone in the water, and crew members of the Wivern were killed or severely injured. Of the 83 officers and men aboard the Weyburn 12 died and there were 71 survivors.

The HMCS Regina (K 234), was another Saskatchewan namesake for the province's capital city, Regina. HMCS Regina, was a flower-class corvette also engaged in escort duties in the Second World War. The American Liberty Ship, the Ezra Weston was a cargo ship carrying war material to the theatre of war. The Ezra Weston took a torpedo from the U-667. Her only escort was the HMCS Regina who was under the impression that the merchant ship had fallen to a mine. Therefore the Regina turned to assist the flailing ship and pick up survivors. The U-boat then also fired on the corvette. Within 30 seconds on August 8, 1944 at 9:27 p.m., one officer and 27 men fell.

Robert Watkins, a prairie sailor out of Winnipeg, sums it up this way, "during the war, the one thing he was scared of was the submarines, if the supply lines from Canada and the U.S. had dried up on account of the submarines, Britain would have gone under."

Alongside John Thompson, Douglas Peter Robertson RCNVR (V 11460) son of Robert Angus Robertson and Elizabeth Jane Robertson, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan aged 26 fell August 8, 1944 in his capacity as Petty Officer Stoker aboard the HMCS Regina. As well, John Charles Henry Rathbone RCNVR (V 34478), son of John and Florence Rathbone, of Regina, Saskatchewan, aged 27 who took on the duties of supply assistant did not survive his wounds incurred that fatal evening. These three Saskatchewan prairie naval reservists lost their lives along with their crew mates, British and Canadian Navy sailors.

The Fall Action Stations magazine reports that, "exactly how many Saskatchewanians served in the RCN during the war is hard to estimate as many volunteered at recruiting offices outside the province, and vice versa. And due to wartime staffing pressures, sailors from a particular city or town rarely served on the ship bearing its name."

For instance, Joseph McGrath, V/11616, son of Margaret McGrath of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, serving with the Royal Canadian Volunteer Reserve aboard the HMCS Athabaskan was one of those honoured in the commemorative naming program of the Saskatchewan Geographic Names Board with the naming of McGrath Lake in Saskatchewan.

Natural geographic features across Saskatchewan honour armed forces personnel and merchant sailors from the Second World War and the Korean War, and also those who fell during peacekeeping or NATO missions, or while protecting the public while on active duty such as police officers, firefighters, and Emergency Response Personnel.

The Naval Memorial erected at a cost of about $30,00 honours was spear-headed by Doug Archer, Chairman of the Friends of the Navy, and Steve Smedley. There are over 6,000 war memorials in Canada remembering those who fought with courage. Saskatoon's Next of Kin Memorial Avenue in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is a national historic site. Both the Regina Cemetery and the North Battleford Cemetery are homes to two of the 28 Crosses of Sacrifice. Alongside these memorials, the Royal Canadian Legion branches and towns across Saskatchewan have erected monuments and cenotaphs honouring those who fell in military service from their community.

Quoting Lieutenant James Balfour, himself a prairie seaman, serving in the naval reserve stemmed from "the belief that there are things that are more important than just you as an individual, it's about serving your country and doing something for the good of others."

Terrence McEachern of The Leader Post quoted Doug Archer, former mayor of Regina, "We are so truly blessed that others have gone before us to preserve our freedom and our democracy. We need to honour them and never forget the contribution they've made."

-----Article written by Julia Adamson


Adamson, Julia. Commander Harold Wilson Balfour OBE VD RCNVR Recognized for Outstanding Civic Service and Meritorious Military Achievement. H.W. Balfour's Truly Impressive Career.

CMHC 200 National Defence. Canadian Military History Since the 17th Century Proceedings of the Canadian Military History Coinvernce Ottawa 5-9 May 2000. Edited by Yves Tremblay. National Defence 2001.

CWGC Works 2007 Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Canada) .

Crewlist from HMCS Weyburn ( 173) Canadian Corvette) Ships hit by German U-=boats 1995 - 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

Crewlist from HMCS Regina 1995 - 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

Falloon, Dan.Veteran hoping to commemorate fellow sailors. 04 24 2013. Winnipeg Free Press.

For Posterity's Sake Canadian Genealogy HMCS Weyburn K173 Corvette Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII 1995 - 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

HMCS Regina (K 234) of the Royal Canadian Navy - Canadian Corvette of the Flower class - Allied warships of WWII 1995 - 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

HMCS Regina (K 234) Canadian K 234) (Canadian Corvette) ships hit by German U boats during WWII 1995 - 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

HMCS Regina (K234) Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia

HMCS Weyburn (K173) (Canadian Corvette) Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII 1995 - 2013 Guðmundur Helgason

HMCS Weyburn (K173) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. id version =571908407.

Home/About Government/News Releases/November 2006/New Commemorative Naming Program to Recognize Saskatchewan Heroes. Government of Saskatchewan. c/o Grant Bastedo. Information Services Corporation of Saskatchewan ISC

JosephMcGrath - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Records and Collections. Veteran's Affairs Canada. Government of Canada. 2013-07-29.

Liberty Ship. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. id version=572158310

Mceachern, Terrence. Monument honours Navy seamen from Sask The Leader-Post, republished The StarPhoenix. September 23, 2013. 2010 - 2013 Postmedia Network Inc.

Naval Memorial Installation. Friends of the Navy.

Naval Monument Planned for Regina. From the files of Will Chabun, Leader Post, Regina. Memorial Honours RCN War Hero. 2012 Fall Action Stations. Volume 30 Issue 5 HMCS Sackville Newsletter.

Christianson, Adriana. Navy Reservists in Regina Commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic. May 6, 2013. New Saskatchewan Naval Monument. 620 CKRM the Source. Harvard Broadcasting Radio Stations September 23, 2013.

Remembrance Day Tribute. Let us remember those who served in the wars of yesterday and today. November 12, 2010.

Travel Article: Lest We Forget: Outstanding Canadian War Memorials / 1994-2013 World Web Technologies Inc.

Volume 2 Part 1 Extant Commissioned Ships. HMCS Regina. National Defence and the Canadian Forces. DHH Home. Histories. 2006-07-07. Government of Canada.


For More Information:

•Saskatchewan Gen Web Military Resources

•Canada In Flanders - The Official Story of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Volume I

•Saskatchewan Gen Web E-Magazine


Related posts:

Why were Canadian "Last Best West" homesteads created?

Michelle Lang. Canadian Journalist. Jan 31, 1975-Dec 30, 2009. Afghanistan Casualty.

Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial Site Updated

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located?

How do I locate my ancstor's home town in Saskatchewan? Have you ever visited your ancestral home?


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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Moose Jaw Normal School ~ Endless Echoes.

Strength by Gentleness by Julia Adamson (AumKleem)) on
Strength by Gentleness by Julia Adamson

Moose Jaw Normal School ~ Endless Echoes.

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"The Normal School, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan" circa 1930 University of Alberta Libraries

As immigration came west in Canada pioneers settled on their homesteads with young families. Families, with young children in need of schools and teachers. The Council of the Northwest Territories made set out guidelines to establish school districts. Moose Jaw had the dubious distinction of pressing forward in applying for their school district, being the first in the Territories to have their petition to the Government approved. The one room schoolhouses, initally staffed by teachers recruited from Eastern Canada and overseas, or teacher appointed by the school district superintendent. The Northwest Territories Council made provision initiating Normal Training Sessions for teacher training. Permanent Normal Schools were established in Regina, Saskatoon, and Moose Jaw, with classes held in any Union School where demand warranted a special session. The Department of Education (now the Ministry of Education) continued regulating education after 1905 when Saskatchewan became a province.

The city of Moose Jaw began when two explorers, James Hamilton Ross (1856-1932), Hector Sutherland along with a couple of other homesteaders searched land suitable for settlement that would also make an excellent railway divisional point. In the summer of 1881, the forks of Moose Jaw and Thunder Creeks was chosen as this site, and by July 1882, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) arrived connecting the settlement with Winnipeg, and Portage la Prairie. Six months later, Moose Jaw was connected with Calgary via the CPR. As settlers arrived, families realized a there was need to educate their children. In 1880, a federal government grant was available which paid half of a teacher's salary if there were fifteen pupils in attendance at a school. A Provisional Board was appointed to establish public education in a school. This civic-minded board with John Gordon Ross (1891-1972), son of Senator James Hamilton Ross, at its helm soon had Moose Jaw incorporated as a town in January of 1884.

"As for the need of a school, let me say that education is one of the most sacred responsibility entrusted to parents. Government schools will soon lead to government control of what is taught. Education is a matter for the home, and when more formal instruction is required it should be a matter of choice. Many citizens are willing to share that responsibility with the church, but not with the government.~John Gordon Ross nomination speech for mayor of Moose Jaw February 1884."Brown, Page 18.
The Northwest Territorial Council passed the very first school law, Ordinance No. 5 on August 18, 1884. Lieutenant-Governor E. Dewdney put this act into effect, sowing the seeds for the Department of Education. Ten Protestant schools and nine Roman Catholic schools in the territories had received payment for half teachers salaries since 1883. "School District of the Town of Moose Jaw Protestant Public School District No. 1 of the North West Territories" was the first school district organized under this ordinance. The temporary location of Moose Jaw's first classroom is under debate, although it was used for both classes and the aforementioned political assemblies and speeches.

Brian A. Brown reports that the Moose Jaw Public School was located in the Brunswick Hotel, then the Foley Block (later the Churchill Hotel). Classes relocated to a lean to addition on the Moose Hotel (later the Bank of Commerce). Between 1886 and 1889 students were taught in Mr. W.R. Campbell's building (later the Walter Scott building).

A permanent eight-room school house was built and opened in 1890 under principal Mr. William Rothwell, and Mr. J.N. MacDonald, teacher. The following year Mr. Calder was appointed principal of the Moose Jaw Union School District Number One, with two teachers serving in the newly constructed permanent school location.
“Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless"~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta
J.A. Calder began teaching near Portage La Prairie, and other rural schools, landing a position as Moose Jaw High School principal in 1891, and school inspector in 1894. Calder returned to school studying law, following this he was Deputy Commissioner of Education in the North-West Territories (1901-1905) and Commissioner of Education beginning in 1905. (The position, Commissioner of Education, is currently referred to as "Minister of Education for the Ministry of Education")

The naming of the school as a Union school was significant as it "A Union School could be protestant, public, separate or private. This was a common designation to set apart schools of a certain standard in which teachers could be trained in the absence of any other training facility, university or Normal College."Brown P 45.
In 1888 provision was made in the Northwest Territories ordinance for the establishment of union schools. These schools combine the teaching of a high school curriculum, a teacher training curriculum, and a public school curriculum.
"The principal was required to be a graduate of some university in her Majesty's Dominion, or in the opinion of the Board of Education equivalent thereto.

"He was required to satisfy the Board of Education of the Northwest Territories that he was qualified by knowledge and ability to conduct such a school (union) and to train teachers according to the most approved methods of teaching."-Department of Education recordsBrown p. 46.
By 1901, the school is referred to as Victoria School, and in the spring of 1903, Dr. J.W. Sifton becomes principal of Victoria School taking over from Augustus H. Ball. To further growth and development in Moose Jaw, the Soo Line reached town in September of 1893 connecting Moose Jaw with Chicago and Minneapolis. The population grew to 1,558 residents by 1901, only Prince Albert and Regina are larger centres at the turn of the century. Moose Jaw achieved city status on November 20, 1903 and at this time Moose Jaw was the "leading industrial centre of the provinceSaskBiz. (Regina incorporated June 19, 1903; population 2,2491901 and Saskatoon on May 26, 1906, population 311 1901.) Construction began on Alexandra school in 1905 and the school opened in the spring of 1906. The primary grades remained at Victoria School, and the older students attended the new Alexandra school. Short sessions for teacher training were held at Alexandra School as well. The population continued to swell, Moose Jaw recorded 6,249 residents in 1906, the largest urban centre of the newly formed province of Saskatchewan (September 5, 1905). Regina was enumerated at 6,100, Prince Albert 3,011 and Saskatoon 3,005 in 1906.
 PC011211: Alexandra School, Moose Jaw, Canada is licensed by University of Alberta Libraries under the Attribution - Non-Commercial - Creative Commons license. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at
"Alexandra School, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan circa 1910" University of Alberta Libraries

In 1908,the governing body of the University was established under President Walter Murray. Moose Jaw assembled a petition of 2,217 persons with their claim to establish the provincial University in Moose Jaw. Premier Scott placed the decision with the board of governors to recommend a site upon deliberation and examination of all options and information available. In the following year a site in Saskatoon was chosen after surveying Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Battleford, Fort Qu'Appelle, Indian Head.

Moose Jaw continued to grow as the third largest city in the province, showing a population of 13,823 by 1911. Regina was the largest urban centre with 26,127 residents, Saskatoon 12,004. In 1911 Dr. Angus A. Graham, United Church minister, arrived in Moose Jaw and erected the Moose Jaw College. The Moose Jaw College was a boys Christian Residential College offering public school, and high school courses. The college also offered short commercial courses over the winter term when demand warranted. Complete commercial courses were offered, as well as high school classes up to the completion of first year University. Special courses were also arranged for student requests. Due to the depression and drought in the 1930s the Moose Jaw College closed its doors in 1931 and students transferred to the Regina College.

Planning of Ross Collegiate School began in 1913, becoming ready for classes until the spring of 1914. Moose Jaw's growth reached 16,934 in 1916 third largest in the province; Regina came in at 26,127 and Saskatoon 21,048. During the Great War (1914 -1918) Ross School was converted to a military hospital, and resumed secondary high school and Normal School classes in the fall of 1920. Teacher training for 45 pupils was also undertaken at Alexandra school under the tutelage of principal, W.J. Hawkins, B.A. who happened to be also the Moose Jaw Rural School Inspector. N.L. Massey and S.G.M. McClelland also taught normal school classes alongside Hawkins. These student teachers earned their third-class teaching certificates, and were able to teach for three years under this designation.

A fifteen week teacher training session was made available in Moose jaw under school inspectors as teachers. 62 students applied for normal school teaching, and the call was answered by Inspectors Griffin, McClelland and Keith in the fall of 1923. Additionally, a sixteen week winter normal school sessions was proposed at Prince Albert, Moosomin, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Swift Current and Estevan facilities if twenty-five students enrolled. A facility was looked at in Yorkton as well for the same extra Winter session. This session was out of the ordinary, as traditionally sessions began in January, however it was thought that teachers could make use of the normal school winter session while the rural schools were closed during the winter vacation period.

The Department of Education needed to meet the increasing demand for teachers, so the Moose Jaw Normal School was opened in 1927. There were now three normal schools in Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon. Eastern Canada adopted the French term école Normale which gave rise to the term Normal School where teachers learned the "norms" in school education methods.

"The rewards of teaching do not at present encourage the expenditure of time and money in professional preparation. So long as a third class teacher is paid the same salary as one holding higher qualifications, there is no inducement for a young man or woman to spend an additional year at high school and an additional term at the Normal School. Salaries have not kept pace with the increased cost of living. Teaching is so poorly paid in comparison with other lines of work that it has suffered by competition. The teachers' services are too often regarded as a commodity to be purchased at the cheapest obtainable rate in the open market. Until the public realizes that there is a close relation between the kind of education available and the price actually paid for it, we cannot look for any improvement in the quality of our teachers or any permanency in the teaching profession. ...The best teachers will gradually drop out and the rising generation will be handicapped through life because inadequately qualified "permit" teachers were in charge of their early education, " said J.F. Bryant, President of the Saskatchewan School trustees, "Another matter which demands our serious consideration is the lack of men in the teaching profession...Since 1906 the percentage of male teachers in the province has dropped from 43.4 to 16.7 per cent. The majority of the men are to be found in urban districts where they carry on as principals and high school masters.The Morning Leader. Feb 26, 1920."

The Moose Jaw Provincial Normal School opened in 1927. "In reference to the selection of Moose Jaw for the location of the third normal school, Mr. Gardiner [acting minister of education] stated that a large majority of the students who presented themselves for normal school training lived in the more settled parts of the southern part of the province."The Morning Leader 1927. During the first term, some 300 students were in attendance at the new normal school in Moose Jaw.
“The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts."~ John Greenleaf Whittier
Upon establishment of the Normal School at Moose Jaw, the staffing at all the normal schools were re-arranged. Dr. John Samuel Huff, (1905-1959) M.A., D. Paed., commissioner of education was appointed as president of the new Normal School in Moose Jaw by the Honourable S.J. Latta, Minister of Education. Previously principal of the Saskatoon Normal School (1924-1927) Regina Normal School (1915-1924), Doctor of paedagogy (1919)Inspector of schools (1911-1915), Principal North Battleford High School (1908-1911) he brought with him a wealth of experience following his graduation from the Regina Normal School in 1907 with a first class certificate.
Regina Normal School 1914 Postcard 12856 Lovell & Co. New Normal School Regina (cca. 1911)
Regina Normal School 1914 Postcard credit Postcard 12856 Lovell & Co. New Normal School Regina (cca. 1911) Peel

Honourable James G. Gardiner, Premier and Minister of Education laid the corner stone for the Moose Jaw Provincial Normal School on Tuesday, October 2, 1928 before a crowed of about one thousand. The cost of completion came to $500,000. Richard Geoffrey Bunyard, the first practicing architect located in Moose Jaw, supervised the construction of the Normal School. The Morning Leader recollected that the Regina Provincial Normal School was established in 1912, and the one located in Saskatoon in 1921. ( Moose Jaw Normal School was located where the Moose Jaw SIAST Palliser Campus now stands. )

During the early years of operating normal schools, short-term sessions were held proffering third class teaching certificates to turn out a larger number of teachers for the burgeoning population of Saskatchewan. Even though short term sessions were used to a great extent in the early 1920s and discontinued in 1926, a four month course offering a third class certificate was revived in 1929. In 1928, a short term second class session lasting 18 weeks was held at the three normal schools, and an 18 week short first class session was offered at the Regina and Saskatoon Normal Schools. However, if demand warrants it, a short first class session was available in Moose Jaw for an enrollment level of 40 students. These classes short term classes were made available to those teachers possessing a third class certificate who wished to upgrade to an interim second class (of first class) teaching certificate by taking an additional four month training course.
E.A. Davies Building, Saskatoon Normal School, Saskatoon Teachers College, University of Saskatchewan Avenue A Campus
Saskatoon Normal School Building (now E.A. Davies Building)

Robert Whiting Asseltine (1870-1953), Bachelor of Arts, teacher at both the Saskatoon Moose Jaw normal school was appointed principal of the Moose Jaw Normal School between 1929-1930. Following his tenure as principal of the Moose Jaw Normal School, Dr. Huff went on to become deputy minister of education for Saskatchewan which he held until 1934 when he retired.
"Looking forward into an empty year strikes one with a certain awe, because one finds therein no recognition. The years behind have a friendly aspect, and they are warmed by the fires we have kindled, and all their echoes are the echoes of our own voice."
Alexander Smith
The brick building constructed in Moose Jaw for the Normal School classes was officially opened February 26, 1930 by the Honorable J. F. Bryant, minister of public works. An invitation was extended to the members of the Saskatchewan legislative assembly by the City of Moose Jaw to attend the grand opening on Wednesday afternoon. Premier Anderson, Sir Frederick Haultain and Dr. J.S. Huff, Principal also addressed the gathered crowd at the opening ceremonies. Premier Anderson related that the normal schools in the province were over-crowded. Between the three normal schools, 1,500 teachers are trained each year.

Alexandra school in Moose Jaw, the previous home to teacher training "short courses" opened its doors to the newly established permanent Normal School, offering practicum experiences in the field for the student teachers.
"These teachers [at Normal School], it must be explained, were not so much engaged in teaching, as in teaching how to teach. It was their task to impart to the young men and women in their care the latest and most infallible method of cramming information into the heads of children. Recognizing that few teachers have that burning enthusiasm which makes a method of instruction unnecessary, they sought to provide methods which could be depended upon when enthusiasm waned, or when they burned out, or when it had never existed. They taught how to teach; they taught when to open the windows in a classroom and when to close them; they taught how much coal and wood it takes to heat a one-room rural school where the teacher is also the fireman; they taught methods of decorating classrooms for Easter, Thanksgiving, Hallowe'en and Christmas; they taught ways of teaching children with no talent for drawing how to draw; they taught how a school choir could be formed and trained when there was no instrument but a pitch-pipe; they taught how to make a teacher's chair out of a barrel, and they taught how to make hangings, somewhat resembling batik, by drawing in wax crayon on unbleached cotton, and pressing it with a hot iron. They attempted, in fact to equip their pupils in a year with the skills which it had taken them many years of practical teaching, and much poring over Department manuals, to acquire. And often, after their regular hours of duty, they would ask groups of students to their homes, and there, in the course of an evening's conversation, they would drop many useful hints about how to handle rural trustees, how to deal with cranky parents, how a girl-teacher of nineteen, weighing one hundred and ten pounds might resist the amorous advances of a pupil of seventeen, weighing one hundred and sixty pounds, how to leave a rural classroom without making it completely obvious that you were going to the privy, and how to negotiate an increase in pay at the end of your first year." Martens. (R. Davies, The Salterton Trilogy (Tempest-Tost), 79).
Upon reflection, Dr. James Balfour Kirkpatrick, Dean of the College of Education said that during the pioneering days in the province, "schools had just whoever they could get to do the teaching, and teaching wasn't considered a very viable profession. Teaching was regarded as a stepping stone into something else like law or medicine.The Phoenix. 1984.

During the depression years, school enrollment was capped at 800 students for the three provincial normal schools, rather than train a full complement of 1,200 teachers. This decision to limit attendance was considered more advantageous in 1931 rather than closing the Moose Jaw Normal School. Statistics Canada recorded a population of 20,753 for Moose Jaw during this year, Moose Jaw's sister cities for the other two normal schools, Regina was at 53,209 and the city of Saskatoon 43,291.

The Normal Schools published year books, the book in Saskatoon for the Normal School was termed The Light, Regina Normal School published The Aurora, and the Moose Jaw Normal School had the "Normal Echoes".
"What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past."
Victor Hugo
In 1933 enrollment at the provincial normal schools was open to graduates aged 18 years of age or older and holding either a grade 11 or a grade 12 certificate with no difference being made for the applicants attending the normal school. Saskatchewan Normal Schools would accept graduates of Canadian or British Universities as approved by the department. By 1936, enrollment standings required a grade 12 diploma, and the normal schools would only choose applicants with a grade 11 standing to meet a minimum enrollment quota, if a shortage of grade 12 applicants presented themselves.

“When there is an original sound in the world, it makes a hundred echoes."

~John A. Shedd
The school was organized under Principal G. Allen Brown in the late 1930s. Brown had been the "Principal of the Collegiate Institute at Prince Albert and superintendent of schools at Prince Albert. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto, holds a permanent high school certificate, has specialist training in mathematics and has been teaching in Prince Albert for over a dozen years." before being a teacher at the Moose Jaw normal school before his posting as principal. The Morning Leader, 1927. Principals of the Normal Schools reported to the superintendent of education (this title later changed to the Deputy Minister of Education). It was during this era, that the department of education set out a higher pre-requisite for student applicants applying for entry into normal schools. Intelligence, aptitude and vocational testing were set before applicants who had attained at least a grade 12 standing along with a complete medical examination. Additionally, student teachers needed to attend specific university classes following graduation at normal school to attain a "permanent teaching certificate". Teachers generally attended summer school at university in order to complete this additional requirement.

"In 1921, when 595 certificates were issued and 889 teachers trained, salary paid a first class male teacher was $1, 1935, when 1,326 certificates were issued and 911 teachers trained, salary for the same teacher amounted to only $523.The Leader Post. 1937. " Due to the drouth and depression of the 1930s, salary arrears for teachers in the province "were reported totalling $777,380 at Dec. 31, 1934; $964,149 at Dec. 31, 1936.The Leader Post. 1937. " Though Saskatchewan schools experienced a shortage of teachers during the Great War, the depression years of the dirty thirties showed an oversupply of teachers. The difficulties during this era saw former teachers re-applying to the teaching profession. Desperate for a job, residents turned to normal schools and teacher training colleges. Academic and professional qualifications were raised by the normal schools in response to the high number of applications for teacher training, and enrollment levels were capped.

This situation changed following the second world war. Regina Normal School closed after World War II due to declining enrollment. In the fall term of the 1944 school year, enrollment for all three provincial normal schools came to only 321 applicants, and the previous year, 1943-1944 there were only 450 enrolled. In comparison, the 1939-1940 school term had an enrollment of 820 with 211 attending the Moose Jaw Normal School, 344 Saskatoon, and 272 attended the Regina Normal School. Between 1943 and 1948 short courses were again offered, however this brought down the number of full time students. The pre-requisite for normal school applicants was a grade 12 diploma, Saskatchewan residence, medical examination, and successful completion of normal entrance examinations through grades nine, ten and eleven. 877 students were in attendance the next year, and by the 1941-1942 school term 950 were enrolled in the normal schools across the province.

Mr. H.C. Andrews, B.S.A., B.Ed, principal of the Moose Jaw Normal School reported 146 graduates at the 1946 spring convocation. "Teachers must act as pivots, in a community around which education is interpreted to the people there, and prime essentials required are that the young teachers starting out must have faith in the future and faith in the youth, with whom they come in contact," the Honourable Woodrow S. Lloyd, Minister of Education said, "Teachers in beginning their careers, must develop an ability to interpret that which they read and hear, must have good health, a good background of learning and especially be civic minded.The Leader-Post, 1946."

A new curriculum along with re-designed entrance requirements were both introduced for the fall of 1945. Normal school applicants required a letter from their high school teacher or principal attesting to the students aptitude for teaching. The first two weeks of Normal School consisted of medical and intelligence testing and staff interviews to procure students suited for the profession of teaching.
"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance." ~
Carl Sandburg
The Regina Normal School had been taken over by the Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F.) during the war years (1939 to 1945), and it was unknown how long the R.C.A.F. would require the building. The Moose Jaw institution, being newer, was in better condition. The Department of Education weighing these options decided in favour of keeping the Moose Jaw normal school open.

The University of Saskatchewan accredited the Normal School teaching program as a year of University work in acquiring a Bachelor of Education degree. Normal schools were junior colleges of the university in 1946.

"Teaching is the most important business on earth, " said Dr. S.W. Steinson of the Moose Jaw Normal School..." After determining the aims [of every lesson], you must choose the tools and techniques with which to work, and, lastly, evaluate the extent to which you have achieved your aims.Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Oct. 14, 1950."

In 1951, members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) discussed re-opening the normal school in Regina, in addition to the Moose Jaw and Saskatoon normal schools. (Moose Jaw had a population of 23,069 in 1951; Regina 60,246 and Saskatoon 46,028) It was during this debate that it was "pointed out that the northern part of the province was more heavily populated than the south...and Moose Jaw didn't have a full complement of students" at that time. Students enrollment across the province dropped from 894 students to 745 enrolled in the fall of 1951. The Normal School at Moose Jaw saw an enrollment of 225, 49 less students than the previous year, Saskatoon Normal School was down 31 students, and the University of Saskatchewan's College of Education saw a reduction of 69 students as well.

Entrance exams in 1952 consisted of basic language, mathematics and general intelligence tests. "Even our Normal School students agree that one year training is not sufficient, and there are only hurried discussions during the semester," explained Marion Scribner from the Moose Jaw Normal School, "with an inspired teacher, the ideal school could become a realty."Saskatoon Star-Phoenix 1952 Though it was felt that Saskatchewan had the "most advanced system of practice teaching in North America", a teaching certificate was offered after a one year Normal course.
"When the school existed mainly to develop skills and to impart information, the teacher, to be successful, required to be master of his subject and drill techniques, and able to keep order, either by strength of personality or muscles. Beyond this little more was essential.Today aims of a different curriculum made greater demands on the teacher, Mr. Lewis [Normal School teacher] declared.

To train pupils to think, the teacher must himself possess this somewhat rare ability. To teach pupils to enjoy beauty he must have the soul of the artist. To develop good citizens he must have at once the attitudes of a good citizen, a thorough understanding of its benefits.

To deal with many types of children and help those who are maladjusted he must have an understanding heart.

Many young men and women who obtain a high school education do not have the other qualifications necessary to make such a teacher.

They can be obtained only if young people of high ability, steeped from the earliest years in our culture, enter the teaching profession.The Leader-Post, 1948.
The Moose Jaw Normal School was renamed the Saskatchewan Teachers College as of 1953 and opened with an enrollment of 229 student teachers that fall. Andrews, principal of the Moose Jaw Teachers College reported 215 graduates in the spring of 1954, speaking at the convocation; "The sound thinker will examine all ideas carefully and methodically and will discard those that are not well founded.The Leader Post, 1954"

During the 50th provincial anniversary celebrations, Robert Kohaly, MLA said that "teaching has possibly become the most important of all professions...members of the teaching profession have the responsibility of seeing that 50 years from now, the residents of Saskatchewan will be as proud of the present generation as we are of the pioneer residents whose memories are being commemorated this year.The Leader-Post 1955."

A three year study to clarify the quality of teacher education and define who was responsible for teacher education curriculum. The study began in 1955 according to Balfour examining whether
  • a) teachers colleges should be kept, but the courses expanded into a two year session;
  • b) teachers colleges become federated colleges;
  • c) or all colleges come under the University.
Though the government's Department of Education made plans to withdraw from teacher education in 1958, the decision to place teacher education under the jurisdiction of the University of Saskatchewan came about in 1964. "there was a realization that if you expected a teacher to know the subject, the pupils, the technique and all that a teacher needs to know to do a job well, then one year wasn't nearly enough time," explained Balfour." The complete move to the contemporary four year degree program achieving a bachelor's degree in education did not become fully established until the 1970s.

A ten per cent salary increase was offered to those teachers with teacher's college training in 1957. The "minimum salary for teachers with teacher's college training is $2,400, reaching a maximum of $4,00 in nine years.The Leader-Post 1957." Gib Eamer, Executive secretary of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation spoke to the success of the salary increase in retaining teachers in the province.

The Moose Jaw Normal School closed its doors in 1959. Moose Jaw normal school student year books were published under the title; "Normal Echoes."
"The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer."
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) Palliser Campus made its home in the Moose Jaw Normal School building. Operations of the Moose Jaw Normal School resumed at the Saskatchewan Teachers College, Regina. Provincially teacher education was provided by the Saskatoon and Regina Teacher Colleges. in the early 1960s, all the education of teachers in the province was under the jurisdiction of the "University of Saskatchewan" - Regina Campus" and "Avenue A Campus" until buildings could be built for the College of Education in both cities.

The Honourable Woodrow S. Lloyd, Minister of Education, announced that the Provincial Technical Institute will open in the Moose Jaw Teachers College building. The province, in 1958 had only two Teachers Colleges, one located in Saskatoon, the other in Moose Jaw. With the opening of the Provincial Technical Institute in Moose Jaw, the Teachers College will re-locate from Moose Jaw to Regina. The former Regina Normal School building (after renovations amounting to about $400,000) was used again to provide classrooms for teacher training for the Regina Teachers College. In the fall of 1959, the Regina Teachers College opened to an enrollment of about 400 student teachers. Principal H.C. Andrews speaking to the new students said that they faced a "great responsibility and you must be ready to accept it. Never let it be said that you came to the stairs of learning and refused to ascend.The Leader-post Sept. 8,1959." At the time of the transfer, the Moose Jaw teachers college was under the head of H.C. Andrews, principal along with 15 staff.

"Before a teacher can obtain a permanent certificate in Saskatchewan, two years of study after Grade XII are necessary. The first of these is usually taken at a Teachers College; the second must be at the University. If a two year course is to be a minimum requirement, or even if it is to be provide for effective coordination between the University and department, the problem of proximity of institutions is important....Teacher training will then be carried on, still at two centres in the province, but at those centres in which the University also operates, said Wilson.Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 1958."

Moose Jaw not only said farewell to its Teachers' College, but also the Soo Line, when ran its last passenger train in the spring of 1961. The CPR Moose Jaw - Macklin 480 kilometer branch line also ceased services. A once busy divisional point, with trains arriving continuously all day, Moose Jaw rail traffic was reduced to two cross country trains daily.
"Ennui is the echo in us of time tearing itself apart.

Emile M. Cioran
The last year the Teachers College, Moose Jaw opened, the 1958-1959 session, enrollment increased to 350 students, over 237 from the year before. The new Technical Institute will move into the college building, after being used for teacher training for 30 years, it will continue its service in education. Following its first year, the Saskatchewan Technical Institute, received an enrollment of 1,500 students. Construction of a new building pegged at $2,2500,000 on the Teacher's College site, began in 1958, with the official opening on January 11, 1961. The construction added a new gymnasium-auditorium, two storey classroom wing, kitchen, and dining room wing. The Teachers College building remained at the heart of the new institute, housing administration offices.

Moose Jaw's population on the 2011 census was 33,274; Saskatoon 222,189, and Regina 193,100. Once the province's largest industrial city, Moose Jaw rings out her proud heritage. Reaching through time, reclaiming hundreds of unique memories, they truly live up to their new slogan, "Moose Jaw: Surprisingly Unexpected." (Placing a spotlight on their old slogan, "the Band Capital of North America" a story in itself.)
"Most of your reactions are echoes from the past.
You do not really live in the present."
Gaelic Proverb

The Regina Normal School was established first in 1893, followed by the Normal School in Saskatoon in 1912, and then demand warranted as well, the Normal School in Moose Jaw by 1927. The Regina Normal School building was used for teacher training opening in 1914, closing between 1944-1960, when it reopened to serve until 1969, with a total teacher training facility era of 76 years. The Saskatoon Normal School building opened in 1923, and was used until 1970, its era serving teacher education covering a total of 50 years. The Moose Jaw Normal School building, opened in 1930, and closed in 1959 when classes continued at the Regina location. The Moose Jaw Normal School building had a lifespan of 30 years as a teacher training facility before being used by Saskatchewan Technical Institute.

From humble beginnings, the echoes from the Moose Jaw Normal School ring out. Friendly fires are re-kindled, looking at the reflections of history. Through time, hundreds of student teachers passed through Normal Sessions carrying with them lasting memories.

Article written by Julia Adamson


Additional Reading:
  • Regina Normal School~ a History ~ From potential to realty
      • North-West Territories Normal School 1893-1905
      • Regina Provincial Normal School 1905-1927
      • Regina Normal School 1927-1953
    • Regina Teacher's College 1953-1961
    • University of Saskatchewan ~ Regina Campus 1961-1969
    • Faculty of Education USRC 1969-1974
    • University of Regina 1974-

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="75"]The Moose Jaw Standard The Moose Jaw Standard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="75"]Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Location Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Location (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="75"]English: A small grain elevator on a farm near... English: A small grain elevator on a farm near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="75"]Mac the Moose stands on the edge of Moose Jaw. Mac the Moose stands on the edge of Moose Jaw. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="75"]Welcome to Moose Jaw Welcome to Moose Jaw (Photo credit: jimmywayne)[/caption]