By John Calam
Alex Lord, a pioneer inspector of rural BC faculties stocks in those reminiscences his stories in a province slightly out of the level trainer period. vacationing via huge northern territory, using unreliable transportation, and enduring climatic extremes, Lord grew to become accustomed to the aspirations of distant groups and their religion within the humanizing results of tiny assisted faculties. En direction, he played in resolute but inventive type the supervisory features of a most sensible govt educator, constructing an academic philosophy of his personal in accordance with an knowing of the provincial geography, a reverence for citizenship, and a piece ethic tuned to problem and accomplishment.
Although no longer accomplished, those memoires invite the reader to adventure the British Columbia that Alex Lord knew. via his phrases, we undergo the problems of trip during this mountainous province. We meet a few of the strange characters who inhabited this final frontier and study in their hopes, fears, joys, sorrows, and eccentricities. extra quite, we're reminded of the old value of the one-room rural institution and its position as an imperative tool of neighborhood cohesion.
John Calam has equipped the memoirs based on the areas during which Lord travelled. He has incorporated in his advent a biography of Alex Lord, a short description of the British Columbia he knew, a cartoon of its public schooling process, and an evaluate of where Lord’s writing now occupies between different works on schooling and society.
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Extra info for Alex Lord's British Columbia: Recollections of a Rural School Inspector, 1915-1936
With pronounced opinions on practically all matters having to do with schools . . / who 'knew what he wanted and . . intended to get it/ In short, progressive education as a mode of social and economic manipulation seemed the last idea in Lord's mind. Yet, precisely in the manner of the educational progressives Mann describes with such dash, Lord took no exception to the established social, occupational, or industrial workings of early British Columbia. Quite the contrary. He envisaged and clearly approved of a 'great power development programme' which some day will give rise to 'a second Kitimat at Tatlayoko/ in Mann's terms a very 'progressive' vision indeed!
On my first trip down the road we stopped at a prosperous ranchhouse. The owner, learning from the stage driver that I was the school inspector, told me that there had been some talk of starting a school there. We discussed the details and as there seemed to be some difficulties, he asked if I would stop overnight with him on my return five days later and meet the local parents. This was done and arrangements were completed as a result. The next morning, refreshed by a good night's sleep and a bountiful breakfast, I thanked my host, said goodbye, and left.
Almost the only profitable train was the 'Halibut' which, like the CPR 'Silk Specials' of the same era, was a wonderful revenue producer. It carried fresh halibut, caught by United States boats and landed in Prince Rupert, in refrigerated cars to New York and Chicago. Revenue from all sources, however, was inadequate to meet operating expenses and interest on the tremendous cost of construction. A few years later, the Grand Trunk Pacific and its companion in misfortune, the Canadian Northern, were taken over by the Canadian government and amalgamated into the Canadian National Railway.
Alex Lord's British Columbia: Recollections of a Rural School Inspector, 1915-1936 by John Calam