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UBC Publications

The Way We Were The University of British Columbia Alumni Association 1987

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Anecdote Antic Absurdity
The University of British Columbia
Philip Akrigg
Ludlow Beamish
Norman Beanie
Pierre Berton
Clare (Brown) Buckland
Joseph Billyeald
David Carey
Cyril Chave
Jean (Fraser) Crowley
Mildred (Osterhout) Fahrni
James Gibson
William Gibson
Ronald Grantham
Ken Grieve
Peter Shinobu Higashi
Katharine Hockin
J.E. Kania
Stuart Keate
Eric Kelly
Mary (Sadler) Kelly
Himie Koshevoy
Tom Lea
Clare (McQuarrie) McAllister
Robert McDougall
Malcolm McGregor
Kae (Farquhar) McKenzie
Arthur Mayse
Russell R. Munn
Nathan Nemetz
Connie (Baird) Newby
Eric Nicol
Hugh Palmer
Harvey Parliament
Sydney Risk
Alex Rome
Mary (McGeer) Rupp
Arthur Sager
Winston Shilvock
Samuel Simpson
Dorothy Somerset
Betty (Leslie) Stubbs
Frances (Montgomery) Tillman
Ross Tolmie
Arthur J. Wirick
The University of British Columbia
Alumni Association
1987 Copyright by The University of British Columbia Alumni Association, 1987 This book is dedicated to our friend,
Dr. Blythe Eagles,
whose constant commitment to our university
breathed new life into our traditions. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
1. We wish to acknowledge the permission from the Department of English to reprint Sedgewick: The Man
and His Achievement by Philip Akrigg. This work is the eleventh Garnett Sedgewick Memorial Lecture,
delivered on March 18,1980 in the Frederick Wood Theatre at the University of British Columbia.
The contribution by Pierre Berton is adapted from Starting Out, to be published in the Fall of 1987 by
McClelland and Stewart.
3. The Ronald Grantham Story is from material submitted by him and edited with the concurrence of his
friend, Fletcher Cross. Message from the President:
When asked by the Heritage Committee to write an opening message for The Way We Were - A
Celebration Of Our UBC Heritage, I was delighted to know that a group of some of our most
distinguished alumni had expended the considerable effort it must have taken to yield such an impressive
collection of early UBC memoirs. It is a demonstration of the true affection alumni have for their
As the year 1990 will mark the 75th anniversary of the University of British Columbia, The Way We
Were - A Celebration Of Our UBC Heritage is a perfect introduction to the University's history.
Each story brings to life some of the most colourful moments from UBC's past It will be a trip down
memory lane for senior alumni and a link with the past for more recent graduates.
I know that all who read this will take pleasure in a humorous and at times touching journey into the heart
of UBC's past.
David W. Strangway
The University of British Columbia INTRODUCTION
Attribution,  Approbation,  Aspiration
For he lives twice who can at once employ
The present well, and ev'n the past enjoy.
-Alexander Pope
Graduates of the University of British Columbia classes of 1928 through 1944 at a meeting chaired
by Helen Belkin, BA'40, on 29 November, 1983 were encouraged to engage in innovative projects on the
university heritage by Dr. Blythe Eagles, BA'22, DSc'68, who had been asked to coordinate all heritage
programs of the Alumni Association. Dr. Ludlow Beamish and Sam Roddan volunteered to record the
student activities in liberal arts groups including the Players Club, Musical Society, Letters Club and
others. Frankie Tillman offered to induce articles on the Student Christian Movement. Together these three
and other adherents became known as the Humanities Group.
These collected essays are the result of the group's efforts. Some articles were written prior to the
formation of the group but are included as appropriate to the collection. While the main body of essays
received are related to the liberal arts, others on more diverse topics encouraged the group to expand its
mandate to embrace all UBC memorabilia and to change its name to the Memorabilia Group.
Between the idea and the fact, a core group of four graduates from the mid-30s cadged, cajoled and
coddled potential authors and formalized the current presentation. Ludlow Beamish, B A'37, the organizer and
motivator, launched the group and navigated the course. Sam Roddan, BA'37, the idea man and free spirit,
wrote enough letters to likely contributors to fill a volume equal to this. Arthur Wirick, BA'36, the
dialoguer, cataloguer and chronologer, consistently sought order from chaos and can still smile. Cyril
Chave, BA'34, who combines words into delightful scherzos, drew the line on individual freedoms with
spelling. Through some forty meetings and many personal efforts in the acquisition and review of
manuscripts and in the development of this modest book, the core group are still friends. Their views, past
and present, have been enhanced through a glass held at the correct angle. May their futures be as well
From time to time the core goup has been joined by Frankie Montgomery Tillman, BA'39, Philip
Akrigg, BA'37, MA'40, Kae (Farquhar) McKenzie, BA'37, MSW'47, Betty (Leslie) Stubbs, BA'38,
MEd'68, and Gerald Sutherland, BA'37, BCom'37. Ideas and support have also been received from Laurenda
Daniells, the University Archivist, Bob Osborne, BA'33, BEd'48, Deputy Chair, Heritage, and the late Dr.
James Morton, BA'44. Support for compiling and publishing the essays has come from Alumni
Association staff, including Liz Owen, Anne Sharp, Terry Lavender, Linda Hall, Maureen Bums, Eric
Eggertson, David Speed and Paula Heal. The publication is funded by the Alumni Association. Throughout
the endeavour the encouragment of Dr. Eagles has been an inspiration to all.
Most important have been the contributions of the individual authors listed throughout the book.
Without their efforts this compendium of recollections would not exist. Few are professional writers. All
have expressed unique personal experience within common periods and events.
To all the above, the UBC Alumni Heritage Committee expresses its sincere thanks. This
publication is a manifestation of an innovative heritage project.
The biographical essays, histories and anecdotes are all microcosms of the total university history
which scholarly writers will periodically consummate in more pretentious tomes. Some of the present
material may be included and some may not; however, the only complete history of the university is that
which embraces each of our memories from undergraduates days. If all alumni who read this book would
write our own reminiscences then we would capture the full nutrient of these undergraduate years. And other
volumes would follow.
Our university experiences end only when we choose not to continue them. "Here is the fire, not
the ashes." Burn on.
Alec Rome, BASc'44
1928-44 Heritage Subcommittee
Sedgewick: The Man and His Achievement
Philip Akrigg 2
Lionel Haweis at UBC
Roderick Norman Beattie 10
John Ridington's Casde
William Gibson 12
Reminiscences of University Life
Malcolm F. McGregor 13
The Sedgewickian Legacy
Hugh M. Palmer 17
Henry Angus: Soliloquizer
Arthur J. Wirick 20
Dean Mary Bollert
Elizabeth (Leslie) Stubbs 21
Gordon Shrum: A Titan Put Down
J. Harvey Parliament 23
M.Y. Williams: A Portrait in Serenity
J. Harvey Parliament 24
An Encounter With Ira Dilworth
Sam Roddan 24
SCM Campus Beginnings
Mildred (Osterhout) Fahrni 27
The First Gymnasium
J. Ross Tolmie 28
The SCM at UBC
Clare (Brown) Buckland 29
Memories of the SCM 1927-33
Katharine Hockin 29 Recollections of the SCM: 1928-33 32
Mary (Sadler) Kelly
Recollections of the SCM: 1926-31 32
Eric Kelly
Recollections of the SCM: 1936-39
Frances (Montgomery) Tillman 33
An SCM Grad News Sheet for 1943
Jean (Fraser) Crowley 34
A Day in the Life of the Literary Forum
Kae (Farquhar) McKenzie 35
The Social Science Club
- A Study in Sex and Censorship
Samuel Leonard Simpson 36
The Players' Club As I Knew It
Sydney Risk 37
Memories of the Players' Club
Tom Lea 40
The Players' Club
- Reflections from the Green Room
Dorothy Somerset 41
The Founding of Phrateres
Mary (McGeer) Rupp 43
The Ronald Grantham Story
Ron Grantham 45
The Day We Tried to Fire the President
Stuart Keate 49
The History of Student Publicity
in the Campaign of 1932
Winston A. Shilvock 51
The Sixty Who Tilted at Windmills
Cyril S. Chave 56
Civil Rights - 1942
From Rock Piles to Hamlet's Ghost
R. Russell Munn 61
Two Nickels to Snap Together
WardF.DeBeck 62
A Reminiscence of the Class of '31
James A. Gibson 63
My Confrontation With Sedgewick
John Laurence Kask 64
A Civilizing Education 1923-27
Clare (McQuarrie) McAllister 65
My UBC Memoirs
Joseph E. Kania 67
Items From the Past
Himie Koshevoy 68
A Campus Eccentric of the Thirties
Nathan T. Nemetz 68
Campus Life
David Carey 69
Remembrance of Hard Times Past
Eric Nicol 71
The Golden Era of the English Department
Connie (Baird) Newby 72
Hedda Gabbler to Hitler
Arthur Sager 73
The Rites of Passage
Sam Roddan 75
From Trams to Buses
Ludlow Beamish 77
Walter Gage and the RCAF Radar Trainees
Joseph Rudand Billyeald 79
A Triptych: UBC 1938-39
Robert L. McDougall 80
The Ubyssey Was My School of Journalism
Peter Shinobu Higashi 81 The Donkey and the Nightingale
Arthur Mayse 84
Recollections of a Tenderfoot
Pierre Berton 85
Notes on  Contributors 87 FACULTY AND  STAFF
27 September. 1934: Had my first lectures in History and Latin. Sage, the History
professor is an interesting fellow who I think I shall enjoy taking lectures from. (It took
me a long time to see through Walter!) Somehow when he sailed into class, his Oxford
MA. gown billowing behind him, dropped a great armful of books on his desk with a
resounding thud, and gave us all a reassuring grin, he seemed like a real professor. The
Latin professor is named Lemuel Robertson and looks like a sanctimonious Pickwick
with a red nose. (I underestimated "Lemmy".) Later in the term when the class's
supercilious Brit (John Watts) gave a cold, bored translation of a Horation ode, with
mention of the lover's arms enclosing the white neck of the girl, Lemmy told him that if
he couldn't show more fire, he Lemmy, would have to read the ode himself, "and show
you I wasn't always sixty".
Leaves From an Undergraduate's Diary
Philip Akrigg Sedgewick: The Man and His Achievement
Philip Akrigg
Class of '37
Let me begin with an anecdote. One day in the 1920s five young men, English Honours students
at UBC, went for a walk around Stanley Park. Hiking along, they got talking about a lecture that they had
just had from Dr. Sedgewick. Rejoicing in their own brilliance and audacity, they began to attack their
professor's ideas. One of the group became increasingly silent. Finally, unable to hold his peace any longer,
he broke out: "Listen, you fellows are talking about a great man!" The day after this story was passed on to
me, I was talking with a lady who had worked closely with Dr. Sedgewick on a project in music. Out of the
blue she said, in the most matter-of-fact tones: "He was a great man". Was he a great man? Perhaps you
will reach your own decision by the end of this lecture. All that I'll say is that he was certainly a most
remarkable person.
From my diary I find that it was on September 26, 1934, that I first met Professor G.G.
Sedgewick. A raw youth freshly arrived from Southern Alberta, I was one of several hundred sophomores
packed into Arts 100 (now Math 100) ready to commence the second year survey course in English
literature. In strutted a short middle-aged man - tweed jacket, polka dot bow tie, glasses, a plume of white
hair dancing on the bald pate of a disproportionately large nut-brown head. Throwing a penetrating glance
over us, he began to talk about Shakespeare in short but rounded phrases. His voice was not mellifluous
but mellow. If Shakespeare had lived in the 18th Century, he said, Shakespeare would not have written
plays. He would have written satire ~ but not the sort of satire that Swift wrote. If he, Sedgewick, had his
choice of all literary styles he would choose to write like Swift, not like Shakespeare. After all, anybody
who wrote like Shakespeare would have to die young. A sudden strange look galvanized the lecturer's
features. He did some arithmetic, sotto voce, then rejoined us. Why he, our professor, was the age that
Shakespeare had been when he died! We digested this information. (I have checked, and it was accurate.) The
hour ended with our new professor assigning us Hamlet to read.
Five weeks later we were turned over to the next member of the team giving English 2. "After the
exuberant Sedgewick the sombre Larsen," I noted in my diary. I remember the final lecture before "G.G.",
as the students called him, left us. It was not on Hamlet, which I suppose he had finished. Instead he lugged
into the room two huge framed portraits, Gainsborough's "The Hon. Mrs. Graeme" and one of Romney's
portraits of Lady Hamilton. These he used to illustrate a lecture on classicism and romanticism. Some
might think this an odd way to pass an hour in English, but Sedgewick always insisted that music and the
fine arts were a necessary part of "a decent education". Teaching at a small university which offered neither,
he did what he could for us.
In the years that lay ahead, I got to know Garnett Sedgewick pretty well ~ initially in the
classroom, then down at his house on Trutch Street where sometimes of an afternoon a group of us
Honours students would drop around for a talk and a cup of tea; later during a desert year of Teacher
Training, when, in total violation of a university regulation requiring me to give my full time to
Education, he let me do an M.A. for him. Finally I became one of his junior colleagues.
I saw many sides of the man: the fastidious, cultivated good taste, the rambunctious clowning, the
finely tempered literary sensitivity, the razor-sharp mind, the short-fused temper. Once, in a spurt of anger,
he called a friend of mine "a god-damn fool" in front of the class, because he had made a mess of scanning
Chaucer. (When my friend went around to Sedgewick's office to say that, since he was a god-damn fool, he
obviously should drop out of English Honours, Sedgewick magnanimously explained that he had got out of
bed on the wrong side that morning and, with a jocular shove, propelled him out into the corridor.) I learned
about other aspects of Sedgewick. One was his generosity ~ Heaven only knows how many students he
helped with money even though his own finances were a bit precarious. When, after World War II, a vet
with a wife and three children lacked any decent clothes to wear at an interview for a graduate fellowship,
Sedgewick gave him a blank cheque made out to Chapman's.
I learned, also, how Sedgewick could use people — for instance, dropping a Chaucer course on a
non-Chaucerian instructor with only five days' warning. Some of his junior instructors and markers really
were exploited. I learned about the Sedgewick wit. It was impossible, generally, to top him. Two former Honours
students, husband and wife, met him once at an Art Gallery show. "Ah," said G.G. with a dangerous smile,
"acquiring some culture?" "Why, Dr. Sedgewick," countered the lady, "how could anyone who has studied
under you lack culture?" "Oh," he said darkly, "sometimes it doesn't take." Probably Professor Angus in
Economics and Professor Ashton in French were the only two who could hold their own against Sedgewick
in repartee. Certainly his quick wit was one of the attractions of his Shakespeare course. One day a young
lady raised her hand in class and asked, "Dr. Sedgewick, what is a maidenhead?" "The technical evidence of a
woman's virginity," said he and went on with his lecture.
One thing I discovered early was that Garnett Sedgewick was the absolute autocrat of the English
Department. When those of us who were teaching Freshman English met each September, he had a bit of a
syllabus and a reading list ready for us, and that was what we taught. But he, with his picked section
containing all the brightest scholarship boys, was limited neither by syllabus nor reading list and took off
into the bright blue with his class, doing whatever he pleased. At the end of the year we all reported our
distribution of marks to him. "You've been marking too hard again," he said to one of his full professors.
"Raise them all ten per cent." And like a chidden schoolboy, the full professor went to a comer with his
exam booklets and raised them all ten per cent
Among recollections such as I have been offering you are vivid pictures of the man's physical
presence. Sedgewick patting himself on top of his bald pate while he plotted strategy in mid-lecture, or
sucking in his cheeks while he considered a moot point or savoured a nuance. Sedgewick walking about the
campus, his coat flung like a cape over his shoulders. Sedgewick holding a couple of hundred students
absolutely spellbound while slowly he pulled a handkerchief from up his cuff, flicked it, buried his nose in
its white folds, gave a tremendous blow, and equally deliberately stuffed it up his sleeve again.
But with the handkerchief we come to the famous Sedgewick Act, and some time must be taken to
consider this, if only because some students were so fascinated by the Act that they never saw far beyond it
Garnett Sedgewick, liked every other great teacher, was a showman. Both in and out of the classroom he
constantly dramatized. He and his old mother, Bessie, for instance, had a routine that they liked to put on,
with G.G. teasing the old lady and her declaring Garnett an ornery ungrateful son fit to drive a person mad.
Professor and Mrs. Steinberg well remember the first time that they entertained the Head of the UBC
English Department, which they had newly joined. They had sat down to dinner when Garnett and his
mother began their show, briskly exchanging insults, with asides for the benefit of their host and hostess.
The pace got brisker and brisker. Finally the old mother got up from the table, grabbed a piece of kindling,
and bore down on her distinguished son. Chortling with delight, he skipped smartly around the table,
adroitiy keeping just out of range of his flailing ancient parent. Should any sober souls among you shake
your heads over such proceedings, let me quote from Dr. Sedgewick's tribute to Professor Paul Boving, one
of his closest friends:
There is another utterly engaging aspect of his spirit of play: I mean his delight
in intelligent fooling.... He rejoiced in a dogma of his favourite poet Horace:
dulce est desipere in loco — 'tis sweet to play the fool in season.
That quotation tells you as much about Sedgewick as Boving.
For university purposes the Act rested upon two premises. One, mockingly suggested by its
principal, was that Garnett was a great-souled scholar of quite incredible distinction, totally eclipsing
everybody else at UBC. Playing that role, he once mischievously confided to me while we were walking
towards today's Main Library that the niche at the apex of its facade was reserved for a statue of himself.
Little did he imagine that, after he had left this earthly scene, the path on which we trod would have buried
beneath it the Sedgewick Library. The other premise was that his students were barbarians, almost
invincibly ignorant, who might just possibly be saved from complete mental darkness by the ill-rewarded
labours of the same great G.G.S. This was a game in which professor and students gaily conspired.
A bout of the game would begin with Dr. Sedgewick entering the class amid total respectful quiet
He would put a question to see how well the class was prepared. Sometimes nobody would answer. The
question would be put again, with still no answer. There was a third time of asking. Then, bearing down on
the front row, Sedgewick would put the question direcdy to one particular student. When that student failed
to answer, the professor would flick his fingertip against the nose of the ignoramus and so proceed to the next and the next until either he got his answer or tired of the game. As an alternate "ploy" he would
sometimes retreat to a corner at the front of the room and despairingly bump his head against the wall. Of
course, not all students relished having their noses flicked in class, or their ears lugged in the corridors.
"Who does he think he is?" demanded one recalcitrant, "Peter Pan?" A few people always did insist that
Sedgewick was a charlatan.
Sometimes the Sedgewick Act extended to new and unimagined dimensions. Once, in front of his
freshman class, G.G. discovered that absentmindedly he had left home that morning without putting on the
polka dot tie that was his trademark (one is preserved in the University archives). Continuing his lecture
without missing a beat, he coolly surveyed the lads in the front row (they all wore ties in those days), bore
down on the tie which suited him best, took it off the boy and adjusted it about his own neck.
Sedgewick never allowed latecomers to enter his classes. A young lady who tried to sneak into his
Shakespeare class while he was writing on the blackboard found herself transfixed by a steely eye while an
imperious thumb jerked towards the door. Once a big footballer marched in after the bell had gone, and
disturbed everyone while settling into an empty front seat. Sedgewick stared at the fellow, incredulous,
marched up to him and declaimed from Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel:
Yet, Corah, thou shalt from Oblivion pass;
Erect thyself, thou Monumental Brass.
Other things could bring summary eviction: Sally Murphy, having lost a point in argument with G.G.,
rashly bit her thumb at him in the Shakespeare class - and this just after he had commented upon that
insult in Romeo and Julietl Out she went
I have been giving you rather random recollections, supplied to me by many people, touching on
various aspects of Sedgewick. Perhaps it is time to become a bit more organized and so, for a while, we
shall hew to a straight chronological line and view the Sedgewick biography. His father, John Sedgewick,
was a son of Dr. Sedgewick, a Presbyterian divine renowned in the Musquodoboit Valley of Nova Scotia.
His mother, Bessie Woolery Gladwin, belonged to a Tory Anglican family which counted among its
members that Colonel Gladwin who was defeated by Joseph Howe in an election notable in local history.
The newly-married couple moved from Musquodoboit to the western United States. There the young wife
became pregnant, did not feel well, found conditions rough, and returned to Nova Scotia to be with her
family. Letters from her husband became increasingly infrequent and finally ceased entirely. Garnett Gladwin
Sedgewick, bom in May 1882, never saw his father. Since all his life he would prove a person with a large
capacity for affection, it would be strange if the bookish litUe only child did not grow up with a great
compassion for his deserted mother, and a determination to care for her when he came to man's estate.
In 1898 the youthful Sedgewick entered Dalhousie University. He took a year out to teach ten
grades in a one-room school at Oyster Pond, then graduated in 1903 with double Honours in Classics and
English. He had edited the college paper and had surrendered to a class mate a fellowship awarded in English.
For several years he taught in Nova Scotia then, in 1905, he was appointed principal of the two-room
Nanaimo High School in British Columbia.
Apparendy while teaching in Nanaimo he had a love affair which ended disastrously. In a letter to
one of his closest friends, a letter which I have been privileged to read, Dr. Sedgewick years later indicated a
parallel between his own experience in love and the last chapter of The Ordeal of Richard Feverel — not that
his own story ended with death for the lady. Taking into account pieces of evidence along the way, it is hard
not to feel that his mother, set against his marrying, played a role somewhat analogous to that of Sir
Austin Feverel. In any event, after only two years, the young principal of the Nanaimo High School
resigned his post and moved to Toronto where he became a history master at St. Andrew's College, a
private school for boys.
After one year away from British Columbia, Garnett Sedgewick returned, this time to teach at
Vancouver High School, soon to become King Edward High School. Three years later he became a graduate
student at Harvard University where he took his M.A. in 1911 and his Ph.D. in 1913, his dissertation
winning an award for excellence. Later, F.N. Robinson, the editor of Chaucer, would recall Garnett
Sedgewick as "the brightest graduate student we ever had". From Harvard, Sedgewick went to teach at
Washington University in St. Louis. He was an assistant professor there when, in 1918, he was appointed
an associate professor at the University of British Columbia. Initially Sedgewick was intended to be the number two man in the English Department at UBC,
President Wesbrook planning to get his departments well launched with able younger men before bringing
in scholars with international reputations to head them. Two years later Wesbrook was dead and the
University's finances straitened. Under these circumstances, Dr. Sedgewick was promoted to full professor
and appointed the first Head of the English Department, giving us the 60th anniversary which we
commemorate with this address.
The 1920s were a happy time for Garnett Sedgewick. UBC was a vital young university and there
was real rapport between the students and faculty. Dr. Sedgewick was the cheerleader for the faculty in their
annual basketball game with the students. Over the years come echoing some of the calls he composed for
his colleagues:
Reading rooms, library, caution money, fees,
Lab. regulations, breakages for sprees,
Registrar, Bursar, President, Dean,
Guaranteed machinery to pick the student clean!
Reserved for moments of real crisis was a call invoking the saints:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Help the brains to beat the brawn!
At rugby games the diminutive Sedgewick, deep in a greatcoat, a long blue and gold scarf coiled about his
neck, was almost a mascot for the UBC team. Rugby was always his game. How he scorned the
"amazingly fast waddle" of the "dinosaurs" who played Canadian football!
It was in the 1920s that Dr. Sedgewick first built his reputation. In the old Fairview shacks he
filled the University's largest lecture theatre, every spare seat being taken by students from other disciplines
who thronged to audit G.G.'s Shakespeare lectures. And it is hard to reckon how many hundred lectures he
gave off campus: to the Vancouver Rotary Club on "The Value of Universities"; to the New Westminster
Kiwanis Club on "The Status of Teachers"; to the Graduate Nurses Association on "Recreation in Reading";
out to Ladner to the Educational Club to speak on Shakespeare, a talk which he apparently repeated for Mrs.
Henshaw's Lenten Lectures at the Hotel Vancouver. Well, why continue the list?
One day in 1928 Professor Sedgewick came to his Shakespeare class invested in his full academic
robes and delivered a eulogy, not on Shakespeare, but on Thomas Hardy, newly dead. Hardy, he declared,
was an author to be judged by the same measure as Sophocles or Shakespeare. When Sedgewick published
his tribute he did so in the "Literary Supplement" of the Ubyssey.
In the early 1930s Garnett had to nurse his Department through the Great Depression when, to use
his own phrase, the provincial government "unnecessarily and brutally crippled the University", slashing its
budget by fifty seven per cent in a single year.
In 1933 Dr. Sedgewick, who was repeatedly described by Professor Woodhouse as the finest teacher
of English in Canada, was invited by him to give at the University of Toronto the prestigious Alexander
Lectures for the coming year. The result was Sedgewick's book, Of Irony: Especially in Drama, a minor
classic which went on to a second edition in 1948. In 1938 he published privately, in a handsome hardcover
art edition, The Graveyard by the Sea, his translation of Paul Valery's Le Cimetiere Marin, complete with
the French text.
Meanwhile, for the delectation of a broader audience, Garnett Sedgewick had become a columnist
appearing twice weekly in the Vancouver Sun. Having just read the 126 pieces which appeared in
Sedgewick's column entided "More Light than Heat", I would like to be able to tell you that they scintillate
with brilliance. Unfortunately, that is not the case. For them I must award my old professor a "B", not an
"A". Of course he did function under certain limitations. For one thing, the editor had cautioned the master
ironist not to attempt any of his irony on the readers of the Sun. The main trouble, probably, was that Dr.
Sedgewick was spreading himself too thin. When one thinks of all his other activities, the wonder is that he
got the columns written at all; but though some of them fall a bit flat, not one of them is slovenly written.
Of course some of the pieces are first-rate. One such is a most perceptive appreciation of the architecture of St. James Anglican Church at a time when its plain concrete was upsetting some local aesthetes.
Shakespeare was, of course, one of the elements in which Sedgewick lived and, in a column entitled "Texts
for the Times from Shakespeare", he offered the perfect cautionary quotation for Edward VIII and Mrs.
Simpson a few days before the King's abdication:
A wild dedication of yourselves
To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores.
(W.T., IV, iv, 577)
though he kindly omitted the next phrase, "Most certain to miseries enough". When a pronouncement came
out of Teachers' College, Columbia University, that the old nursery rhymes lack relevance for modem
children, Sedgewick offered some amended versions. One ran:
Clickity, clackity, knock.
The burglar busts the lock.
The cops who come
Batter the bum.
Clickity, clackity, knock.
His column served various functions for Dr. Sedgewick. He used it to help his friend Dr. Weir in
his batde to bring health insurance to British Columbia. He used it in his own unceasing war against
provincialism, which he saw equally manifested in Vancouver by an overvaluation, by some, of whatever
was local, and a snooty refusal, by others, to recognize what was good locally. For himself, he deplored the
fact that "so much debris from nineteenth century England has washed up on the walls" of the Vancouver
Art Gallery. On the other hand, he could declare "proud delight in the music that Vancouver can produce"
and give generous approval to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, observing:
Not many cities our size have anything like it. Further it is one of the best
promises we have of being able to escape from provincialism into something
not only big but significant.... our orchestra is not a great orchestra. But it
vasdy surpasses anything we deserve to have.
Well, enough of Sedgewick the columnist
Garnett Sedgewick probably stood at the peak of his reputation in the late 1930s. Significandy it
was Dr. Sedgewick who was asked to write the City of Vancouver's address of welcome when King George
VI and his queen visited the city in 1939.
World War II brought dark days with the casualty lists carrying the names of former students. And
there was the unhappy matter of the forced evacuation of the Japanese-Canadians from the West Coast. Dr.
Sedgewick spoke out publicly against the operation and feeling ran so high, I am told, that at the end of one
meeting he had to be rushed out of the hall by a rear exit
The mid-1940s brought the pressure and confusion of an incredible expansion of the University and
of Dr. Sedgewick's own department to cope with the vets who were pouring into UBC. Staff was hard to
find. A slighdy malicious story has G.G. Sedgewick standing at the end of Granville Street bridge and
buttonholing passers-by with the query, "Can you teach English?"
Sedgewick was near total exhaustion when he retired at the end of June 1948. But retirement
brought neither ease nor leisure. At home his old mother was dying. He kept her there with special nurses
until her death at the end of October. Life thereafter was desolate around the house. Bob and Ruth ap
Roberts, whom he liked to call his children, had left and were living in Berkeley, along with their litde girl,
Mary Garnett, whom he loved. At Christmas 1948 he had a wonderful holiday with them. Upon his return
he wrote to his old friend Professor Lehman of the University of California: The visit to Berkeley was a fortnight of unbroken joy... every minute of my
time was spent in the company and conversation and graciousness of friends....
Besides, the days and evenings of the rare wine of talk. (God, I do so love to
talk!) And finally my Mary G. with her wickedness and her dear love and
Then it was back to UBC where he still taught Shakespeare, and Chaucer, and gave an extension
course. But he no longer became airborne so often when lecturing. Rather, in his "retirement" he found
himself caught in a morass. "Morass", "morass" — the word recurs in his letters. In April 1949, for the first
time in memory, he cancelled his last two weeks of lectures, but he was haled back by students intent upon
making a presentation. (By the way, that portrait of him in the Sedgewick Library was paid for by former
students who raised the money at the time of his retirement.)
There were other consolations. He had always loved music. When, early in 1949, the Friends of
Chamber Music came into being, he was not only a founding member but went on the board. But the
horizon was dimming. Referring to an increasingly troublesome physical ailment, he ruefully likened
himself to an elegant Victorian mansion with bad plumbing. This spring he gave a book off his shelves to
a visiting former student and wrote in it merely, "One of the remnants, GGS". Friends felt that the will to
live had died in the man.
One day in mid-August he took a cab to a CCF meeting in South Vancouver where he delivered
what was, in effect, his political testament, setting forth the philosophy that had made him a moderate
leftist A week later he went into hospital for some overdue surgery. The day before the operation Roy
Daniells looked in on him. At parting he assured him that he'd be around to see him after the operation.
"We'll see," said Dr. Sedgewick. He died on September 4, 1949, of coronary thrombosis following the
operation. For his funeral Christ Church Cathedral was filled to overflowing.
It remains to appraise Garnett Sedgewick's achievement. With any man, I suppose, the first
question is, "What had he been able to make of himself in his three-score years and ten, or that portion of
them which had been vouchsafed to him?" "That which is creative," said Keats, "must first create itself."
What had Garnett Sedgewick made of Garnett Sedgewick?
Well, he became a tremendously civilized man, developing to the fullest a most formidable
intelligence and the keenest sensitivities where all the arts are concerned. And he was kind — a very kind
man according to one of his earliest Honours students ~ though I hardly begin to echo her phrase when I
become aware of a quizzical glance shot at me through the Sedgewickian spectacles from some height on
Olympus, and I hastily amend it to say, "He was a very kind man with a leaven of malice." But that phrase
will not serve either and, with a sigh of relief, I fall back upon a quotation from a recent letter from the
person who, probably, knew him best in his final years:
If I had to choose a phrase to describe Garnett it would be the one Kittredge used
to describe Chaucer - "a sympathetic ironist". Garnett was not gullible, but he
was not cynical. He was aware of human shortcomings and failings but he still
sympathized with those who exhibited them.
And this same person goes on to mention the number of people, students especially, who came to Garnett
with their troubles, and how patiendy he listened to them and said what he could. Of course most of those
who dropped in at 1719 Trutch Street for a session in the somewhat dingy book-littered living room came
for the good conversation there, an immensely pleasurable and stimulating experience in which generation
after generation of Garnett's best students participated, coming whenever they wanted to, without any
special invitation.
At the time of Dr. Sedgewick's death a member of faculty described him as "an educated man rather
than a scholar". That point was not well taken. Dr. Dorothy Blakey Smith had the right of the matter when
she said, "He did not publish much, but what he did publish was good." Professor Robbins put it a bit
differendy: "He was a scholar when he chose to be one." Precisely. He set himself various roles in life, and
that of the scholar, while important, was only one of many. Actually the legend of Sedgewick as a non-scholar rests on a naive equating of scholarship with
publication, and it probably originated in the 1920s when Dr. Sedgewick published hardly anything. The
picture changed in the 1930s, and even more in the 1940s when he put out an unexpected number of
publications — though many of these were ephemeral and intended only for private circulation.
It was during his final period, however, that Sedgewick produced his notable Chaucer articles on
"The Progress of the Pardoner" and "The Structure of the Man of Law's Tale". And it was then that he
published in The University of Toronto Quarterly a most perceptive article on Stephen Leacock. This latter
essay apparendy had its rise in a statement in the New York Times that the only Canadian authors known
to Americans were Robert Service, Bliss Carman, Ralph Connor, Stephen Leacock and Mazo de la Roche,
and that not one of these was an important writer. On the whole, Sedgewick was inclined to agree. After all,
he himself regarded the Canadian literature of his era as essentially insignificant and repeatedly refused to
permit a course in it at UBC. But he found he had reservations about putting Leacock among the
lightweights. I commend the resultant article to you. Yes, Sedgewick was a scholar all right. His book on
irony, by itself, gives him sufficient credentials for that tide, let alone the tributes from men as diverse as
Professors Woodhouse, G.B. Harrison, and Lumiansky.
To get our focus right where Sedgewick is concerned, we need to see him as a scholar who
addressed himself not so much to other scholars as to his students and the community at large. Significant
in this latter connection are the many radio broadcasts that Dr. Sedgewick made in his lifetime. When we
consider these, his Sun columns, his book reviews in the Province in the mid-1920s, his extension
lectures, his participation in forums, his constant efforts on behalf of whatever held cultural promise for
this province, we realize another of the man's achievements. This was stated succincdy and effectively at the
time of Sedgewick's death by D. A. McGregor, associate editor of the Province:
Vancouver was a pretty erode place when Dr. Sedgewick came to it. It wasn't
much interested in the University or the things the University stood for, and was
quite content to let the institution languish in the "Fairview Shacks". It has
changed a lot in three decades. It is more friendly to the University, and more
appreciative, and for this, in large measure, it can thank Dr. Sedgewick.
Let us turn to what Garnett Sedgewick achieved within the University. First of all, he created its
Department of English. "Respectable" rather than "brilliant" describes the quality of the men whom he
chose to serve under him. But essentially, as everybody knew, the department, numbering not more than
seven or eight, was a one-man show. It was Dr. Sedgewick who fixed its goals and set about trying to
attain them.
For anyone interested in the development of the UBC English Department, a valuable article is
that published in the Dalhousie Review for October 1928, "The Unity of the Humanities". This is, in fact
the address that Dr. Sedgewick had given the previous May at the first conference of "The Professors of
English in Canada". In it Sedgewick uses a series of questions to define the sort of person that he wants the
universities to produce:
How to give breadth to a student's education? How to give him or get him to
acquire a sense of relations? How to give him a sense of proportions? How to
make him a man of culture in Arnold's sense?.... How, to use Whitehead's
term to make out of a student a man of imagination?
Imagination! That was always for Sedgewick the great quality. He scorned that diet of mere facts which he
saw as producing "sclerosis of the imagination".
Before reporting to the conference what was being done at UBC by its English Department, Dr.
Sedgewick endorsed the lecture system of instruction on the grounds that "it has virtues of system and order
and unity and social interest". He was careful to note, however, that lectures need to be complemented by
the immediacy of individual conference. But, though Sedgewick saw the lecture-conference system as best
for the generality of students, he made an exception for the Honours students, whom he defined as "the
saving remnant" whom it is most necessary to reach. For them, the UBC English Department had done something apparendy unprecedented in Canada, allowing fourth-year Honours students exemption from
lectures for 40 per cent of their credits as they prepared for the Honours exams. Sedgewick declared:
In my opinion such exemptions (replacing lecture courses with private reading
and the writing of a major research essay) yield highly satisfactory results in the
case of the students mentioned. They are compelled to be self-dependent they
learn the resources of the library, they get at least a bit of an inkling of what
research means, and they get the satisfaction of sensing all this by themselves.
But best of all, in my belief, they are given more time and privileges for
grasping a subject in its broad relations, for grasping it imaginatively.
Guidance, Sedgewick noted, was available for these exceptionally competent students if they
wanted it, but they did not have to accept it "At their peril, they may trust entirely to their own initiative
and the library." Of fifty students who had taken English Honours at UBC over the preceding nine years,
only two had abused their freedom and paid the price. The department said Sedgewick, was about to extend
this exemption from lectures to third-year Honours students, but on a smaller scale. Well, there you have,
in essence, the Honours English curriculum at UBC as it exists today. The Honours graduating essay is
still with us, and directed reading courses are available in both third and fourth years.
Never mentioned in the Sedgewick paper is graduate study. Now last term at UBC we had a Cecil
Green lecturer from MIT deliver a notable lecture on "The Epistemology of Practice". Concerned to show
how powerful a determinant the existing way of doing things can be, Dr. Schon seized on the Ph.D. degree
as an example. Splendidly suited for the sciences, the Ph.D. gained such prestige in the science-dominated
late 19th century that, to obtain or retain status in the universities, those engaged in various non-scientific
studies adopted the degree even though it was essentially unsuitable for them and, indeed, inimical to their
ends. Only in the 1960s and 1970s, declared the Cecil Green lecturer, has there developed significant
dissatisfaction with the Ph.D. outside the sciences.
Dr. Sedgewick would surely have appreciated the irony that an emissary from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology should bring this message to us. I think one can, in fact make rather a good case
that Sedgewick, an Athenian in spirit was far from enamoured with that rather unlovely thing, the Ph.D. in
English. Looking back on his own mentor, McMechan at Dalhousie, he could only marvel how the man,
having taken a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University of the 1880s, could come through the experience
intact Labelling Stephen Leacock's book on humour his second dissertation, Sedgewick could refer to it as
"the only entertaining specimen ever published in that dismal kind". As for the wasteland of petty
publication produced by those who have taken Ph.D.s but never recovered, Dr. Sedgewick was downright
disrespectful. "Mr. Robert Benchley's recent burlesque of Shakespearean scholarship," said he, "is already as
dusty as the thing it mocks."
Realizing that the upper undergraduate level is the most rewarding on which to work with bright
young men and women, Sedgewick was content to be at UBC where graduate studies stopped with the
occasional M.A. But what a stream of gifted scholars he produced in English Honours: Dorothy Blakey,
Lionel Stevenson, George Kane, William Blissett, Roy Daniells, Earle Birney, William Robbins — and the
list could continue. Garnett assuredly knew whereof he spoke when he said that his students were his
publications. You will have noted that various of his Honours students, having dutifully earned their union
card, the Ph.D., returned to UBC to teach, thereby creating a notable tradition - would that we still
occasionally hired our own!
Finally, something about Garnett Sedgewick as a teacher himself. Recalling rather bitterly those
days when Sedgewick was less than Sedgewick, one of his former students said to me, "He was the best
teacher in the world, and the worst" Others would feel no need for reservations. "It was a revelation!"
exclaimed another former student, recalling for me her first experience of Sedgewick. "He was absolutely
superb," said another. A third could only wonder at the "impact" Sedgewick had on his classes. And a fourth
writes, "In the classroom Sedgewick was a magician, a man possessed. I was not much of a note-taker,
being absorbed in the sheer experience of a Sedgewick lecture."
What made Sedgewick such a superb teacher? For one thing, he brought to class all the resources
of a man who was very widely read indeed ~ not only in English but in other languages, in philosophy and psychology, in history, even in science. For another, he was amazingly sensitive to words, cleansing them
of what was shopworn and tarnished so that they gleamed as if fresh from the mint.
Something more. This professor was a great actor. Almost without exception those who met him
in the classroom came away convinced that if only Sedgewick had had the physical stature he would have
been one of the great actors of the stage. After a merciless criticism of a performance of Hamlet, he burst
out "Now / could play Hamlet" Taking up Romeo and Juliet, he acted out Romeo, became Romeo, then
suddenly became Juliet too, acting out the young girl's part. And not a student smiled at the middle-aged
Finally there was that superb voice. Garnett Sedgewick wrote, "I have spent forty years trying to
smoke the Halifax dialect out of my speech." Once he remarked, "I tempered my raw Nova Scotian!" He
could not understand how people could endure living with poorly enunciated, imprecise or ugly speech.
"Don't be afraid to improve your speech," he said. "There is nothing affected in doing that If you use a
horrible harsh flat Ontario "a", for God's sake get rid of it." Dr. Robbins once asked Sedgewick how he
could make himself heard with even the quietest voice in a large hall like Arts 100. Garnett answered, "I
took elocution lessons". And he had, in Nanaimo. Today we drill our graduate students in bibliography, and
turn some of them out incapable of giving a decent reading to a sonnet.
With Sedgewick, who linked total comprehension of a poem with flawless use of that infinitely
varied instrument, his voice, the reading of a poem could be an epiphany. Just about all those former
students I have of late been speaking to recall from thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years ago Sedgewick's reading
of some particular poem. With one it is Blake's "The Tyger", with another Eliot's "The Hollow Men", with
another Henley's "Invictus". For myself it is Christina Rossetti's "When I am dead, my dearest". The
reading of a poem can be the teaching of it. After the perfect performance there is no room left for exegesis,
and Sedgewick on such an occasion did not attempt it
Well, there was Sedgewick the teacher. Maybe you can understand now why, at the end of one
particular lecture on Henry V, the class arose and gave their professor a standing ovation.
I regret that we no longer have with us one who might more fittingly and effectively than myself
have lectured to you on Dr. Sedgewick. Let me, in conclusion, however, quote Dr. Daniells in praise of Dr.
He gave many of us the grace and the hope of glory, and in the intellectual sense
he made us see that learning is difficult, and literature, to which it gives access, a
ravishing delight.
Lionel Haweis at UBC
Roderick Norman Beanie
Class of'39
Lionel Haweis was one of my best friends during my three years as an undergraduate at UBC, class
of '39. I became acquainted with him through Helen Ferguson, class of '34, who was teaching in a
Vancouver high school. Our families both lived in Nelson, "Queen City of the Kootenays". Helen was an
accomplished violinist That fact, added to her being very attractive and sociable, had given her an entree to
Lionel's circle of friends, some of whom were professors at UBC.
When we met Lionel was a widower in his sixties who lived alone in a bungalow just a couple of
blocks away from my first rooming-house near Tenth and Sasamat He worked in the UBC Library, doing
mosdy the kinds of jobs — repairing, lettering, and so on — that meant he had very little contact with
undergraduates. But he was very interested in music and theatre, especially at UBC.
10 During my many visits to his home I gradually learned about his early life, but writing about it
now, I've had to refresh my memory by visits to Toronto's libraries, especially our main reference library.
Lionel was bom in London in 1870. His father, Hugh Reginald Haweis, was an Anglican priest who was to
become world-famous during the next 30 years as a writer, preacher, and lecturer on a wide variety of
subjects - besides Anglican Christianity, American Humorists, Music and Morals, Wagner, and Violins.
New editions of his books appeared regularly in England and the United States.
hi 1896 he published Travel and Talk which he prefaced with "My 100,000 miles of travel through
America, Australia, Tasmania, Canada, New Zealand, Ceylon, and the paradises of the Pacific."
Ceylon may have been included in that itinerary because his son Lionel was working there on a tea
plantation. At any rate, it was in Ceylon that Lionel launched his own writing career with Island Tales of
Ceylon that was published in Colombo in 1899.1 think he told me that he was able to work part-time as a
journalist during his tea-career and that it was at that time that he began his lifelong study of the mythology
and literature of Southeast Asia.
The production from that study by the time I saw some of it was enormous in typescript. The
Rose of Persia, a dramatic piece in three acts, was published in typescript in Vancouver in 1917 according
to the Library of Congress Index. That date is the only clue I have as to when Lionel emigrated to Canada.
The only printed book of his in my own library (a prized gift from the author) is Little Lanterns, the tide
page of which goes on: "Or as it might be said, Things Lantemized', and arranged by Lionel Haweis for all
who enjoy flirting with literary fancies as they float through the world of ideas — like smoke." Classicists
among my readers may be able to connect that with "Dare pondus idonea fumo!" which stands alone two
pages farther on.
The twenty-five lanterns in this really "slim" volume apparently form Series 2, having been
preceded by Series 1 "out of print". The publisher of both series was The Citizen Printing and Publishing
Co., Vancouver, B.C., 1923 and 1924.
The final Lantern in my series seems appropriate to illustrate Lionel's style. It certainly reminds
me of him and the many enjoyable (and often cryptically puzzling) conversations I had with him long ago.
Or none of us Puppets
Would ever be dancing,
Nor would we, every moment,
Be dissolving into it
My postscript should explain why Helen Ferguson's violin-playing was the key to her entree to
Lionel's circle. He had inherited his father's Stradivarius violin and had brought it to Vancouver. From time
to time he would withdraw it from its secure storage in a bank vault as a special treat for some deserving
and skillful violinist
11 John  Ridington's  Castle
William Gibson
Class of '33
Soon after arriving at UBC in 1931,1 found myself listening to a bearded "tour guide" in the high-
vaulted and impressive main concourse of the Library. Only later did I discover that the "guide" was none
other than John Ridington, the University Librarian. His instructions were crisp, not to say pejorative. He
instructed us to walk on the black squares on the floors, as they were easier to clean than were the white
squares. Already the massive budget cuts were in evidence as the Great Depression increased in severity.
With a six-week course in librarianship at Albany, New York, in 1914, John, or King John as we
called him, developed a great love for books. With Walter Lanning holding the journal collection inviolate
against all future budget cuts, a wonderful service was rendered to future generations.
The library functioned somewhat as the campus social centre also, especially the Smoking Room
for men in the basement. There the studious janitor Bill Tansley held clinics on philosophy, and between
these he assiduously collected all burned-out light bulbs for the distinguished public health professor, Dr.
Hibbert Winslow Hill, one of President Wesbrook's early imports from Minnesota. Dr, Hill lived with us
at Union College and had set up on stakes, in the surrounding bush, holders for these faded electric light
bulbs. He had a powerful air rifle and from his open window on the second floor of the theological college
used to pick off the bulbs on bright days.
When a few ingenious engineering students in residence dropped some super-heated five-cent pieces
into the pay phone near Dr. Hill's room and were about to be chastised by the telephone company, it was
this aging and most respectable physician who defended the students and chastised the company for poor
Back to the Library, and to conclude, there was an incident which almost closed it before its life
had begun in 1925. King John had posted a terse notice on the board at the imposing front doors, which
read "Students wishing carrel privileges should see me." The playful editor of the Ubyssey of the day, Earle
Birney, with his pen changed the "carrel" to "carnal". Ridington demanded that the entire University be
closed until the culprit was apprehended!
The library system, like the rest of the University, has grown to massive proportions and still
ranks among the continent's best, though still starved for funds. If the outmoded central library building
becomes the Norman A.M. MacKenzie fine arts gallery — as it should — a great quadrangular building will
rise to the west off the Main Mall, replacing eventually the 1925 "temporary" buildings, once known as the
Agriculture building and the Arts building. "King John" may rotate in his grave but the academic facility
which he presided over will go on from strength to strength.
12 Reminiscences  of University  Life
Malcolm F. McGregor
Class of'30
In April, 1975, as my twenty-one years as Head of the Department of Classics neared their end, I
was invited to address the Classics Club and so to reflect upon the University and the Department in the
Golden Age, i.e., the Age when I was an undergraduate. The paper that I produced ("Reminiscences of an
Autocrat") includes a number of passages that may be of interest to the Alumni Association's Heritage
Committee. I therefore put together excerpts.
....I ask you to return with me to September, 1926, when, as a boy of sixteen who had been urged
in high school to avoid the University, for which he was not fitted, I appeared in the Registrar's office of
the University of British Columbia. Travel had been by streetcar from downtown to Tenth and Sasamat
($.07), thence by bus to the site of the present [1975] bookstore ($.03).
Registration in that Golden Age was a simple process, administered wholly by people, in my case
by the Registrar himself, unimpeded by the expensive and prolonged inefficiency of machines. For the
freshman, two courses had already been printed, inexorably, on the appropriate card: English 1, Mathematics
1. The normal student then added a language (required), a science (required), and ONE elective. But I was not
normal and I found the single escape: one could take three languages and postpone the science. I thus
resumed my study of Latin, French, and Greek (in that Age Greek was offered in the best high schools, such
as King George).
All these courses were numbered "One" and presumed continuous earlier study. The Department of
Classics was not designed to teach Latin to beginners; for the ambitious, Greekless Greek A, which did not
merit the dignity of a number, offered a belated opportunity for salvation.
The enrollment of the University when I came up was about 1,600, distributed among three
Faculties, Arts, Applied Science, and Agriculture. Two permanent buildings graced the Campus: the Library
(the centrepiece of the present structure) and Science (the basic section, of "college Gothic", of our
Chemistry Building, McDowell's Empire). The others were semipermanent: Arts (which is now
Mathematics), Applied Science (now Geology-Geography), Agriculture (still existing just south of
Mathematics), the Auditorium (which also housed the single-roomed Bookstore, the Ubyssey, and the
"Caf'), and Administration (recendy named, by an aesthetic Board of Governors, the Main Mall North
Administration Building; then giving shelter to the Registrar and the President). To the north of the
Auditorium as far as Lower Marine Drive lay a vast expanse of undressed surface where the few plutocrats
parked their lonely automobiles. Apart from an old bam and fields for the cattle on the south side, the rest
was virgin forest, nice for walks with one's companion in the spring — or summer or winter. In the 1930s,
when we could not afford to cut the grass, cows grazed in the area between Arts and the Library.
In those days we knew the professors and the professors, unsegregated by Departments, knew one
another. The Faculty, I suppose, included scholars; but to us — and to themselves, I suspect ~ they were
teachers. There may have been some bad teachers: I did not meet one.
Lemuel Fergus Robertson, a Maritimer, occupied the Classical Head's chair the day the University
opened in 1915; he was given the formal tide in 1920 and held it until 1941. He was tall, with a shining
pate and a formidable bearing. Without variation, he wore a thin red tie; it was generally believed that he
owned only one tie, purchased the day he donned the toga virilis. My own belief is that he replaced it every
few years - or at least had it cleaned and ironed. Robertson was a Ciceronian Liberal; rumor, which
sometimes exaggerates, had it that in his courses one overtly worshiped Marcus Tullius Cicero and William
Lyon Mackenzie King or one failed. In any case, Robertson provided my introduction to Canadian politics -
- which is merely another illustration of the versatility of the Classicist who can recognize the present in
the past
I learned more than this. He first instructed me in the art of writing Latin. With him I read Homer
and listened to his account of life on the farm on Prince Edward Island and admired the dexterity of the
devoted young Classicist who milked the cow with one hand and held his text of Homer in the other. He
was ambidextrous.
He introduced me to Seneca, that model of hypocrisy who so richly earned his fate, if not for his
past, then for his tragedies. Asked on the examination to discuss Seneca's view of pagan gods, I discoursed
13 upon the Roman attitude to barbarian practices such as Christianity, which was, I thought (reasonably, I
still believe), pagan to a Roman. It did not occur to me that Robertson could designate Roman gods as
pagan. Robertson approved of Seneca and delivered many a grave sermon based on a Senecan text. Seneca,
of course, was revealed as a God-fearing Liberal, who had spent his youth in the pure atmosphere of the
farm on Prince Edward Island.
In the second term of the same course — the population comprised twenty-four women and me -
we met Robertson's Juvenal. I think immediately and vividly of the most famous fish in all literature, the
turbot, a delicacy to be avoided, for a turbot on the table marks the diner as an illbred glutton. The
combination of Juvenal and Robertson taught me much about life and revealed many of woman's artful
devices of which I had been ignorant. The passage on the use of pumice by Roman women inspired a
condemnatory sermon on the removal of hair from the limbs, a perversion of which I had been unaware, one
that caused me acute embarrassment in that company, especially since the professor normally addressed
himself to the women and ignored me. Certain crude passages of the text were thoughtfully omitted as
likely to offend me. The effects of that course linger. Today I worry when one of my colleagues teaches
Juvenal. Does he point out that Domitian, transferred to a Canadian setting, would be a Conservative Prime
Minister? Does he identify Juvenal as a fundamentalist Liberal pastor who, after a youth spent milking on
Prince Edward Island, threatened a degenerate world with the fires of Hell?
During my candidature for the MA — I was alone - I read Cicero's Letters under Robertson's
tutelage. It was one of the lasting experiences of my academic life. I have encountered greater scholars than
Robertson, I have read Cicero's works, I have heard papers about him, I have studied books and essays on
him. But I cannot name a man who has equaled Robertson's mastery, his understanding, his subde
appreciation of a statesman who believed desperately in a losing cause. For years afterwards the acta diurna
of Republican Rome from 65 to 45 B.C. remained as firmly engraved on my memory as the mason's letters
on the stele.
Otis Johnson Todd reached Vancouver from the United States in 1918. By 1926 he had become
Canadian and adopted Association Football as his recreation. As Honorary President of the Varsity Football
Club he seldom missed a game, attaining eventually a reputation that won him the presidency of the
Dominion Football Association. He had nothing but scom for what he called "armball", that gladiatorial
combat that has eliminated sport from American campuses every Saturday afternoon in the autumn, and
from the American home on Sundays. We, in Canada, indulge in an imitation. Todd succeeded Robertson as
Head in 1941 and remained in the Chair until his retirement in 1949.
My introduction to Todd came in Latin 1, where we read Cicero's de senectute. This lugubrious
essay may be suited to the elderly and introspective philosopher; it is not suited to lively and
impressionable young men and women at the beginnings of their undergraduate careers. At the end of our
servitude I made a vow: I should never read the de senectute again. I have kept my vow.
Todd was the scholar of the department He contributed regularly to the journals, he translated
Xenophon's Symposium and Apology for the Loeb Classical Library, and, while I was a student, completed
his Index Aristophaneus, which has remained a standard work. His solemn and preoccupied mien hid the
sharp and mischievous wit that we came to know in (and outside) the classroom. Todd took me through my
first Greek play, the Prometheus of Aischylos, the deep end of the tragic pool. This initial confrontation
with the intricacies of a flexible language taught me how to use Liddell and Scott.
At a higher level, now possessing the knowledge and scepticism of the fourth-year student, I
registered for Todd's course in tragedy and comedy and thus encountered Aristophanes. While Todd did not
match the uncensored earthiness of the young modems, he nevertheless, in the more restricted milieu of the
1920s, gave us a term of genuine Aristophanic comedy that I have not forgotten. We read every line; of
course, we did not translate every line.
In my graduate year Todd optimistically agreed to steer me through Aristotle's Poetics. In
November he called it off, on the grounds that he could not find the necessary time. My own opinion is that
he considered the attempt to instill in me a comprehension of Aristode's more philosophical style a
completely hopeless task.
In 1935 I published my first paper, a study of a controversial epigraphic and calendrial problem
that required exhaustive analysis of a Greek pluperfect indicative and a preposition in the first chapter of
Thucydides' fifth book. I sent reprints to my three masters in British Columbia. From two I received
congratulatory replies. From Todd I received a learned and very useful commentary, with full references, on
14 the uses of the Greek pluperfect and the meaning of the preposition, a response characteristic of his learning
and his kindness.
Todd gave Canada six sons and a daughter. Five of the sons played football, three of them as
members of the Varsity team in my last season. The eldest son embarrassed the family by engaging in
armball. Eventually, he must have acquired money, because he retired to the wilds of Scotiand as the Laird
of a Castie. The daughter sat as a classmate in a number of advanced classes in Greek.
For Robertson and Todd I was and I am filled with an awesome and grateful admiration. My hero,
however, was Harry Tremayne Logan. He was appointed to the Faculty as one of the originals in 1915 but
spent the next three years in France with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Later, his academic career was
interrupted by a twelve-year term as Principal of Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School, a post that took
him to Vancouver Island, Great Britain, and Australia before he returned in 1949 to head the Department
until 1954. He continued to teach effectively until he reached 80 years, when he retired at his own request
Logan had been a Rhodes Scholar, the kind of man Cecil Rhodes must have had in mind:
gendeman, soldier, statesman. He possessed that extraordinary capacity for understanding the student, for
thinking with him, for treating him as an individual that is the indelible stamp within the Master Teacher.
It was Logan, I am sure, who taught me to appreciate the poems of Vergil. Curiously, I think first
of the Eclogues and the Georgics. Logan had a feeling for the landscape and the soil, a feeling that he
imparted to us. By the time I entered my fourth year, I was confident of my ability to read Greek. Then
came Thucydides. Logan the soldier laid siege to Syracuse and I think that I have never reached a more
thorough understanding of Book VII than in 1929, when the Master Teacher interpreted the Master
Historian. The vicissitudes of the Athenians and of the decent, slow-witted Nikians have remained
unforgettable. I know why, in a different context some years later, I chose Thucydides as my special author,
to the horror of my contemporaries.
Logan possessed a philosophical turn of mind, which accounts in part for the fact that by choice he
guided the young through Plato's Republic until the year of his retirement My mind is not philosophical,
although I have met the major Greek and Roman philosophical writers on their own ground. But again, it
is Logan's patient and sympathetic exposition to which I most often glance back.
In that Age the responsibilities of a Department of Classics were rooted firmly in the Greek and
Roman authors ~ in Greek and in Latin. The mere thought of ancient literature in translation would have
been as repellent, as horrifying, as anarchistic, as placing students on committees or allowing women to
smoke in public ~ wearing trousers. Greek and Roman History, however, occupied a position of respect
partly, perhaps, because the teaching fell to Logan, and partly, I am sure, because Cicero would have
Logan's lectures were delivered quietiy and grippingly, without rhetoric but with a precise choice of
diction and a skillful variation of tone to produce emphasis. He paced slowly to and fro, a pernicious habit
you may say, unless you have watched an exciting rally in tennis or have experienced a similar spectacle
elsewhere. And always we were aware that he knew these people whose achievements he was discussing.
"Men make the city," said Nikias; "men make history," said Logan. Three words: they are the essential to
comprehension. Logan it was who taught me that History includes all the achievements of man.
I must have become a disciple, for during my graduate year I read Tacitus with him at his house
and under his direction I wrote what I then thought was a historical thesis, Rome and Germany: the safe and
uninspired tide hides a florid passage, one of many florid passages, portraying Arminius as a hero fighting
against fearful odds. Arminius, I learned later, is the origin of the name Hermann. And Hermann recalls (at
least to me) Richard Person's lines:
The Germans in Greek
Are sadly to seek;
All save Hermann ~
And Hermann's a Germann.
My tone would be different today.
15 When I came up in 19261 stood about 5*7" and weighed 130 lbs (dressed). In those halcyon days
each student underwent a thorough physical examination. The doctor upon whom I waited found his task
simple: there was not much to examine. As he concluded, he asked, with a sneer, "And what are you going
to do, my boy, except study?" 7 am going to play football," I replied stoutiy. "For Varsity no doubt?", was
his witty response, as he roared with laughter and I stalked out with an attempt at dignity, an impossible
goal when one is still buttoning one's trousers. After all, I considered myself a goalkeeper, although, it is
true, I could not reach the crossbar. But between my first and second years I suddenly rose to 6'0" ~ with no
gain in weight; and for four years, as I patrolled the sometimes vast distance — 8 yards — between the posts
proudly wearing the Blue and Gold of Varsity, I often thought of that miserable medico and his cheap
Normally, Todd paced the sidelines, grave and dispassionate as a scholar should be. Frequendy, he
was joined by Monsieur Delavault, a volatile and exuberant Professor of French, in whose classes I sat.
Delavault brought the French spirit to the game, not always to the taste of the referee. One afternoon, in a
close match at Trimble Park, I made a sensational save of a penalty shot; any dive to my left merited the
adjective. At half-time Delavault rushed on the field, embraced me firmly with both hands, and kissed each
cheek, warmly and wetiy. In my helpless condition, I happened to catch a glimpse of Todd. I have never
seen a look of such utter and revolted disgust on a man's face. Katharsis displayed on a football field was
My many non-academic recreations included membership in the Society of Thoth, a secret
organization that imposed an awesome and terrifying ceremony of initiation and practiced an arcane ritual. I
can say no more, since members swore to keep their oaths of secrecy until the iron should float (classical
influences were often at work). I mention the Society of Thoth because my membership led to my thespian
career. Each year Homecoming was celebrated by a Theatre-Night in the Auditorium when the various
classes and societies contributed numbers to the long show. In my day the epic pantomime produced by the
Society of Thoth won a scintillating acclaim. The Society, I should have observed, banned women from its
mysteries but allowed a selected number of camp-followers to make costumes, apply make-up, and attend
its more licentious functions.
I began in a humble way, as a Hawaiian dancing girl, and the reviewers ignored my performance.
Harry Logan did not. He visited the dressing-room to shake my hand and it took him three days to remove
the paint from his hands. As Robertson gazed at my face the following week he made it clear that my
activity had been un-Ciceronian.
Our next vehicle was "Antony and Cleopatra", with Himie Koshevoy, the Keeper of the
Baksheesh, starring as Antony, and one who is today [1975] a well-known judge in the role of Cleopatra. I
had been typecast - I think that is the professional jargon — as an Egyptian dancing girl. Logan did not
shake my hand. This time my unrehearsed stage-business ~ you see, I remember the vocabulary ~ brought
deafening applause. Toward the close, as the dancers responded violendy to the eastern music, my left
attachment slipped its moorings and landed on the trumpet-player's instrument. So impressed were the
critics by our moving interpretation that we were invited to join the vaudeville show at the Pantages
Theatre on Hastings Street the following week. We accepted.
Finally, I reached stardom: I played the lead in "Helen of Troy". Now, I am a modest man and I
must not yield to boastful temptation. I shall report merely that I was sensational. Never had the audience
viewed such spectacular realism. Of course, we of the theatre have our own secrets and, after so many years,
it will do no harm to reveal the lengths to which a seasoned actor will go to achieve perfection. As Troy
burned, Helen was to stand at the walls tearing her long and beautiful and blonde hair. The walls were high
and Helen was to balance on top of a rather degenerate ladder that was to be held in place by a high-ranking
member of the Society, the Torturer-in-Chief, who is now Professor of Economics at a well-known
university. In rehearsal all went well, although no zenith of emotion was reached. On Homecoming Night
however, the holder of the ladder, unrehearsed, had attained a state of meandering absence of mind.
Consequendy, as the flames rose accompanied by musical crescendo, the holder swayed, the ladder swayed,
Helen swayed; the sheer terror of the intensely moving scene, heightened by the falling strands of golden
hair, conveyed itself to the audience. At last, amid smoke and flame, the curtain fell. And so did I.
16 The Pub, the office of the Ubyssey, provided headquarters for aspiring journalists and writers, as
well as, secredy, for the Society of Thoth. The Pub comprised one room in the northeast comer of the
Auditorium. The premises are now called the Offices of the Summer Session. Here I toiled for five years,
eventually reaching the chair of Sports Editor, which I occupied for two years. This incumbency allowed me
to give front-page space to the exciting activities of the Football Club, at the expense, to be sure, of a
semi-weekly battle with the Senior Editors. I was most successful when the Editor-in-Chief was a Rugby
man. I made a deal: Football and Rugby would alternate as the featured story.
You should not be thinking of the present Ubyssey as a parallel. We were fully literate, the Editor
insisted on rigorous proofreading; and coverage of the University's activities, especially sport, was
comprehensive. Our vocabulary did not require the assistance of obscenities, coarseness, and trite
colloquialisms. Nor did we split infinitives or use "like" as a conjunction. In the Pub, hammering away at
one of the two battered typewriters amid raucous disorder, I produced the final copy of my thesis.
In my final year, the Editor-in-Chief was a serious and totally upright man, not wild enough for
membership in the Society of Thoth, who, once having made a decision, could not be budged. That year the
Ubyssey conducted an editorial campaign, in which I participated prominendy, directed against the Dean of
Women to lift the ban on women smoking in public. As a result, we were satisfyingly unpopular by the
time the provincial budget came down. The President of the University, alarmed by earlier comments,
ordered the Editor to refrain from criticism of our benefactors in Victoria. The immediate response was a
vigorous editorial written by the courageous Ron Grantham denouncing a parsimonious and anti-intellectual
Government In those Utopian days authority did not hesitate: the President suspended the Editor from the
University and banned the Ubyssey. There was no appeal from this non-negotiable edict
Robertson could not really approve of these extra-curricular activities. After all, one cannot
imagine Cicero relaxing as a gladiator in the arena. And Robertson had to tolerate the many non-classical
interests of Todd and Logan. But he was a fair-minded man and I could read Latin, which was contrary to the
proper order of nature. "O McGregor, McGregor," he sighed to me one Monday morning when I appeared
with a black eye and without a front tooth, "Cicero never looked like that"
The Sedgewickian Legacy
Hugh M. Palmer
Class of'36
"If I were told that I had to spend the rest of my life alone on a desert island and could take with me
only two books," he would say in that lilting, sonorous voice of his, "I would unhesitatingly choose the
Holy Bible and Antony and Cleopatra." The last word emerged as Cleo-pate-tra.
"But why Antony and Cleopatra, sir?" asked a bespectacled boy in the front row of the English 9
And Dr. G.G. Sedgewick ~ Garnett Gladwin Sedgewick - head of the Department of English,
Shakespearean scholar, author, teacher extraordinary, told him and the rest of us why, and so persuasively
that we began to wonder whether indeed there were any other worthwhile choices.
That little scene took place over fifty years ago, yet for me it has the vividness of yesterday.
For Dr. Sedgewick is not only a legend in the annals of UBC - he also had the singularity of
being a legend in his lifetime. In academia and elsewhere, how few achieve that astonishing reputation.
George Lyman Kittredge, who taught at Harvard for some forty years, was one of these, and it is more than
a coincidence that Garnett Sedgewick studied under him. But lest the legend persist that Dr. Sedgewick
modeled himself on that eminent scholar, it is well to be reminded that Kittredge was a formidable teacher,
remote from his students, dominating them utterly by his fierce logic. Dr. Sedgewick, on the other hand,
had a very different personality. His was a generous nature and his manner open and friendly. Although his
bantering style often extended to teasing his students, the teasing was always playful, never malicious.
Brian Moore in one of his novels speaks of schoolmasters as soon learning "that boys remember
them for eccentricities of dress, behavior, speech... that they exaggerate these in order to create a classroom
17 persona. We remember schoolmasters, as we remember actors", he writes. My vivid recollections of Dr.
Sedgewick can to a large extent be accounted for by those eccentric qualities that Moore has noted in that
group of humbler calling. It was these qualities that drew us to his classes in anticipation not so much of
gaining a greater insight into Shakespearean drama, as it was of witnessing a one-man show. Although a
habitual skipper of lectures, I cannot remember ever having skipped one of his.
A small figure of a man, sitting cross-legged on top of a table in front of the class, he was
sartorially distinct from his colleagues. Grey Harris tweed suit shirts as often as not of creamy flannel, a
discreet, Paisley-patterned bow tie which he himself had loosely knotted, horn-rimmed spectacles behind
which his normally solemn grey eyes would sometimes twinkle. Large face, smallish head, with thinning
grey hair. Bow ties — and he had scores of them — were his favorite article of dress. To a group of us he
once quipped, "I could do without almost any article of clothing, so long as it isn't one of these," and his
hand went up as if to reassure himself that the bow tie was still in place.
How clear one's memory is of that diminutive, comic, erudite man sitting there trying to impart
something of the glory of the Elizabethans and of the plays of Shakespeare to a grab-bag assortment of
undergraduates. How refreshing and, by comparison with other professors, how singular that he should tell
us at the beginning of an English 9 course that he didn't want us to take notes; that if it were necessary to
jot down a reference or two he would tell us when to do so; that if it was passing examinations we were
interested in, he would give us the tides of suitable texts that we would find in the library. This was
designed to free us from the slavery of note-taking in the interests of participation. But our attention was
held in any event by his flamboyant style. "I would rather have lived in Elizabethan London, with all its
open drains, with all its squalor, with all its disease, than to have lived in any other age or in any other
city," he would declaim to us.
A consummate actor, Dr. Sedgewick was rarely if ever in the room ahead of his class. He would
wait until all had taken their places and then, instead of merely walking into the room, he would make an
entrance ~ on wet days his raincoat romantically worn like a cloak. Usually his hand went up as if to toss
back a lock of hair or, in a wonderfully deft gesture he would slip the raincoat off his shoulders and lob it
on to a chair. One could almost hear the flourish of trumpets. Minutes later he would be asking rhetorical
questions of the class as he strutted up and down, as upon an imaginary stage, quoting favorite passages,
reciting the blank verse in a manner that maximized its meaning and imagery.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne
Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails...
For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did he
In her pavilion - cloth of gold, of tissue —
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature. On each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids...
"Can't you just see it?" he would say to us. "Is there anything more magnificent, in visual terms,
that is? Um-m? The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne... pure Canaletto, don't you think? As for the
Queen herself, and those dimpled boys. Surely that's Tiepolo. Um-m?" And to a blond ill-at-ease boy on the
aisle, he would ask, "Wouldn't you like to be one of those dimpled boys, Myron?" And a hundred heads
would turn to watch Myron's predictable reaction. "And if you were one of those - those dimpled boys -
just what do you think you would be doing? Um-m?" Hot blushes from Myron, accompanied by general
But in some of the less literal, more allusive quotations which he would recite from memory, he
would as often as not repeat them more for his own sake than for ours, as though his mind were reaching
out and catching fugitive meanings that it was not in our knowledge or power to appreciate.
For behind the man who seemed, on the face of it, happiest when besting a group of feisty male
undergraduates in an exchange of quips ~ behind the mincing walk, the gesturing, the articulation that
18 verged on the precious - was a man of deep scholarship; hardly surprising considering the standards imposed
by Kittredge on those enrolled in the doctoral program. He was a man who, although a specialist in
Shakespearean studies, had a great sense of the sweep of history and a grand feeling for the liberating forces
that had produced the modem humanist tradition, to which he himself subscribed. Although not a believer
in Christianity, he strongly urged his students to read and re-read, for its great literary merit, the Bible in the
King James version.
My most vivid recollection of Dr. Sedgewick, however, happens to be a very personal one. Even
now, after more than fifty years, I cannot reflect on what happened without receiving a twinge of
I had been sitting by the telephone one evening, waiting for a classmate to call me back after
checking on the next day's French assignment Only minutes before he and I had been indulging in hilarious
chatter, and I recall that I had been roaring with laughter at his powers of mimicry.
The phone rang and I picked it up immediately. "Hello," I said in the deepest register I could
manage. A very formal voice asked if Mr. Hugh Palmer were there.
"This is Hugh Palmer speaking," I said with equal formality.
"This is Dr. Sedgewick, Hugh," the voice said.
"Dr. Sedgewick — eh?" I said knowingly, at the same time exploiting his own inflection. "Well,
well... and how is the little lady?"
There was a pause at the end of the line, and as it stretched out it seemed more like a yawning
chasm into which I hoped to be swallowed.
"You are referring, of course, to my mother," Dr. Sedgewick said evenly.
"Yes, yes - " I replied, my voice full of desperate relief. "How is your mother, Dr. Sedgewick?"
19 Henry  Angus:   Soliloquizer
Arthur J. Wirick
Class of'36
It was only recendy that I discovered in my files some six or seven essays, my own compositions,
each of half-century vintage. They were my submissions, as class assignments, to various UBC professors;
and in general these instructors had added, by way of penciled annotations and marginal glosses, not only an
assigned grade or mark, but comments of various kinds. One essay alone (concerning the political doctrines
of Sun Yat-sen, with which I was then surprisingly well acquainted) bore no such insignia; only the
assigned grade had been added to its cover page. This was the sole evidence that it had been perused by Dr.
Henry F. Angus.
My discovery of these essays prompted many memories. I must say that I remember my days at
UBC with unalloyed pleasure — and cannot now recall any unhappy moments whatsoever. The many
disorders of that world of the 1930s — chronic depression, unemployment, international anarchy — provided
me and my friends and classmates with challenges, with the raw material for constant, stimulating debate.
Italy invading Ethiopia, Japan trampling through Manchuria (and later on the whole of China), breadlines
and relief camps at home, the civil war in Spain, appeasement, pacifism, communism, Marxism,
socialism, collective security ~ all these gave us food for thought, grist for our arguments, material for the
doctrines we ourselves espoused with such assurance. For many of us, only the summer months, away from
the University campus, brought home the hard reality of under-employment - or no employment.
Life at UBC in the 1930s was a world of great conversation. And yes! ~ of some great lectures
too. My own contacts were with the English and History departments, and with certain courses in
Government, offered by a single department which succeeded in containing "Economics, Political Science,
Commerce and Sociology". (To this day I cannot explain why the department then proceeded to offer two
classes in "Government" and none at all identified as "Political Science". So I remember names like
Soward, Gage, Sedgewick, Angus, Wood, Walker, Thrupp, Dilworth and Cooke. There are stories to be told
about all of these people. But I would single out Henry F. Angus.
A student like me encountered that gentleman only in his teaching persona. I doubt if many knew
him then as a man of great reputation; and indeed I do not know to what extent his reputation may have
been acquired later in his career. * But it was as a teacher that we came to know him and to realize that he
was capable of brilliant and sparkling lectures. We learned that he could occasionally be dull ~ as when he
read from a book. We also became aware of a mild disposition, a gende soul, disinclined to impose harsh
penalties for inferior work. Indeed, we found, all students, good or bad, tended to receive grades for essays
and examinations which exceeded their expectations.
As a lecturer, Henry Angus was outstanding. Oddly, at his most brilliant he scarcely required an
audience: he addressed himself; he soliloquized. Entering his classroom, he presented his topic as a question
to be debated.
"Should matters in our society be arranged thus - or so?" The ensuing hour became a
form of solitaire, played out before student observers. At half-time - Henry Angus having appeared to reach
a singularly convincing conclusion - he would reverse himself, and largely demolish his own case. And yet
he rarely if ever reached that point described as "paralysis by analysis". Readily and often, he took a stand ~
on many issues. But he made many of his students intensely aware of the complexity of human problems.
And so I remember many of those lectures, and the man who gave them, with warmth and
affection. Henry Angus — small and neat and rather shy and gende — would appear to address his own
thoughts, occasionally and nearsightedly including an enthralled audience "up front". Students in the rear,
less motivated, were unaffected. But still, learning flourished in those days!
*Angus was born in 1891 and came to UBC in 1919. He left it as Dean of Graduate Studies, in 1956. He
served from 1937 to 1940 as a member of the federal Rowell-Sirois Royal Commission which studied and
made wide-ranging recommendations concerning the allocation and exercise of federal-provincial
responsibilities and powers in fiscal and legislative matters. In 1986, he lives quietly in Vancouver.
20 Dean Mary Bollert
Elizabeth (Leslie) Stubbs
Class of'38
In the almost fifty years that have passed since our freshman days, memories of Dean Bollert have
become rather dim. After the initial exposure during Initiation Week, most women rarely saw her except as
one of the faculty who appeared in the halls of the Arts Building or in the Cafeteria. Miss Bollert took her
office as Dean of Women seriously. She knew that she stood "in loco parentis" to all of us women and as
such, felt entrusted with our moral guidance. She seemed to feel that if our outward behavior was correct
our inner selves would remain pure and unsullied, for the theme of her annual "Talk to Freshmen Women"
(Freshettes) was "decorum".
Efforts were made, of course, to protect us from corrupting influences. The large classes in English
and Mathematics were segregated by sex so that the men were instructed by Dr. Sedgewick or Dean Gage
while we women had lesser luminaries. (My Math teacher, however, Mr. Richardson, was excellent.) Our
textbooks were the same so that we did read Huxley, Lawrence, Faulkner, and Joyce, much of which we
didn't comprehend, but which moved at least one father to write an indignant letter of protest to the
In her talk the dean stressed that we were never to forget that as university women we were ladies,
and therefore good manners, conservative dress - NO trousers, NO ankle socks - and propriety in all phases
of behavior were important Apart from the reference to "academic dress", which few but Theologs and the
occasional professor ever affected, the following words of Vera Farnell, Dean, Somerville College, Oxford
in the days of Margaret Thatcher, might have been quoted from Dean Bollert*
If you aim at looking appropriate and "right" and would avoid the risk of looking
common and vulgar, or unfortunately dressed, avoid associating academic dress
with any but the very discreetest of make-up. As smoking in academic dress is a
university offense, so are brightly colored lips and fingernails an offense against
good taste.
A friend from those days recalls the last sentence of Dean Bollert's talks as, "Now, ladies, never
feel sorry for the poor boys." Thus, she felt, did the dean warn us against SEX! Many of us, naive as we
were then, would have taken the words literally to refer to our friends who were struggling to finance their
year on most limited budgets.
Another ritual of Initiation Week was a tea at Miss Bollert's South Granville apartment, which
seems to have been limited to out-of-town girls. Most of us turned up, partly because of the promise of
food and partly because to attend was the right thing to do. We appeared, properly attired with hat and
gloves, in clean blouses, and with our skirts (often one per wardrobe) freshly sponged and pressed. Senior
girls in the boarding houses or congenial "Big Sisters" warned us to stay at least twenty minutes or until
the Dean had spoken to us personally. The ensuing dialogue was generally painful for both Miss Bollert and
the student who sat trying to juggle a small napkin, a plate with a sausage roll or a lush patisserie, and a
delicate cup filled with piping hot tea. After valiant efforts on both sides to find some common ground
beyond the weather and the home town (viewed very differendy by the two speakers), the dean would rise
with a rusde of her dark blue silk dress, and assure us of her help if we would call at her office.
She was said to have found jobs for some girls. (These were scarce and the wages provided little
more than pocket money.) She paid my doctor's bill when I shot myself with a bow and arrow! (Tis true. I
had enrolled in archery in response to a call from Miss Gertrude Moore that all women should make an
effort to balance their sedentary studies with a wholesome athletic activity.)
All boarding houses were vetted before appearing on the approved list Men and women were never
to room in the same premises. Oddly enough, at one of my boarding houses, two science men batched in
the basement, "The Hermitarium", while we two girls, suitably chaperoned by the mother of one, had
rooms on the upper floor.
21 On one occasion a friend was summoned to the Dean's office by a note in the mailbox - a series of
pigeon holes on a wall in the Arts Building. Her landlady had complained that she had been tossing apple
cores at the wastepaper basket and hitting the wall! Miss Bollert was appalled by such unseemly behavior.
My friend waxed indignant at the blatant falsehood, refrained nobly from any counter-charges, but drew the
dean's attention to her own impeccable record as a student, and to the well-known position of her family on
all matters of propriety including intellectual, moral and spiritual rectitude. She then said, "Goodbye", and
stalked out, never to hear from the dean again.
Smoking in any kind of dress, academic or not was anathema to Dean Bollert. Another friend
recalls going to see her regarding a bursary. "The dean was quite nice to me. All went well until I opened
my purse and she spotted a pack of cigarettes. Then warmth became glacial ice." And the student with a
warning about the proven connection between smoking and failing marks, was sent to the bursar on what
the dean implied would be a hopeless quest (It was not.) The first girl to smoke in the Cafeteria was said to
have been a member of the Players' Club. Since the sky did not fall, many others then began to light up,
and soon smoking was as common as non-smoking is today.
That summer, some of us who worked as card filers on the Library of Congress Depository Card
Catalogue actually wore ankle socks with our penny loafers and saddle shoes. Slacks appeared. War was
declared and the role of the Dean of Women, as Miss Bollert envisioned it, disappeared.
22 Gordon Shrum: A Titan Put Down
/. Harvey Parliament
Class of'45
In the fall of 1938, after a number of years working at a mine, I entered UBC as a freshman. I
immediately enrolled in the COTC, partly for the experience and partly because we received payment for the
time we spent training. Much of the training was off campus at the Seaforth and other armories and Dr.
Gordon Shrum, who was Colonel in command of the COTC, wanted to build an armory so we would have
a suitable place to train on campus. To finance this project he decided that all members of the COTC would
donate their pay toward the armory. To make this "voluntary" effort legal, he ordered a parade so we could
all sign "pay waivers".
So, one evening the battalion was filing past a table at about three miles per hour signing the
appropriate documents when my turn came and I picked up the paper to read what it said. The line
immediately came to a sudden halt and Colonel Shrum, who was watching the performance from the far end
of the room, bellowed, "Sergeant-Major, what is holding up the parade?" The S-M yelled back, "Sir,
someone up here is reading the documents!"
The Colonel came roaring up to me and shouted, "You there, never mind reading, just sign and
move along!" I came to attention and politely said, "Sir, I always read a document before I sign it" The
Colonel looked as if he was having apoplexy and then he said loudly, "What is your name?" When I told
him he said, "I'll remember that name!"
For about twenty-five years after graduation (and more than thirty years after this incident) I had no
contact with Dr. Shrum. Then one night in Vancouver, when I was on the executive of the CIMM, Dr.
Shrum was our guest speaker and was at a small headtable gathering prior to the dinner. I went up to
introduce myself and he said, "Hold on -1 know you — your name is Parliament, J. Harvey Parliament!"
He really did remember my name!
Another incident took place at COTC camp in Vemon and was on a "no-names" basis ~ it just
happened. We were having P.T. in the frosty dawn with the whole battalion, including Colonel Shram, clad
in shorts and singlets. After push-ups and the other usual exertions, the genius directing the exercises
decided we would have a "wheelbarrow" race. This was between two-man teams consisting of one
"wheelbarrow" who ran on his hands and one pusher who held up the legs of the wheelbarrow and ran with
him. The object was to go as fast as possible without over-running the wheelbarrow and grinding his face
in the dirt.
The Colonel, who was not the most popular man in camp but who wanted to prove he was "one
of the boys", insisted on participating as a wheelbarrow and he drew me as his pusher. So at the starter's
"Go!" away we went with everyone cheering and yelling at me to go faster. Shortly after we started the
Colonel somehow got the idea that I was trying to overrun him. So he went faster and I went faster - with
him trying to keep ahead of me and with me trying to run him into the ground. Much to the
disappointment of the crowd he managed to reach the finish line still on his hands. And we came in second!
23 M.Y. Williams:  A  Portrait in Serenity
/. Harvey Parliament
Class of'45
All engineering students were required to take Geology I in their third year. The section on
historical geology and paleontology was given by Dr. M.Y. Williams, who was head of the Department of
Geology. Many of the engineers, especially the Mechanicals and Electricals, thought the course
unnecessary. "M.Y." was a very thorough but somewhat dry lecturer and quite a few found the subject
boring, so toward the end of the term a group decided to try to liven up the proceedings.
"M.Y.", who was a rather straightiaced and deeply religious old gendeman, always started his
lecture by pulling down a large rolled "Geologic Time Chart" which hung in front of the class and which he
constandy referred to as he spoke. The engineers obtained a very large, almost lifesize, picture of a beautiful
woman, entirely nude. Just before the last lecture they unrolled "M.Y.'"s chart, affixed the nude to it and
rolled up the chart again.
With the whole class in on the joke and hardly able to contain themselves, "M.Y." walked to the
front of the room and started his final lecture of the term. He said, "We have travelled through geologic
time, tracing the tree of life from the Cambrian to recent, through trilobites, dinosaurs and primates and
now we will discuss the highest form of life — Mankind." At this point he pulled down the chart exposing
the lovely nude to full view and continued without missing a beat or batting an eye, "of which this is an
excellent specimen."
There was dead silence for a few moments and then the whole class gave him a standing ovation.
An Encounter with Ira Dilworth
Sam Roddan
Class of '37
ha Dilworth taught at UBC from 1934-1938. At Harvard he had studied under Irving Babbitt and
was a pupil of George Lyman Kittredge. Ira Dilworth's textbook, Nineteenth Century Poetry, published in
1931 when he was principal at Victoria High School, was in use for many years in B.C. classrooms.
Ira Dilworth's great passion was the poetry of the Romantics and the music of Bach. His lectures
at UBC were masterpieces of literary orchestration, measured recitatives of the romantic spirit. As an
inspired conductor, Ira Dilworth, always clad in academic garb, guided us through the harmonics and
disciplines of the heart Nor did he ever despair if students such as I were often tone-deaf to the mystic
rhythms of the spheres.
When Ira Dilworth left university life in 1938 for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he took
with him the same enthusiasm and energy he displayed in the classroom. He carried on with his music, his
very private charities, his support and guidance to struggling artists, notably Emily Carr who called Ira
"Dear Eye" and "A Great Kindness". His standards of excellence in the arts made him an eloquent voice in
the development of radio across Canada.
One wintry morning in Montreal I noticed his familiar and portly figure, always a little jaunty, bustling
along St Catherine's Street I had not seen ha for many years. A war had intervened, and he was now head
of the CBC International Service. I still remember our exchange of greeting, the warmth and solicitude in
his voice:
"Look at you," he said. "You're all skin and bone. Tonight you must come to my place for supper.
And no excuses. Just be there at six."
Ira Dilworth's apartment was on Cotes des Neiges. It was comfortable and spacious. The walls
were covered with paintings, many of them by Emily Carr. The air was rich with the perfumes of exotic
curries. In the pantry he showed me his collection of spices and herbs, and in the oven, he proudly pointed
24 out the huge ham slowly turning on a spit From his kitchen window I could see the lights of the city
hanging over the streets like necklaces of silver.
As Ira busied himself with his culinary tasks, he was in a jovial mood and kept up a lively
discourse on the role of the ham in everyday life. Later, over his table, we joked about ham actors and ham
radio operators, Noah's second son, also known as Ham and Lamb's Dissertation Upon Roast Pig, and all of
this as only Ira at his best could do.
As the evening wore on, Ira spoke of his own daily tasks, reports he was writing, studies, the future of the
CBC and the International Service, decisions, often painful, that everyone must make who carries
commitments and responsibilities.
"And what about you?" Ira asked at last "You have much life experience, been around, through a
war. You're a survivor."
It's hard to recall the advice Ira gave that night to a young man trying to find his way in a great
city. In fact, it wasn't advice but mosdy a pointing out of the lay of the land, signposts, thoroughfares,
detours, crossroads, places he himself had been over. Later I remember Ira shaking my hand at his door and
saying goodbye.
'We all do what we must" he said. "Take care."
It was a long walk back to my room in the old YMCA at 1474 Drammond Street The wind
whipped through my thin coat but I walked briskly and with a certain jauntiness. Soon the darkness seemed
to lift and I could see more clearly the side roads, blind alleys, dead ends and the black ice on the beaten
paths far ahead
10 October. 1934:1 spent my two spare periods this morning memorizing my part for the
Players' Club try-out this afternoon, I found that there was somebody else (Don Munro,
future MJP. and Canadian ambassador to Turkey) whose partner had also dropped out.
Together we rehearsed the scene, a conversation between two men about to jump off a
pier, who discover that the one is married to, and the other jilted by, the same girl. A
couple of rehearsals indicated that I didn't know my part very well and I swotted it up
desperately. Finally we went on stage and, by the grace of Allah, I didn't forget my lines.
Leaves From an Underpaduate's Diarv
Philip Akrigg
26 SCM - Campus Beginnings
Mildred (Osterhout) Farhni
Class of'24
I dig down into the catacombs of my mind and what do I find about UBC in the twenties? An
outreach into the problems of a growing, changing society coming out of the pioneering days to an
increasingly complex society. Groups centered in specific issues came together to solve them ~ and we had
every confidence that we could solve them in our time.
Coming from a family life connected with the church, I gravitated towards those interested in
religious issues and found myself in the YWCA where there were congenial people. However, I found more
challenge in the International Club and the beginnings of a student socialist movement Some looked for
economic solutions and some turned to the political arena
When the YW's joined to become the Student Christian Movement, many of us carried with us our
concerns and what we thought were solutions into the new movement, which soon became known as a
radical movement challenging all the rigidities of more conservative organizations. I found it stimulating
and exciting and was able to slough off some of the old restraints.
Some of our best discussions took place in weekend or holiday gatherings when we met at places
such as Copper Cove, Horseshoe Bay and Deep Cove. There in informal discussions where we faced the
problems of the world, we exchanged ideas of possible solutions which, however, did not cause the old
world to shatter. Memories of long walks and swims come back and special incidents such as shoving Jerry
Hundal into deep water when we did not know he could not swim and having to haul him out Then there
was the breath-taking moments when we discovered the hummingbird's nest filled with tiny birdlets.
The inspiration of travelling secretaries and guests was long lasting and I remember especially the
visits of Harry Avison, Gertrude Rutherford, Murray Brooks and Ernie Clark. Even though many names are
gone, the impact remains.
I attended at least one national conference in the area of the Muskoka Lakes, and remember getting
drowsy over some of the speeches but I'll always remember the departure when from the back of the boat
someone tossed Larry Mackenzie's hat into the air... and it never came back to the deck.
Through the SCM, I became interested in the Sharman Seminars and was fortunate enough to
attend two, one in Ontario and one at Qualicum Beach. Of all the insights into the way of Troth and Love,
Dr. Sharman's incisive questioning was the most challenging and provided directives for "The Good Life"...
which I've been trying more - or considerably less — successfully to follow since.
27 The First Gymnasium
/. Ross Tolmie
Class of'29
Probably the most interesting episode in UBC's first four years at Point Grey was the financing
and building of the first gymnasium on the campus.
This project was the first, and became the prototype of several other student-financed projects built
on the campus. Sherwood Lett was the originator of the idea and supervised the incorporation of the student
body and the raising of the first loan of $60,000 secured by a commitment from each student of the
refundable portion of his Caution Money. This refundable portion of Caution Money amounted to an
"income" of about $13,000 per year (2,000 students times $10 Caution Money minus the average deduction
by the University from each student's Caution Money equals $6.50). Since the interest in those days was at
the exorbitant rate of 6% per year (6% times $60,000 equals $3,600) the refundable Caution Money was
more than double the interest expense and left a sizable amount available for paying off the debt The
bonded indebtedness was paid off within ten years, as I recall. Of course the student body was increasing
rapidly in those days and by 1939 it had grown to about 4,500 students.
As a method of financing highly desirable student projects, this scheme proved very useful over
succeeding years and was adapted to the needs of the second gymnasium, the stadium, and I believe the
Brock Memorial.
Another milestone in UBC Alumni activities that I remember was in the Cariboo Gold Rush of
1933. This was the second Cariboo Gold Rush, the first one having occurred in 1869. The 1933 Cariboo
Gold Rush came in the depths of the Great Depression. At least 1,000 UBC students, many of them being
unemployed Mining graduates, but some even being unemployed lawyers, like Alfie Watts and myself, and
unemployed agronomists like Roger Odium, found their way up to Barkerville and Stanley in the depths of
the winter of January 1933. Most of them lived off the land eating moose meat and an occasional partridge,
but few found actual gold in the streams. A considerable number found employment underground in such
lode mines as the Cariboo Gold Quartz and Island Mountain. None were officially recorded as boodeggers
but at least three were licensed merchants operating under the name of the Lightning Creek General Store.
By October 1933, the UBC grads in the Cariboo felt it was time to celebrate their survival from
starvation and they organized a UBC Homecoming. Word was sent out to all grads up and down the Cariboo
Road and by Saturday evening the grads started to arrive on the backs of trucks or as hitchhikers in various
types of cars. At least seventy-five turned up at the Lightning Creek General Store in Stanley and paid $5
down (in cash or gold dust). This entitied them to three drinks of overproof rum and a bang-up Cariboo
dinner at Hanafin's Hotel. After that the entertainment was strictly casual and spontaneous, but a
considerable portion of the party reached Barkerville (fourteen miles away) and proceeded to demonstrate to
the local dancers what they had learned through four years at UBC.
28 The SCM at UBC
Clare (Brown) Buckland
Class of'35
The Student Christian Movement in the early thirties was a tiny group with an unsuspected
energy. Some of their members I knew through other organizations like Phrateres and the Letters Club, and
I only went to one program in the spring of my graduating year. But that one program set in motion a
domino effect that was to change the course of my life. It was a study seminar on "The Records of the Life
of Jesus", following the method of Henry Burton Sharman. It was led by Bob McMaster. The questions he
raised for our response were startling, and I decided to attend the annual Spring Camp at Gambier Island in
There were two leaders at the 1938 Camp who dropped bombshells into the lap of a conventional
middle-class daughter well shielded in those pre-TV days from major social issues. Watson Thompson, who
later became beloved of engineering students for his lively lectures in English literature, shared his firsthand
experiences of cooperative communities. And Allan Hunter, a Congregational minister from Hollywood,
friend of Kagawa and Gandhi, spoke at the '36 Camp of Christian pacifism, socialism, and racial issues.
Never underestimate the potency of persons who live their philosophy! I learned to question readymade
"solutions" and limited points of view. Brief though the contacts, I've never been the same since.
Memories  of the  SCM,  1927-1933
Katharine Hockxn
Class of'31
When I applied for the class of 1931 at UBC, the registration form included a listing of the
religious clubs and activities. My mother was with me, and remembering her own participation in the
YWCA at Mount Allison in the class of '08, encouraged me to indicate interest in the Student Christian
Movement. When I actually got to a meeting, it was a bit of a shock to find Underwoods, Osterhouts, and
their contemporaries in the postwar mood of keeping a considerable distance from anything traditional or
"churchy". And they were a powerhouse of intellectual competence that made me feel most ignorant and
juvenile! But Molly Phillips, then Molly Ricketts, took the freshettes under her wing and with considerable
native managerial skill kept us involved, seeing that we were included and participating, especially if it were
a gathering at her parents' home, where we were always most welcome! As time went on, the new
generations moved more closely to acceptance of habitual church activities, for there was a gradual shift to
young people with assumed church loyalty, yet being ready and eager for adventurous thinking and
exploration of new directions. Fundamental to the gradual development oi what eventually proved for me, to
be a grounding community, were several factors.
We had our lunches each day in the SCM room on the second floor of the old Auditorium
building. Most of us could not afford the Cafeteria and this was a congenial place to meet folk, to catch up
on news and to keep informed of activities. Sometimes there was an interesting visitor with a chance for
easy conversation. This was also where the study groups met and all us would be part of a "Records Group"
using the outlines in H.B. Sharman's little green book, Studies of the Life of Jesus. It proved a framework
for us to come to grips freely with the synoptic records, mosdy from Mark. I remember this as a process of
active doubt and criticism that kept throwing out the miracles of seemingly obscure passages until there
was very little left, but eventually leading to more discussion and gradually finding new meaning in the
discarded sections, and ending with the original record fairly intact!
There were also many weekends when we went off camping to Deep Cove, or some other facility
on the West Arm. These were always fun times when we did our own catering and the shared activities
meant deepened friendships and often new ideas as the national network of the SCM enabled us to meet with
significant visitors travelling in Canada. I remember one camp when seven carried the name of George. This
29 was too good a chance for "George to do the dishes"! People who broadened our perspectives included Walter
Kotchnig of World University Service, Mrs. Induk Pak Kim, Christian patriot from Korea, Dr. Shimizu of
the Japanese community in Vancouver, R.B.Y. Scott from the theological college, and another visitor who,
around a fireplace with brighdy burning logs, enchanted us with tales from the Old Testament, the Bible
stories, reconstituted against the sociological details of their scholarship - great fun and memorable! SCM
national staff were always welcome and seemed to stimulate new interests and concerns in their pattern of
regular visits: Murray Brooks, Gertrude Rutherford and occasionally Harry Avison, then based in Winnipeg
as Western Secretary. On weekends there were always late evening post-discussion hikes, when a few
romances were nurtured. Yet the crowd was basically an open one and the spirit was one of inclusion and
making new people feel they belonged.
Spring Camp provided a longer period to structure well thought-out programs with several small
interest groups under competent resource leadership. It was fairly normal to attract 150 students in the May
Day weekend just after exams were over. One year Dr. Alex Kerr, later President of Dalhousie University,
was at the spring event ~ my friends found me most indecisive about preferred choice of activity! I was
waffling until I knew where Dr. Kerr would be — eventually we had a deliriously exciting small group who
explored the bay in a rowboat with this "hero" of the occasion! I remember also people like Dr. MacNeill of
First Baptist Church and Professors Topping and Carrothers who often responded to our invitations to share
their wisdom and time with us. We were still in the era of inviting hostesses or "chaperones", generally one
of our own mothers, who came to be really valued senior friends. Mrs. Alexander Kerr (no relation to the
minister) moved with her husband to Vancouver from Saskatchewan, and we soon adopted her having
learned of her interest in the movement at U. of S. Her home was great in its hospitality and generosity.
Each May Day there were firm traditions to follow. The May Queen was crowned! This was always one of
the men, who was chosen secredy, after which two other lads would be recruited to present themselves
appropriately garbed as attendants who would "robe" and duly "crown" the unsuspecting royalty for the day.
(<My album shows Gaundry Phillips, Abe Whitely, etc. in this role.) And on the launch trip back to the
city the leftover food was auctioned off for some good cause and we would take delight in paying absurd
sums for a loaf of bread or a surplus can of vegetables! Tom How was virtuoso in auctioneering!
There were also parties, often "Cootie Parties", which were riotous fun. This was simply playing
in couples and competing with other couples as at a bridge tournament (The throw of the dice indicated
what could be drawn, and there had to be a throw for every part of the anatomy. "One" got the body started
so that head - "Two" ~ could be added, or legs (8 of these) for "Fours". The tail was for a "Six". Eyes (2)
needed the "Three" and feelers (five of them) were authorized by a throw of "Five".) The first couple to
complete the insect would call "cootie" and move up, starting the changing of places with others making
way and moving down. There were also strawberry socials, and hikes to Grouse Mountain, Lynn Valley and
Capilano, and I recollect one lovely boat trip to the North Arm. Some summers, those of us in town played
tennis together.
Sunday mornings most of us would accommodate to fanuly patterns and attend the family church.
But on Sunday evening we would follow our current charismatic figures together and occasionally have a bit
more discussion following. The SCM group was certainly our homebase referrent!
Campus and B.C. issues also engaged us. There was generally an annual money concern for
student relief somewhere in the postwar era. One year we created little wool dolls — "golliwogs" — by the
hundreds and sold them in the quad, with strings of these colorful lapel decorations in lieu of tags,
decorating a huge approximation of the nursery rhyme's Old Woman's Shoe — easily moved as it was
mounted on roller skates. We were concerned about oriental immigration and made special the criticism of
the abuses in Canadian immigration policy which affected East Indians, Japanese and Chinese so negatively.
Then there was the issue of the COTC (Canadian Officers' Training Corps). We called an Alma Mater
meeting in the Auditorium, where Tommy Barnett, Andy Broach and one or two others spoke most
effectively. The debate carried on right through the first afternoon classes, which no one attended, ending
with a student protest which kept the ROTC off campus for a period of time. (Pacifism was the mode until
1939 when the visit of Suzanne de Deitrich and Julia Matouskeva challenged us at National with the
necessity to choose between "war and injustice" rather than between "pacifism and fighting".)
Each year of my time at UBC, the SCM set up a lecture series involving Vancouver leaders,
ministers and UBC professors. There was always a coordinating theme and often these were significant
enough to attract faculty members as well as a student audience. We publicized these through the college
30 paper, but also most effectively by printing the schedule of lectures on handy blotters which were carried for
convenience in our note taking. We did get publicity this way as well as recruiting a number of new
members, as activities would always be announced on these occasions. These various series did provide a
generally appreciated service to the campus.
It is easy to see that there was a good deal of organization involved, so we needed an active and
fairly large executive. The temper of the time was that we were a student group and responsible for our own
program. We carried on an annual financial campaign which always was done through personal solicitation
as we would call on sympathetic or hopefully sympathetic faculty and friends. The funds would help
support national as well as carrying the support of local activities, which were not really that expensive.
Often a student who was nervous about a financial task would discover a deepened commitment to the SCM
and new friends in faculty. We would have hooted at the idea that there should be a paid SCM secretary.
Tuum Est in practice. We also made our own contributions, but not as membership fees, for there was no
desire to "define membership" or sign on a line of rigid commitment. It was the Student Christian
Movement — fluid and creative, and above all not confining or binding!
An especially significant event was that of the Pacific Area Conference of 1931, held at the end of
the spring term at Bowen Island. This was really initiated as a WSCF project for which the Canadian SCM
took the organizing responsibility. We did not have funds to bring as many as would have been ideal across
the Pacific, but with overseas students studying in North America, most countries were represented. There
was a stimulating group from New Zealand who inspired us with their economic witness. They as a group
lived at the financial level of the national average for New Zealand, with the surplus from their earnings as
intellectuals being assigned to an agreed upon poverty or justice concern. They had a careful rationale
regarding fees for children's education or medical costs, which were always open to the collective
assessment. They dressed most simply and were for me a first in meeting people who shared in community
on the basis of clear Christian obedience. They were actually also a group of teachers on scholarship to New
York Teachers' College which meant they were in our area. We persuaded them to wait for the conference,
and during the delay one or two happened to wander into one of the Amy Semple Macpherson tabernacles
on Kingsway and experienced a conversion, which had an interesting impact on our pre-conference
strawberry party one night at the Muirheads, and also later at the conference, when divine guidance was
promised regarding some of the economic problems of this time.
Dr. T.Z. Koo, the great representative of China during this period, was present with his long
Chinese gown and haunting flute. Gertrude Rutherford had responsibihty for this venture, and carried the
major correspondence and early coordination from the Toronto office, but made several preparatory visits,
including one which took the planning committee to Bowen Island to negotiate with the hotel there for
accommodation. I was deeply involved as President of the SCM that year. (Tommy Barnett became ill so
the vice moved up, much to my surprise!) I remember that at the hotel Gertrude obviously mentioned her
appreciation of fish, so that for a very tasty lunch we were served freshly caught salmon from the gulf. I
was duly impressed with this somewhat brazen and obvious finesse. Gertrude's mother died just as the
conference was about to convene, so Harry Avison picked up the organizational threads. There was a lot to
be done and one afternoon we were hurrying to catch a streetcar which streaked off without us. Harry's
philosophical response was helpfully relaxing - "That is the car before ours!" It was a great conference,
with a long report which we later put together.
Mention should also be made of two other conferences — the Jasper Conference of 1929 for the
students of the western area. It was great to meet Albertans like Dwight Williams, Margaret Kinney, and
Connie Osterhout as she became. (In the Canadian Student of that fall a tribute I had made at Jasper under
the tide "What the SCM means to me?" was published if I remember righdy.
Then in December of 1931, Bob MacMaster and I travelled by tourist car via Edmonton, and east
to attend the Student Volunteer Convention in Buffalo. We had a whole suitcase of food which could be
cooked on the coke stove provided in the tourist car kitchens of that time. Gradually others joined us and by
the time we got to Toronto it was almost a convention car — what an exciting time for me, who had
yearned to be able to attend the SCM National Council each year, but never had the money. Buffalo's theme
song was "Once to every man and nation..." and a young doctor home on first furlough from China gave
the speech with the greatest impact — one Walter Judd, who now also has become a member of the China
Lobby - and regrettably reactionary!
31 Perhaps one anecdote about Gertrude should be included, though rightfully it should be placed near
the beginning of this personal story, for it occurred in 1927 just before I first met Gertrude at Spring Camp
of that year. As a member of the national staff of the SCM, Gertrude would speak of herself then as very
critical of and distant from the church. She attended the WSCF Conference at Tamparam, Madras in India.
Also present at Tamparam was Juliette Cericotte, the first black woman to be appointed as a
YWCA secretary in the southern states of the USA. When she visited the white colleges she would be fed
in the kitchen and then ushered in for her after-dinner speech. In India she was scheduled to address the
gathering and as she anticipated this opportunity it was tempting to exploit an opportunity to let anger and
bitterness spill over. Instead she spoke in a temper of reconciliation - a speech which proved to be most
influential in its impact on Gertrude who returned to Canada with new perspectives on the church and
loyalty to it for the rest of her life.
Recollections of the  SCM:   1928-33
Mary (Sadler) Kelly
Class of'32
In 1928 when I came alone to UBC from a small interior town, because of my background I
looked for friends and fellowship in a church-related group. I found my way to Auditorium 312 which
became a focus for my life at the University. Noon hour discussions, the studies, such as "Jesus in the
Records", and the noon hour lecture series played an important part in my development
Camping was an essential part of our program. The YWCA camp at Copper Cove witnessed many
Thanksgiving retreats. Leaders such as Murray Brooks, Gertrude Rutherford, Harry Avison and others shared
our often damp but enthusiastic activities. Worship at the beach looking up Howe Sound was a new and
uplifting experience. The singing of spirituals, rounds and sea chanties before the fireplace was an evening
highlight. Working together on programs and sharing household tasks engendered many friendships.
Postexam spring camp was a week of relaxation and challenge. The Western Conference at Jasper
in 1930 extended my contacts and horizons.
SCM continued in our graduate years. In the summer of 1936 five of us drove to attend a Western
Canada conference at Koolaree on Kootenay Lake.
The inspiration received, the directions taken, the friendships made, have lasted over the years.
Recollections  of the  SCM:   1926-31
Eric Kelly
Class of'30
When I attended UBC from 1926 to 1931 the SCM did not have a large membership, but it was a
most lively, vigorous and dynamic organization. An able group of senior students furnished leadership on
campus, and the national office from time to time sent out stimulating personalities such as Murray
Brooks, Gertrude Rutherford and Harry Avison to encourage us. Leaders from the World Student Federation
often visited us.
In fellowship with students eager to share ideas about religion and life, to test their faith, to
question beliefs and to seek new values, our minds were stretched and our mental horizons were widened.
Through study groups, lecture series, weekend camps, the week long postexam spring camp and
international conferences, we experienced growth in our thinking and gained maturity.
I have no hesitation in stating that my SCM experience added as much to my education as did my
professors and text books. Certainly the fellowship of shared experiences enriched my university days - the
parties, sing songs, hikes, skating parties, camping. Friendships started over fifty years ago still hold for
many of us. And I did meet Mary, my wife, in the SCM circle.
32 Recollections  of the  SCM:   1936-39
Frances (Montgomery) Tillman
Class of'39
They were the pre-war and war years, when students were aware that the world was in upheaval. In
the Student Christian Movement (SCM) office in the Old Auditorium building, above the Ubyssey, there
were many heated discussions pro and con pacifism and serving in the armed forces. The students in the
COTC marched and practised not far from that comer office, and some SCMers were avowed pacifists.
What should a Christian student do?
One of the keys to the loyalty and enthusiasm of students to the SCM was the fact that there was a
PLACE — a room ~ where one could go at almost any time of the day or night, to discuss and argue. The
SCM secretary ~ in those days either Bob McMaster or Bob Tillman ~ would aid and abet both sides!
Various profs, ministers, political leaders and student leaders gave their time and shared their knowledge so
students of every stripe could stretch their minds beyond their academic subjects. Somehow, the SCM
seemed to be the link between the campus and the real world "out there" ~ we tried to see the importance of
faith related to action. It enabled many students for the first time in their lives to struggle with and question
their beliefs.
At spring and fall camps, those struggles and questions were spurred on by leaders from all walks
of life, and from Canada, USA and overseas. WSCF staff took part often and those student leaders brought
us a much stronger sense of the reality of war and what it meant to student living in areas of combat as well
as students who were in the forces.
Music was a real part of camp life and for many of us, singing meant involvement in the
movement. Folk songs gave us a glimpse into other cultures and there were many opportunities to
compose our own SCM ditties! SCM dances were a part of campus life and this became a way of getting to
know students from different cultural and racial backgrounds. The Japanese students took an active part in
all SCM activities and East Indian and other overseas students found a place to feel at home. We were all a
part of the SCM family. Equality of women and men was taken for granted - though we did not think
about sexist language in those far off days!
There was morning worship in the SCM office every day and on most noon hours there were
discussion groups - everything from sex, politics, religion to Bible study. We related to the national SCM
through yearly council meetings and conferences. At the Winnipeg National Conference in 1937, where
Reinhold Niebuhr was a featured speaker, the national organization of the SCM stimulated the founding of
the National Union of Canadian University Students. Beverly Oaten, SCM general secretary, the chief
organizer of that meeting, travelled the country seeing over ten active local SCM units and was
instrumental in bringing outstanding leaders from Canada and around the world to the UBC campus. Watson
Thompson, an early pioneer in adult education, was a strong influence in those years, giving leadership in
small groups and tuning us in to what were to become the sensitivity training groups of the Forties and
Student names like Ted Scott, the Sibley family, Sheila Hutchinson, Frank McNair, Ernie Bishop,
Reg Wilson, Clare Brown, Fro Snyder, come to mind. With those come "our mentors" from the older
generation of SCMers — a link for us between present and past Geoff Smith, Kay Farquhar, Gerry Hundal,
Bob McKenzie, Eric and Mary Kelly, Mildred Osterhout, Gerry Sutherland, Art Wirick and many others.
These were "Friends of the SCM" and gave financial and moral support and were often a part of camps and
dances — and gave leadership in discussion groups.
The ecumenical thrust was an important part of our SCM student education. For the first time the
ISCF, the SCM and the Newman Club at UBC got together to dialogue about questions of faith and
theology. This made a deep impression on many of us who were denominationally oriented, and now we
realize that the WSCF was the forerunner and the initiator of the present World Council of Churches and
that we were a part of that whole movement.
33 Three events which stand out in my mind, events which would not have touched me apart from the
SCM: protesting the export of scrap iron to Japan; carrying food to the strikers at the Vancouver post
office; and taking part in the National Council at Couchiching, a worship service on the day that
Chamberlain was to visit Hider to try to prevent World War II. The SCM for me was an expanding of the
horizons of mind and heart, far beyond the fact that I graduated with a BA!
An SCM Grad News Sheet for 1943
Jean (Fraser) Crawley
Class of'35
February 1943
Bob McKenzie's "Flight to the East" and back again was the means for most of us regaining hope
that all of Canada was not asleep, except for the extreme west, of course. Bob himself was very hopeful that
promising signs of life would in the very near future spring out into the light. He suggested we encourage
these signs by supporting by letter progressive radio programs such as the Farm Radio Forum, the Labour
Radio Forum, Elmore Philpott and Watson Thompson. As Bob puts it: "At least the poor guy who stuck
out his neck to put on such a program will hear of your praise, and gain courage to try it again." That is
something you out-of-towners can do too. CBC, if it gets support, can become the people's radio. Bob's
book suggestions were:
"Conditions of Peace" Car
"Inside Quebec" FCSO pamphlet
We hope to hear Bob again this spring in a panel on Quebec.
Do we fully realize that no grad movement can be strong if the under grad movement falters?
Conditions on the campus now are quite uninspiring, and we could do much to bolster their stamina with
good financial support. This idea comes from Teja Hundal, our treasurer. We hope to give a $300.00
contribution to the under grad movement. Don't let the many other calls squeeze out this vital need.
We deeply regret the passing of Rev. Robert Herbison, father of Mary, Bob and Hugh. Many
SCMers will remember meeting in his home. Also the sudden death of Rev. George Pringle was a great
shock to all of us. We note that a memorial bursary fund has been opened in his memory.
Don Faris, a former Toronto SCMer, is in Vancouver, and will speak at our February meeting on
"Rural Reconstruction in China" — illustrated by moving pictures. We need to know a lot more of the
people of China. The date is February 27, at the home ofJimmie and Betty Warr, 737 East 14th. Those of
us who live on the west side will be given a second chance to prove that we don't fail on attendance when
the meeting address is on the east side of town. Westerners were noticeable by their absence at the last
meeting. The Kipling ballad doesn't apply to us! Tea and sugar - remember?
Comments from you out-of-towners would be much appreciated. I often wonder if you worry over
us as we worry over you.
34 A Day in the Life of the Literary Forum
Kae (Farquhar) McKenzie
Class of'37
In my undergraduate years there were two forums at UBC. They were the Parliamentary Forum and
the Literary Forum. The former was a prestigious organization which met in Arts 100 in the evenings to
discuss or debate the issues of our times. Even more important was the fact that it had exclusive rights to
represent UBC in inter-university debates. These were impressive affairs when young men in black tie
debated world issues in the gracious Oak Room of the old Hotel Vancouver before distinguished audiences. I
remember being present on two occasions when UBC debated teams from Oxford and Stanford. The son of
Will Rogers was a member of the Stanford team.
In 1936-37, the Literary Forum provided an opportunity for women students to express themselves
on current issues. Some twelve to twenty of us gathered monthly at noon in a small lecture room in the
Arts building to have our say. The late Dr. Sylvia Thrupp was our faculty advisor.
Early in 1937 a challenge was received by UBC for a debate between a women's team representing
the University of Washington and one representing UBC. Much to our astonishment this challenge was
referred to the Literary Forum. As far as we knew no woman student had ever participated in an inter-
university debate. We accepted with alacrity.
Our challengers immediately sent us a fist of topics. These were quite remarkable as they seemed
to be based on the assumption that Canada was a British colony. However, we were not deterred and selected
the topic, "Resolved that the United States of America is a greater force for world peace than Great Britain."
The University of Washington chose the affirmative. We were delighted to take on the negative.
Mary Rendell and I were selected to represent UBC. February 29, which happened to be Sadie Hawkins Day,
was the date. Since it did not occur to us that any but us would be interested in our big event, we selected
Arts 100 as the place and twelve noon as the time. An announcement was sent out to the Ubyssey. Dr.
Thrupp agreed to recruit the judges and chair the meeting. Mary and I headed for the library.
The big day arrived and with it, our opponents. They seemed sophisticated, wise and intimidating.
We gave them a tour of the UBC campus. In those days it did not take very long. However, during that
time there were perhaps two things worth noting. I commented to one member of the visiting team that I
was very nervous about the debate before I met them. Now, I said, I was really scared. Her response was
heartwarming. She graciously admitted that she had been quite confident until meeting me. Now, she too
was scared.
The other happening was that a telegram from the University of Washington was delivered to
them. I looked over a shoulder and read: BE SURE YOU TWIST THAT LIONS TAIL STOP GOOD
Too soon we arrived at Arts 100. Much to our amazement and shock, the room was packed. To our
surprise, the audience even included members of the Parliamentary Forum. It was standing room only. The
Chair, the judges and the debaters were soon in their places. The door closed. Dr. Thrupp brought the
meeting to order. This was no small task for the students had to greet friends, chat and eat their lunches.
Silence was finally achieved.
Dr. Thrupp then began to welcome our guests when suddenly the door burst open and the late
Professor, J. Friend Day, Faculty Advisor to the Parliamentary Forum, strode in, gown aflutter. It had not
occurred to us that anyone associated with the Parliamentary Forum would be interested in a debate between
women students, and we had not invited Professor Day to take part However he seized a chair and seated
himself on the platform. The debate got underway.
I have no recollection of anything that was said, nor do I remember the generous applause and that
the judges declared the University of British Columbia the winner.
Dr. Thrupp rose to close the proceedings. Once again Professor Day interrupted. He presented
detailed comments on the good and bad points of each debater's performance, including, much to our
embarrassment, the performance of our guests. This is not to say his criticism was without merit.
During the course of his remarks he cautioned me that sarcasm could be a gift, but only if used
with care. I have always remembered that advice. Finally, Dr. Thrupp was able to close the meeting with
gracious thanks to all.
35 That evening Mary Rendell entertained our guests, friends and escorts at a lovely dinner party at her
home. Later all of us attended the Sadie Hawkins Ball in the Hotel Vancouver. During the evening I was
with our guests when they sent a wire to their friends in Seatde. Their wire said: WE TWISTED THAT
So ended that day in the life of the Literary Forum.
The Social Sciences Club -- A Study in Sex and Censorship
Samuel Leonard Simpson
Class of'28
There was one episode in my time in which I played a small part, and it is worth relating. It reveals a
bit of the student mind of the day, and even that of the august ones who presided over us. This Social
Science Club which I, along with Jack, had joined, was on the scruffy and insignificant side. About twelve
of us used to meet in a small classroom, where we had long and windy discussions about past and future
social revolutions, where we batted back and forth our half-baked ideas of how to run things properly and
learned much more from books than from living. We put up notices around the campus about our meetings
but no one apart from ourselves ever came. We were slowly sinking into the slough of boredom and
In these doldrums someone suddenly sprang to life. "Why don't we organize a debate on some
controversial subject? And what better subject than Birth Control?" In the excited chatter that followed this
brainwave, we decided to ask Dr. Lyle Telford, who was a vocal advocate of the subject, to be one of the
speakers. This idea posed no problem. Dr. Lyle was a prominent Vancouver physician/politician, a
propounder of socialistic and other advanced views, who would speak out on anything at the drop of a hat.
But who to get to oppose him? We agreed that to maintain a high moral tone it should be a local
minister. And who would find the minister? We drew straws for this like conspiring revolutionaries. The
choice for this difficult task fell on unhappy me. I started out to find a minister. The first two or three I
approached turned me down cold. They would as soon appear on a platform with the Devil, as be seen on it
with the formidable Doctor.
I finally called on one minister, the Rev. A.H. Sovereign. A gracious and kindly man, he received
me in his study, and listened carefully to our proposal. No, he would not debate with the Doctor on the
same platform, but he would agree to speak on the subject on different days. Much elated, I reported back.
Dr. Telford, of course, was more than willing, so we set up a schedule. Rev. Sovereign to speak first the
Doctor a week later.
We posted up our notices, a bit lurid perhaps, announcing the imminent contest We arranged to
hold the meeting in our usual small classroom, then we settled down nervously to see if anyone would
At the appointed day and hour students of both sexes suddenly appeared from all over the campus,
all heading toward our meeting. We were overwhelmed. We had to move the meeting to the largest
classroom on the campus. The Rev. A.H. Sovereign turned out to be a witty and able speaker and a week
later the Doctor came on in full force, with an even larger audience. Our small club was rising to
prominence in the campus world.
About then the daily papers realized that here was a juicy item indeed. Big headlines hit the front
pages of both city papers - FREE LOVE COMES TO CAMPUS and much more of the same. The
members of our small club received a summons to appear before the Board of Governors. We trooped in
before an array of old boys, all of us much perturbed with visions of approaching expulsion. I remember
one of the Governors harangued us gently. He intimated that our activities, however laudable, were
attracting unfavorable publicity which could, God forbid, make it difficult to raise funds for our University.
We humbly agreed to desist, and thus the Social Sciences Club once again sank down to the lower levels of
36 The Players' Club As I Knew It
Sydney Risk
Class of '30
One day recendy I stood near the Cairn on the Main Mall of the UBC campus trying to see it as it
all was back in the autumn of 1926 when I entered the University as a freshman. The sea, the mountains,
Point Atkinson, were still there to the north. Close by on one side was the Library, although the original
centre block was now flanked by two large wings. There also was the Science building, now known, I
believe, as the Chemistry building. It and the Library were the only two so-called permanent structures in
1926. On the opposite side of the Mall were the "semi-permanents" designed for a life of only forty years ~
the Arts, Aggie, Applied Science and Administration buildings and, of course, the Auditorium. Nearly sixty
years later they are still there.
I turned to look southward across University Boulevard at what used to be "the farm" with only
two or three large bams on its wide open spaces. Except for the Aggies scarcely anyone ever went there.
Now the farm is elsewhere and the area is covered with relatively new large structures, few of which I could
From the Mall I crossed down to the "quad" flanked by the Arts building on one side and the
Auditorium on the other, with the Cafeteria (the Caf) in the basement, the bookstore in cramped quarters off
the lobby, and with the other semi-permanents close by, the quad was the campus centre of gravity. Nearly
everyone crossed the quad several times a day, stopping to look at the long notice board which ran down the
In the far distance were the two theological colleges - Union and Anglican — then the only places
where out-of-town students could obtain on-campus living accommodation.
Coming from a small city high school of about 300 students to UBC with its several buildings
and more than 2,000 students, I felt the University to be a bewildering, overwhelming institution. But as
that first year progressed and one began to recognize the same faces in the quad and the Caf, this institution
began to diminish in size and complexity.
In high school I had belonged to the Drama Club and had been bitten by the bug. So in coming to
UBC, my major goal was to become a member of the prestigious Players' Club. My father was more
concerned with my academic education and in deference to his wishes I took a first-year course in
Economics. Because of curriculum regulations I was also obliged to take Mathematics and one science
course. Chemistry and Physics were definitely out and so I opted for Biology, which I had been told was a
"pipe" course. It may have been, but Biology and Economics nearly flunked me out that first Christmas.
The Players' Club was founded in 1916 by Professor F.G.C. (Freddie) Wood. It had a restricted
membership of sixty and at the beginning of each fall term auditions were held for the few available
vacancies. Each November the club staged a bill of one-act plays. These were known as the Christmas
plays. Parts in them were open only to the new members and to those who had not appeared previously in a
Spring Play.
The Spring Play, the culminating effort of the year, was staged in March, usually with one or two
try-out performances in Vancouver. In May, after the final exams, the play would go on tour visiting many
B.C. towns where the appearance of the Players' Club was looked forward to as an annual event
So in September 1926 I was accepted as a member of the Players' Club. Then I succeeded in
obtaining a rather good bravura part in the Christmas plays - a part that could trap an enthusiastic but
inexperienced young actor into horrible over-playing. Being determined to have everyone aware of my
unquestionable talent, I nearly fell into the trap. But fortunately, Freddie was directing the play and he held
me firmly in check. It was my first lesson in self-discipline in the theatre. Over the next few years Freddie
taught me more about acting, stage management and directing than any other single person.
The Spring Play for 1927 was The Romantic Young Lady, a gende comedy translated from the
Spanish. Of course I auditioned for a part My chief competitor was David Brock and he got the role with
myself as understudy, and I was given more menial backstage duties which would, however, not take me on
tour. The day before the opening at the Auditorium, Freddie summoned me to his office. Norman Clarke,
who played the small part of the buder, had fallen victim to German measles. There was no understudy.
Could I get the part up in twenty-four hours? You may be sure I could! And I played the four Vancouver
37 performances. Long before the tour in May Norman had fully recovered and he resumed his role. From
beginning to end Dave Brock remained remarkably healthy. So when final exams were over I got a job
washing dishes in the galley of a CPR Alaska cruise ship. As a job, I felt it was somewhat beneath my
talents, but I had little choice.
The Spring Play for 1928 was Polly With a Past, a bright American comedy which proved to be a
great popular success. In Vancouver and on tour it played for a total of twenty-eight performances, a record
for the Players' Club which I believe still stands. In the cast were Hope Leeming, Alfie Evans, John
Billings, Erik North, Edeen Griffin, Frances Medley and others whose names I cannot now recall.
I played "Stiks" the gardener, another juicy role which I had to be careful not to "milk". I wore an
untidy red wig and to match this, the make-up department gave me a red stubble over most of my face. To
achieve this, red crepe hair was cut into fine pieces much as the barber leaves down your back. Then spirit
gum was smeared liberally onto my face and neck and handfuls of the clippings were slapped onto the spirit
gum. The effect was perfect but the effort to remove this make-up was never completely successful, and
after each performance I spent a tortured night itching and scratching. It almost cured me of wanting to be
an actor.
For health reasons Freddie took leave of absence from the Club for the academic year 1928-29, and
Mrs. Anne Ferguson, a well-known speech teacher, was appointed director for the 1929 Spring Play. This
was another light American comedy, Rollo's Wild Oats. Alfie Evans in the lead and I in another major role
had a couple of show-off parts and I am afraid we played them to the hilt Sweet and gende Mrs. Ferguson
couldn't control the two hams in the way Freddie would have done.
It was in this year that I was somehow elected to membership in the Letters Club, of which
Professor Thorlief Larsen was the faculty member. The members were chiefly English honours students and
although I was majoring in English, I was a very average student. I was taking only those courses which
related to theatre and drama: Mr. Larsen's English 10 on the Greek dramas, Dr. Sedgewick's English 9,
which could be taken for two consecutive years, Freddie's English 11 on the history of the modem theatre,
and English 7, his playwriting course. I carefully avoided the more esoteric courses such as those on the
modem novel and poetry in general.
Letters Club members were required to prepare and to read papers to fellow members. The subjects
of these papers were sometimes beyond me and I was frequendy out of my depth in the discussions which
followed. When it became my turn to present a paper, I chose as my subject Gordon Craig, who in the early
years of this century revolutionized British scene design and stage production. It was not exacdy a literary
topic and I am sure that until then the Letters Club had never heard of Gordon Craig. However, the
members listened with polite interest and curiosity. As a topic it was probably no more than they expected
from a member of the Players' Club.
Amongst the lower orders of the students, the Players' Club was sometimes accused of social
snobbishness. If this was valid then the Letters Club could be charged with intellectual elitism. However, I
made several good friends in the Letters Club and I have always felt honored to have belonged to that august
little coterie.
For the Spring Play of 1930, Freddie and the Advisory Board chose Friend Hannah, a romantic
historical drama which revolved around the love affair between the Prince of Wales, later George LTJ of
England, and a young Quaker girl. These roles were played by John Coleman and Sheila Tisdall. Later in
real life they were married. This was just one of several romances and marriages for which the Players' Club
could be held responsible.
I had a good, small part, but just before the play went into rehearsal I had to have an emergency
appendix operation. I wasn't too concerned about missing some classes but I was afraid Freddie would be
obliged to replace me in the cast Therefore I managed a speedy recovery and two weeks after the operation I
was in rehearsal.
With Friend Hannah and thanks to the measles in 19271 had appeared in four Spring Plays with a
record number of eighty performances.
hi May of that year I graduated. The Great Depression had already hit and it was not a good time
for an aspiring young actor to try to make a living in the theatre. Fortunately, there was a good stock
company in Vancouver in those years; that is, a small permanent professional company which opened a
new play each Monday night, performed it throughout the week, and at the same time, during the day
38 rehearsed the play for the following week. Backed by Freddie's recommendations, this company took me on
occasionally for bit parts at fifteen dollars per week. The experience was invaluable.
The Christmas Plays that year, 1930, included three written by students in Freddie's playwriting
course. I had written one of these, startlingly named Fog, and it had won the $50 cash prize as the best
student written play of the year. I don't think now that it was that good a play but it had a gimmick which
made it theatrically effective. The scene was laid in a lonely fog-bound lighthouse on the B.C. coast and
throughout the action, the foghorn moaned every minute. This had the effect of driving audiences almost
out of their minds, just as it was supposed to do to the heroine. I have been a great believer in theatrical
gimmicks ever since. I did not direct my own play — I was too close to it for that ~ so Bea Wood, Freddie's
wife and herself a Players' Club alumna, directed it and did a superb job. Instead, I was given the
opportunity to direct the only non-student piece on the bill. This was a slight comedy called The Florist
Shop, and it was my first ever directorial assignment. I don't remember much about The Florist Shop, but I
was told I had done a passable job with it
Freddie directed the 1931 Spring Play, Noel Coward's The Young Idea. I had nothing to do with
the production, but I do remember it as being thoroughly delightful and popular. The Young Idea was to be
Freddie's last production with the Players' Club. For health reasons he was obliged to relinquish
permanendy his work with the club he had guided since its inception. Of course, he would still be available
for his advice and sound judgments, but his leaving left unanswered the serious question of who could ever
take over, especially for the Spring Plays.
I don't remember now just how it happened, but I was asked if I would consider producing the
1932 play. Naturally I was excited and flattered, also scared stiff. I had never directed a full-length play
before and many of those still in the club had been fellow members with me only two years before ~ a
ticklish situation. But I had a good understanding of how the club operated and the opportunity was just too
good to pass up. So my answer was obvious.
After many consultations with Freddie, it was decided to do J. M. Barrie's fragile Alice-Sit-by-the-
Fire, not an easy play for a beginner. To add to my concern, Alice was a revival. It had been the Players'
Club Spring Play in 1918 with Freddie directing, and I was fearful of the inevitable comparisons. However,
fourteen years is a long time in the memories of most theatre goers, and in a quiet way, the new Alice was
generally well received.
I went on to direct the 1933 play, the far more robust Alibi, a dramatization of Agatha Christie's
mystery novel The Murder of Sir Roger Ackroyd. Bill Sargent was the famous Hercule Poirot, Cyril Chave
the sinister buder and Stuart Keate the doctor-villain.
After the tour of Alibi, I departed for Britain, not to return to Canada for several years. From then
on my connection with UBC was rather an on-again, off-again affair. Over the next many years I directed
three more Spring Plays, taught at UBC Summer Schools of the Theatre, worked part-time and finally full-
time with the Extension Department, which by then was housed in one of the war-time huts on the "farm".
The changes as I saw them intermittendy were so swift and dramatic, especially after the War, that it
became increasingly difficult to remember that campus I had known more than half-a-century before.
But the mountains, the sea and Point Atkinson will always be there and so, one hopes, for a long
time to come, will those old original "semi-permanent" buildings.
39 Memories of the Players' Club
Tom Lea
Class of'34
It is now more than fifty years since I graduated from UBC, but the memories of my life there are
still vivid and bright. In those days we had about 1,700 students so we got to know each other pretty well.
Some we have kept as lifelong friends while others have drifted away to different places in the world or have
remained in Vancouver but our paths never meet.
I had always been interested in acting and theatre so I decided to try to get into the Players' Club,
which was the most prestigious organization on the campus. It was lorded over by Freddie Wood and his
extraordinarily long index finger. Woe be on you if that finger pointed to you.
I was not a good actor but I did like the other activities associated with the theatre, such as
directing and lighting. But there was no other way to get into the Players' Club than by showing an
aptitude for acting so I set to it to learn the stock test which started out, "Lady Teazle, Lady Teazle, I'll not
bear it." To this day I do not know what I could not bear except that I could not bear not to be in the
Players' Club. If I failed this test there was little to interest me. You see, in those days there were no drags,
no sex, and very little smoking or drinking. I found out later there was some sex but not enough to go
around, so I was not introduced to it. I had to take a postgraduate course in that.
To my great satisfaction, I did make the Players' Club. I then got other members interested in
building scenery and working on lights. In those days we put on four one-act plays at Christmas with the
main full length production in the spring. The scenery was made by professionals for all these productions
so I decided we should at least make the scenery for one of the Christmas plays. We ended up making the
scenery for all of the Christmas plays and the Spring play as well.
That brings me to a very vivid memory of a time when we were trying to paint scenery for a play
that took place outdoors in the country. We had to paint a rock wall but we were not artistic. The first
attempt had all round rocks that looked as if they would fall down any minute. This was not what was
wanted. We painted the wall out and started again.
This time the rocks were rectangular but most were standing on end. This did not look right either,
but the third try had a pretty respectable wall and we went on to the next piece of scenery.
All of us in the Players' Club were very interested in theatre wherever it happened. I remember
hearing about some great Passion Play in Germany and wanted to see it. We also heard reports of a group in
Seattle who were producing a puppet show of The Wizard ofOz. We wanted to bring this to the campus but
could not raise the money demanded by the Cornish School who produced the show. Finally Dr. Sedgewick
of the English Department advanced the money to us and we brought The Wizard of Oz to Vancouver. It
was a great success both artistically and financially so we paid back Dr. Sedgewick. He was so pleased that
we made enough money to pay him back that he threw a party for us and probably spent all his money
It may be different now, but way back then the professors were very interested in what we did and
were always very approachable. Although I was very weak in English I studied Shakespeare under Dr.
Sedgewick and got a new insight into the works of Shakespeare that I did not believe possible. Dr.
Sedgewick was an extremely popular professor and his lectures were well attended. I sat at the back of the
class where I hoped he would not see me to ask a question. Others, like Stu Keate, who ate up English, sat
in the front row.
When it came time to write our English essays I had to start early or I would never get them done.
One day I was walking onto the campus with Dr. Sedgewick and I told him I had his essay done and only
had to write the plan now. He said,^"Come into my office." In the office he explained to me that you write
the plan first and then write the essay. I explained that such a procedure might work for him but certainly
did not work for me. He talked a while longer and I told him I would start again and write the plan first this
time. After all, I did have in mind what I was going to write about
Some time later I met Stu Keate in the Cafeteria and he asked me if I knew anyone who had an
English essay he could have for Sedgewick. I told him I had one I was not going to use and he asked for it
I knew Stu could put in a few commas et cetera and make an essay out of it so I gave it to him. Later on in
class Sedgewick made some comments on the essays he had received. He singled out Stu's as being
40 exceptionally good. I sought out Stu and asked him how he had changed my essay so I could learn how to
write good essays too. He told me he had not had time to change anything but had submitted it as I had
given it to him.
Weeks later, Stu and I were up in Chilliwack as part of the cast oi Alibi, the last spring play to
be directed by Sydney Risk. We always took our Spring play on tour throughout the province once the
University year was over and it might have been that we were starting with Chilliwack. At any rate we were
there and as we were about to enter the Empress Hotel who should we bump into but Dr. Sedgewick
coming out of the hotel. He was about two steps higher up on the steps than we were so was able to look
us right in the eye. We talked to him for a few minutes and he took the opportunity to congratulate Stu
again for the fine essay. Stu told him it had been my essay untouched. All Sedgewick could say was, "Poor
old Lea, poor old Lea". I never did learn to write an essay.
While we were on tour with the Players' Club play we travelled the least expensive way because of
the depression. I remember the first leg of our tour took us to Kamloops. We were travelling by train and to
save money we were booked two to a berth. Stu Keate and I shared a lower berth. Well, I've always had a
habit of leaping horizontally in the air while asleep and doing a 180 degree turn and landing on the other
side without losing a wink of sleep. It appears to be a bit unnerving to others who might be sharing the bed
with me. Usually they just get back to sleep again when I decide to change sides again. Stu tells this story
with feeling.
What with the sleeping in unaccustomed beds and getting to bed late and up at unearthly times to
make train connections, as we did at 4 a.m. in Kamloops, our nerves got stretched by the time the tour was
drawing to an end. Toward the end of the tour I remember saying something to one of the girls that Cyril
Chave thought was uncalled for and he told me so. I ignored him rather than cause a row at the time but
later had to go into the dressing room where Cyril was putting on his pants. He saw me come in and let me
have a broadside. I walked over to him intending to say something or other when he let go his pants and put
up his fists. The result of this action caused his pants to fall around his ankles. He realized the situation and
reached down and pulled up his pants once more but before he could get a button done up the urge to hit me
came over him again and down went his pants. I laughed which only made him madder but he saw the
funny side of it and we never came to blows. Things were different fifty years ago. We had button flies
then. If he had a zipper fly I might have had a bloody nose.
The Players' Club -- Reflections from the Green Room
Dorothy Somerset
My first memory of the Players' Club is meeting with the President and Executive Officers in the
old Hotel Vancouver when, under the auspices of Sydney Risk, they interviewed me as a possible director of
the 1934 Spring Play. Sydney was leaving to go to England where he subsequendy spent several years in
professional theatre, and he was recommending me on the strength of work I had done in the Vancouver
Little Theatre and, perhaps most important the VLTA entry into the first Dominion Drama Festival, which
I had directed, and which had placed "best English entry" after the Bessborough award
It was a formidable occasion. Nancy Symes (Mrs. Henry Bell-Irving) was President and other
officers included Margaret Powlett ("Polly" ~ Mrs. Bill Sargent), Tom Lea and Pat Larsen. I was certainly
on the mat! I don't remember the details of the "inquisition", but I do remember the final challenge which
Tommy threw at me: Would I be willing to direct Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra"! Wow! I took a
deep breath and said "yes".
It was going to be a particularly interesting year for the club, for the members — led I am sure by
Tommy and Pat, both experts ~ had decided that they were no longer going to engage a professional stage
carpenter to make the sets for the plays, but that the members themselves were going to build them. It was
the beginning of a new tradition, and in my years with the club it worked with great efficiency and pleasure.
41 My next meeting with the club, after they had approved me, was in the Green Room in the Old
Auditorium. And there, the first to greet me was Polly, typically very busy, straightening out papers on the
wonderful old desk, sweeping the floor and generally making the place tidy and welcoming — Polly, who
later went on to make a most distinguished contribution to the encouragement and recognition of the culture
of our native Indians, for which she was honored with the Order of Canada.
Caesar and Cleopatra had a very large cast and some of the students acting in it were freshmen of
talent who went on to take part in other Spring Plays which I directed. So many of them became and still
are among my best friends, I wish I could name them all! One of the girls I will mention because she was
in four Spring Plays, quite a record! Audrey Phillips (Mrs. David Geddes), who from a very minor role in
C. and C. went on to play lead and major roles in Hedda Gabler, The Brontes, and She Stoops to Conquer. I
must speak of Tom Lea again for, much as I admire and am fond of him, I have never really forgiven him
for not letting me have red moonlight in the desert-Sphinx scene at the beginning of C. and C.\
And I find I cannot leave out two other names: Bill Sargent, who as Caesar was my first Players'
Club leading man, and it was he who inveigled me into joining the Players' Club, as a director, when it set
up its summer stock company at Qualicum. Did we work hard? I never had a single swim, and only two
baths, in the cottage rented by Bea Wood for her family's summer holidays. But that was an amazing and
fun story which someone else will have to tell. The other name I must mention is Nora Gibson (Mrs.
Allan Gregory) who played "ta ta tee ta" in C. and C. Since then her interest in theatre has never flagged and
she has made an important contribution to its development in Vancouver and the province — and she was
likewise a member of the famous Qualicum stock company!
It is impossible for me to write of all the many interesting events and details belonging to my five
years as director of the Players' Club Spring Plays, nor can I begin to list the names of all those I
remember with such deep pleasure. There was a good feeling in the club, the production committees worked
well, all were anxious to do their best in contributing to the successful performance of the Christmas and
the Spring Plays.
In the early days of the Players' Club, Professor "Freddie" Wood, the club's founder and director,
used personally to make all the arrangements for the annual tour of the Spring Play - a tour which in many
years included more than twenty communities throughout the province. In my day, the club's executive
undertook all these arrangements and managed very successfully. Two amusing incidents come to my mind
The first Spring Play to be presented in the "new auditorium" was Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, directed by
"Freddie", and one of the towns included when it went on tour was Grand Forks. Anyone who knows the
play will remember Liza Doolittle's famous line, "not bloody likely". Grand Forks took offense, and the
next day the local newspaper declared that if this was the sort of thing being taught at the University it
would be better closed down. And for the next ten years the Players' Club was never invited to play there.
Then, after that vacuum, lo and behold came an invitation to present Synge's Playboy of the Western World
which I had directed and with which I went on tour, and upon arrival in Grand Forks we received a warm
welcome. But: there is a very funny scene in the play in which a very religious, simple young lad,
frantically trying to escape an embarrassing situation, runs about the stage calling upon the names of a
whole calendar of saints, begging them to rescue him. The scene offended, and next day, once again, the
local newspaper cried out against the University.
To end my recollections I should like to pay a tribute to the Players' Club, for without its
distinguished records of performance and the tradition which it established at the University there might
never have developed the following: first of all, the Extension Department's Theatre program of assistance
to drama groups throughout the province, then followed by the UBC Summer School of Theatre, the
establishment of a degree-granting Department of Theatre, and the building of a delightful new theatre, the
Frederick Wood Theatre, named in honor of the founder of the Players' Club. And it would not have been
my privilege to take part in all these developments.
42 The Founding of Phrateres
Mary (McGeer) Rupp
Class of'35
(First President of Phrateres)
Theta Chapter of Phrateres International celebrated its fiftieth year on campus in 1985. Founded in
1935, it met a need which Mary Bollert, Dean of Women, had identified. Of the seven hundred women then
on campus, only one hundred and fifty belonged to sororities. Dean Bollert looked for a way to involve
more women in opportunities for leadership and social life. From Helen Mathewson Laughlin, Dean of
Women at the University of California at Los Angeles, she learned about Phrateres. Founded by Dean
Laughlin in 1924, its purpose is "the development of the individual by introducing her to opportunities for
leadership, unselfish service, participation in university and college activities and a well balanced social
life." Its name is the Greek word for sisterhood. "Famous for Friendliness" is its motto. Its fees must be
kept within the reach of any campus woman who wants to join. In 1935 the fee was two dollars a year.
Chapters existed at seven universities on the Pacific coast.
In the spring of 1934, Dean Bollert and Clare Brown, incoming president of the Women's
Undergraduate Society, attended the annual convention of Phrateres, held that year at the University of
Washington. They were impressed with what they saw and at a meeting of the Women's Undergraduate
Society in November of 1934 Clare proposed the establishment of a chapter on campus; a proposal that was
unanimously adopted. An organizing meeting was held in January 1935, preceded by a "very successful tea"
which netted a surplus of five dollars at a nickel a head! An editorial in the Ubyssey called it "a very
laudable purpose to bring about more contact among women students" but pointed out that it needed the
support of all women or "it will have an ignominious death". That support was forthcoming. Two hundred
and fifty women joined, both sorority and non-sorority members. Seven sub-chapters were formed, and a
main council and executive were chosen. Theta Chapter of Phrateres was launched.
Clare remembers an editorial referring to Phrateres as an organization for the "poor forgotten
woman". Angered at this misunderstanding of the nature of Phrateres, Clare, who rarely displayed her anger,
found herself shouting at the reporter when she encountered him in the Cafeteria. She made her point
however. The reporter retracted his statement in a column headed "Mea Culpa".
In May 1935, Dean Laughlin and Dean Ward, from the University of Washington, officially
installed Theta Chapter and initiated the chapter members at a banquet at the Hotel Georgia. A number of
social events, teas and dinners were held in conjunction with their visit and that of a delegation of women
from the two universities, all of whom, complete with pictures, were fully reported in the social pages of
the Sun newspaper — a custom of the time.
That November, one hundred and fifty five new members were initiated. Ardy Beaumont, Women's
Undergraduate President, spoke of the valuable assistance Phrateres rendered the Women's Undergraduate
Society, and the new spirit evident on campus since its inception.
Phrateres has continued to flourish, a tribute to the idealism and vision of its founders, its charter
members and those who have followed.
16 January. 1935: We had a stirring time at noon. The sciencemen made a wild redd, and
the first intimation the Artsmen had that the Sciencemen had run amok was a volley of
snowballs which shattered the windows of the men's common room. A pitched battle was
fought up and down the Arts Building corridors and the Auditorium, with the final victory
of Arts. Legg and another scienceman took up a strong position in the wrecked common
room and hurled snowballs down on the heads of the counterattacking Arts forces. Bob
McKenzie, myself and four others loaded with snowballs, and caught them from behind.
Leaves From an Undergraduate's Diary
Philip Akrigg
44 The Ronald Grantham Story
Ronald Grantham
Class of'31
In 1930-31 the British Columbia government of S.F. Tolmie was economizing amid the
depression. The Education Minister, Canon Joshua Hinchliffe, proposed, among other measures, reducing
the University of British Columbia's enrollment from about 2,000 to 1,500.
On February 9,1931, Dr. Leonard S. Klinck, UBC President, summoned me, the Editor-in-Chief
of the Ubyssey, the student newspaper. He explained that in Victoria he had been having a hard time with
the government He asked me not to criticize it adversely, for some in the cabinet were angered by our
editorial on January 30, "The Case Against Limitation".  I agreed — no editorials during the crisis.
Dr. Klinck struck me as a sober, conscientious man. I liked him.
However, on February 10, Dr. Klinck wrote me that he had told me a special meeting of Faculty
Council would be held to consider the editorial, "Criticism from Above", published on February 6. That
editorial merely reminded students that professors have their likes and dislikes. It went on to say that
students should be critical of adverse comments about the Ubyssey, when not made in public where they
could be refuted.
I do not recall this strange fuss about a minor matter being mentioned to me in our conversation
that preceded by one day his composing of his letter.
Dr. Klinck went on to write that he had forbidden me to publish any criticism, editorially or
otherwise, of the University, the Faculty, or the Government, until the Faculty Council had considered the
above matter and transmitted its decision to me. Yet on February 10 "a number of such criticisms" had been
published, Dr. Klinck wrote. (These were in a letter to the editor and a comment or two by a columnist.)
Dr. Klinck wrote that he had forbidden me to publish any criticisms, editorially or otherwise, of
the University, the Faculty or the Government, until the Faculty Council had dealt with the editorial
"Criticism from Above". (I do not recall such a ban. The editorial cited had no relation to the UBC-
govemment negotiations.)
With the government planning to limit UBC's enrollment, press reports on February 7,1931, said the
cabinet though the Ubyssey should not criticize it, and it might take action. Respecting the Ubyssey and
the government: our finale editorial, the one that probably irritated the Cabinet most, was nine inches long,
sober in tone, comprehensive in its coverage of the subject — the Cabinet's proposals wtih respect to the
University. It mentioned that (in action to a stadium, for which there had been great support on campus)
UBC needed expansions for music, law, medicine, home economics, and a Women's Union.
On February 28, the Faculty Council approved, but would take no action on "Criticism from Above" and
other "objectionable" editorials, articles, and letter, almost all printed before Dr. Klinck's ban. The Ubyssey
did not defy that ban. Nevertheless, it was condemned for assuring student that fee speech was not dead, and
the Publications Board's status would be clarified.
45 For my "defiance", I was suspended from the University to be effective from February 11 to 23,
With Dr. Klinck away for several days in Victoria, Dr. R.W. Brock summoned me on February
10. He pronounced my suspension. He alleged I had broken my agreement with the President. He paced up
and down, face flushed, hands opening and closing, voice harsh. I felt tears in my eyes. For with
examinations approaching, I needed my lectures, and the Library, and the degree that would help me to help
my elderly parents.
En route to the bus stop, I found my colleagues in the Cafeteria, told them what had happened, and
heard their plans for the next Ubyssey. Dean Brock happened to come by. Seeing me, he shouted at me to
get out. He was furious.
Like others of the professors, Dr. Brock was proud of his distinguished wartime record. He helped
revive on campus the Canadian Officers' Training Corps. But youthful idealism prevailed on the UBC and
other campuses. There had been naval treaties; indeed, the League of Nations planned to control armaments.
In several editorials, the Ubyssey said militarism should be kept out of universities. I think that is why he
was so angry with me.
While at home, under suspension, I was rescued one night by Sherwood Lett legal adviser to the
Alma Mater Society and a very fine gendeman. He had been UBC's first Alma Mater Society president and
was later to become Chancellor. We arrived in Dr. Klinck's office. It took time, but he smoothly
manipulated a dour Dr. Klinck, and I was back on campus next day.
Ahead lay weeks of straggle within the University and among the students.
President Klinck wanted to continue what students termed censorship of the Ubyssey; somewhat
astonishingly, the Students' Council seemed more on the side of University authority than of "free
speech". Accused of lack of tact, I was pressed into resignation as Editor-in-Chief (though the Students'
Council refused the resignation of the Publications Board); my staff suspended publication. Margaret
Muirhead, secretary for the Students' Council, retailed the Council's disapproval of us. When she wanted to
enter the Pubsters' den, to make a personal plea for resumption of publishing campus news, I had to ask
that she be given a polite hearing. I escorted her, in and out!
On our counter, we placed a black-covered corpse of Free Speech, inviting students to come and
pay their respects. The fact that some of us wore the black academic gown helped create the effect! .
Then Himie Koshevoy took over, pouring scom on the Students' Council for weakness.
However, for the Alma Mater Society, the Students' Council emerged as the body with which the faculty
and student organizations and agencies must deal. But the free press tradition survived.
To the Pubsters, the Council always seemed dull and subservient. To the Council, the Pubsters seemed to
be a raucous bunch, lacking discretion. The Council was mealy-mouthed in its interventions in the
Ubyssey vs. Klinck affairs, we thought.
As regards "lack of tact", see "Council vs. Grantham". February 28,1931: Himie Koshevoy, the new
Editor-in-Chief, is clear and forceful, in discussing Grantham and Klinck. He ridicules the "lack of tact"
charge. Opens with a reference to the "Student's Council, sitting aloof in the solitude of its pocket-edition
of Olympus". A while back, the editor had been removed from his ex-qfficio place on the council, to be
given greater freedom to criticize it.
46 Notes
Because of illness, Ronald Grantham was not able to complete and enlarge upon his original
submission. His friend, Fletcher Cross, has given us permission to include in his article further
documentation from Ronald Grantham's files.
The Grantham Editorial
(From the Ubyssey, February 6,1931)
Criticism  From  Above
Not infrequendy, members of the Faculty and Administration indulge in public utterances
about the "Ubyssey." Reports of such pronouncements are often received. When made
openly in the classroom, there usually can be no objection. Lately, however, it appears
that the "Ubyssey" has been defamed and unjusdy attacked in several instances by
professors and high authorities-and not always in the classroom.
When the nature of the remarks that members of the Faculty and Administration
feel called upon to make is personal, or tends to defame and misrepresent, we should
prefer to hear them in a direct way. The unfortunate feature of such comments is that
most students are eager to swallow anything that these minds unload on them. Often the
comment is favorable, and in such cases should be accepted as having tremendous weight
When anything unpleasant or hostile is said about the "Ubyssey", however, we advise
students to remember that a professor has his prejudices, his like and dislikes, just as do
other people; and to ask themselves if the worthy critic is not just talking through his
President Klinck's Letter to the Editor
February 10,1931
Mr. Ronald Grantham
Editor-in-Chief, "The Ubyssey"
The University of British Columbia
Dear Sir:
On the occasion of your interview with me yesterday I stated that a special
meeting of the Faculty Council would be held on Tuesday to consider the editorial in the
Ubyssey of Friday, February 6th, entided "Criticisms From Above".
Following this statement I forbade you to publish any criticism, editorially or
otherwise, of the University, the Faculty, or the Government until the Faculty Council
had considered the above matter and its decision had been transmitted to you.
In defiance of this direction, you published or allowed to be published, in today's
issue of the Ubyssey, a number of such criticisms.
47 No option is left me therefore, but to impose a penalty. I therefore suspend you
from the University for a period of two weeks, namely from February 11th to February
24th inclusive.
Yours very truly,
L.S. Klinck,
(From the Ubyssey, Feb. 13,1931)
Sacred to the memory of
Departed from our midst
February 11,1931
"She leaves us woebegone, forlorn and puzzled;
Free speech is dead and Alma Mater muzzled.:
All's Well That Ends Well
(Letter from President Klinck)
May 16, 1931
Mr. Ronald Grantham, B .A.
3512 38th Ave. W.
Vancouver, B.C.
Dear Mr. Grantham:
I regret that I was not in my office when you called yesterday to present me with
a complimentary copy of your book of poems entided "New Earth".
In reading the poems last evening I do not know which I enjoyed the more -
those based on observations and contacts with Nature in Ontario, or those more
philosophic in content and, hence, wider in their application and appeal. However, I wish
to compliment you warmly on your achievement, and also to express my sincere thanks
for placing my name on the list of those to whom complimentary copies have been sent
Yours very truly,
L.S. Klinck
48 Student Unrest (Martyr Division)
(From the Province, December 6,1968, by Himie Koshevoy)
Members of the student newspaper, the Ubyssey, past and present will gather Saturday
night to mark the fiftieth anniversary of this journal. Perhaps at this gathering they may
raise a glass or two to toast nostalgically the original rebel, Ronald Grantham, who was I
believe, the first student to be suspended and barred from the campus. Grantham had the
temerity, as the editor of the Ubyssey, to write fiery editorials condemning the B.C.
government for lack of support until President L.S. Klinck lowered the boom.
Grantham's successor, a chap by the name of Koshevoy, took over and issued a pious and
finky statement about continuing the battle. The year was (1931) and the great rebellion
was resolutely ignored by the rest of the students, despite the cries that the 2,000 of them
were overcrowding the UBC facilities.
The Day We Tried to Fire the President
Stuart Keate
Class of '35
There was one consolation for President George Pedersen in the recent economic crisis: he knew
that, when all the hacking and slashing had ended, he at least had a University behind him.
It was not always that way. For what was at stake for President Leonard S. Klinck in 1931 was
nothing less than survival of the University itself. Canada was in the grip of its worst depression. In
business circles UBC was, incredibly, considered a bit effete; a luxury that needed more affluent times.
Canon Joshua Hinchliffe, Minister of Education in the Tolmie government in Victoria, was not an
enthusiastic backer of UBC. He was sceptical of its teaching and wary of its expenditures. Specifically he
believed that too big a share of the UBC dollar was being diverted into agriculture. This brought him
direcdy into conflict with Leonard S. Klinck, an agriculturalist who not unnaturally wanted to protect his
faculty and make sure that it received a bit more than its fair share of the research dollar.
Somewhere along the line Doctor Klinck had suffered a charisma bypass. He was not the kind of
Leonard one would address as "Lenny". A big, rumpled man, he spoke softly, made few public appearances
and seemed to believe that the best way to deal with a crisis was to ignore it.
Everyone agreed that times were tough and that drains on the public purse were severe, but few
were prepared for the dimension of UBC cuts emanating from Canon Hinchliffe's office in Victoria. Its
grants were to be reduced from $650,000 to $250,000. With the deadline for an announcement of the budget
just a few weeks away, the campus was in ferment How far could a grant of $250,000 be stretched?
Political infighting flourished. The Senate approved a vote of non-confidence in the President; the Board of
Governors supported him.
What angered the students was their inability to get information. The President's door was closed.
Ron Grantham wrote a gutsy editorial in the Ubyssey and was publicly spanked by the administration. The
Alma Mater Society decided to mount a massive protest President Earl Vance called a special meeting. The
Auditorium (which still serves as a major gathering place on campus) was packed to the rafters.
A tumultuous meeting ensued. Chief burden of the activists was to approve a motion of non-
confidence in the President. But Doctor Klinck was not without his supporters. At a particularly riotous
moment a young man-about-the-campus named Douglas MacKay Brown leaped upon the stage and, waving
his arms at some engineers in the front row cried:
Ye are babes in swaddling clothes -
Ye know not what ye do.
49 This romantic outburst inflamed the engineers to wilder outbursts of boos and horse-laughs. The
motion of non-confidence, allegedly written by a member of the English Department and presented by Win
A. Shilvock, did not pass and the meeting settled for a motion of censure.
To the surprise of many, Dr. Klinck appeared at the close of the meeting and ventured a few words.
A paraphrase of his remarks would sound something like this:
"We are passing through difficult times. Please don't fire me. I'm doing the best I can."
The student body, rapidly becoming aware of the threat to their Alma Mater, decided to take then-
story to the public. A Publicity Committee was formed, chaired by Ken Martin and numbering among its
leaders such campus luminaries as Eton McDiarmid, Win Shilvock, Ken Campbell, Brent Brown, Roy
Maconachie, Ron Grantham, Lil Scott and Chris Dalton. Detailed for accounting duties were Art Saunders,
Frank Waites and Isobel Bescoby.
With something akin to the fervor of the Great Trek, the 1931-32 students mounted a "Save the
University" campaign, highlighted by a door to door canvass. On the day of the drive the University was
virtually deserted. Classrooms were empty. The parking lot held a total of two cars.
But the students came back from their rounds with a total of 70,000 signatures. The petition was
dispatched to the desk of Canon Hinchliffe and was said to have had a sobering effect on the politicians.
These worthies meanwhile were doing some research of their own. Judge Peter Lampman was
appointed to "inquire into the problems of the University". His study lasted almost two months and found
that there were too many governing bodies in the University dealing with the same thing, a situation which
led to friction and meddling.
In his excellent history of UBC, Tuum Est, author Harry Logan notes that the financial crisis and
the Lampman Inquiry cleared the air but coincided "with further attacks from outside, to which the
University replied with a remarkable demonstration of unity."
This was a deputation of twenty-two leading business and financial officers who won permission
for the creation of a five-man commission "to investigate the finances of British Columbia with a view to
recommending economies to Government"
The commission was to be chaired by a well-known Vancouver industrialist, George Kidd.
Stripped of all its verbiage, the Kidd Report was prepared to close the University down. It would have to
wait for a more viable economic climate. In the meantime bright British Columbian youngsters could
doubdess be provided for out of special grants and bursaries, and could head off East to the established
A mighty uproar ensued. Somewhere along the line Mr. Kidd agreed to debate the report with Dr.
Henry F. Angus of the UBC staff.
Dr. Angus ate him alive. The University was maintained. And oh, how she grew!
50 The History of Student Publicity in the Campaign of 1932
Winston A. Shilvock
Class of'31
This short review of the Student Publicity Campaign of 1932 is designed not as a history, but to
refresh the memories of those 2,000 students who were attending the University at that time.
The first intimation of the drastic cuts in the Provincial Government grant reached President
Klinck just before Christmas, and he, deeming it unwise to give such a Christmas present to the faculty,
kept it until just before the New Year.
The students, however, knew nothing about the proposed cut until after the beginning of the
Spring term. It was, therefore, perhaps intuition that guided the writing of the editorial in the Ubyssey on
January 5, for the writer, in a few lines, touched the highlights of the forthcoming campaign.
The first real "blast", however, came in the Ubyssey of January 12 when many students expressed
their views on the proposed drastic reduction of University funds, and the whole student body was made
cognizant of the state of affairs. At the moment, no great alarm was evidenced on the part of the students,
for implicit faith was held in the President and the Board of Governors to take every possible step to
forestall such action on the part of the government
More expressions of opinion and more editorials continued to appear while the persons governing
the University deliberated over the matter. Support was forthcoming from Vancouver Island and the student
body as a whole rested upon the security of this apparent widespread sympathy for the University.
By this time, however, January was almost three-quarters gone, and with the possibility of the
budget being brought down on February 17, certain members of the Alma Mater Society felt that some
positive action, so far not exhibited by the Board of Governors, should be taken.
For the next few days, minutes of the Student Campaign Committee meetings at that time, tell
the story:
Upon the suggestion of two alumni of the University of British Columbia, five or six
undergraduates decided to meet to discuss the possibility of some concerted student action to influence the
public of the province in the matter of the proposed cut in the University budget. About forty men attended
this meeting, which was held at 4570 5th Avenue West.
Discussion ensued upon the present situation and the effective means at the disposal of the student
body to combat this situation. The general opinion was that the students would be more successful in any
action if they formed an executive separate and distinct from any organization at present in existence. It was
also felt that such an executive would be necessarily in close contact with the Students' Council, the
Faculty, the Senate, and the Board of Governors. A committee of three was appointed to approach Council
and to ask for its cooperation. This committee was composed of Maconachie, Saunders and Waites.
The committee met the President of the AMS and arranged to meet the Students' Council at 2 p.m.
Saunders and Maconachie interviewed Mr. Lord and Mr. Murphy of the Alumni Association; Waites and
McDiarmid met several members of the Senate.
At 2 p.m. the committee met the members of Council. Those present beside the Council were
Maconachie, Waites, Saunders, McDiarmid, Shilvock, and two women representatives, Lil Scott and
Dorothy Thompson. At this meeting, it was decided to form an executive, nominations coming from the
group which had met on Friday evening, and the positions being filled by appointment by the combined
Council and committee.
A meeting was held at 4570 5th Avenue West. Many of those who attended were present at the
first meeting on Friday evening. The members of Council and representative women and men from different
branches of University life were also present. An attempt was made to make this group as representative as
possible under the circumstances.
Maconachie called the meeting to order and gave a resume of what had been done to date. He then
gave the chair to Vance, Chairman of the Students' Council, who spoke for a few minutes upon the purpose
of the meeting and then called for nominations. After nominations had been received, the meeting was
thrown open for discussion and suggestions. In reference to finance, Council agreed to advance funds and
those present unanimously agreed to supply any loss to the Alma Mater Society out of their caution
money. The meeting then adjourned.
The members of Council and the committee then met to appoint the executive from the list of
nominees. This executive is made up as follows:
Chairman Ken Martin
Secretary Don McDiarmid
Chairman - Publicity Win Shilvock
Chairman - Finance Ken Campbell
It was decided to ask two members of the Alumni Association to act in an advisory capacity on
this executive.
A committee of five was appointed to act under the Chairman of the Publicity Committee:
Brent Brown
Roy Maconachie
Ronald Grantham
Lil Scott
Chris Dalton
To work on finance, a committee of three was appointed:
Art Saunders
Frank Waites
Isabel Bescoby
52 University Data Refused
The Publicity Committee was now on its way, and its first task was finding how best to approach
the problem.
It was felt that if the students could show the people of the province how drastically the various
faculties would be affected by the proposed cut, concerted action would be forthcoming. It was therefore
evident that certain budgets and other information would have to be obtained from the President of the
University in order to show the extent of the curtailment. For some time previously, Earl Vance, President
of the Alma Mater Society, had been trying to obtain this information, but had been refused, It was now
thought, however, that the necessary figures would be forthcoming since there was a definite project to
which they could be applied. The committee was therefore gready surprised and disappointed when the
information was again refused.
As yet, no mention had been made to the student body of the existence of the committee for it was
necessary to have everything in readiness before commencing the actual operations.
By this time, the students as a whole were becoming definitely agitated. Apparendy nothing was
being done by either the Board of Governors or the Student Body, and it wasn't like the latter to fall down in
a time of crisis. Support was offered from Toronto, the news of the proposed cut by this time having spread
The Publicity Committee in the meantime had been going ahead in preparation for a province-wide
campaign to acquaint the people with the benefits of their University. The SCM gave their room to be used
as headquarters and the committee settled down to draw plans for a publicity campaign. In the meantime, no
assistance had been received from the President of the University, so that definite action on the part of the
Committee was further delayed.
On January 28, word appeared in the press that the grant was to be cut to $250,000. The Board of
Governors, interviewing the Minister of Education, Hon. Joshua Hinchliffe, had not apparendy asked for
more than $250,000, but had sought advice as to how best this amount might be distributed! The
mouthpiece for the University had failed to function. Immediately following this announcement an editorial
appeared in the Ubyssey that well expressed what was in the minds of most of the students. In the same
issue a letter from one of the students appeared.
With this last vestige of hope gone, the Publicity Committee decided that it would have to go
ahead alone. An Alma Mater meeting was accordingly called on January 28, at which a vote of confidence
was passed in the Publicity Committee. Plans for the campaign were explained to the students. Enthusiasm
was rampant by the time the meeting closed, although it was fully realized how great a task the students had
allotted themselves.
Why, at this point, should come an analysis by the President of student life when more important
matters were, or at least should have been, claiming his attention, is hard to say. But while the students
were preparing to fight for their university life, the President was speaking as though that life would
continue despite anything. Unfortunately, like everything else, it was capable of dying.
Prior to the Alma Mater meeting, the committee had been working hard, and results began to show
within a day after the meeting. With the help of local advertisers, a full page advertisement was obtained in
the Sun on January 30.
By the next issue of the Ubyssey, February 2, plans had been completed to the last detail, and the
student body was fully enlightened as to what was going to happen.
The task that confronted the committee was the problem of getting over to the public of British
Columbia as much information as possible concerning the University in the shortest time possible. A
mailing list of 5,000 names had been compiled and it was planned to issue a series of letters containing
relevant facts in regard to the benefits to the province of the University. With the help of Mr. Hunter Lewis
of the English Department, two such letters were prepared and mailed, making a total of 10,000 letters
circulated to 5,000 influential people in the province. Special letters were prepared to accompany those
going to the clergy and the newspapers.
In order to make certain that influential people in every district were on the list, special letters were
given to the students in which they were asked to submit names of everyone whom they thought would be
interested in furthering the welfare of the University. Since almost every district in B.C. was represented on
53 campus, the province was completely covered. Funds to carry on the campaign were raised through tag days,
caution money, and donations.
It is well at this point to bear in mind the fact that it was thought that the budget would be
brought down on February 17 and that all work would have to be accomplished by then - a bare two weeks.
The budget of course, was brought down much later, but at the time, this fact was not known. The Board
of Governors and the President had still done nothing more than ask how the $250,000 might be spent and
the Publicity Committee was still refused the financial data that would enable it to show the people of B.C.
just how the University would be affected by the proposed cut.
Replies to the first letter soon began to pour in. It was necessary to answer each one, and for this
purpose, three students who had had stenographic experience were enlisted and had a time table of work
drawn up for them. Stenographers were kept busy from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. six days a week for the next two
Results, good and bad, soon began to appear in the various newspapers of the province. The Aggie
undergrad was put in charge of a clipping agency, its duties being to obtain clippings from all the
newspapers mentioning the question and to post them around the campus for the students to read.
Meeting With Board of Governors
After numerous attempts to obtain the data from the President that it needed, the Publicity
Committee finally learned that it would be necessary to appeal, not to the President, but to the Board of
Governors. Tradition had decreed that the President should be the link between the student body and the
governing bodies on the campus, but President Klinck did not see fit to so follow tradition.
Accordingly, a meeting was arranged with the Board of Governors at which the Publicity
Committee would present its requests. The fact that such a meeting was called was taken advantage of by
the various faculties and instead of only the student delegation appearing, ninety-six different organizations,
interested in the welfare of the University, appeared to plead that the Board of Governors take some action to
stop the slaughter of the University, and especially the Arts Faculty.
While these events were taking place on the campus, student representatives were in Victoria
making arrangements for a meeting with the Conservative Caucus, in order that a plea might be made
direcdy to the government On February 5 arrangements were finally completed for a meeting the following
Wednesday, February 10.
Concurrent with these events were talks to various organizations as well as radio speeches over the
various Vancouver stations.
After the second circular letter had been mailed, it was felt that possibly more people could be
approached through the medium of newspaper advertising, so a series of advertisements were drawn up by
McKim Advertising Co. Ltd., and ran twice in the Sun, Province, and Star, and once in the Comox District
Free Press. At the bottom of each advertisement was placed a coupon, it being requested that they be marked
and mailed to the Publicity Committee. This was used as a means of checking the effect of this type of
advertising. The results were astounding, for within a very short time, between 800 and 900 coupons were
returned, not only from B.C. but from points in eastern Canada and the United States.
The various forms of publicity used were direct mail, newspaper advertising and news stories, book
marks (in the Fraser Valley Travelling Library), radio, talks to service clubs and various other
organizations, and the F.V.MP. "Kinks". In all, almost every person in British Columbia was approached
in one way or another. Men in public positions also took up the cause and did such work as assist in
promoting interest among the general public. Clubs which assisted were the Canadian Club, Kiwanis,
Gyro, Rotary and Lions Club, besides all the women's organizations, approached through the local
Women's Council.
The effect on the Cabinet of this concentrated publicity was to bring forth a statement from the
Hon. the Minister of Education that "The Matter is Closed". Plans having been made to meet the
Conservative Caucus, the committee was anything but daunted, and representatives left February 8 to
present a brief to the government.
With the return of the delegation from Victoria, it was felt that if success were to come to the
campaign, the final tramp must be played - a monster petition, circulated in the province and presented to
54 the government Plans were immediately prepared and Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13 were
the days decided upon to launch the project
With no immediate results forthcoming from the campaign, the students were beginning to get
resdess and talk of burning the President in effigy was rife, so it was thought that a petition would serve
the double purpose of showing the government the attitude of the people of the province and of giving the
students a specific job to do.
Speed was essential, for the budget was expected down at any time. The committee met the
Cabinet on February 9 and on the morning of February 10 plans were being made for circulating the
petition on Friday, February 12. An Alma Mater meeting was held February 11, and there the plans were
Friday dawned ~ a snowstorm. But at 8 a.m. sharp, the Auditorium was packed to overflowing
with students eager to be away with the petition. The Publications Board had worked all night and at 8 a.m.
the Ubyssey was issued, carrying all instructions and information for the big drive. Bus transportation had
been arranged, and by 9 a.m. students were in every part of the city circulating the petition. The campus had
the appearance of a graveyard, for with the exception of two or three left to answer the phone, not one
undergrad was around. In the parking space were two cars. Lectures had been canceled by the simple
procedure of the students not appearing at them.
With the task still uncompleted by Friday night, the students gathered again Saturday and finished
the job. Unable to wait till Tuesday to record the success met with by the petitioners, the Ubyssey came
out on February 13 with the first extra ever published by the Publications Board.
The success of the petition was phenomenal, for when returns were finally completed, more than
70,000 signatures had been gathered. With these as ammunition, the committee left for Victoria and on
February 16 presented the efforts of 2,000 students to the Conservative Caucus.
While this work had been going on, correspondence with influential people had been kept up in
order that every pressure might be brought to bear on the government Letters, both pro and con, poured
wholesale into the office and the stenographers pounded out as many answers.
Through all this, the personal touch had not been lost and speeches were given in Victoria to the
Rotary Club and to a general meeting called for the purpose of discussing the question. The press in the
province was busy also, and letters to editors poured in. A final effort was also made to have students
contact influential people in the hope that it was not too late to have the government increase the grant.
For some time it had been known that there was internal strife in the University. Certain
departments had been overburdened, while others were receiving too much. On February 26, the Senate
came out with some sensational recommendations in regard to reorganization. Opposition soon appeared,
and for the next few weeks it was a question as to whether the University would continue or die a natural
The Publicity Committee, through its association with the President and the Board of Governors,
supported the Senate in its action and caused coals of fire to be heaped upon its head. The Alumni
Association also took up the question but on March 30 deferred action. In the meantime, the students had
been asked by the Publicity Committee to consider the question. A motion of "no confidence", backed up
by certain facts, was proposed, but was defeated, the students passing instead a motion of censure on the
President for his actions and lack of interest during the past few weeks.
In answer to the Senate, the Board of Governors passed the budget for 1932-33, leaving Agriculture
as a faculty. Hard on this came the Senate's reply with a vote of no confidence in the President. After all
this, it was impossible for the Alumni to remain dormant, so an investigation was asked. The Board of
Governors, reaffirming its faith in President Klinck, passed a vote of confidence in his administration, and
the battle was on.
Judge Lampman was appointed to investigate the whole matter. The probe was a lengthy affair
spread over nearly four weeks.
55 ADDENDA - From Tuum Est. A History of the University of British Columbia, by
Harry Logan:
Judge Lampman's principal conclusion was that there were too many governing bodies in the
University dealing with the same thing — a situation which was bound to lead to friction. It was also
recognized that the coordinating committee between Senate and Board was not satisfactory and it was
abolished in 1935. At the same time the University Act was amended to provide for the election by the
Senate of three of its members to the Board for three year terms.
The crisis and the enquiry did serve the purpose of clearing the air, but it was perhaps fortunate for
the University that at this moment a further attack was launched on the University from the outside, to
which the University replied with a remarkable demonstration of unity. Just as the internal crisis of the
University was coming to a head, a deputation representing twenty-two leading industrial, business and
financial organizations of the province, as well as service clubs, waited on Premier Tolmie and his
colleagues on April 15, 1932, and secured the appointment by the Provincial Government of an
"independent non-partisan voluntary Committee" of five businessmen, under the chairmanship of Mr.
George Kidd, "similar in scope and object to the Committee on National Expenditure" in the United
Kingdom, known as the May Committee. The task of the Kidd Committee was "to investigate the finances
of British Columbia with a view to recommending economies to the Government"
The Committee presented its report to the Government on July 12, 1932. Some of their
recommendations were of value, some were economically unrealistic or naive. The report, as the Provincial
Government pointed out in an appendix, was the work of men without "previous experience in
governmental affairs," but its recommendations had a certain popular appeal for a community desperately
straggling with the depression, and doubdess exercised a sobering influence upon all who were likely to be
involved if its recommendations were to be carried out by the Government. The findings of the Committee
were particularly serious for the University for the Committee predicted that the Government would not be
able to continue its grant to the University in the forthcoming year. They did not profess to know what
effect this would have on the ability of the University "to maintain its existence" but "should it be found
that the financial resources of the University are so meager as to impair its efficiency, the question will
have to be considered whether it may not be in the best interests of higher education to close the University
and rely on the proposal... to endow scholarships to furnish the means of attending a University elsewhere
in the Dominion." The government rejected these recommendations remarking that "the question of closing
the University should not be entertained unless the financial inability of the Province to continue its
operation is clearly shown." This statement settled the matter. But meanwhile student demonstrations were
held, demanding the maintenance of the University, and a campaign of public speeches and representations
was undertaken, culminating in a brilliant dissection of the report by Professor H.F. Angus in the course of
a debate with Mr. Kidd at a meeting of the Vancouver Institute which filled the University Auditorium to
overflowing on September 18, 1932. After this there was little more to be said on the subject. The
University was to be maintained.
The Sixty Who Tilted at Windmills
Cyril S. Chave
Class of'34
The early Thirties at UBC were a time of intellectual and social ferment. Many from the student
body were becoming increasingly uneasy over the steady pushing of the Japanese army into China, the
more and more dangerous posturing of Mussolini, and the steady, almost unopposed, movement of Hider
into a position of power in Germany. Then too, students were coming under the influence of Gandhi's non-
cooperation movement in India. This interest became quite manifest in the persistent campus opposition to
the Canadian Officers Training Corps. As a further ingredient in student concerns at that time there was the
deeply unsettling effect of the so-called Great Depression.
56 I think it is true to say that, in the first half of the Thirties decade ~ and just before the Franco
rebellion burst out in Spain ~ the general public in Canada went about its daily preoccupation with the
economy with barely a glance at the clouds that threatened world peace. It was against this background of
student ferment on the one hand and scarcely unruffled popular indifference on the other hand, that the idea
was bom to establish a group of speakers who would devote their energies to arousing public interest and
concern over worsening international affairs.
The birthing process, to continue the metaphor, is evocative of fluidity in student movements
during the period. One evening in October 1933,1 was involved in a late evening discussion that centered
on the slow but steady movement of western society towards a secular Armageddon. One of the participants,
Frank Miller, laughingly commented, "You should preach on that subject Cyril, in my father's church".
The father was the Reverend J. Wesley Miller and the church was the Lynn Valley United Church.
Quite surprisingly, when father heard from son of the discussion, he decided to act on his
offspring's suggestion and invited me to give the evening sermon on a Sunday in early November, 1933.
With the assurance that only a twenty-one-year-old could master, I lashed the congregation for their assumed
indifference as if I were addressing the whole Western World. It says more for them than for me that they
did not take offence. Apparendy the address had been quite successful.
Later that same evening over tea and toast at the manse, two retired ministers challenged me to
continue to press my views over areas much wider than Lynn Valley. On the way back to UBC that
evening I decided to answer their challenge.
Perhaps today I would have hesitated and "lost the name of action" but then in short order I
developed a plan and forthwith asked for an interview with the President of the University, Dr. L.S. Klinck.
I asked for his moral support in assembling a corps of the best speakers on the campus ~ all to be drawn
from a wide range of campus societies and racial backgrounds. These would be asked to help in manning as
many pulpits as possible on one specific Sunday so as to maximize the impact of student concerns. As I
explained to him, the central purpose of this project would be to arouse and alert as many people as
possible to a whole series of impending catastrophes.
He gave his enthusiastic support for the idea. Within several weeks and with the help of interested
professors, an ad hoc executive and a corps of well over fifty enthusiastic volunteers was formed. As our
studies languished we asked for and got a series of meetings with the governing bodies of the United
Church, the Presbyterians and the Baptists. Also we had most encouraging interviews with the Anglican
and Roman Catholic archbishops responsible for Lower Mainland church affairs. In these meetings we
setded on a firm date: Sunday, February 11,1934, morning and evening services.
In this year, 1984, the shrunken number of us (now seventy-year olds) who spoke on that Sunday
half a century ago have a mixture of happy and sad memories. On the happy side we remember the welcome
given to our speakers by all the United Churches, the alert interest of the volunteer churches from among
the Presbyterians, and the splendid cooperation of the two archbishops. Under their guidance, Anglican
churches had us speaking from below the pulpits, while the Roman Catholic churches witnessed their
priests speaking on lines parallel to our own. In all, sixty churches from Victoria to Hope accepted our
speakers, and that number does not include the Roman Catholic priests who spoke in support of our ideas.
Well ~ what resulted from all this activity just four months before Hider's massacre of his Brown
Shirt leaders, two years before Franco's uprising against the Spanish Republic, and against the background
of Mussolini's rape of Ethiopia? The answer is "almost nothing". Only three or four of our speakers were
invited to speak again to appeal for study groups to be formed. However, all speakers were applauded for
their efforts and were given tea-toast refreshments. In less than a month after the February campaign, the
many congregations ~ and all their non-Christian fellow citizens — fell back on their happy indifference to
the approaching horrors. As for the speakers, we might say that occasionally they looked ruefully at their
shattered lances and contemplated the still-intact windmill of pre-1939 complacency.
57 Civil   Rights,   1942
Ken Grieve
Class of'43
February or March, 1942, late Monday after classes, as I recollect, a male student, a stranger to
me, slipped into the Student Christian Movement Common Room where a number of us were conversing
or reading. The unknown was a Japanese Canadian. I was unacquainted with any of about sixty Japanese
Canadian students at UBC because I had only arrived in the fall of 1941 in my third year, and I cannot recall
any in my classes.
Deeply disturbed, he stumbled through a traumatic tale.
While driving the family car in the Valley near Haney or Mission over the weekend, he had been
picked up by the RCMP and held and questioned in the local jail. He was not brutalized physically, merely
treated as a criminal no longer permitted to travel freely.
He may have "violated" restrictions on movement, or the harsh "dusk to dawn" curfew which had
come into effect in February, 1942. At the same time, the Liberal government's persecutory laws, supported
by the Tories, were enforced, in practice, confiscating all Japanese-Canadian property (including family cars
and Fraser Valley berry farms), depriving the Japanese of the limited civil rights held by them, and
concentrating the former owners and their families in isolated camps in the Kootenays.
The lad was in shock. He was not truly capable of understanding what was happening to him. Like
most Japanese Canadians, he considered himself no more a Japanese national than I considered myself a
British national; we both considered ourselves as Canadians of differing ethnic origins. After all, his parents
had left Japan because Japan held no future for them.
We sojourners in the SCM Common Room were also traumatized by the actions of "our
government", but seemed unable to do more than listen sympathetically to the student's stumbling story,
and to try to console him.
I can't speak for my fellow SCM'ers, but my chief feeling at the time was one of helplessness and
disbelief. I disagreed with the persecution of the Japanese (proponents of Japanese persecution argue that the
Japanese government mistreated Canadian prisoners of war; yet when did two wrongs make a right?), the
brutal way they were handled, and what amounted to theft of their property by "my government" supposedly
fighting for "democracy" and human liberty in the Orient and Europe.
But then, one thought, some restrictions may be necessary because undoubtedly some Japanese are
fanatic nationalists (yet, another thought: in all conscience why not similar draconian measures for people
of Italian and German origin, if "justice" were to be consistent?) But what could I and my fellow SCMers
do to moderate this ugly persecution in the face of the anti-Japanese hysteria and chauvinism of both the
government and much of the population?
It says something for the Student Christian Movement of the period that one of the few places a
persecuted student could turn to for compassion and understanding was the SCM. Among those leading
discussion groups on ethics and theology was a UBC grad, Ted Scott, later Archbishop Edward Scott,
whose mission involved campus students. I know he regarded the government's treatment of the Japanese as
being totally "unchristian". I must confess that despite Scott's earnest ministrations and sterling personal
qualities, I was, and remained a skeptic regarding many aspects of Christian doctrine.
Politically, only a few courageous CCF MPs and MLAs defended Japanese rights. The
Communist Party (publicly the Labor Progressive Party) in a paroxysm of white chauvinism, turned its
back on the Japanese, and in the United States, expelled its Japanese members. And today, one can
understand why the Liberals and Conservatives offer only monetary compensation to Japanese Canadians,
since they were the architects and supporters of the wartime policy against Canadian Japanese, and to this
day still believe they were never wrong!
That was the only time I saw the boy who wandered dazedly into the SCM room. I know his fate
included deprivation of educational opportunities during the war, removal of the limited civil rights of the
Japanese, serf-like work and a painful and lengthy incarceration.
I was compelled to think about Canada's war, and my attitude toward it. My view was that the
only justification for Canadian military intervention in Europe and the Far East was to defeat Fascist
58 tyranny. If the Canadian government and population were acting like Fascists towards a racial minority,
how was this better than the German treatment of the Jews and other minorities?
Around the SCM were a number of students who were Pacifists, some of whom later became
conscientious objectors when drafted. As a "just" war, the Canadian war effort seemed to me such a
debatable thing that I conceded the C.O.s might be right, and I wrong.
I was not a Pacifist and subsequendy, with some misgivings, did go into the armed forces, and
even — somewhat to my embarrassment today ~ became rather chauvinistic towards the German and
Japanese nations, though never toward the Japanese Canadians I was personally familiar with.
According to F.E. La Violette in The Canadian Japanese and World War II, "Whenever a student (at
UBC) received his call to go to a road camp, he could secure a deferment from the Security Commission.
On this basis, all those of Canadian citizenship completed their terms at the University to May, 1942."
Some were able to complete their degrees in Eastern Canada.
In the fall term of 1942 into 1943,1 was conscious of the total absence of Japanese faces at UBC,
and throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. The government had "disappeared the enemy",
including the students.
11 October. 1935: Two more essays assigned this morning. Sage being the donor. I now
have seven essays to write. Lord have mercy on my soul!
Leaves From an Undergraduate's Diarv
Philip Akrigg
60 From Rock Piles to Hamlet's Ghost
R. Russell Munn
Class of'30
My time at UBC spans two eras: my first year was spent in the old Fairview buildings (1922-23)
when I participated in the Great Trek. After four years working in California I returned in 1927 and
graduated in 1930.
My most vivid recollection of my first term was of course the Great Trek. I recall hitting the
streets with Ab Richards in the lead and Buck Buchanan with his megaphone riding herd; I also remember
picking up a boulder from one pile and placing it on the pile which was to become the Cairn, then
climbing the skeleton of the Chemistry building for a mass photograph.
Another recollection of my freshman year was the address of the poet, Sir Henry Newbolt, whom
we all knew from English I for his patriotic verse. He stated that in the recent war the French were too
exhausted to fight, the Americans not prepared, so "we won the war!" The response by the Ubyssey was
electric. Geoff Riddehough not only wrote a seething editorial but also a parody on "Drake's Drum" which
was a gem. There was a lot of puffing from the Vancouver papers who opined that the University was well
known as a "hotbed of radical teachings".
One other memory which is quite personal ~ I went out for rugby and got yelled at by a shrill
voiced Harry Warren.
When I returned in 1927 the campus had been moved to Point Grey. I got caught up in the
growing movement against militarism, focusing on the little officers training unit. I joined with Ab
Whiteley and a few others in organizing a mass meeting at which, after heated debate, a resolution was
adopted requesting the Board of Governors to dis-establish the Officers Training Corps. A similar meeting
with the same outcome was repeated in 1929. Later, with the rise of Hider the question became moot and
"military science" seems to be an accepted discipline in universities everywhere - regrettably.
Another subject which interested one was student finances. I still marvel today that in 1928 all
non-academic student activities, including athletics, were financed by a modest student fee and administered
entirely on a voluntary basis by elected committees — no paid help whatever. Inevitably there were times
when inexperienced elected officers got into trouble in their efforts to keep a proper set of books. Having
had bookkeeping experience, I stood forward and was elected AMS Treasurer for the 1928-29 year. We were
able to submit a financial statement for publication in the Ubyssey each month. The following year a paid
business manager was appointed and, based on trends elsewhere, I assume this practice has been vasdy
On returning for my senior year my first major duty as AMS President was to preside over the
ceremony of dedicating the new gymnasium. The building had been constructed with student funds and to be
properly administered it was necessary to deed it to the University. With the invaluable guidance of
Sherwood Lett a program was drawn up with a list of notable speakers including the Lieutenant Governor of
the Province. The Auditorium was full and I managed to get through the introductions satisfactorily until I
came to the final speaker of whom I said "We shall now hear from President Klinck after which you are all
invited to the Gym for a well earned cup of tea" ~ a sentence which is doubdess recalled only by this
country boy from the Okanagan Valley but deeply etched in his memory nevertheless.
No account of my experiences at UBC would be complete without reference to my dearly beloved
teacher, Dr. G.G. Sedgewick. I had admired him from afar as a freshman. When I was admitted to the
English Honours course, along with Roy Daniells and Bill Robbins, I became one of the really privileged
Some examples of his genius might be appropriate.
1. It used to be a custom, maybe still is, for each class to applaud the professor at the end of each
semester. This was often somewhat embarrassing to both class and teacher. Not to Dr. Sedgewick! On one
occasion in the last session of the Shakespeare course before Christmas we were studying "Henry V". As
the end of the hour approached he started to read Henry's speech to his troops before Harfleur, working up to
the final inspiring line:
"I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips... upon the charge cry 'God for Harry, England and
Saint George!"' which he fairly shouted and just as he pronounced the last word the bell rang with a clang.
61 We not only clapped, we cheered and stamped our feet which he acknowledged with a bow and made his
triumphal exit.
2. On the Monday after the death of Thomas Hardy (January 11,1928) Dr. Sedgewick announced
that on Wednesday his Shakespeare lecture time would be devoted to a memorial to the dead writer. Word
got around and the large lecture hall was packed. Instead of his usual tweed suit he appeared in full regalia of
gown and hood. In a short space of an hour Thomas Hardy lived before us as one of die great masters of our
English language. It was an unforgettable experience.
One day he said to me, "Munn, do you know what your sentences remind one of? Balloons. They
are so smooth and rounded and when you prick them, there is nothing there." That was his way and we all
loved him for it. I am glad the library annex carries his name. I am intrigued by its being underground -
like Hamlet's ghost urging us on to action.
Two Nickels to Snap Together
Class of '38
Fifty years is a long time to go back and try to recapture some of the impressions of the
University during the thirties, but one thing — not too obvious but pervasive nevertheless, was the
underlying struggle. It was the time of the Great Depression, and Administration, Faculty and Students
alike were faced with reduced budgets and cash flow problems. Little or no building was going on; it was
difficult to keep the "temporary" buildings in repair. The one exception was the new stadium built largely
by student efforts through the use of our "Caution Money". Every year we were asked to forego what was
left of our $10 on deposit and put it into the Stadium fund. It would have been nice to have a few dollars
back at the end of the term because literally some of us didn't have two nickels to snap together.
Faculties had to adjust their programs to meet reduced budgets and not always in the best interest
of the students. Case in point* Our introduction to Greek was Homer's Iliad and not the Greek of Aristode,
Plato or the New Testament writers. It was like learning English by studying Chaucer. Professor Logan
was patient and competent but the economic crunch dictated the course of action. It was make do with what
you have.
Tuition for Arts students was only $165 for the year if I remember correcdy, but one had to work a
good many hours at twenty-five or thirty cents an hour to get that kind of money. More than one student
had to take a year off to work and save to continue his education. Many students had to give up altogether.
The moment finals were over, off we went to our summer jobs — logging camps, mattress factories,
breweries, whatever. Summer backpacking jaunts to Europe were the exception rather than the rale. It was
brown-bag lunches in the Cafeteria or the common room. Nobody was in rags and tatters but there were
some who had to think twice about buying a new suit or a new dress. It was a mite embarrassing to have to
stop a badminton game because your tennis shoe had come apart and had to be taken off and retied. Or you
lent your only other pair of good shoes to a fellow (theological) student so he could attend an important
function and you didn't get them back. Came time for graduation and you didn't have a tuxedo and all you
could borrow was white tie and tails. That put you even with President Klinck.
And transportation was a problem. If you lived at home, it was either get into a car pool, or take
the streetcars. The former was preferable because of the time factor, but the latter was usually more reliable.
Tires had a bad habit of blowing out at the worst possible time. Bob apRoberts in our car pool from
Marpole via Kerrisdale had tire-changing down to a fine art - less than five minutes from stop to start
The student body, of course, was small compared to what it is today. There were just over 5,000
enrolled counting undergrads, postgrads, and extension courses, and we probably got to know a wider cross-
section of students than is possible today. Thus, I would venture to say, there was more cohesiveness and
total involvement than there is now on the mega-campus. We had fun, we got things done, but it was a
grim time back in the thirties.
62 A Reminiscence of the Class of '31
James A. Gibson
Class of'31
When I joined this Class in September, 1929, (having done two years at Victoria College) the
Valedictory Gift Committee was already at work, and I was welcomed as a sort of Vancouver Island
representative. Colleagues on the Committee whom I remember were Eric North, Chairman; Verna Bolton,
Leo Gansner, Jean Hood, Margery Pound. I found this Committee's proceedings a very agreeable way of
"working into" the West Point Grey setting (it had quite lately emerged from a landscape that I had
remembered as mud).
It was a considerable gesture of faith to entrust $400 from class funds to Robie L. Reid, Q.C. (in
those years a sort of extra uncle to all History majors). This he used in London to acquire the now-cherished
volumes about the early history of the Pacific Coast, all of which were eventually laid out for formal
Part of the materials assembled by the Committee were in manuscript, or were transcripts of oral
interviews undertaken by individual members. There was a brief but unsavory contretemps when the then
Provincial Secretary (MLA for Point Grey) tried to insist that these materials (and, by implication, other
accessions) rightfully belonged in the Provincial Archives in Victoria. The Committee, backed by the
University, stood its ground, and the collection remained intact. Some years later an amicable arrangement
was made with the Provincial Archivist
As part of the Graduation Week ceremonies, a formal presentation to, and in, the University
Library, had been contemplated. No one, apparendy, had told the University Librarian what was intended,
with the result that when, acting on behalf of the Committee, I turned up with books and documents and
incunabula, I was greeted by a slighdy - slighdy more than sometimes - brisding John Ridington.
"This must be properly arranged", he announced, sitting down with a pad of ruled foolscap, and
writing out, in a clerkly hand, an order of proceedings, including "Response by the University Librarian".
I have written elsewhere of the 1930 Spring Tour of the Players' Club, which included several
members of the Class. The cast of "Friend Hannah" gave nineteen performances above the four "home"
performances in the University Theatre, including the first-ever appearance at Qualicum. The tour underlined
the maxim that "the show must go on": a dozen storm-tossed travellers/thespians disembarking at Powell
River, some ninety minutes late; the Master of the S.S. Princess Royal delayed the midnight sailing to
Vancouver so that a hungry cast could eat the late-night supper provided by the local hosts; the leading lady
fainting on stage near the end of the third act at Summerland, and being revived beside a convenient brook
in the theatre grounds; an editorial blast at Grand Forks after the company had left town; a winding-up (or
down?) party at Nelson, at forty cents per head.
I went to Oxford in the autumn of 1931, and was not again on the campus until late 1934. In
1937-38 (during the absence on Royal Commission duties of Professor Henry Angus) I was Lecturer in
Economics and Government (17 contract hours per week); I thrived on it. I had the good fortune to share an
office with Professor F.H. Soward (whose recent death brought back many memories of instruction,
helpfulness, and friendship.) In 1949, and again in 1959,1 was invited to lecture in summer session: in a
wartime hut the first time, in the Buchanan Building the second. In other years I attended Learned Societies
and conferences of international organizations; always marveling how trees had grown and how verdant the
landscape still appeared. The Fiftieth Reunion of the Class in 1981 was a great occasion; I was honoured by
being invited to propose the Toast to the University.
My latest visit, in 1984, was on non-academic errands, but as always I enjoyed the air, the sea, and
the vistas of snow-capped mountains.
63 My Confrontation with Sedgewick
John Laurence Kask
Class of'28
My first year at UBC was spent at the "Fairview Shacks". It was in that year, for reasons
somewhat obscure now, I elected to take a pass course in English literature. I struggled through two more
happy but unspectacular years of English studies at the new but very muddy campus at Point Grey. It was
in that third year of my college career that my English studies came to an abrupt end.
Arts 100 was the largest classroom on our new Point Grey campus. It was in that room with every
seat occupied that we were listening to one of the most brilliant lecturers on any subject that I have ever had
the privilege of hearing. This very special lecturer was a small man, no more than 5'5", but when inspired
and he stood erect he could become a giant or a Hamlet or any character he chose to represent In fact, his
performance was much more than a lecture about Shakespeare's Hamlet ~ it was Hamlet himself strutting
on a magnificent stage, mesmerizing a stunned audience. It was into this hallowed and tense atmosphere
where you could hear a pin drop that the devil appeared in the form of a Big Ben dollar watch.
As it happened, I had recentiy and proudly acquired (now an extinct species) a Big Ben pocket
watch for one dollar. This magnificent instrument was purported to ran for twenty-four hours with one
winding. But it appeared that my watch had a flaw in it and required re-winding every ten hours; otherwise it
would not meet all of its well recognized specifications. In my inspired condition during the lecture it
suddenly occurred to me that my instrument needed re-winding, and dazed as I was, I proceeded to do so.
Little did I realize that in this silent and tense atmosphere the winding must have sounded a bit like a
cement mixer. At any rate, what brought this whole unfortunate matter to my attention was that the lecture
came to an abrupt stop and an angry voice demanded, "Who perpetrated that infernal noise?" or something to
that effect Still not realizing what the problem was, I didn't, at first, own up as the culprit But when asked
in an even louder voice a second time and being nudged by a fellow student, and, as I still had the watch in
my hand, I concluded that it must be me, so I held up my hand.
Now this litde great man, like many little great men before him, had some serious flaws in his
otherwise noble character. At least so it appeared to me at the time. He could be unmercifully sarcastic and
often quite offensive and this often with undergraduate students who couldn't very well fight back. This side
of his character he was now about to demonstrate. He marched up the steps of Arts 100, reached over and
grabbed me by the ear and led me thus to the front of the class, and then demanded an immediate public
apology. Now, I was quite prepared to say I was sorry for having disturbed his lecture but I was offended by
the undignified and humiliating treatment I had received in bringing my sins to my own and the class's
attention, so I asked for time to think it over. An apology now was demanded. Failing this, I was asked to
leave the room immediately, and if I left I was never to return.
As I left I thought I heard a murmur of approval from my classmates.
So this is how I ended my career in English literature. I switched to Zoology and Chemistry and
still managed to graduate with the class of 1928.
But this sad story had a happy ending, if indeed it can be called that This happened years later. Dr.
G.G. Sedgewick, after retiring from UBC in 1948 or maybe this was the year before he retired, continued to
give occasional inspirational lectures on the radio. It happened that on one of my occasional visits to
Vancouver from Washington, D.C., I ran into Dr. Sedgewick at the door of the Vancouver Hotel; he was
coming out from his lecture as I was entering. We recognized each other immediately and stopped.
"Don't tell me," said the great man, "I know who you are. You are John L. Kask."
"Yes sir, I am," I replied.
"You never did come back, did you?"
"No sir, I didn't."
'We were both pretty stubborn, weren't we?" he mused, and we parted.
And on such incidents do people's careers depend.
It appears that at least some graduating classes select a faculty representative to sort of follow the
careers of the students as they flounder through life. My class of Arts '28, as I recall it, selected a popular
and scholarly history professor known to his admiring students as "Freddy" Soward. The story went that
Freddy when confronted with this choice was very reluctant to accept When pressed further he was heard to
observe, "I suppose I have to serve with some class. The class of '28 might be as good as any and my job
should be easy since this is a very pedestrian class and the chances are they never will be heard from again."
I understand that this story has been denied but that is the way I heard it fifty-six years ago. And
besides, Freddy's forecast has turned out to be very nearly correct
A   Civilizing  Education   1923-27
Clare (McQuarrie) McAllister
Class of'27
From public school in vertical Nelson, then the usual three high school years in vertical New
Westminster, I shifted to Fairview in 1923, three months before my seventeenth birthday. Some world war
veterans were still in the student body. It also had a few political refugees: "White" (as opposed to "Red")
Russians, who had fled to our West Coast from estates in Siberia. More sophisticated viewpoints from the
wider world were then less common than on today's polyglot campus, with dozens of faculties.
The whole student body, at graduation, was some 2,000. The great advantage of small numbers
was that one knew people in a variety of disciplines, within the Sciences, Applied Sciences, Agriculture and
Arts. One heard something of the problems to which others addressed themselves, and what advances were
being made. All undergrads had ready access to the stacks, so the Library could serve odd personal interests.
(I got into comparing Haida and Hebridean lifestyles: the whale, the herring, the Tsimpsian or Norse
"Aggies" (at least one woman undergrad) and "Sciencemen" (no women in engineering then) wore
brown lab coats ~ students in the "pure" sciences had white lab coats. Many Arts students flaunted daily
wear of black academic gowns — all very handy to keep books dry, when dashing to the Library on rainy
days, or when sitting on the grass in the sunshine. Apart from carried lunches, the only source of food was
the Cafeteria, under the Auditorium, where a hot noon meal cost thirty-five cents, where a pot of tea with
lavishly buttered crumpets and honey cost fifteen cents. Streetcar tickets were six for thirty-five cents.
With litde advice, some chose courses rather at random. Coming from mining country, I chose
geology for the obligatory first year science (whilst friends dealt with frogs, in biology). Lifelong, since, I
have recommended my choice to other students: for its input of understanding of the slowness of changes in
species and life; for its largesse of lifelong pleasure in analyzing landscape.
Equally memorable was being one of an overflowing lecture theatre of students, civilized by Fred
Soward's course in World History. That was in 1923-24. How extraordinary to have Fred hail me by name
when I went on to the School of Social Work faculty in 1962.
A major in French gave me the advantage of courses and a seminar with Dr. Henry Ashton. There
was also the privilege of weekly teas in his home, which were managed by the redoubtable Mile. Foucart
These Fridays were heroically attended by French ladies, to give students the benefit of conversation. (After
my time, Dr. Ashton returned to Oxford ~ or was it Cambridge?)
Scottish Dr. Jimmy Henderson's teaching of Philosophy gave to Plato, Marcus Aurelius, et al., a
faint touch of the Gaelic. A small class gave the opportunity for discussion of shared reactions.
Perhaps the furthest stretch from earlier narrow horizons was given by Dr. Hugh Keenleyside (then
with a shiny new PhD) in a course impressively tided "History of Civilization". Hugh and his wife
Katherine gave a week's hospitality to a group of students in the family camp on the Sechelt Peninsula, at
the end of the final undergrad year. His course gave a grip on respected source material for many topics,
65 useful in years since. He became a notable member of Canada's diplomatic service, in a number of pioneer
postings - how good to be able to talk with him still, in his Saanich home!
What is true becomes trite, but I'll still note that it was club memberships and informed networks
which excited undergrad days and provided lifelong friendships.
In my first year, I joined the Outdoors Club, and continued to be active through B.A. years, as
well as the postgrad study for a Diploma in Education. My initial outing was to take the small ferry to
West Vancouver (no bridges then) and go on to climb Hollyburn Ridge. Could I still find the faded snap of
a steam-powered donkey engine? — its work was to get cut timber into the downhill skids. Later, most club
ups-and-downs were on Grouse. The men had cut logs on the spot for the small club cabin, but windows,
hardware and dismembered cast-iron cookstoves had had to be carried up on their backs. No roads, no ski
lodge then!
Sunday a.m.'s meant streetcar to ferry (near the old Carroll St. B.C. Electric inter-urban depot) —
twenty cent ferry fare — streetcar up a small vertical bit of North Vancouver - walk across below Dome
Mountain and Mosquito Creek Bridge - then up and up a steeply ratted, rain-washed trail to the cabin!
Women wore World War I army surplus knee breeches, and $5.95 "Boy's Leckies": dubbined leather boots.
Their soles would accept hob nails, but not edge nails for real alpine climbs.
Winter dark met us early. On the downhill grade our steps were lit by secondhand miners' carbide
lamps, usually worn in our hats - so that the hikers' line was lit by pale tongues of flame. We managed to
allay the concern of Miss Bollert, Dean of Women, regarding the propriety of our excursions!
I became a member of the Musical Society, surely only because they were short of contraltos,
rather than for any quality of voice! Their chorus and orchestra did not then manage full scale productions. I
recollect some operatic excerpts, with scenes staged in rented costumes.
"Who makes the gy-yp-see's a life with pleasure laden? ~ the gyp-see mai-aa-aaden!" (Did I manage
the correct rhythm to the tambourine?)
Other groups I worked and played in were "la Canadienne" (one of two clubs fostering French); and
the "Historical Society", where members presented "papers".
Dances then meant long silk gowns for women... that is, until 1927 inched daytime hems up to, if
not above, the knees. A posh gown for a dance was then scanty in its skirt front drooping down gracefully
to ankle length in the rear. A dance on the pier, at the westward end of English Bay, offered refreshing drafts
of cool air, while the saxophones throbbed and the girls' dance programs were filled in by partners for waltz,
foxtrot, Charleston. We knew the words of all three verses and the long chorus of every popular song.
Recollected dresses remind me — who else remembers? ~ "Oxford bags" ~ men's grey flannel
trousers with a twenty-two inch, flapping radius to the circles of their hems. The "battle of Madeley's bags"
erupted when even students decided the fad was ridiculous, and directed their efforts towards removal. Some
felt this was "going too far"!
As few then went on to Masters and PhDs, 1927 graduation seemed like the end of our world. We
devoted a week to the parting: a banquet, a dance, a boat trip to the north end of the Inlet, a church service.
The culminating graduation ceremony found girls in white silk "graduation dresses" (of varied styles), worn
under the black academic gowns. We were directed to pull off the khaki cord, which for four years had edged
the gown's yoke in memorial to UBC students killed in World War I. We then had grad gowns.
There are not so many of us left to remember. Our grandchildren win bursaries and fellowships and
make us irert-grandparents.
Bless them all!
66 My UBC Memoirs
Joseph E. Kania
Class of'26
In 1921 UBC operated from the "Old Shacks" where the Vancouver General Hospital now stands.
The University occupied the old wooden buildings (long since gone) and one permanent three storey library
and administration building west of the laundry and stack (still there) and the now old eastern section of the
The 1921 initiation ceremony must stand out as the most spectacular. To wit ~ on a certain
Saturday afternoon each freshman and freshette was required to deliver an empty wooden box to the site on
the flats near the existing Great Northern Railway Station. The boxes were piled forty to fifty feet high and
a class group picture was taken in the front of the pile. The huge bonfire was then lit.
The men's initiation took place that evening. We had been warned to wear old shoes, an old shirt
and an old pair of trousers. On our arrival in front of the
Administration Building the following sequence took place:
Eager sophomores shampooed our hair with a very sticky dough. Our chests and backs were
painted with green shingle stain. We were told to walk down a small steep hill which the rain had kept very
muddy. We all wound up sliding down on our rear ends. Finally a tug-of-war was arranged in which we were
all to participate. We thought the rope looked wet ~ but we quickly found out it had been covered with very
slippery, clinging mud.
When I got back to the boarding house I was greeted with howls of laughter and then came advice
galore how to remove this mess. Soap and water had very litde effect, so how about turpentine, gasoline
and coal oil! Needless to say, my skin was rubbed raw and my sleep that night was one of exhaustion plus a
burning skin sensation.
I joined the Musical Society almost at once and over the years was active as first violin in the
orchestra and other university musical groups. The G.M. Dawson Club held sing songs after their business
meetings, usually at Dean Brock's residence, now Brock House. In my final year as president of the Musical
Society, I was able to secure the services of C. Haydn (Charlie) Williams as permanent conductor of the
Musical Society. We organized - and I conducted — an all Gilbert and Sullivan student recital in 1925. The
executive decided to confine our annual spring concerts to Gilbert and Sullivan operettas which for twenty-
five years under "Charlie" Williams were a great success both financially and artistically. Many singers
made these events springboards for successful musical careers.
In 1926,1 was fortunate to compose an Alma Mater Hymn using a poem by the then Dean of Arts
and Sciences, Dr. H.T.J. Coleman. Charlie Williams orchestrated it for chorus. This Alma Mater Hymn
was sung by the Musical Society under Mr. Williams' direction at the beginning of each Spring Operetta
production for twenty-five years. I am told it was always very well received. Unfortunately, as soon as Mr.
Williams retired the practice came to an end.
Fortuitously, my Class of Science '26 was the first to graduate from the new campus of Point
Grey. Under the dynamic leadership of Ab Richards and his Publicity Campaign Committee, petition
forms, each good for twenty-five signatures, were distributed to the students who during the summer fanned
out throughout B.C. to their homes or summer jobs. At Trail I was able to get between 600-700
signatures, but someone ~ I think Archie McPhee, stationed himself at the PNE and got more than twice as
In the fall the committee organized a parade. The classes vied with one another in the production of
floats - Sc. '26 got a prize for our Sardine Can and suitable slogans. On the "Great Trek" to Point Grey we
each had to pick up and carry a fair-sized rock to the Point Grey site and throw it into a pile which would
become the Cairn.
Members of the committee, including Jack Clyne and Ab Richards, took 56,000 signatures to a
session of the Legislature in Victoria and the rest is history. In the fall of 1925 we all moved to Point Grey
and in the spring of '26 the first students graduated from there, including myself.
This magnificent achievement by a group of students to plan, organize, and carry through this
campaign has always epitomized to me the University's motto - "Tuum Est".
67 Items From the Past
Himie Koshevoy
Class of'30
If you have reached perilously close to your angle of repose, steps are getting higher, print is
getting smaller and sounds seem to be coming from the next room, men you'll remember when:
... Chancellor R.E. McKechnie complained in his welcoming address to the Class of 1933 that the
government in Victoria was trying to crowd 1,900 students into room for 1,600... And the Library and
Science buildings were the only permanent ones on campus... The Frosh, the Sophs, the Juniors and the
Seniors entertained themselves at Class Parties and Tea Dances... The forward pass came to UBC in 1929, a
period when the wondrous Cokie Shields could consistently kick a Canadian football fifty to sixty yards,
much to the anguish of UBC's rivals in the Big Four...
... The ambition of the senior English Rugby team was to "Rap the Rep"... John Ridington was
known as King John and his castle was, of course, the handsome library building... The Murphy twins,
Denis and Paul, bedeviled their professors and bewildered their compatriots... The Barratt brothers, Phil and
Bert, confounded their opponents on the rugby field and dazzled the dames with their good looks... Players'
Club star, Alfie Evans, leveled a freshman with a perfect flying tackle only to find out to his horror that he
had grounded Prof. F.H. Soward, who did look like a freshman from the back...
... The brilliant Rod Pilkington and the equally brilliant Malcolm McGregor decided that they
would match the profs and wear academic gowns every day... McGregor went on to become a dean of
classics and dean of just about everything else... And Pilkington invented the University Thoth Club which
dealt in mystic Egyptian and Roman rites and went on to crown its career with a professional performance
of the "ballet" Boadicea at the downtown Pantages Theatre...
... The mighty Davin Dirom climaxed an inter-university game by throwing, not the ball, but
Quarterback Gordon Root, plus the ball, over the opposing team and the line for a touchdown... You could
ride to UBC on the tram and the bus from the gates for something around fifteen cents and fees for the Arts
classes were $100 a year while Science billed you for $150 for two semesters...
... Caf coffee was constantly denigrated by the Ubyssey, which probably had a good point... Prof.
F.G.C. Wood was Mr. Drama not only to the students but also to the downtown critics... Mamie Maloney,
daringly dressed in bloomers, danced for a Homecoming crowd in the late twenties... Maurice DesBrisay
created a link between the Vancouver newspapers and the Ubyssey and the university paper gradually
matured into whatever it is today...
... Bobby Gaul was at the height of his athletic career which was unfortunately cut all too short-
Arnold Henderson led a UBC basketball team to a Canadian championship and the winning score was
somewhere in the 18 to 10 area, which would make today's hoop men grin with derision... Prime Minister
Mackenzie King addressed faculty and students in the Auditorium and proved then, as he was to do time and
again, that he was Canada's past master of the cliche, the homily and the obvious...
A Campus Eccentric of the Thirties
Nathan T. Nemetz
Class of'34
During the halcyon days of the 1920s, the conventional wisdom of most of the economists was
that the United States and Canada had reached a permanent plateau of prosperity. That view prevailed until
the very eve of the crash of 1929. The Great Depression swept over the United States and throughout the
world. By the early 1930s in Canada about a quarter of our people were out of work. There was no
unemployment insurance, no welfare funds. In fact there was no social security system at all. The
unemployed lined up at soup kitchens, hastily improvised by private charities. The governments provided
"relief" work at pittance pay.
68 It was in this milieu that the lucky few attended the University of British Columbia in the "Dirty
Thirties". But even the University was in danger. In July 1932 the notorious Kidd Commission Report was
published. Amongst other things it discussed a proposal for the closing of UBC. Professor Henry Angus led
the opposition. I had the honor of working on the supporting student committee. Those were days when the
concerned students looked for radical solutions to the dreadful consequences of the depression. Socialism,
New Dealism, even Technocracy - all manners of new approaches were addressed by students and their
teachers. I well remember UBC's famous debate with the visiting student team from Oxford. The subject
was "Shall Great Britain travel the Moscow Road?"
Despite these serious preoccupations, students still took part in the frivolities of youth. As
business manager of the Ubyssey, I was entided to an office. This was on the main floor right off the quad
and under a lecture room. In this commodious room was a large circular table, readily adapted to the playing
of poker and chemin de fer. At least seven or eight fellow students regularly attended, to assist, it is said,
the welfare of the student paper. Above us, in the classroom, taught Professor J. Friend Day. Time after
time he would send a student messenger down to my office warning me of the dire consequences of
continuing the hilarious and noisy goings on. And time after time the messenger would not return. Instead,
he joined the gaming table. One day we heard a rather authoritative knock on our door. I went to open it and
to my astonishment there stood the professor. I was starting to apologize for our group when he looked at
me sternly and said, "What are you playing today?". "Chemin de fer, sir," said I. "Good", he said, "where do
I sit?"
Thus, my memory of the social disorganization of the Thirties blends with notable episodes of
nonsense - the latter a useful ingredient in dealing with tragedy.
Campus Life
David Carey
Class of'38
UBC in the thirties was a growth experience for us who attended and for the University itself. The
country was emerging from a horrendous depression. Graduating from Magee High in 1931,1 took a job for
two years and felt lucky to be getting twenty-five dollars a month. However, you could get a good three-
course meal for twenty-five cents, and if you wanted to impress your girl you took her to Purdy's which
cost you seventy-five cents! Most of us traveled by streetcar, interurban and bus.
By today's standards the University enrollment was small. We had some 2,500 attending. But this
made for a more intimate atmosphere. A good percentage of the student body attended AMS meetings.
Elections involved most of the students, and between the various student activities, the Ubyssey, Players'
Club and various Arts clubs, Athletics and student government, a great percentage of those at UBC were
taking part.
Certain things stand out in my memory of those very rewarding days.
1.1 well remember some "giants" among the faculty. Professor Soward, whose History 1, modem
history, was always packed, and his knowledge and presentation had us sitting on the edge of our chairs.
Another in the same field was Dr. Sage, a great human and a great educator. Then in the literature field there
was F.G.C. Wood, another great human who brought alive for us "peasants" the beauty of Shelley,
Tennyson, Keats and Browning. Another was Dr. Harry Warren, who was very active in university
athletics. And, of course, there was Dr. Gordon Shram. Dr. Walter Gage was beginning to make his
reputation, though he was in the mathematic side of things, a field I did my best to avoid.
2. The student involvement in the affairs of the University. During the depression years the
provincial government was hard pressed to finance a growing university. New buildings were badly needed.
We were still operating in many of the old "temporary" buildings, quickly erected when the campus had
been moved to Point Grey some years earlier.
69 One thing badly needed was some kind of stadium for rugby and football. The government could
not do this so the students decided to do it themselves. In those days, the fees included an item called
caution money. In our case it was $13. Any breakage during the school year was deducted and the balance
We had an AMS meeting and voted our balance of caution money for the next few years to build a
stadium. I remember in my junior year as Athletic Representative and rugby captain, I officially handed the
completed stadium over to the University as a gift from the students.
In my senior year as AMS president, we made the same decision regarding the Brock Memorial
building. I believe that the year after my graduation that budding was completed and turned over to the
3. At one point in my senior year, the government decided they were going to raise the university
fees. This caused quite a furor on the campus. There were some who wanted to stage "sit ins" and to
demonstrate en masse in front of the Legislature in Victoria. There was a good deal of steam generated. As
elected student council members we were in a quandary. The University-Province relations had been steadily
improving. We were more and more regarded as a mature, responsible element of B.C. society. UBC rugby
teams, called "Wonderbirds", had been cleaning up everywhere, including against California schools like
Stanford and USC. The UBC Players' Club had a high reputation and so on.
After some discussion in the student council, we decided to call an AMS meeting and meet the
issue head on. We agreed to put to the student body the proposition that part of the trouble in Victoria was
total ignorance as to the value of the University to the Province. We suggested that research be done to see
where UBC graduates were, and what sort of work they were doing that was having an impact on the
Province. Armed with this information, we suggested sending speakers throughout the Province using every
forum possible: radio, civic clubs, churches, etc.
After much back and forth at the AMS meeting, this was agreed upon. The whole operation was a
great success. We dug up facts that were incredible. One that comes to mind was that for some years
General Electric of Canada was automatically offering jobs to all graduates of electrical engineering, so
much confidence did they have in the training these graduates had received. I recall talking to the Vancouver
Rotary Club, meeting in the old Vancouver Hotel, and many men came up afterwards to say that they had
no idea of the contribution the University was making.
It was quite a PR job for the University, and to the best of my remembrance, the fees were not
The fact that the University was small generally resulted in a large participation at Athletic events.
I recall that when we played McKechnie Cup Rugby in Victoria, the AMS often chartered one of the
Princess boats and we took a dance band aboard. The morning crossing was quiet, but the late evening
return, with the band, and pieces of the opponents' goal posts, which we'd ripped off after winning, and with
which we'd paraded through downtown Victoria, was a madhouse.
70 Remembrance of Hard Times Past
Eric Nicol
Class of'41
Nineteen thirty-seven (A.D.) was my freshman year at UBC. The Great Depression was in full
bloom, casting its noxious spores over the campus. President Roosevelt had rallied the Americans with
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself', but north of the border we had more options for anxiety.
My father had just lost his job as accountant for a Vancouver brokerage firm that had been caught
in flagrante delicto, committing necrophilia on the stock market At a family conference around the kitchen
table, it was decided that if I could squeeze into UBC on an IODE bursary ($100), my parents would find a
way to feed and clothe me and spare me the humiliation of looking for work.
To qualify for the bursary, which was awarded to the children of World War I veterans, I had to take
a means test. This was an oral examination by three officers of the University in a Star Chamber that made
me feel like an insect out of a Kafka novel. Not only did I have to plead poverty and describe my family's
reduced circumstances, but I was made keenly aware that the bursary would not have been available at all
had not the Kaiser dragged Canada into war. I felt like a buzzard on the make.
Before the inquisition, I had nightmares in which I stood before the triumvirate of black-gowned
academics, me wearing my father's old Tommy helmet and holding the souvenir potato sack he had found in
a German trench. Without being asked, I babbled of the horror of living with a dad who was terrified of
thunderstorms, because the ramble of doom reminded him of being under artillery fire.
"Grant me this bursary," I cried in my dreams, "and maybe Pop will feel better about hiding in the
In the event, the tribunal was less searching than I'd fantasied. But not much. The judges did not
actually make me turn out my pockets, but they did stamp upon me, indelibly, that status of a mendicant.
For all my undergraduate years till I took refuge in the RCAF, I slunk around the campus as though my
sweater bore the Big Block letter B, for Begging.
All freshmen were viewed as a lower form of life, of course, in those days of the primitive caste
system, and I was one of the Untouchables. I brooded because the Engineers never tossed me into the
Library's reflecting pool, not wanting to pollute the water.
Obtaining a parking sticker was no problem, since I didn't have a car. Those students wealthy
enough to have private vehicles must have parked them somewhere, but I have no recollection of a students'
parking lot at UBC in 1937.1 lost track of the cars after they had passed me as I pedaled my bike along
University Boulevard. But the parkade I used was a small alcove behind the bus stop where I could stash my
one-speed Raleigh without fear of it being stolen, since it was watched by a wooden garage reserved for a
couple of very exalted deans.
I chose Commerce as my discipline, though I had about as much potential as a businessman as a
goat has for flight. Like most other students of depression eras, then and now, I was guided by the stem
purpose of making a living. You could tell which students were lucky enough to belong to moneyed
families: they were into frivolous subjects like Greek and Religious Studies. At the end of my first year I
got out of Commerce and into French. I had got better marks in French and I needed to keep those bursaries
coming in order to take anything. If the Rhodes Scholarship had been awarded for sheer athletic nimbleness
in jumping from course to course, I would have landed in Oxford just in time for the Battle of Britain.
Despite the financial bind, I never went so far as to join any of the socialist clubs rampant on the
campus. I was politically inert, for some reason, perhaps because I was preoccupied with still being a
virgin. My budget was too limited to extend to escorting young women to social functions, and the chances
of being deflowered in the Cafeteria were not optimal.
Those politically activist students to whom virginity was no object camouflaged their degree of
Marxism by joining unlikely clubs. The young Communists, for example, throve in the Student Christian
Movement. The apparent contradiction in religious ideology may have had its effect on these militant
adherents, since several of them went on to ambiguous careers in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as
well as media of entertainment
Lacking club membership, and spumed as camel dirt by the fraternities, I had no access to a social
centre other than the men's common room. Situated in a comer of the "temporary" Arts building, the men's
71 common room was furnished with splintered remnants of the frequent interfaculty riots, compared to which
the student revolt of the sixties was a church picnic.
Indeed I saw nothing comparable to the ambience of the men's common room till as a postgraduate student in Paris I toured the venerable Prisoners' Gallery of the Palais de Justice. The walls of the
men's common room were redolent of the same ghasdy terror bom of the Enlightenment.
The sole amenity of the men's common room, for me, was that I could create a hot lunch by
placing my brown-bag sandwich on the steam radiator and holding it there till the cheese melted.
Yes, it was character-building. I hope that the kids who have prevailed against the century's second
major depression will take comfort in that knowledge. After all, where's the glory of Tuum Est if what's up
to you isn't all that tough?
The Golden Era of the English Department
Connie (Baird) Newby
Class of'37
The following is a reprise of one of my columns in The Chilliwack Progress during its halcyon
days under the editorship of my husband, the late Leslie Barber. I have only an undated clipping, but I'd
guess it appeared around 1947, when Ira Dilworth had left teaching to work full-time for the CBC, and Dr.
F.G.C. Wood announced his retirement from the faculty.
All my life I shall be grateful for the fact that my days at UBC were spent in the golden era of the
English department - the era of Dr. Francis Cox Walker, Dr. G.G. Sedgewick, Freddie Wood and Ira
Dilworth. I am sure the present English department has many splendid scholars and teachers, but perhaps an
old graduate may be forgiven a reminiscent sigh for the days that will never come again. The deaths of Dr.
Walker and Dr. Sedgewick, the departure of Mr. Dilworth for another sphere of action, and now the
retirement of Professor Wood, have brought to a close a memorable chapter in the history of the University.
The two professors whose English courses I enjoyed most of all ~ not excepting the great Dr.
Sedgewick (who was always more actor than teacher) ~ were Ira Dilworth and Freddie Wood. No two
lecturers could have been more different
Mr. Dilworth was almost always beaming and voluble. An atmosphere of well-being prevailed in
his classroom. He was never critical of his students and did not even appear to notice whether they attended
his lectures or not It was easy to skip his classes without fear of retribution, and his notes were so clear
and straightforward that it was very simple to copy them from someone else's notebook.
However, his lectures were so pleasant that no one was tempted to skip many. They were held after
lunch, when everyone was comfortably relaxed and in the right mood to listen. Mr. Ddworth himself had a
joyous love of poetry and an extraordinary ability to transmit his own delight to the minds of his students. I
can remember so well the happiness of those warm spring afternoons in the stuffy classroom, when Ira
Dilworth's incomparable voice opened magic casements, took us through the garden gate where the roses
listened for Maud's footstep, or piloted us over wine-dark seas to a land where it seemed always afternoon.
He was always encouraging and generous in his praise. In this he was quite different from
Professor Wood. Mr. Wood's praise was hard-earned and given in few words. Mr. Dilworth always made you
feel just a little smarter than you really were - Mr. Wood made you feel just a litde stupider than was
actually the case. Mr. Dilworth offered your mind dreams - Mr. Wood issued a crisp challenge to your
brain. If English 16 gave you the benefits of a warm, relaxing bath, English 13 provided you with a cold,
invigorating shower.
Again, the timetable seemed to have been designed to fit the personality of the professor, for Mr.
Wood's course was held at 9 a.m. He would stride into the chilly classroom exacdy on time, and take up his
position, upright and dignified, behind the desk. Through those sparkling rimless glasses (which always
seemed unnecessary for a pair of sharp eyes that never missed a thing) he would survey the class. His acute
glance would fall with satisfaction on a student who had recendy missed a good many lectures. "Ah, ladies
72 and gendemen," he would say with vinegary politeness, T see that Mr. Patterson has decided to honor us
with his presence once more." There were even occasions when he asked us all to applaud the return of an
embarrassed truant
As you can imagine, this system guaranteed Mr. Wood a good attendance. The strong light of
publicity fell upon the unwary, and no one was eager to expose himself to the remarks of this master of
sarcasm. No one dared to whisper, to doze, or to slump in his seat. That tall figure with the long face, the
thin-lipped humorous mouth, the gleaming glasses, dominated every part of the room. His lectures were
given in an orderly way that made note-taking a joy. They were packed with solid information, but
splendidly frosted with touches of acid humor and witty criticisms of films and books-of-the-month,
manners and morals. He encouraged our appetites for Dickens and Thackeray, helped us to chew and
swallow even the most indigestible helpings of Sir Walter Scott and trained our young palates to appreciate
the subde flavor of Jane Austen.
Merciless though he was to slackers, he was kindly and considerate to hard workers. No
congratulatory remarks from any other professor meant as much as the brief comment, "Good work"
underneath an essay, in the neat erect handwriting of Freddie Wood. If he said it was good work, you felt
morally certain that it was.
I suppose that next fall another professor ~ younger perhaps, and more genial ~ will take the
course in the English novel. But no matter how brilliandy it may be taught, I feel sure it will never be the
same now that Freddie Wood has gone into retirement and hung up the spear that pierced — with so sure and
sharp a thrust - innumerable undergraduate hides.
Hedda Gabler to Hitler
Arthur Sager
Class of'38
In the cardboard box of yesterday's junk, a yellowed copy of a telegram to the Capital Cigar Store
in Kamloops: "Please reserve seat middle fourth row Elks Hall for UBC play Hedda Gabler". May 1935:
from Windpass Gold Mine up the North Thompson, the sender a mucker dreaming of better things. First
time out in nine months. Returning to the mine in love with the leading lady and resolved to become a
famous actor via the campus.
Getting there in September and eking out the seven months on milk and cheese sandwiches in a
pigeon-hole room near the gates, enjoying every hungry moment of it
Screws up courage for the try-outs and squeaks into the Players' Club, tries out for Hamlet in the
Christmas plays and is cast as the Ghost.
All the lectures exciting for this hick from the country... Sedgewick, Dilworth, Freddie Wood,
Larsen, Lewis, sleepy old Macdonald in phdosophy, erudite Soward in history. Registers for some, sits in
on others. Leaves the lecture halls burning with ideas and heads for the Library to flesh them out
But often diverted to the hallowed Green Room, up the stairs from the stage entrance of the
Auditorium. The smell of the place - cigarettes, coffee, occasionally grease paint - and the atmosphere,
vividly thespian. The seniors, the real actors with their Englishy accents, so casual and confident talking in
groups. He eating his sandwich surreptitiously watching them, speaking only when spoken to, trying not
to blush. Bill Sargent, Hugh Palmer, Davie Fulton, Eunice Alexander, Amy Seed, Marjorie Griffin, others.
And Hedda, distant and unapproachable.
Seldom to the Cafeteria that first year. Thrown off by the noisy self-assurance of the frat tables,
hesitant to barge in on the equally noisy but friendlier lower classes. Often finding refuge on the empty
stage ~ soaking up its ambience and rehearsing when alone ~ or in the Library, or with the plebs of the
soccer team.
The exaltation of acting. Jimjams on opening night but quickly recovering in the harrowing agony
of the Ghost. The tingling thrill of the applause and then, walking back to Sasamat, his name in lights on
Shaftesbury Avenue.
73 The real-life agony of the Players' Club Formal. The half-hour dancing lesson downtown, the
instructor sighing, "You'd better two-step to everything." The borrowed tux, collar too small, picking up
the girl he'd been allotted, sweating around the dance floor, scared to ask Hedda. Physically and morally
exhausted, swearing against women and dancing forever.
Back to the mines in April ~ five months out of seven in the next two years ~ and returning to the
campus with a bit more money and a lot more confidence. Living in South Burnaby and getting to UBC on
the Villiers bike until it crashes in fog, on the back of Lud Beamish's BSA, in a car pool with Bob
McKeown and company, on late nights home by bus or on foot when the money is spent, lost or given
away. The best essays written after midnight walking along Kingsway.
Jam-packed days: Players' Club, Letters Club, other clubs, some concerts and lectures, left
winging on the soccer team, no money or time for girls. Hours in the Cafeteria now, ignoring the snobs
and throwing ideas around with the proletariat
And the great discovery: learning was more than note-taking in lectures and book-worming in the
Library; it was also sharpening the grey cells in debate. It was listening and thinking and staring at blank
walls, and it was banging out essays on the typewriter in the sound-proofed costume room, stimulated by
the pressure of deadlines.
Relaxing now in the Green Room, working hard on the English accent. Going all out for the role
of Papa Bronte in the Spring Play and getting it, in ecstasy. Goaded, lashed, uplifted by Dorothy Somerset,
his saint he becomes the perverse old puritan on stage and off. Hedda close now, one of his daughters but
only that More at ease with others in the cast: Beth Gillanders, Mary McLeod, Graham Darling, Ludlow
Beamish, Lorraine Johnston, Adelia Thurber, Fred Hobson.
Impossible to concentrate on essays and looming exams in those pre-performance weeks, immersed
in the life of the Victorian parsonage. And on performance nights he was the tyrannic old man, they were
his daughters, there was no stage, no audience, no campus, no essays, no exams.
After the tour, back to the mines again, no doubts about the call.
Final year racing against time but finding that the more one did the better one did. Zipping through
everything, cocky and cocksure; banging in goals for the soccer team, meeting deadlines on essays,
rollicking through The Playboy of the Western World, not caring that the lead had gone to that willowy,
dark and handsome freshman. Because his future lay in London where Hedda had gone after her graduation.
One week after he's a deckhand on a freighter bound for anywhere but hopefully and eventually
Five months later he's in London, six pounds, ten shillings in his pocket.
First call, Hedda, at her aunt's address. She's there, smiling, happy - but married. World falls
All downhill from there. Introductions produce good advice but no parts, Royal Academy accepts
but no scholarship, agents are kind but negative.
But Mary Moxon is there, dear sweet Mary, to restore the spirits, to laugh and dutch-treat around
the exciting town.
Humble finally, and very hungry after nights on park benches and in hostels for down and outs,
gets job as lift boy in posh apartment building and finds Mrs. Cook, his good Samaritan cockney landlady
who shelters and feeds him on trust
By fine-shooting and luck, he's a cub reporter for the Daily Mirror and then, after five months, still
stage-struck, joins a Shakespearean Company in Manchester. It goes broke and he finds himself in a
repertory in Margate.
The dream of fame coming back into focus now. Then suddenly wiped out for good and all by
Hitler on 3 September when the theatre closed.
Two years later the mucker and would-be actor is back in England as a pilot and four years of war
erase all illusions and most pretensions.
74 The Rites of Passage
Sam Roddan
Class of'37
The Frosh Bonfire of October 5, 1933 was to mark a critical turning point in my coming of age.
Through smoke, smudge and cinders I hoped to emerge a new man, a born-again undergraduate and full-
fledged member of no mean university.
The initiatory rites had not been easy. For two weeks we had been hazed, ragged and humbled.
Many of us had grown weary of the ribs and razzing that accompanied our knitted, green skull caps and the
name placards on our backs, "for identification in case found drowned in the lily pond."
Our celebratory bonfire was built near the stadium. Over the weeks it grew into a magnificent
tower of piano boxes, packing cases, bundles of excelsior dragged from a mattress factory in New
Westminster. Some of us had ventured below the cliffs and hauled up driftwood and the flotsam and jetsam
from as far as Spanish Banks. Because of rumors of a treacherous betrayal by the Sophs to send our pyre up
in flames before the ceremonial date, we posted guards and sent out night patrols as far east as the Gates.
True to form, the Sophs executed their double-cross shortly after midnight and sneaked behind our
lines with oil-soaked rags and gasoline. Our pyre was soon engulfed in flames. The shadowy figures of my
compatriots, cowled in snowfalls of ash and cinders, exorcised the night air with imprecations and cries for
Almost immediately our scouts brought in word that the Sophs had parked their vehicles, old Grey
Dorts, Moons and Model T's, along the Boulevard. Some of our more militant Frosh quickly moved off and
valiandy attacked the transport and defdy removed spark plugs and drained radiators. Soon the groans and
curses of the outwitted Sophs rambled across the campus. Theologs from Union College emerged from the
darkness and offered to mediate by holding a sunrise service and pancake breakfast but their efforts were
scorned by the outraged Sophs, who scurried off into the night
Now, more than fifty years later, I still remember with pride and affection our triumphant Snake
Dance around the dying embers of our aborted Bonfire. As we swayed to the tom-tom of a garbage lid in the
hands of a lone survivor of the Pep Band, my own fingers locked around the undulating hips of a nubile and
beautiful freshette. Although I never saw her face, nor learned her name, my heart still skips a beat when I
recall the ecstatic frenzy of a kindred spirit.
After the Ordeal by Bonfire, my personal growth at the University was largely through osmosis,
good luck and inspired guidance. During my Frosh year I was alternately a drip-dried Christian, a starch do-
gooder, an idealist, a romantic hedonist.
I had litde talent for scholarship but I quickly cultivated an inordinate hunger for the literary life.
As soon as I discovered there were other books in this world besides Foxe's Book of Martyrs, The Pilgrim's
Progress and Hurlburt's Story of the Bible, I took off like an inspired Keats On First Looking Into
Chapman's Homer. What I lacked in discipline I made up in an enthusiastic reading of James Joyce, Aldous
Huxley, Sherwood Anderson, Scott Fitzgerald and my hero, Ernest Hemingway. Later I found Dylan
Thomas. For months I was that young man, "palely loitering" by the lily pond clutching such items as The
Shropshire Lad or Sons and Lovers.
All this time I was plagued with fevers and also teetering on a tightrope. In the morning before
lectures I was a member of the prayer circle in Room 312, Auditorium Building, headquarters of the Student
Christian Movement, where we straggled with Sharman's Life of Jesus. On Friday and Saturday evenings I
was in the Georgia Pub arguing enthusiastically with Reg Jessup, Norman DePoe and Lloyd Hobden about
the latest work of Ezra Pound or Hemingway or the ideas of Havelock Ellis.
For a while I was a registered Theolog but my fall from grace soon became a headlong descent
trading wispy clouds of doubt and despair to the pre-ordained "excommunication". In the end I was saved by
Mabel Lanning at the Central Loan Desk in the Library and by Garnett Sedgewick, the great man himself,
who never once turned his back on a wayward son.
For more than four years, Mabel Lanning directed my extra-curricular reading. She held books for
me on reserve, whispered an opinion on a writer, sent me notes about a new book just in, let me into the
stacks. She thought nothing of running up and down five flights of stairs to retrieve a book. Sometimes
she smiled enigmatically at my jokes and puns while I leaned on her desk filling out a call slip.
75 Mabel Lanning always reminded me of Virginia Woolf. She had the same high cheek bones, dark
skin, almond eyes. Her face, a mask to most, was to me full of charm and mystery. Years after I graduated I
went up to the Loan Desk in the Library. Mabel Lanning was still there, ever the Martha to new
generations of students. (She retired in 1961.) We shook hands. She smiled, said she liked a piece I'd written
for The Canadian Forum about the war. I was almost overwhelmed by her words.
The depression of the Thirties cast a long shadow over university life. The natural idealism of an
undergraduate was threatened by frustration and despair. Many students had brothers and relatives in relief
camps. The yearly fees for Arts at $125 represented a small fortune. When the Cooperative Commonwealth
Federation was bom in Regina in 1933 some students saw an inkling of hope in both Christianity and
Socialism with J.S. Woodsworth as leader and founding father of a new party.
Many voices clamored for attention. Gandhi's philosophy was widely espoused on campus by
people like Mildred Osterhout Speakers such as Reinhold Niebuhr were sponsored by the Student Christian
Movement Muted discussions about pacifism grew louder and more insistent Moral support for an antiwar movement gained momentum from the Oxford Union Debate (Feb. 12) of 1933 which passed a
resolution to fight for King and country. Motions to ban the COTC from the campus surfaced at student
rallies. Garnett Sedgewick became an ardent and eloquent spokesman for civil liberties and the rights of the
Japanese New Canadians.
Organizations such as the Youth Council and the Student League attracted support. Students took
their place on the docks picketing freighters carrying scrap iron to Japan. Several students enlisted with the
Mackenzie Papineau Battalion to fight in Spain. One student, Lionel Backler, died on the Aragon Front.
The growing ferment and concern with social issues was evident in our reading and discussion.
S ome of us discovered again Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage, The Death of a Hero, Testament
of Youth, Cry Havoc by Beverley Nichols. We wrote essays on Hemingway's Farewell to Arms. Students
were reading W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Stephen Spender. Public lecturers and preachers were
taking texts from The Acquisitive Society, The Intelligent Man's Guide Through World Chaos, The
Economy of Abundance. Students who read The Canadian Forum began to notice the work of a poet and
legal mind, F.R. Scott, the writings of Frank Underhill, Dorothy Livesay, the philosophy of The League
for Social Reconstruction. A strange, paranoid book, Mein Kampf by Adolph Hider became "amusing"
reading during coffee breaks in the Caf.
On September 10, 1939, Canada declared war on Germany. World War II had finally caught up
with us.
Most students looked to the future with a self-imposed restraint There was no singing along the
Boulevard or cheering in the Caf. The COTC under Colonel Shrum became a new force in undergraduate
life. Instead of long discussions on sprung rhythm in the poetry of Gerald Manley Hopkins, talk switched
to Lee-Enfields and naming the parts, the use of the lower sling swivel, easing the spring... After Pearl
Harbor, December 7, 1941, Nisei students found themselves "enemies of the people". Casualty lists from
overseas grew into a new kind of Honor Roll. The good friends with whom we once built bonfires, sat in
lectures in Arts 100, drank beer in the Georgia, went to SCM camps on Gambier Island - the Armitages,
the Pringles, the Pedlows, the Logans, bade their own farewell, became part of our history.
76 From Trams to Buses
Ludlow Beamish
Class of'37
It was a damp, cold, grey day in the middle of December when I had occasion to visit the
University. After completing what I had to do at the dental faculty, I put up my umbrella and walked
towards the Library, just to renew old memories. It was to be an interesting afternoon. It was not long
before I realized how dramatically the physical plant of the University had changed since my days in the
early Thirties.
In those pre-war times, the student population was hovering around 3,000 and the two most
beautiful and conspicuous buildings were the Pure Science building and, of course, the magnificent granite
Library - presided over by the formidable Mr. Ridington. Today one must look - yes, even search - to
discover the Science building, so many new structures have arisen nearby, obstructing its presence. In the
intervening years many changes have taken place, both in student population and in building architecture.
The Library still enjoys its commanding location, and while it has been structurally altered over the span of
years, its basic Gothic beauty remains.
In walking towards the Library, I could not help but be impressed by the parking lots and the
many, many cars parked throughout the campus. As I walked I was thinking on this matter when suddenly I
came upon the spot where the old bus station was located fifty years ago. What a change time and the
automobile have brought about! In the Thirties - well, in those days the Lions' Gate Bridge had just been
started and the now superbly arching Second Narrows Bridge had not even been contemplated. The strikingly
beautiful Marine Building was just being completed and would soon become the architectural symbol of
Vancouver. Proper ladies certainly did not smoke in public and the "pill" had not presented itself on the drug
store shelves to make its contribution to the sexual revolution that soon would take place. When a couple
contemplated a fine dinner out on the town to honor a special occasion, the choice was between two
splendid restaurants, one at the old Vancouver Hotel and the other at Purdy's, both on Granville Street. In
Europe the clouds of discord were beginning to display their ugly form but, in truth, most people felt that
the horror of a Second World War was not to be seriously contemplated. The world was a relatively
simplistic one and people thought of their lives in simple and uncomplicated terms. If one had to go to
university, one walked, joined in a car pool of possibly six students, or took the B.C. Electric streetcar plus
a short bus ride to the campus. Students with cars were rare birds!
How different are the lives of university students today. Now there are thousands of cars that rash
their way to and from the campus each day. Before the Second World War, it was indeed a rare occasion to
see a lady student driving her own car. I recall one conspicuous exception of a singular young woman who,
obviously, had financial backing of some consequence. Each day she would drive in solitary splendor in her
LaSalle to the campus. She was an exception! Female students in great numbers just did not drive cars of
their own. Some young men were fortunate in amassing a small fortune and did buy a secondhand Ford,
Chev or Chrysler. If they did drive to the University, they usually did so with the backing of four or five
other students. The passengers usually paid ten cents a ride and this money which the happy owner collected
was used to defray operating expenses. If a small profit was made, the bonus could be used to take his girl
out for a drive and possibly splash a soda in front of her for an ostentatious display of wealth.
But how did most university students move to and from the halls of learning? In 1933,1 lived in
the country in a place litde known to Vancouverites. My father had a small farm near Deer Lake in
Burnaby. This, indeed, was in the outskirts of the metro area and, surprisingly and truthfully, many of my
friends had only the very haziest idea of the Deer Lake locale ~ it was very remote from downtown
In those days, our large and rambling Tudor house had no insulation and, in the winter when the
rains came or the snow lay on the ground, it was a major task to keep the place warm. Father arose about 6
a.m., put on the fire and fifteen minutes later I would be called. In short order, father and mother and I
would be having our hot porridge and soon I would be preparing to leave.
Classes commenced at UBC at 9 a.m. I had to leave the house at 6:40 ~ usually in the dark, walk
about a mile to the Burnaby Lake Station on Sperling Avenue and arrive there in time to board the inter-
urban tram for the big city. By the time the large two-car trams arrived at Sperling Avenue from New
77 Westminster, they were already over half-filled with commuters. In winter, with the damp coats of the
passengers, the air became so humid that most windows were heavily fogged over. The tram could be heard
approaching the station from at least a mile away, preceded by a singularly imperative whistie which was
blown frequendy and this, in no uncertain terms, told you to hurry, for the train would be at the station in
about sixty seconds. With the hissing of compressed air and the screeching of brakes, the tram would stop,
the conductor at the rear would see that all potential travellers were safely on board and then he'd give the
signal to the motorman up front to start the train. This signal whisde had a high-pitched note - two beeps
meant to start the train, three to stop at the next station and one for an immediate stop.
When one boarded the train, it was found to be a friendly place. The seats were of a light beige
color, wicker-covered and moderately comfortable. Most passengers faced forward, two to a seat, with seats
on either side of a center aisle. At each end of the coach were two bench-like, long seats, one on either side.
This arrangement gave additional room for passengers who climbed aboard late and so had to stand and hold
on to the straps from the ceding to maintain their balance.
With the conductor's signal to the motorman to start, the compressed air from the brakes was
released, power was sent to the motors and, in short order, the trains were rattling down the line at sixty to
sixty-five miles per hour. Yes, they were fast trains. They swayed from one side to the other, at times so
violendy one wondered if the trains would leave the tracks. The whisde, the air brakes, the smells, the
swaying of the cars, the friendly atmosphere, the conductor walking up and down the aisle saying
"Tickets,please" - all these wonderful nostalgic sensations came back vividly, recapturing a part of life that
was so special to the pre-Second World War era.
Eventually, my ride on the trains terminated at Commercial Drive. There I would get off, walk a
couple of blocks to the comer of Broadway and Commercial and transfer to Grandview streetcar Number
Four. This would carry me across Broadway to Main Street where again I would make another transfer, this
time to a Number One. This streetcar moved across Broadway to Granville Street where again I transferred
to the car that would carry me all the way to Sasamat Street close by the UBC gates.
Just what were those city streetcars like? The "big boys" of transportation were the inter-urban
trams. Each car was about fifteen feet longer than a streetcar. They were heavier, higher and much faster.
The men who operated them belonged to the radway men's union and were considered to be a cut above the
city streetcar operators.
When I first came to Vancouver in 1922, all streetcars were open to the elements at the rear and it
was not until the late twenties that the transportation company placed enclosed doors on the rear, thereby
making the cars much warmer in winter and much more comfortable. These cars were slower than the inter-
urbans and, I think, would not travel on the level much in excess of thirty-five to forty miles per hour.
Instead of a whisde, they had a gong, so when the motorman wished to clear the tracks, he'd stamp smartly
on the gong lever and the bell would signal that the streetcar was coming. Two men operated the cars and
during my last three years at UBC, I was to get a job as a motorman, working on all holidays and in the
late hours of the day. This job was one of the better jobs a young university man could get - for the times,
it paid well - fifty-three cents per hour - and it was the greatest fun!
But, back to the business of travelling to the University. The end of the train and streetcar ride
came when, at last, the comer of Sasamat and Tenth Avenue was reached. Here, the streetcars disgorged their
load of students who, with their umbrellas at full mast and their collars turned up, all looking a bit cold and
tired, patiendy stood waiting near the comer for the arrival of the friendly old red Leyland buses. These
vehicles were of World War One vintage, very square and rigid in appearance, and spartan in their
accommodation. They were old buses, vasdy underpowered, very severely sprung and, of course, with no
air-conditioning. If a student was not completely awake by the time he boarded the bus, after a mile or two,
the jarring of the bus would certainly scatter all the cobwebs of sleep away. Seldom did one climb aboard
that the bus was not jammed with students, far exceeding its allotted capacity.
One very special morning when a powdering of snow lay on the streets, the old red bus started off
from the departure point with a more than usual cough and grant. The bus driver, a student, put the bus in
gear, let out the clutch and off we went By the time we arrived at the first incline, about a quarter of a mile
beyond the gates, our Leyland appeared to be experiencing problems. The vehicle was packed to absolute
capacity. The incline was started, quickly it became evident that the old girl just did not have the power to
make the grade. The bus driver backed up and tried a second time - but no, there was just not sufficient
power. The driver opened the doors and every red-blooded male jumped off the vehicle, put his shoulder to
78 the bus and in no time we were moving and the hill was climbed. The students re-boarded the Leyland and
we set off again to the halls of academia with rousing cheers of success.
As I remember, the bus ride to the campus cost five cents. The trip from Sasamat Road to the
small bus terminal took about twelve minutes. It was a noisy, garrulous twelve minutes, a time of high-
spirited chatter and a time ample to solve all sorts and conditions of men. It was a time of leveling ~ on the
public transport system all students were basically the same and we enjoyed a wonderful camaraderie.
We were very much a part of the student body, proud of our efforts, proud of our associations and
very proud of our alma mater. Most students were straggling to make financial ends meet and, on the public
transport, we all seemed to be of one class — the university student
It is interesting to reflect on the changing mode of transportation over the past half century. Now
the majority of students have their own mode of transport. Thousands of private vehicles come and go to
the campus each day. But - it was not always that way. In earlier and less sophisticated times, large
numbers of students used public transport. It was basic and lean of comfort. But, student transportation, like
most other things, has experienced some very great changes. These changes reflect a more affluent, a more
sophisticated and a more demanding society. It is different. Is it better? I guess we will really never know.
Walter Gage and the RCAF Radar Trainees
Joseph Rutland Billyeald
Class of'47
From May to the end of August, 1941,1 was one of a group of RCAF trainees numbering one
hundred and fifty housed at Acadian Camp. We were marched daily to and from the campus where we were
placed in the care of Dean Gage and Professor Volkoff and lab assistants for a program of mathematics and
principles of electricity and radio. We had been recruited in response to the requirement in Britain and
elsewhere in the war theatre for considerable numbers of radar mechanics. Most evenings were spent in the
Library since the camp did not provide an environment particularly suitable for study.
In addition to his brilliandy clear and often humorous lectures, Walter Gage proved a friend and
counselor to many of the men, putting in hours of his personal time circulating through the group during
the study periods. At such times he rarely missed exchanging a greeting with each individual, dispensing
help where needed, particularly in the cases of many who had little background in either math or radio.
When, at the end of August, it was time to leave the campus for future postings and uncertainties of
wartime, the parting was keenly felt by all concerned.
By the fall of 1945, a number of us found ourselves back at UBC availing ourselves of the
veterans' grants for further education. I shall always recall my surprise and pleasure when, after the four-year
interval, I again ran into Walter Gage and was greeted with my Christian name. To many of the vets he
continued as friend and advisor during succeeding years, and when he became later University President we
all felt I am certain, that the choice could not have been a wiser or happier one.
79 A Triptych:  UBC  1938-39
Robert L. McDougall
Class of'39
The Cafeteria lies beneath the Auditorium. Here the clatter at noon is like the din of a garment
factory, with the hubbub of a hundred voices added. The half-windows along the upper part of the outside
wall have metal screens. Banks of tables, always full at lunchtime, are so closely packed that the wire-
backed chairs around them are forever tangled. It is a scramble to get into a place where one can put down a
glass of milk and a baggy lunch. Amongst the tables, fraternities and sororities have their enclaves. No
trespassing. Up near the serving counter, against the rad on the cafeteria side, two or three smaller tables
form another kind of enclave. It has a floating membership of students from the Department of English,
most of them in the Honours program, which stamps them with the mark of the elite. Access to the circle
is easy, however, to anyone who writes poetry or is ready to talk about contemporary literature. Reg Jessup
presides. He is a slender young man with sandy hair which recedes at the sides of his forehead to make a
widow's peak. He is clean-shaven, bearded students being at this time rare birds. His chin is small, his eyes
protrude behind thick glasses; and his nervous hands are forever rolling cigarettes. Jessup writes pieces for
the Ubyssey. He also writes poetry which is published from time to time in the Canadian Forum. Better
still, he has read Joyce's Ulysses, still banned in Canada in 1938; and he has mastered the intricate
symbolism of The Wasteland. He has a charming stutter which adds qualities of expectancy and surprise to
his pronouncements in English seminars. Jessup's lieutenant, at the time when I hung to the fringes of this
circle, as I thought tenuously, was David McCaughey, I think pronounced "McCoy", though I may not
have even got the spelling right McCaughey is a pale young man. He has an oval face and an oval body,
which make him look a bit like Noel Coward gone to seed, and he has an air of mystery about him because
he has a wealthy Swedish uncle who provides funds for his education. Scarcely audible in the din of the
Cafeteria, he speaks with a soft voice and a lisp of the delights of reading the early editions of Joyce's Work
in Progress, soon to be published as Finnegan's Wake. This is one-upmanship on Jessup. For most of the
group, though less so for Chaucerian and Renaissance students such as Faith Grigsby and Bob apRoberts
(and I am surprised how easily I can recall the names and the persons) the magic name is Ezra Pound, il
miglior fabor, "the mighty craftsman". In its drift the talk is largely aesthetic. The political cutting edge of
the modem movement, as exemplified in the work of Auden, Isherwood, etc., is strangely absent The
depression is, after all, scarcely over, but the mood of protest is recessive. War seems remote from the
intellectual world, certainly from the social world, of the cafeteria at noon. Of course it is not. Over at the
Drill Hall, a skeleton staff from the Canadian Officers' Training Corps are dusting off the handful of Lee-
Enfield rifles, relics of World War I, with which campus training will begin before many months have
passed. Meanwhile, against all odds, we feel safe. All of us, in greater or lesser degree, are proteges of the
English Department's G.G. Sedgewick, teacher, mentor and friend. We think vaguely of academic careers.
The swing doors at the front of Arts 100 open, and a trim little man strides in. He wears slacks, a
grey jacket and a bow tie, and his head is held high. Can a man 5'4" tall stride"! Garnett Sedgewick can, and
his stride is that of an athlete, though I doubt whether he ever played an athlete's game in his life. He goes
to the platform and places his copy of Hamlet and a single sheet of paper on the podium. He frowns down
upon the class, looking over his nose, and the look is a neat illusion because there are nearly 200 of them,
arranged in tidy rows, who look down upon him from the amphitheatre heights of Arts 100. There is an air
of expectancy. He descends from the platform and passes along the front row, mosdy girls, marking on the
forehead of each an X with a piece of chalk. They giggle. "That's for your sins of omission and
commission," he says. He returns to the platform and launches into Hamlet. He seizes on the soliloquies,
the agonized thoughts of a man facing an impossible task. "To be or not to be..." "O that this too, too
sullied flesh might melt..." "Now might I do it..." But soon the text is blossoming into life itself. What is
freedom, and how is it saved and how is it lost? Where do we take a stand and what cost are we prepared to
80 pay? Where and how does the corruption of the individual meet the corruption of society? "Surely we must
hate tyranny and love freedom," he says, his fist clenched above his head, as if lifted to the war clouds
hanging over Europe. "But first" he adds, "you must know what freedom is and what tyranny is, and what
springs they come from in the human heart" PencUs and pens are down. The lecturer smirks, wrinkles his
nose, picks up the piece of paper from the podium. "And now," he says, "something for your rotten little
The date is the first of September, 1939. It is a pearly West Coast day, cool and clear, the blue sky
fleeced with a few white clouds over the north shore mountains. The long covered noticeboard in the
quadrangle casts only a small shadow under the noonday sun. Everything else is glaring light. It is not yet
term time, and I do not know where the fifty or sixty people gathered in the square have come from. Singly
or in groups, they sit on steps or squat on the pavement. The mood is subdued and there is very litde
talking. Up in the northwest comer of the quadrangle, where the old stairs to the Players' Club Green Room
meet the back wall of the Auditorium, someone has rigged a loudspeaker which crackles and whisdes from
time to time. Suddenly there is the sound of Big Ben, fading and swelling to the pulse of the shortwave
transmission. London is calling. A voice with a familiar BBC accent announces that German troops have
crossed the border into Poland. After "fateful August", the news is no surprise. It is what follows that caps
the scene with drama. Hider is addressing a rally in Berlin. One can see in the mind's eye the huge banners,
the glint of helmets and rifles, the sea of upturned faces. A guttural voice, inflamed with passion, rises in
wave after wave of rhetoric, and each wave, cresting, demands and gets the ritual answer: "Sieg Heil!", "Sieg
Heil!", "Sieg Heil!" It is a sound like no other, and it crashes down again and again on the litde square of
peaceful sunlight where we sit. I hear Yeats' voice crying out that the blood-dimmed tide is loosed and the
ceremony of innocence is drowned.
And what rough beast its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be bom?
"Sieg Heil!" "Sieg Heil!" "Sieg Heil!" The massed voices fade. The loudspeaker crackles and
whisdes, then goes out with a plop. The groups disperse. Soon the quadrangle lies empty in the sun.
The Ubyssey Was My School of Journalism
Peter Shinobu Higashi
Class of'38
The Ubyssey was where I was initially infected with the journalism bug. I still have the bug
despite the passage of over a half a century since I first joined the staff of the Ubyssey as a sophomore in
Earlier, during my seventh grade in Strathcona Public School, my teacher, Miss Fanny Grant, had
persuaded me to start and edit a school newspaper, The Strathconian, which I continued to edit until my
I mention this my earliest try at journalism, if the effort can be called journalism, because I was to
learn later from Ken Grant, a classmate at Britannia High School and later at UBC, a fellow reporter on
t he Ubyssey and one of the first members of our Class of '37 to get a regular job as a newspaperman with
the Vancouver Sun, that Miss Grant was his aunt
After I joined the Manchuria Daily News in Dairen in 1938, Ken and I corresponded with each
other and continued to do so even after he joined the Canadian Navy and was assigned to duty on a destroyer
guarding convoys across the North Adantic. After World War II ended, I fortunately managed to re-establish
contact with him and we continued to write to each other until his tragic death in a plane crash. At the time
of his death, he was a navy captain and head of the the Camp Borden Atomic Casualty School.
So much for the digression.
81 I have beside me a bound file of every issue of the Ubyssey for the academic years from 1933,
when I entered UBC, through 1938, the year I graduated. The copies were preserved and bound by my
younger brother and the handsome volume, with the Ubyssey and the years "1933-1938" printed in gold on
the front cover, was brought to Japan by my father when he was repatriated after World War n from Canada.
After fifty-odd years, the pages have turned brown, the edges have begun to crumble and the whole
volume emits a strong acid odor, but just reading the names in the mastheads brings back happy memories
of my days as an immature reporter dreaming of becoming an honest-to-goodness newspaperman.
Norman Hacking was Editor-in-Chief the year I entered UBC and he and Alan Morley were the first
ex-Ubyssey men I was able to meet on my first visit to Vancouver after World War II. Norman was then
writing a column on shipping for the Vancouver Province and Alan was working for the Vancouver Sun.
Zoe Bieler (then Browne-Clayton) was one of the two associate editors listed on the masthead of
the first issue of Volume XXI, 1933. It was she who first gave me my trial assignment when I asked to
join Ubyssey the following year. I remember I handed in my handwritten story, which she rejected outright
insisting it be typed. This forced me to sit at a typewriter for the first time in my life and I spent a whole
afternoon laboriously pecking out each letter. To this day, I am a "rain-drop typist" and it is only thanks to
my PC that I can now produce copy relatively free of typos.
Arthur Mayse's name is also there. I remember him hunched over a typewriter, his whole body
swaying, like that of a pianist, to the rhythm of the lyrical prose in which he wrote his columns. I
rediscovered him after the war in his short stories in the Saturday Evening Post and on my latest visit to
Canada in 1986,1 read at the home of Tommy Shoyama, now teaching at the University of Victoria, the
weekly columns Arthur was writing for the Times-Colonist.
John Logan's name also appears in the same 1933 masthead as a "sport" writer. On my first visit
to Vancouver at the end of the war I visited the late Professor Harry Logan only to learn that John had won
a Rhodes Scholarship, but had been killed while commanding a tank during the Allied landing in
Normandy. Professor Logan gave me John's copy of the Totem for 1937 and his UBC and Ubyssey pins to
replace my own abandoned in Manchuria when I was interned by the Red Army in December, 1945.
It was thanks to the Attic Greek grammar that I learned while studying Homer under Professor
Logan that enabled me to learn to speak, read and write enough Russian in a year and a half in Alma Ata to
become an interpreter and an expert in calculating the work norms achieved by the men in the work
"brigadi" to which I was assigned and in making out "naryadi" or work reports for the work teams I
accompanied to various work sites under the escort of Soviet soldiers armed with machine guns. Being an
interpreter spared me during the second half of my internment the agony of the back-breaking "black labor"
forced upon Japanese prisoners of war and internees in our camp and no doubt was a key factor in enabling
me to survive my ordeal in Alma Mata.
Alan Morley's name also appears on the 1933 masthead as an ordinary reporter. In addition to my
first meeting with him referred to earlier, I was able to meet him on a couple of other occasions and he once
wrote an article about me in the Vancouver Sun. He had returned to UBC in 1933 to resume his studies
after a short absence and was maturer than the "pubsters", as we called ourselves, on the Ubyssey staff. I
remember the erudite papers he used to give at the Letters Club meetings, in particular, one on James
Joyce's Ulysses, the ban on which had only been lifted in the United States in 1933.
Archie Thompson becomes Editor-in-Chief in 1934 and the mastheads for 1934 are full of names,
including mine, of members of the Class of '37, such as Jim Beveridge (whose name appears misspelled
with appalling frequency as Beverage, Bevridge or Beverige), Ken Grant, Lloyd Hobden, Sam Roddan of
Muck-a-Muck fame, Norman DePoe and Dorwin Baird, whom I was also able to meet on one of my postwar trips to Vancouver at the home of the owner of CJOR, where Dorwin was working at that time. He
died an untimely death some years later. Jim Beveridge, who later joined the National Film Board, always
called me up whenever he passed through Tokyo on his way to his beloved India
Glory be! The masthead of the first issue for the 1935 academic year has me promoted to the
position of exhange editor. John Comish is the Editor-in-Chief and Zoe is now news manager. Zoe
eventually joins the Montreal Star and to this day sends me in her Christmas cards news of the fast
dwindling survivors of our Ubyssey generation.
The name of John Dauphinee appears as one of four assistant editors that year. Three years later, in
the spring of 1937, I received a phone call from John, who was then working as night editor in the
Vancouver Bureau of the Canadian Press, asking me to help him cover the visit of the late Prince Chichibu,
82 the reigning Emperor's immediate younger brother, and Princess Chichibu, who were to pass through
Vancouver shortly on their way to London to attend the coronation of King George VI. I gladly placed my
knowledge of Japanese at John and CP's disposal.
John went on to rise to the highest post in Canadian Press, that of general manager. In the
meantime, he had married Alison Macintosh, who was on the Ubyssey the same year as John and I. Many
years later, when I was passing through New York, where the Associated Press was holding its annual
meeting of member publishers, I bumped into John and Alison at the meeting. Although I had earlier
visited John in his CP headquarters in Toronto, it was my first meeting with Alison since graduation.
The AP and CP have always been very close and I remember how I was assigned, because of my
Canadian background, to write stories of purely Canadian interest requested by CP. One time it was a
request for stories on a Candian rugby team touring Japan, and since none of the Americans on the AP staff
in Tokyo knew anything about rugby, it was good old Higashi who was given the job.
John and Alison Dauphinee faithfully send us Christmas cards each year from their winter
retirement home in Florida, to which they flee from ice-cold Toronto where they live during the summer
Reg Jessup's name appears in the 1935 masthead also as literary editor. He was a sensitive poet
and wrote poetry I gready admired. His poems are printed in the literary section of the 1937 Totem, with
two of my own, "Five Piles" and "For Your Autograph", but, since none of the authors are identified, I can
identify only my own and can't recall which are his.
Others listed in the masthead include Bill and Norah Sibley, Peggy Higgs, whom I remember for
the perennial cigarette dangling from her lips, and Monty Fotheringham, whom I met at the Vancouver Sun
one year after the war, when I called on the publisher, Don Cromie, some years before he sold his
It was the Vancouver Sun, incidentally, which permitted the Ubyssey staff at that time to "take
over" the paper once a year and write stories for publication in its pages. I recall I had a story printed under a
two-column head on one of the inside pages, but for the life of me I can't remember what I wrote about.
Zoe's name graces the top of the first issue masthead for the academic year of 1936 as Editor-in-
Chief. It is a special issue commemorating UBC's twenty-first birthday and is printed on slick magazine-
quality paper. Senior editors are Kemp Edmonds, who succeeds Zoe in 1937 as Editor-in-Chief, and Dorwin
Baird, who inherits the job after him in 1938, while continuing to broadcast his "Varsity Hour" over
CJOR. Dick Elson is sports editor and Ken Grant, Dorothy Cummings, and Frank Rutter are associate
Lo and behold! Ubyssey lists, no doubt, for the first time in its history a staff photographer,
Stewart Calvert. Surely this interest in photography could not have been an accident. The year 1936 was
when the Associated Press inaugurated its wirephoto network covering the United States and Canada and
just celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of wirephoto this year.
Soon, the mastheads become leaner and leaner, until only the names of the top brass are printed.
The year is also out of the ordinary in that for a full academic year Ubyssey is misnumbered Volume XIV,
instead of the correct Volume XIX. It is surprising nobody seems to have caught this mistake.
It is also the year I say goodbye to the Ubyssey in order to concentrate on my graduating essay.
My two years on the Ubyssey staff turn out to be the most meaningful years of my life. Not only was
Ubyssey my school of journalism (such institutions did not exist in our era), but destined me to a life
devoted to journalism.
As I close my brother's Ubyssey file, I must apologize to the dozens of co-pubsters whom I could
not mention for lack of space. However, I must mention one name among the reporters listed in the 1938
masthead. It is that of Eiko Henmi (now Etheridge), is the first bona fide Nisei to write for the Ubyssey.
She was a talented writer and could have carved a career for herself in journalism, if only the portals of
Vancouver newspapers were open to the Nisei, before they were closed ~ if not irrevocably, then decisively
- after Pearl Harbor.
As for myself, I could not hope, being of Asian ancestry, of ever becoming a naturalized citizen,
but I still won recognition from a Canadian newspaper when Fred Auger, then publisher of the Vancouver
Province, made me an honorary Province newsboy when he found out I used to deliver his newspapers as a
boy in Vancouver's Little Tokyo. For that kind gesture I am most grateful.
83 The Donkey and the Nightingale
Arthur Mayse
Class of '35
There was much that I liked and even loved about the University of British Columbia, my almost
Alma Mater. The Library, for instance. I could have taken up residence in that dignified grey pile, so well-
stocked with food for the young and eagerly-searching mind. Then there was the Ubyssey office, crowded
and slovenly, with its battered, ancient typewriters, its half-emptied cups of coffee and half-smoked
cigarettes. We were a band of brothers, those of us privdeged to hang out there. We dreamed big dreams, we
would do big things. As befitted newspapermen in the making, we preserved a theatrically-hardboiled
attitude toward our world and everything in it.
There were also certain professors whom I recall with deepest respect and affection. Dr. G.G.
Sedgewick was one, that peerless Elizabethan who did me the honor of borrowing my necktie. Marched
right down from the dais, he did, fixed me with a stare like a rattlesnake charming a rat, then yanked the tie
off my neck. (I never got it back, either).
But there was one prof whom I held in even higher esteem. He was a quiet man, calm of speech
and deliberate in his ways. His name was Jordan... I don't remember whether he held a doctorate, but I'll
grant him one out of gratitude... and he made sense to me even though his subject didn't
Dr. Jordan was a professor of mathematics. For three mortal years I turned up in his freshman
math classes, and for that same span he did his best to instill an understanding of algebra, geometry and
trigonometry into me.
I realize now that he might as well have been pounding on a boulder with a feather, for all his
chances of success. I was and still am impervious to mathematics, just as some gifted mathematicians are
deaf to the cadences of verse or the fine checks and balances of a well-constructed play.
God made the nightingale but he also made the donkey, the Spanish proverb runs, and no use to
tamper with the mold.
Once, after I scored three duck eggs in trigonometry, geometry and algebra, I said as much to Dr.
Jordan. He only smiled, and asked if I had thought of getting a tutor.
So I got hold of a tutor. She lasted for not quite three sessions. Then she flung up her hands, gave
me a look in which horror blended with disbelief, and ran out of the room.
By the time I'd made it through to my junior year, trailing freshman geometry, trigonometry and
algebra like clouds of glory, I wasn't doing too badly in other directions. I was a Ubyssey columnist, had
won the Isabelle Ecclestone MacKay poetry award twice running, and was selling my English essays, with
slight revisions, to this magazine or that I was also gibbling math tests with impressive consistency.
Dr. Jordan did his best for me. Working behind the scenes, he brought my case to the attention of
the Board of Governors in the hope that those gendemen would show bowels of mercy and forgive me my
freshman mathematics. They didn't
Next, Dr. Jordan arranged an interview with the University President He listened while I pled my
case. Then he declared solemnly, "Young man, it's a matter of discipline. If you discipline yourself to the
task, youll have no difficulty passing mathematics!"
As I quoted, God made the nightingale and the donkey, and that president was no nightingale.
Matters came to a head in Dr. Jordan's office after I'd failed Christmas math exams in my junior
"There's only one avenue we haven't explored," Dr. Jordan said pensively. "Do you think we
should try prayer?"
"Sir," I told him, "I don't think even prayer would help."
After knocking off three more zeroes in my final go-round with algebra, trig and geometry, I went
off to work a summer in the logging woods, from which I emerged to become a junior reporter on the
Vancouver Daily Province staff. There, subjected to at least as fierce a discipline as mathematics could have
inflicted, I was too busy to brood over my failure to achieve a degree.
In fact, the only time I've felt a twinge was when I learned many years later that the Law of the
Medes and the Persians had been softened, and that a system of electives spared non-mathematical students
the misery and hopelessness of grappling with a subject they couldn't begin to master.
If it had been that way when Dr. Jordan was moving earth and heaven to squeak me through, sure
as two and two make five I'd be a UBC alumnus!
84 Recollections of a Tenderfoot
Pierre Berton
Class of'41
When I first encountered it in the fall of 1939, the campus of the University of British Columbia
was vast and, to me, a little terrifying. I had never seen so many students ~ more than two thousand I was
confused, bewildered and elated all at the same time.
I gave litde thought to lectures or curriculum but instead went straight to the offices of the
Publications Board, where The Ubyssey, The Totem (the college annual) and The Tillicum (the student
handbook) were all produced. At the front counter, I received a warm smile from a pretty girl with cherry
lips and dark brown eyes. This was Janet Walker, editor of The Tillicum. Her name was familiar to me
from my study of the paper during my last year in Victoria. I thought her smile was a special one for me
and believed myself to be in love with her. I didn't realize that she smiled cheerfully at everyone for she had
a sunny disposition and a warm heart She still has. Seven years later I married her.
The Ubyssey's editor in chief was John Garrett, who'd been a class ahead of me at Oak Bay High.
He was a bantam cock of a man with a crisp accent, part English, part Victoria, who gave the impression
that he was surrounded by idiots and morons. His main purpose, he announced, was to raise the intellectual
standard of the university by at least ten percent using The Ubyssey as his instrument. In that, I fear, he
faded signally.
The snobbishness of the Publications Board was a reflection of Garrett's own personality. The staff
of the paper invariably referred to him as "God", a tide he clearly relished. As for a budding journalist like
myself, he treated us as insects, useful no doubt for fetching Cokes and chips for the seniors on the staff,
but far too inexperienced to be trusted with any kind of assignment. If that was his way of getting rid of
those who joined the paper for glamour rather than journalism, it worked. But one or two of us hung on and
after a fortnight of being ignored I was at last handed a list of books the library had purchased that week and
told to write a paragraph about it
My first assignment! I sweated for hours over that paragraph ~ the first story of mine to see real
I wrote: "A new and exciting series of tides wdl grace the library shelves as a result of shrewd
purchases by the librarian, John Ridington..."
And I wrote: "Librarian John Ridington today revealed the acquisition of valuable volumes for the
university library..."
And I wrote: "Library shelves bulged today with six newly-acquired tomes..."
And I wrote: "Cost is no object with genial John Ridington where good literature is concerned.
Throwing caution to the winds, he has spared no expense to acquire six new volumes..."
It finally came out as: "The following six books were purchased this week by the library..."
I can still remember the moment when the paper came out and I snatched a copy off the pde,
turned to my own story and read those printed words over and over again. NEW BOOKS ON LIBRARY
SHELVES. Beautiful! I was on my way.
The following year, I was one of two senior editors on The Ubyssey. I put out the Tuesday
edition, Janet Walker handled the Friday edition. The Editor-in-Chief was a quiet-spoken classics scholar
named Jack Margeson, the direct antithesis of the god-like Garrett MUd and self-effacing, he scarcely fitted
the image of the iconoclastic campus editor, which is probably the reason he was chosen. The rest of us, I
suspect were considered far too radical and unruly to hold such high office in those wartime years when the
University was doing its best to keep a low profile. These were serious times. Student pranks were frowned
on. "Responsibihty" was the order of the day.
85 Early in the year I wrote an official song, entided "The Illegitimate Chfldren of the Publications
Board", which is I believe still sung with different but equally scurrilous lyrics.
Refrain: There's a thriving kindergarten
In the depths of old Brock Hall
They feed the kids on bottles
From the time that they are small
They sleep on beer-soaked Ubysseys
And Margeson is lord
Of the illegitimate children
Of the Publications Board.
First John Garrett was an editor
Verse: Drank, whiskey by the tub
He's the guy who made the Georgia
An annex to the Pub
Jack Margeson's of different stock
Teetotalling's his boast
So while we called John Garrett "God"
Jack's The Holy Ghost.
...And so on.
Fortunately Margeson let us have our own way and I took all the rope that was given me. I
redesigned the paper, adding big pictures, threw out column rules, slapped in bold dots and horizontal black
lines, overturned the typeface and persuaded Janet to go along with the revolution.
I engaged other columnists. Patrick Keadey, who was later to rise to dizzy heights on The
Guardian in London's Fleet Street and Lister Sinclair, who was to become jack-of-all-arts in Canada, were
both persuaded to write columns. Sinclair, in fact, wrote two. He was only nineteen then, but he seemed
like a patriarch to us - nineteen going on seventy — with his photographic memory and his uncanny
knowledge of music and literature.
But the real find was a handsome and extremely shy youth named Eric Nicol. At Victoria College I
had been transfixed by a witty serial running in The Ubyssey called "Chang Suey", a spoof on Fu Manchu,
with a college background. The story was never signed and it was with difficulty that I discovered that Nicol
had been the author. I searched him out and he agreed, somewhat diffidendy, to write - not Chang Suey,
which had been ruined by lesser hands in the intervening year - but a weekly column to be called "The
Mummery", signed not by Nicol but by the pseudonym Jabez.
We saw very litde of Eric. He would sidle into the Publications office of a Tuesday morning,
quickly drop off his copy on the desk as if it was contaminated, and vanish. But everything he wrote was
hilarious and he was soon the talk not only of the campus but of the downtown papers. Later I tried to
persuade him to quit the academic life and become a journalist He insisted he was going to continue his
studies in French literature. In the end he succumbed, became a columnist for The Province and, as I write
this, continues to be. No one has captured more Leacock awards for humour than he.
It may well be that my most useful accomplishment at the University of British Columbia was to
help launch Nicol on his journalistic and literary career.
Philip Akrigg is a Professor Emeritus of English and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the
author of many scholarly works but best known for B.C. Place Names, co-authored with his
wife Helen (Manning) Akrigg.
Ludlow Beamish has had a busy professional life in the field of dentistry. Throughout the years he has
maintained a continuing interest in community and cultural affairs.
Roderick Norman Beattie took graduate studies in history at the University of Toronto, then
embarked on a longfcareer with Ontario Hydro. He died in 1985.
Ward F. DeBeck was active in track sports and humanities issues while attending UBC. He is an
ordained Anglican minister presendy living in Salem, Oregon.
Pierre Berton is one of Canada's best known authors and journalists, has covered in vivid detail many
facets of our national story. As all Canadians know, he is a mainstay on Front Page
Joseph Rutland Billyeald is a teacher with special interests in music, now retired on the Gulf Islands.
Clare (Brown) Buckland has had a long career in education, particularly in the field of administration,
and now in 1986 is finding a new career as a Jungian therapist
David Carey was a Rhodes Scholar who has spent twenty-five years in international organizations of
reconciliation. He is presendy involved in drag and alcohol rehabilitation work in the United
Cyril S. Chave spent most of forty years as the English Department Head at Prince of Wales Secondary
School in Vancouver where he continued his interests in play production developed at UBC.
Jean (Fraser) Crowley has maintained an active interest in community affairs, in the SCM and in the
Provincial Council of Women.
Mildred (Osterhout) Fahrni studied Social Work at UBC, Bryn Mawr and in London. She returned to
Vancouver where she has spent most of her life in social work and in furthering the cause of
James A. Gibson has devoted most of his working life to a university career in history and
administration. At retirement he was President of Brock University in St. Catherines, Ont
William Gibson spent many years on the faculty of UBC and then became, successively, Chairman of
the Universities' Councd of B.C. and in 1985, Chancellor of the University of Victoria.
Ronald Grantham as an editor of the Ubyssey in the early 1930s was a staunch opponent of the
provincial government's first restraint program. He became a well known newspaperman who
worked for many years on the Ottawa Citizen.
Ken Grieve is a retired auto dealer, teacher, cab driver and longshoreman whose main interests are now
music and politics.
87 Peter Shinobu Higashi was founding editor of The New Canadian. For many years he has lived in
Tokyo as Executive Representative of Associated Press and now is a Director of AP-Dow
Jones News Services.
Katharine Hockin was a teacher in B.C. Indian schools after graduation, secretary to the SCM in the
Maritimes, a missionary in China during the ascension of the Communist regime, and a
teacher at Covenant College, Toronto.
Joseph E. Kania taught and did research at the University of Illinois until 1932 when he returned to
Vancouver as an investment advisor. He taught Engineering Economics at UBC from 1944-
John Laurence Kask has enjoyed a long career in both scientific and administrative posts associated
with Canadian, American and international fishing agencies.
Stuart Keate was a long time newspaperman and publisher of the Victoria Times and latterly, the
Vancouver Sun. His book, Paper Boy gives a unique view of the growth of Canadian
newspapers. He died in 1987.
Eric Kelly is a well known educator and teacher in British Columbia. He recendy closed the teaching
phase of his life, retiring as Principal of John Oliver High School in Vancouver.
Mary (Sadler) Kelly has spent most of her professional life in the field of social work in Vancouver.
Himie Koshevoy was a newspaperman who got his start on the Ubyssey where his sense of humor
enlivened its pages as it has since in our local press.
Tom Lea enjoyed the reputation as Mr. Indispensable backstage in Players' Club productions. After
graduation he continued his stage interests as well as finding time to work for nearly twenty
years as Stage Manager with Theatre Under the Stars.
Arthur Mayse is a working journalist and columnist in both newspapers and magazines. For some years
he was at Maclean's.
Clare (McQuarrie) McAllister is a well known figure in community affairs throughout B.C. She has
spent her professional life in social work and on the Faculty of the UBC School of social
Robert L. McDougall is a founding Director of the Institute of Canadian Studies at Carleton
Malcolm F. McGregor has devoted his working life to the study and teaching of the classics at the
University of Cincinnati and then for many years at his Alma Mater, UBC.
Kae (Farquhar) McKenzie studied social work at McGUl and at UBC, and has worked for many years
as a community organizer in Vancouver and the North Shore.
R. Russell Munn was President of the AMS 1929-30. He followed a long career in librarianship from
the inception of the Fraser Valley Travelling Library to the New York Public Library, TVA
Travelling Library, Cleveland Public Library and finally as Librarian at Akron, Ohio.
Nathan Nemetz completed his law studies at UBC, practiced law in British Columbia and has rounded
off his career as Chief Justice of the B.C. Supreme Court.
88 Constance (Baird) Newby was closely associated with the Chilliwack Progress for nearly twenty-fours
years as a columnist and writer.
Eric Nicol has spent his life as a newspaper columnist, author and dramatist He won the Stephen
Leacock Medal an unprecedented three times. A generation of Canadian readers has been
amused and delighted by his sense of humor.
Hugh M. Palmer was a CBC broadcaster and executive, and former Director of the Confederation
Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
J. Harvey Parliament has pursued a career for forty years in the field of mining engineering, chiefly in
Sydney Risk was one of the outstanding members of UBC's core of actors and play director in the
Twenties and Thirties. He continued to work in the theatre in B.C. and Great Britain. He died
in Vancouver in 1985.
Sam Roddan has spent most of his professional life in adult education and teaching. His writing appears
in newspapers, journals and school texts.
Mary (McGeer) Rupp took her social work degrees at UBC and in the United States, then she returned
to Vancouver where she has spent most of her professional life in family and children's
Arthur Sager has held many government and university posts. He has worked with the United Nations
and ended his career with the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.
Winston Shilvock has always been active in community and university affairs. A graduate in the
Commerce class of '32, he was President of the Alumni Association 1948-49.
Samuel Leonard Simpson has spent his life chiefly as an independent cannery operator. In later years
his creative writing has dwelt on stories of early days in the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Dorothy Somerset founded the Department of Theatre at UBC and has spent a lifetime in developing
and encouraging participation and interest in the theatre arts.
Elizabeth (Leslie) Stubbs has been a teacher of English in B.C. high schools and until her retirement
taught at Vancouver Community College.
Frances (Montgomery) Tillman is best known for her lifetime involvement with women's concerns.
Her interests have included writing, music and the World Council of Churches.
J. Ross Tolmie was president of the AMS in the academic year, 1928-29. At present he practices law
in Ottawa.
Arthur J. Wirick after graduate studies in history at UBC, he spent forty-two years working in the field
of adult education, latterly at the University of Saskatchewan.
89 -*$fe
When I first encountered it in the fall of 1939. the campus of the University of
British Columbia was ixist, and, to me. a little terrifying. I had never seen so
many students - more than two thousand. I was confused, bewildered, and elated
all at the same time.
Pierre Berton
As for the speakers, we might say that occasionally they looked ruefully at their
shattered lances and contemplated the stilt-intact windmills of pre-1939
Cyril Chave
All freshmen tvere viewed as a lower form of life, of course, in those days of the
primitive caste system, and I was one of the Untouchables. I brooded because
the Engineers news tossed me into the Library's reflecting pool, not wanting to
pollute the water.
Eric Nicol
For a while f uxts a registered Theolog hut my fall from grace soon became a
headlong descent trailing wispy clouds of doubt and despair to the pre-ordained
Sam Roddan
The University of British Columbia Alumni Association
6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver,
British Columbia V6T 1W5 (604) 228-3313


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