Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A 'Model' at Macdonald College - Mabel Rodger

Images from the archives of L.C. Gagnon

Model School Teacher Class at Macdonald College 1919-1920
Long before our modern use of the term, the students working to obtain a First Class Model School Diploma  referred to themselves as 'Models'. They became qualified to teach in, or to run a school between an 'elementary' school and an 'academy'.

In the photo above, my grandmother Mabel is in the front row, first on the right.

A Model Yell

A 2 cm Macdonald College symbol carefully preserved in the 'yearbook'.

Map: Montreal Region 1924, Citizen's Atlas of the World; John Bartholomew; Edinburgh. 
Macdonald College was/is primarily an agricultural college set up on a large expanse of farmland at the west end of Montreal Island - see 'St Anne' above for the precise location. The McGill teachers college was moved from McGill University, in downtown Montreal, to Macdonald College when the latter opened in 1907. After the Great War 1914-1918 a sprawling veteran's hospital was also built at St Anne - across the railway tracks from the teachers college. During that era, soldiers were brought to the hospital railway spur track aboard specially-constructed and staffed military hospital trains - usually running from Halifax.

Above, the black lines represent railways on the map of Quebec - as seen from Britain in 1924. My grandmother's home near the Geneva 'post village' is just north of the St Andrews, Quebec dot ... to the west of St Anne and up the Ottawa River.

Macdonald College postcard view c1960. 
The St Lawrence River is to the south and the Toronto-Montreal highway and railway tracks are to the north.

Macdonald College teachers on the river c1920.
A skewed, tiny, very faded photo in my grandmother's yearbook (3 cm x 5 cm) appears to show students and a teacher in an academic gown (foreground) on a cable ferry or barge. Beside it is the following photo.

Mabel Rodger and Macdonald College student friend c1920
Mabel Rodger and a Macdonald College friend c1920.
One of many inscriptions in my grandmother's 'yearbook'.

Mabel Rodger and a Macdonald College friend at St Anne de Bellevue
Behind them are the Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk (later Canadian National) railway bridges. The Ottawa River is flowing by them toward its confluence with the St. Lawrence.

A Macdonald College teaching student in winter c1920.

A 1920 Macdonald College cheer which marries tradition and modern history.