A Public Examination – December 30, 1863

Immediately following the uproar in the village over the school affairs a public examination was held. After these exams were over it was always customary for the different persons, who had taken part in the examining to address the students, parents and friends of the candidates.

Mr. T. Kirkland of Whitby proceeded to make the following speech, which turned out to be somewhat of a penny lecture read to the school board. He said he had ‘read in the “Vindicator” of Oshawa’s economical growth and had followed it with interest. However he had not seen much attempt at the promotion of education.’

There could be no success in school management under such a perambulating system of hiring teachers as had been kept in connection with the Oshawa Central School. For the sake of salaries, good teachers were allowed to go and the change of principals every short while was not good. Oshawa would have to get more liberally minded men on the board if they expected to keep up with surrounding centres. Changes of principals were rare in Whitby, thus attributing to their growth in education.

He also lectured the trustees for deducting a day’s pay from a teacher’s salary on account of an unavoidable absence. He called that “mean business for a school board.”

Oshawa had given only $5 for prizes and Whitby had contributed $25 at their grammar school.

The principal of Henry Street School, Mr. G.Y. Smith also spoke very favourably of Mr. Reazin as a teacher. They did not appreciate the fact that he had been let out of the Oshawa school. He had been in Whitby for some little time before coming here and apparently those men were some of his friends.

It was a case of “look at us and see how we are prospering in our schools.” Oshawa and Whitby were well known rivals at that time

Naturally, the school trustees were not at all flattered when they heard that speech. Dr. McGill was very angry and he answered Mr. Kirkland in no uncertain terms. He called it “exceedingly mean and very uncalled for; it should have been left for another occasion.” He did not expect any gentleman to come to a public exam and read such a lecture. It was certainly no help towards improving relations between the two towns. There was no account of any apologies having been handed out.


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