The Home and School Club

The Home and School Club is an institution that has been functioning for close to half a century. Since the time it was first organized it would be impossible to estimate the benefit these clubs have been to the parents and schools in the various communities.

Mention was made of the fact that Home and School Clubs were in existence in the Maritimes in 1907/1908.

Its aim is to awaken public interest in all educational matters, by means of organization and discussion and by providing literature and speakers. We believe that in the schools of tomorrow, and through the sympathetic and intelligent of parents, with inspiring and public spirited teachers, lies Ontario’s and Canada’s best hope of establishing a Great Democracy.

Miss Maude Squires, a resident of Oshawa and an itinerant[1] art teacher (1919 – 1925) in the city, became interested in the work of Home and School Clubs. It was a new idea to most of the residents at the time. She went to Toronto to gain more information about the work. She felt that these clubs would be of much benefit to

Oshawa. After that visit she was asked to give a talk in to the teachers, explaining the function of these clubs. An appeal was made to Mrs. R. S. McLaughlin[2], on the evening of November the 16th, 1920, to discuss the possibilities of forming a Home and School organization in the town of Oshawa.

Mrs. McLaughlin, on motion made by Miss M.P. Squires, seconded by Miss J.W. Garrow, took the chair and conducted the business of the evening.

A long list of the splendid activities, twenty-six in all, which should be of interest to Home and School Clubs was then read. Among them were:

            To assist in beautifying school grounds

            To encourage play and the installation of playground equipment

To use school as a social centre and establish night classes and courses of lecture

            To establish a library

            To support school orchestras and choruses

            To help Canadian foreign born residents

To encourage [viewing] good motion pictures and to discourage demoralizing ones.

It was moved by Mrs. D.J. Brown, seconded by Miss Annand, and unanimously passed, that we form a branch of the Ontario Federation of Home and School associations to be known as the Oshawa Home and School Association, with a President, First and Second Vice-Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer. These officers, with five other active members, one to represent each school shall constitute the executive, this committee to have power to add to its members. Carried.

The following officers and committee were elected:

Honourary President – A.E. Garbutt, supervisor of Oshawa Public Schools

President – Mrs. R.S. McLaughlin

First Vice-president – Miss M.P. Squires

Second Vice-president – Miss Sieling, school nurse.

Treasurer – Miss Algrer

Secretary – Miss J.W. Garrow

Committee –             1. Mrs. O.C. Reid – Simcoe St. School

2. Miss G. Argall – Mary St. School

3. Miss E. Holmes – Centre St. School

4. Miss Lowe – Albert St. School

5. Miss L. Moffatt – King St. School

After deciding the time and place for future meetings and a speaker for the following one, the first meeting of the Home and School Club in Oshawa came to a close.

Following the formation of that Central Club each of the schools then proceeded to form its own Home and School Club.

King Street School organized their club on November 26th, 1920. The first officers were:

President – Mrs. Edith Conant Myers. (She was spoken of as having been the grandmother of all the clubs, having been the first president of one of the first clubs formed in a school. She held the banner by a small margin, indeed.)

Secretary – Miss Leta Moffat

Treasurer – Mrs. W.A. Dewland

Mary Street – Home and School Club was organized December 1st, 1920

President – Miss Helen M. Keddie

Secretary – Mrs Flath

Treasurer – Miss Gertrude Argall

Centre Street school organized their club December 9th, 1920

President – Mrs. C.A. Kinnear

Vice-president – Miss E. Holmes

Secretary – Mrs. B.C. Colpus

Treasurer – Mrs. T.B. Crothers

[1] Traveling from place to place, especially on a circuit, as a minister, judge, or sales representative; itinerating; journeying.

[2] Married for 60 years to R. Samuel McLaughlin, whose family company, the McLaughlin Car Company, eventually became General Motors of Canada Ltd., Adelaide worked hard finding ways to benefit society through her local charitable work. She continued to pursue these activities and interests until her death at the age of 83.


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