J.H. Dolan

After Mr. Smith left the school in the spring of 1912, there was no principal until Mr. Dolan came in the fall of that same year. His home was in Picton. He was a specialist in classics and he rendered valuable inspiration in author’s languages and Literature.

He was strict and kept things well under control. Gradually he organized the school. The attendance was larger by this time, and also a literary society was started. The officers were elected by ballot and occasional meetings were held. There were some debates and also a mock Parliament. Two of the laws debated were “A Navy for the back streets of Oshawa,” (Oshawa was a mud hole then) and also a law prohibiting Mr. Stevenson from obtaining stray cats to dissect in the biology classes. A few of the boys were very good orators.

Any of the pupils who could play an instrument, recite or sing were called upon to take part in the programmes. One item that all enjoyed was to get Mr. Stevenson to read to the school. It took a bit of coaxing but he would choose some weird tale and it really went over big.

A meeting was also held to choose the High school colours. As far as it is known, that was the origin of the colour emblems for the school. A request was made, to those who wished, to submit a combination of colours thought suitable. The choice was yellow and black. Later pins were made and sold to the scholars. The school motto was and still is, “Rectus Culti Pectora Roberant.[1]” No one knows where it originated. Personally I (Olive French) have an idea Rev. Lumsden was the originator.

Field days were held once in a while and a game or two of basketball, were the only outside sports held at the time. Classes and studies occupied the most of the day.

Mr. Dolan rendered valuable inspiration in authors, languages and Literature. He left Oshawa in 1920 to take up the position of principal in the Collegiate Institute in London.


[1] The right education makes the heart as strong as oak.

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