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Jubilee Year 1927

The principal of the school for eight years was Sister Margaret Mary. She is a sister of Mrs. Leo Karnath. She is retired now and is, at present, in St. Joseph’s convent in Toronto[1]. She celebrated her diamond Jubilee (60 years) in 1963, in St. Joseph’s order.

By the year 1930, the Oshawa separate school attendance stood at 454. The average was only 75%. Thus was an important factor as the legislative grant was based on daily attendance and not on the total enrolment as it is at present.

[1] Unsure of when Sister Mary Karnath passed away.


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Supervising Principals and Inspectors 1967

Supervising Principals and Inspectors of Protestant Schools


Supervising Principals –     T.C. Tice

James Campbell

Arthur E. Garbutt

Cecil Cannon – Later an Oshawa Inspector

T.R. McEwen – Inspector who took Mr. Cannon’s place when he left Oshawa.

Mr. E. Webster

Mr. W. McDonald – Inspectors of Oshawa

Thomas J. Heath

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Board of Education – 1967

S.E. Lovell – Chairman

T.D. Thomas – Vice Chairman

J.G. Brady

F.R. Britten

L.D. Clarke

L.G. Glover – Phm. B.

J.C. Larmond – B. Sc.

Mrs. C.C. Lee

S.G. Saywell

R.H. Stroud

D.W. Wilson

F.S. Wotten



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School Boards of Later Years

The following was reported in the “Vindicator,” “A diligent servant, one of the school trustees, took a quiet snooze to himself at the board meeting, on Tuesday p.m. and woke up just when the question of a new pump and well was being discussed. We can’t say there was any connection between the subject of discussion and the waking, but a pump is a suggestive thing at such a time.” Perhaps the thought of a dowsing with cold water in his subconscious mind brought him to his senses eh? It must have been a tame meeting compared to some of them!

However, Oshawa owes much to the school boards which down through the years have brought the Public and High school system second to none in the province. The following was reported in the “Daily Reformer” June 30th 1927,

“In the early days the work of the schools was supervised by trustees, these being elected along with the town and city council. The first school board as we know it now did not come until 1890 and some of the members were nominated by the county council.” This system was changed in 1926 by vote of public supporters.

“In the year 1927, the Board became the “Oshawa Board of Education” composed solely of men elected by the citizens of Oshawa to administer the affairs of the schools. By this, the taxpayers were given a greater voice in the expenditure of money on education. In the year 1884, it was thought that a huge sum of money had been voted when the schools were allotted $35 000 to carry on their work. In 1927 around $244 000 of the city’s money will be used with the government grant in addition.”

“The change from a city and county combination boards was a natural outcome, for Oshawa schools by that time, were extensive enough to have their own district and separate management.”

Rev. Father P.J. Bench sat on the school board in 1927. His work dealt mainly with the High schools which were attended by the graduating pupils of separate elementary school. There was only one at that time, mainly St. Gregory on Simcoe Street North.

There were seventeen members on the Board before changes came into effect. Afterwards there were ten. Ten members still comprise the Board of Education for the protestant schools. Two additional ones represent the Roman Catholic Secondary students, many of whom attend the protestant High schools. These Catholic members are elected by their voters.

Mrs. Edith Conant Myers was the first woman member of the Board of Education to be elected in Oshawa.



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Miss Fanny Hislop

Miss Fanny Elizabeth Hislop was born in June 1858. Her mother was a member of the Tweedie family, long established in this district. Miss Hislop had one sister Sara Jane who was younger than she. Their home was on the corner of Celina and Athol streets where the Loblaw Supermarket now stands . The old house was in a dilapidated condition when it was demolished to make way for that store, but in its heyday it was a well-kept residence. Their father died when Fanny was ten years old.

Fanny and her sister attended Public and High school in Oshawa. Both were excellent scholars as the old school reports showed . Fanny was the only one who passed the Intermediate exams in Oshawa in 1876. This meant the successful completion of grade VII, VIII, IX and X. Mr. W. Tamblyn was head master of the Union School on Centre Street at that time, and he recommended to the school trustees that she should be given a prize. She was awarded ten dollars worth of books, which were described as having been “handsome volumes of the standard poets.”

Miss Hislop passed the second-class teacher’s examination in the summer of 1877 and attended Normal School in the following year, 1877 to June 1878. It was reported in the “Vindicator” that “Miss Fanny Hislop, a brilliant Oshawa student was appointed grade one teacher in Albert Street school in Sept. 1878.” James McBrien, inspector of Public schools at the time singled her out as being one of the best teachers for junior pupils that he had in his inspectorate.

Her sister, Miss Sara Jane Hislop, also taught in Albert Street School and was the principal for a few years, 1890 – 1896. Fanny was appointed principal in 1911, a post she held for thirteen years. She taught grade three at that time and her salary was $550.

She was very strict and some of the people living in Oshawa today can remember the shakings-up she gave them. It was said that when the children were on the playground, she was there with her black sateen apron on and armed with a horsewhip. She was going to have order or else. Some years later a visitor came to Albert Street School and as he was walking along the hall, he noticed that the whip was not hanging in its usual place. He asked where it was and mentioned that it had hung there for a long while. It was a formidable looking weapon to many, no doubt.

A little girl, who probably regarded Miss Hislop with some apprehension said, “The teacher always wore the strap on her belt.” “The Teacher,” no doubt, kept it there to be handy in case of need. She often used to say, “You know I am as strong as a horse.” One little boy said to her, “Could you pull a load of hay, Miss Hislop?”

The day came, however, in 1924 when she had to retire. Albert Street was the only school in which she ever taught. Many people look back on their school days now and say she was one of their best teachers.

She died July 27th, 1935 and is buried in the Union Cemetery. Provision was made in her will for the establishment of the Grade VIII scholarship out of her own funds. There were only eight public schools in Oshawa at the time of her death and Miss Hislop could not have foreseen the tremendous expansion that was to take place in the next thirty years. It is not the intrinsic value of the prize, it is the honour of winning it and students will work hard during the year to earn it. There is also a small Hislop Scholarship in the High school.

Miss Fanny’s sister Sara Jane, who later married Mr. William McAddie also left a scholarship in the High School.

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Miss L. Cruickshank

Miss Cruickshank was a specialist in art and commercial. She was head of the Commercial department in the school and was very efficient. She kept good discipline also; she was firm and could be sarcastic. Owing to her unusual height, she seemed to tower above everybody. The commercial course then, was quite elementary and only took two years. There were no complicated gadgets in the offices. The equipment consisted of a typewriter, pens, pencils, maybe an inkstand and pencil sharpeners. Pitman’s Short Hand textbook was used[1].

Miss Cruikshank was not in the new High school very long. She resigned at Easter in 1912. She went from here to Western Ontario. Those who knew here in Oshawa were saddened, later, to hear that she had been killed in a motor accident.

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Miss Flossie J. Armstrong

Miss Armstrong is a specialist in French and Physical culture. She is the only one of the six teachers living today who was in the new high school in 1910 . Miss Armstrong’s home was in Taunton and she received her elementary education out there. She attended the high school on Centre Street here in the city. She also attended the Normal College in Hamilton on a first class certificate. She came to the new high school when it was opened in the fall of 1910. She taught French, English, Canadian History and Physical Culture. She has since retired and is residing here in Oshawa, at present.

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