Robert (Bob) Troy Blair was born on March 11, 1930 in Brandon, MB. His first six years were spent in Alexander, MB, where his father and uncle operated a grocery store. In 1936, his family moved to Souris, MB, where his father ran a grocery store. Blair received his primary and high school education, with the exception of Grade 12, in Souris.
Blair remembers his school years in Souris as mainly happy years. He was involved with both piano and organ music lessons. he was never interested in physical sports with the exception of golf. World War II broke out in September of 1939. Souris became the site of #17 SFTS and home base for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Many of the service men came from England, Australia and New Zealand. Blair's mother always entertained at least two for dinner every Sunday. Rationing of sugar, tea and coffee, butter and meat became a way of life. Blair had the job every Saturday of pasting the ration coupons into booklets. It was also when he was in Grade 6, that Blair realized he was more attracted to boys than to girls. Perhaps it was because so many attractive airmen surrounded him!
In November of 1947, the Blair family relocated to Alexander where Bob Blair finished his Grade 11. This was not a good year due to bullying. In September of 1948, Blair moved to Winnipeg to attend United College for his Grade 12. Upon completion of Grade 12, Blair remained in Winnipeg until June 1950. he worked at a number of businesses - Gestetner, Eaton's Mail Order shoe department, Maple Leaf Milling, and the drug store in the Medical Arts Building. In September 1950, he entered Brandon College. Blair was very active in extra-curricular affairs while at Brandon College; particularly drama. Following his B.A. he enrolled in the Education Faculty, having decided to become a teacher.
Blair's teaching career spanned 34 years. All but one year was spent in the Brandon School Division. On his first day of teaching in the Division he met the man with whom he would spend the next 46 years. He was primarily a teacher of English and Music. A highlight of his career was exchange teaching in Sacramento, California in 1961. Orientation for exchange took place in August in Washington, D.C., where Blair had the opportunity to meet President J.F. Kennedy. He vividly recals the morning that JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. In September 1965, Blair assumed the principalship of Park School and in September of 1969, the same position at George Fitton School where re remained until his retirement in 1989. He was a member of the Brandon Picnipals' Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and servedas President of the Brandon Teachers' Association. Among his major accomplishments during his time as principal were the introduction of a centralized school library in both Park and George Fitton Schools and the integration of special needs students into regular classroom situations wherever possible. He was made a Life Member of the Manitoba Teachers' Society (Brandon) in June 1990. Following his retirement Blair worked as a Library Automation Consultant (1989-1993).
Blair also had numerous community involvements during his time in Brandon. he was active in the Brandon Little Theatre (Best Actor Award, Manitoba Drama Festival for One Act Plays in 1963), the Brandon Festival of the Arts, the Eckhardt-Gramatte National Music Competition, and Arm Industries to name a few.
Following the death of his partner in 2001, Blair moved to Saskatoon to live with a younger gay couple. He has been active in volunteerism: as an Ambassador for the Saskatoon Airport Authority, assistant with the Saskatoon Health Region's Immunization Clinics, information clerk for the Festival of Trees, data entry clerk for the Saskatoon Music Festival, on the Board of the Saskatoon Jazz Society, and Hospitality Coordinator for the Saskatoon Jazz Festival.
As of October 2013, Bob Blair continues to live in Saskatoon, SK.
Records were in Blair's possession until he donated them to the Mckee Archives on Homecoming weekend October 2013.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of two scrapbooks containing 145 photographs and ephemera (play and graduation programs, tickets, pins, newspaper clippings) documenting Bob Blair's days at Brandon College. Social events and extra-curricular activities are heavily featured in the two scrapbooks. Also included are graduation portraits for the Classes of 1951, 1952 and 1953. Of the 145 photographs all are black and white except for two photos of the Class of '53 reconvocation (May 1993), and one from the Class of '53 reunion (2003).
Margaret Hawley Speers was born on February 18, 1908 in Alexander, MB. She attended Alexander School, Brandon College (Class of 1928), the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Manitoba receiving Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Educaton degrees.
Speers had a lengthy teaching career, first as Principal of schools in Saskatchewan at Ravenscrag and Scotsguard, then in Manitoba at Basswood, Newdale and Miniota. In Winnipeg, she taught at Rupertsland Girls' School, and then in Winnipeg School Distric No. 1 at Cecil Rhodes, River Heights and Kelvin High School.
Following her retirement Speers enjoyed travelling and various forms of volunteer work, including that at the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She was also a member of St. Andrew's River Heights United Church.
Margaret Hawley Speers died September 26, 2008 at St. Boniface Hosptial.
Items came from the estate of Margaret Hawley Speers. They were donated to the McKee Archives by her cousin David Speers in July 2009.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of a copy of the 1927-1928 Sickle and a photograph of the Brandon College Arts Class of 1928 taken in 1925.
Description by Christy Henry. History/Bio information taken from Speers' obituary which appeared in the September 29, 2008 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press.
Photograph: Oversize drawer 5
Sickle: RG 6 Brandon University fonds
Series 14: BUSU
14.5 BUSU publications
14.5.1 The Sickle
126.96.36.199 The Sickle - archival copies
Very good. Some of the letters written in pencil are a little faded.
History / Biographical
Ruth Alverda Wade was born born July 11, 1912 in Brandon, MB to James and Etta Alverda. She had two younger siblings: sister Gwen and brother Sherry. The Wade family resided at 1837 Princess Avenue, Brandon, MB. Ruth graduated from Brandon College with the Class of 1933.
During her time at Brandon College Ruth met Archie MacLachlan. Archibald James MacLachlan was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan in 1907. He had four brothers: Howard, Edgar, Bruce, Curly and Stirling. When Archie was quite young the MacLachlan family moved to Alberta. Archie came to Brandon c. 1930 to attend Brandon College. During the summers of his years at Brandon College Archie held pastoral charges in Alberta. The first two summers were spent in the Peace River Country and the second two in Etzikom in Southern Alberta. This is the period during which the letters in the fonds were written.
Ruth Wade married Archie MacLachlan on September 19, 1934 in Brandon, MB. Following the wedding the couple moved to Hamilton, ON. Archie graduated from McMaster University with his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1937. During this period their daughter Joann Ruth was born. After his ordination as a Baptist Minister the family moved to North Bay where Archie was minister for four years. The next six years were spent in Vancouver as Archie worked as minister at Fairview Baptist Church in Vancouver. The couple's sons Archibald James and Lachlan Wade were also born during this period.
At the end of the Second World War Archie decided to go back to school. The family travelled to Brandon, where Ruth and the children remained for part of a year while Archie went ahead to Andover Newton to enroll and find a parish that would support him while he went to school. The family was reunited in Penacook, New Hampshire; they lived there for two years while Archie completed his Masters in Sacred Theology. After a brief additional period of study at Harvard University, the MacLachlan family returned to Canada, settling in Toronto while Archie finished his second Masters degree (Psychology) and held positions as interim minister and then assistant minister at York Minster Church. Following the two years in Toronto they moved to Winnipeg.
Eventually Archie left the church ministry and became Chaplain at the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital. He also continuted to train students in Pastoral Education through the courses he had begun at the Divinity College of McMaster University. He remained at the Hospital until his retirement.
During their married life Ruth was kept busy raising the couple's children and with her work as a minister's wife, particularly her work in the community. She sat on a number of community boards, including positions as President of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec and a member of the Board of Governors for McMaster University's Divinity School.
Ruth MacLachlan died on October 29, 1983 in Missassauga, ON.
Archie married Kathleen Marie (Green) French (b. January 22, 1908, d. June 1, 1998) on June 20, 1987. Archie MacLachlan died in December 1997.
Records were in the possession of Ruth and Archie MacLachlan until their deaths. At that time the records were inherited by their daughter Joann. Joann MacLachlan donated the records to the McKee Archives on October 24, 2009 at a donation event held as part of Homecoming 2009.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of approximately 197 letters written by Ruth and Archie to each other during the spring and summers of 1932, 1933 and 1934. The letters were written during the courtship of the couple and contain details not only on about their lives in Brandon and Alberta but also more personal information about their relationship, families and future plans. Because Ruth and Archie were students at Brandon College during this period the letters also often reflect on events and personalities related to the College, as well as their own personal studies.
Fonds also contains a scrapbook compiled by Ruth during her Brandon College years. It includes photographs, newspaper clippings, graduation cards, event programs, place cards and other ephemera. There are also a few miscellaneous documents - McMaster University examination papers, handwritten sheet music, postcards - that appear to have belonged to Archie. Fonds also contains a graduation photograph of Ruth.
Description by Christy Henry. History/Bio information taken from Joann MacLachlan's book Ruth and Archie: Brandon and Brandon College 1932-1934.
Ruth and Archie's daughter Joann edited the letters into a book entitled Ruth and Archie: Brandon and Brandon College 1932-1934. A copy of the book is located in the Rare Book collection of the John E. Robbins Library, Brandon University.
William Ridley Sheridan Wade collection (28-2007)
The letters are arranged in chronological order with all of Archie's letters to Ruth for a particular year grouped together, followed by Ruth's letters to Archie for that same year. For preservation purposes photographs in the scrapbook have been removed and placed in photograph storage, with their corresponding scrapbook page number noted on the back. Because of the fragile condition of the scrapbook a note has been made concerning the original location of many items that have become detached from their original location in the scrapbook. These items remain with the remnants of the scrapbook in one archival housing. Note that Ruth did not place items on every page so the numbering is not sequential for scrapbook items. Some items were loose at the back of the scrapbook and therefore have no corresponding page number.
Script/music/lyrics: pages are somewhat foxed and dog-earred. Scrapbook: some items are fragile, torn or creased. Many items are loose within the pages of the scrapbook. Photographs: good.
History / Biographical
Clare Wallace Coburn was born in Winnipeg, MB on January 4, 1937. He attended Brandon College from 1954 to 1959, graduating with a science degree with the Class of 1959. During his years at Brandon College Coburn served as co-convenor of Freshie Week and the Freshie Parade, Manager of the Board of Publications, Class President, and Secretary of the Finance Board.
For the first three years after leaving the College he worked as a chartered accountant. Coburn then went into business with his father and brother manufacturing the Atom-Jet Humidifier; over time the focus of the company shifted to seeding and fertilizing equipment and seeding activity.
Clare Coburn married Dilys Pearce, with whom he had three children. Following his divorce from Pearce, Coburn married Darlene Wallin. Clare Coburn died on October 30, 2013 in Brandon, MB.
Clare Coburn found the materials in accession 6-2010 a storage area in the basement of Clark Hall in 1957. There was some thought of re-staging the production so he took the script. In 2009 he re-discovered the script in a trunk in his house. Coburn gave the materials to Carla Eisler in Alumni Relations in July 2009. Eisler transferred them to the Archives on July 28, 2009.
Accession 5-2014 was donated to the McKee Archives on November 2, 2010.
Scope and Content
Accession 6-2010 consists of a copy of the script, music and lyrics for Mr. College Spirit.
Accession 5-2014 consists of a scapbook made by Coburn to document his years at Brandon College. Scrapbooks includes: freshie week (1954), athletic (Hockey team 1954-1955, Cheerleaders 1954-1955) and graduation (1956 class portrait in the Prince Edward Hotel; 1956 graduates portrait;1958 class portrait in the Prince Edward Hotel; 1958 graduates portait; 1958 Senior Stick Jack Jubenvill and Lady Stick Elaine Fraser at graduation banquet; 1958 Shirley Young and Clare Coburn at graduation banquet; 1958 faculty group portrait at graduation banquet) photographs; various programmes (Homecoming football game - Notre Dame Hounds vs. Brandon College Caps; 1955-1957 Annual Commencement; 1956-1959 Graduating Banquet; 1957 and 1959 Brandon College Teacher Training Course Graduating Banquet; 1956 Brandon College Graduation Exercises Normal School Teacher Training Course; Brandon College Literary Board - "Time Out for Ginger" (1955), "Life with Mother" (1956); dance cards (1957 and 1958 Graduating Banquet, 1957 Teacher Training Graduating Banquet); tickets (1957 and 1958 Graduation Banquet; 1957 Teacher Training Course Banquet; 1957 Valentine Valse at the Agricultural School); 1956-1957 Student Handbook; 1955-1956 student election ephemera; the original Class of 1958 yell composed by Dick Tingley and Keith Haskins; examination timetables (1955, 1956); "The Feather" newsletter (february 1959; 1955-1956 Color Night shield decoration; Coburn's 1954-1955 Athletic Board pass; Coburn's 1955-1956 class timetable; a sheet of Brandon College cheers; a copy of the Graduation Hymn (George Willis); a sheet of Brandon 75th Anniversary stationary; newspaper clipping re Graduation Banquet (1957); a letter to students written by Coburn as Manager of the Board of Publications re purchasing the annual yearbook (from 1957); three copies of the 1956 Sickle.
History/Bio information provided by Clare Coburn via the Alumni Office and his obituary. Description by Christy Henry.
Generally good. Some tears. Issues located first and last in the folders Lindsay stored them in are missing sections where the page stuck to the folder.
History / Biographical
James Gordon Lindsay was born June 16, 1925 in Minneapolis, Minnesota where his father, James Lindsay, a Brandon pioneer from Northern Ireland, had been working for the Coca Cola Bottling Company. In November 1925, the Lindsay family moved back to Brandon where they lived at 547 16th Street.
Lindsay attended Park School, Earl Oxford Junior High School and Brandon Collegiate. In September 1943, he entered 2nd Year at Brandon College, joining the Class of 1946. Due to past experience in publishing the BCI yearbook, he was drafted into The Board of Publications and named Co-editor of the Quill along with third year student Genevieve Fuloski. Lindsay and Fuloski held their positions for two years. Because of the war, money and supplies were in short supply and the Quill at one point was reduced to mimeographed pages. While Editor Lindsay wrote The eggshell-Slightly Cracked column.
Lindsay was named Senior Stick in 1945 and graduated from Brandon College with a B.Sc. in 1946. He obtained both his MSc (1948) and PhD (1951) in Physical Chemistry from McMaster University.
During his time in Hamilton, Lindsay met Shirley Woolmer and the couple married on September 2, 1950. They moved to Arvida, Quebec in 1951 where Lindsay accepted an offer from Aluminium Laboratories Limited, the research arm of Alcan Aluminium Ltd. The couple remained in Arvida for twenty-two years, during which time they had four children: Sharon, Heather, Geoffrey and David.
In 1973, Lindsay was transferred to Alcan's head office in Montreal where he spent the next three years co-ordinating alumina research in Alcan plants around the world. In 1976, he accepted a transfer to Alcan Jamaica as Chief Technical Officer and Manager of Technical Development. He and Shirley spent nearly eight years in Jamaica before returning to Canada in 1984. After a yaer at Alcan's Research Centre in Kingston, ON Lindsay took early retirement.
During their years in Jamaica Lindsay had been introduced to Rotary and he continued his association with the organization in Kingston where for fifteen years he was Bulletin editor of the Kingston-Frontenac Rotary Club. In addition to Rotary, Lindsay (along with his wife) took up genealogy in his retirement and after fifteen years of extensive travel and research he became his Lindsay family's historian and author of The Lindsays of Dundonald.
For three years in the late 1980s Lindsay served as a representative on the Brandon University Alumni Executive for Eastern Canada. Along with his wife he attended two class reunions at Brandon University including his 50th Re-convocation in 1996.
At present (June 2010) Gordon Lindsay continues to live in Kingston, ON with his wife.
Materials remained in Gordon Lindsay's possession from time of creation until he donated them to the Archives on September 4, 2009.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of copies of the Quill, including:
1942-1943: No. 11 (January 26, 1943)
1943-1944: Nos. 2, 12, 14 (October 20, 1943, February 2, 1944, February 16, 1944)
1944-1945: Nos. 1-5 and 7-12
1945-1946: Nos. 1-10 (11 issues as there are two labelled No. 4)
History/Bio information provided by Gordon Lindsay. Description by Christy Henry.
Bertha Miriam Clark was born on Prince Edward Island but attended public and high school in Brandon, MB. She was a member of the Class of 1929 and served as Lady Stick in her final year at Brandon College.
Clark married J. Scott Leith, Brandon College Class of 1928. Scott and Bertha Leith's son James Clark Leith is in the Canadian Who's Who.
Album was sent to Pat Britton, Brandon University Director of Alumni Relations, by Bertha Leith in April 1991. Britton then transferred it to the McKee Archives.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of a small accordian style photograph album (7 x 10.5 x 3.5 cm) created by Bertha Clark during her years at Brandon College. The photographs, which measure 4" x 2.75", depict numerous people and events.
History/Bio information taken from the 1928-1929 Sickle.
Carole Paintin-Dence was raised in Souris, Manitoba and attended Brandon College in the early 1960s. While at Brandon College she was active in the Glee Club, I.R.C. and French Clubs. She was also Quill reporter for the Music Department.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of a small collection of Brandon College memorabilia and slides. The memorabilia includes programs from various Brandon College Student Association events, Alumni News, and a copy of "The New Brandon College School of Music" by Peggy Sharpe. The slide images include: the opening of the Music Building 1963 (3) - Sir Ernest MacMillan, Lady MacMillan and Lorne Watson; raising the class flag 1964 (2); the JRC Evans Lecture Theatre 1964 (1); Brandon College Original Building 1964 (1); Freshie Parade 1962 (1) - glee club float and 1963 (3) - "wedding of Jack & Jill"; French Immersion class Summer 1964 (4) - Mme Ragot, Neil Forsyth, Henri Francq; party for John 1963 (2) - Ken May, Morlene Sparrow, John Sushelnitsky, Norma Walmsley, Poppy Cumming, Chris Cassels, Pat Brake, Eleanor Riesberry; W.U.S. parties (4) - Joan Garnett, Norma Walmsley, Claude Paintin, Brian Foster, Rae Westcott, Clark Brownlee, Nina Kosakawiecz, Berth Paintin
Collection also includes school texts and pedagogical guides - forty-seven in total - dealing with reading, spelling, social studies and particularly music.
70 b&w photographs (various sizes)
7 mm textual records
History / Biographical
Frances Elizabeth Percival (nee Fraser) attended Brandon College in 1928-1929. She was from Wawanesa, Manitoba and passed away on August 3, 2004 at the age of 93 years.
The records were donated to the McKee Archives by Joy Lalonde, a realtive of Fran Percival's, in 2005.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of three dance cards from the Brandon Normal School, a photograph album of Brandon College students and activities (many of them identified) and an autographed copy of the 1929 Brandon College Annual Graduation Program.
6 cm. textual records; 1921 Brandon College Quill (Commencement Number); approx. 150 photographs
History / Biographical
Evan McDonald Whidden (1898-1980) was born in Galt, Ontario. He was educated at Brandon College. Following service in the Great War he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University (Brandon College) in 1921. He obtained a Master of Arts in history (McMaster [n.d.]) and in 1928, a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Yale. Whidden married Frances Margaret Billington in 1941. Together they had three children: Howard John (b.1943), Roberta Katherine (b. 1945) and Eric Christopher (b. 1947).
Dr. Whidden served in Baptist churches in Saskatchewan and Manitoba before joining the faculty of Brandon College in 1936. In 1938, he was appointed Thomas J. Armstrong Professor of church history at Acadia University. He became Dean of the School of Theology at Acadia in 1954, and served in that capacity until 1963. He retired from the faculty of Acadia University in 1967. Dr. Whidden has written in the field of church history and education. He was awarded honorary degrees by the Pine Hill Divinity Hall, Halifax, N.S. (1950), McMaster University [n.d.] and Acadia University (1969).
Since his death in 1980, the fonds has been in the custody of his widow, Mrs. Frances Margaret Whidden. The first accession was donated to the McKee Archives in April, 2001; the second in 2003; and the third in May 2005.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of Evan Whidden's reports to family members, in particular to his father and mother, on his experience as a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the years 1917-1919. Records also include correspondence from his mother, Katherine Louise Whidden (nee Ganong), to Evan during these years. In these reports, Whidden records his impressions of military life through his training in Canada and England and his experience of war in Europe with the Canadian Expeditionary Force from 1917-1918. He was involved in the conflict only briefly at the conclusion of the war. His letters provide an account of life in France, Belgium and Germany in 1918.
The fonds also contains correspondence dating from the early 1920s from Chester New, a history professor at McMaster, who had previously taught at Brandon College. Fonds also contains correspondence from Whidden's father, Howard Primrose Whidden, President of Brandon College 1912-1922 and, from 1922-1949, Chancellor of McMaster University. This correspondence deals principally with the progress of Evan Whidden's education and his choice of a career in the church or the academic world.
Fonds contains several publications containing the work of Evan Whidden, mostly on religious themes. It also includes newspaper clippings and convocation programs dealing with Dr. Whidden's graduation from Yale and the presentation of honorary degrees to him at Pine Hill and Acadia. The fonds contains newspaper stories on the occasion of the retirement of Howard Primrose Whidden following his lengthy career as President of McMaster University. Death notices for Dr. H.P. Whidden and his wife are also to be found.
Finally, fonds containts approximately 150 b&w photographs of group portraits, individual portraits and activites at Brandon College and a copy of the 1921 Commencement Issue of the Brandon College Quill.
MG 1 Brandon College Teaching and Administration
1.8 Evan McDonald Whidden
Whidden's father, Howard Primrose Whidden served as President of Brandon College 1912-1922. His records are located in RG 1, series 2.2 (Brandon College fonds, Office of the Pesident). Records from Evan Whidden's time as College Dean are located in RG 1, series 6 (Brandon College fonds, Office of the College Dean).
Ray Bailey was born in Brandon Manitoba in 1922. A Bachelor of Science degree from Brandon College in 1944 completed his education there. Following a short stint as a Chemist he entered the University of Manitoba. There, in 1946, he earned a Diploma in Education. Subsequent study brought a Master of Education degree in 1966. In 1973, he was awareded a Canada Council grant for additional studies.
He began his teaching career at Killarney, MB in March 1946, teaching science. Later he held teaching and adminitrative positions in Melita, Morris and Seven Oaks School Divisions. He retired as Principal of Arthur E. Wright Elementary School in 1986. Bailey was active in the Manitoba Teachers Society and the Manitoba Library Trustees Association. In 1973, the city of Winnipeg gave him a community service award. In 2005, he was a recipient of the Brandon University Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award.
He married Joan Pettipher in 1949. They had four children, Ronald, Ann, Mary and Robert. Joan Bailey died in 1988. Raymond Bailey lived in Winnipeg with his wife Barbara until his death on July 23, 2015.
Book was acquired at a book launch sponsored by Pennywise Books, Brandon, Manitoba in January 2006. The Brandon College documents were probably collected by Bailey during his time as a student in the early 1940s. He donated them to the McKee Archives in November 1994. The yearbooks were delivered to the Archives by Gerald Brown for Bailey in April 2008.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of an autographed copy of Bailey's book "tadpole to Little Frong (in a big pond)." It also includes three Brandon Collegiate Institute yearbooks the New Era for 1938-40, one file of Brandon College records, including eligibility lists for the Students' Association, a Physics IV test, a letter to Bailey excusing him from non-combat duty due to his work as an assistant in the Chemistry Department, a dance program for the Valentine Formal (1943), a freshman reception list and a program/invitation to a musical evening at the home of Martin Johns, Professor in the Physics Department.
History/Bio information taken from the author description in Bailey's book. Description by Christy Henry.
Harold Arthur Kinniburgh was born in New Zealand in 1883. He spent two years in Brandon working at the Experimental Farm during the summer and studying at Brandon College during the winter. After his years at Brandon College he worked in Canada in the dairy industry from two years and then returned to New Zealand for the balance of his life. He devoted his time to developing a dairy farm in New Zealand. Harold Kinniburgh died in 1953.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of copies of correspondence written by Kinniburgh to his mother in New Zealand while he was attending Brandon College. The photograph is a copy of the 1905 First Year Academic class at Brandon College.
Dr. McDiarmid was born in 1852 in Yarmouth, County Elgin, Ontario to John and Christina McDiarmid. He graduated from grammar school at St. Thomas and from the Canadian Literary Institute at Woodstock. Dr. McDiarmid was the prize man every year at the University of Toronto and won the silver medal in metaphysics in 1875, his graduating year. He was a student pastor at Clarence Baptist Church his junior year at Toronto. In 1876 he received the Master of Arts degree. McDiarmid attended the Rochester Theological Seminary in Rochester, NY. The Board of Woodstock College subsequently offered him a position as Examiner of Metaphysics and Logic. McDiarmid also worked as a pastor at Strathroy and Point Hope.
In 1886 he was called to be the minister of First Church, Ottawa. His scholarly preaching and warm, personal sympathy greatly increased the church membership. McDiarmid went to Brooklyn, NY for two years. He was then appointed Secretary of the Foreign Mission Society of the Ontario and Quebec Convention. In 1899, at age 47, Dr. McDiarmid was asked by the Western Baptist Committee to assume headship of the newly formed Brandon College. McDiarmid accepted the offer and became the first Principal in 1899. In 1910 his position title was changed to President. Dr. McDiarmid retired in 1912 and moved to Robson, B.C., where he owned a farm. He died on January 24, 1946 at the age of 94 in Robson.
Scope and Content
Dr. McDiarmid’s papers contain a wide variety of items. Because the positions of Bursar and Registrar would not be created until 1910, it was McDiarmid who handled all of the finances of the college. The collection includes letters from prospective students and room requests. The tenders for the building of Brandon College are also in this collection. There is substantial correspondence on the Baptist’s fundraising efforts, and lists of pledges and subscriptions. There is also correspondence regarding the quest for a university charter, and the eventual affiliation with McMaster University.
Dr. Whidden was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1871. He graduated from the Department of Arts at Acadia. In 1894, he was part of the graduating class in Theology at McMaster University. After graduation, Whidden was a pastor in Morden, Manitoba and Galt, Ontario. From 1900-1903 he was Professor of Biblical Literature and English at Brandon College. In 1904, Whidden left Canada to become pastor at the First Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio. After the retirement of Dr. McDiarmid in 1912, Dr. Whidden was asked to return to Canada to take over the position of President of Brandon College. Dr. Whidden, his wife, and their six children, Charles, Gwen, Evan, Reginald, Bruce and Howard returned to Brandon, where Dr. Whidden became the College’s second President. In 1917, Dr. Whidden ran as the Union Government candidate. He won the election, and in 1918 took his position in the House of Commons. Dr. Whidden remained Brandon College President until his retirement in 1923. In 1923, he assumed the position of Chancellor of McMaster University. He retired from the Chancellorship in 1941.
Scope and Content
Dr. Whidden’s papers include substantial correspondence dealing with Baptist fundraising efforts for the college. There is also a great deal of correspondence to students from the Registrar and Bursar. Board of Director Meeting minutes are also included. The collection covers the World War I situation, and how it affected Brandon College. The 1917 election is documented. There are tenders and correspondence between Dr. Whidden and the architects who designed the Science Building. There is also correspondence dealing with the MacNeill controversy in the early 1920’s.
Dr. Sweet was born in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from Denison University, Granville, Ohio in 1889. In 1892 he graduated from the Rochester Theological Seminary in Rochester, NY. His first pastorate was in Adrian, Michigan, where he was ordained. Dr. Sweet served ten years at the Calvary Church in Minneapolis. In 1920, Dr. Sweet was appointed to a committee by the Northern Convention to inquire into the loyalty of schools to the historic faith of the Baptists. Sweet received his Doctor of Divinity from Denison University in 1921. He worked for the Y.M.C.A. during World War I in the United States and Overseas. After Dr. Whidden retired in 1923, Dr. Sweet was offered the position of President of Brandon College. He accepted the offer and arrived in Brandon with his wife and six children on September 10, 1923. Mrs. Sweet was a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, and she had been a faculty member at Denison University. Dr. Sweet felt that Brandon was a call of God. He was inaugurated on October 11, 1923, and was readily accepted by students and faculty members alike.
His enthusiasm for fund raising was apparent, and he often took long trips in search of yet another subscription. He won the approval of the faculty, the students, the community and the Baptists. It was thought that Brandon College would prosper under the capable leadership of Dr. Sweet. Unfortunately, he died very suddenly at his home in Brandon on December 30, 1924. He was 55 years old. A funeral was held on January 3, 1925, and a memorial on January 7, 1925.
Scope and Content
Because of his short term of office, there are few papers left from Dr. Sweet. The collection includes invoices from Brandon College accounts, correspondence to and from the Bursar and Registrar, and Board of Director Meeting minutes. There is considerable correspondence from Dr. Sweet to various people regarding sermon topics, foreign missionary work, and his own faith. As well, Dr. Sweet was very conscious of the need for funds to run the College. He was very involved in the fundraising efforts of the College and the Baptists on behalf of Brandon College. There is also correspondence dealing with the MacNeill controversy in the early 1920’s.
Dr. Bovington was born in Gonbridge Wells, Kent County, England on December 2, 1869 to Richard and Emma Bovington (nee Deuch). He came to Canada in 1890. After training for the ministry at Woodstock College and McMaster University, where he graduated in 1899, he attended Rochester Theological Seminary before being ordained in Victoria BC. In addition to Victoria, Bovington held pastorages in Windsor and St. Thomas, ON.
Bovington married his wife Martha Lockhart (1870-1957) in Oxford, ON on January 3, 1900. The couple had at least four children: Richard Dadson (1901-1972), Marguerite Agnes (1902-1975), David L (1904-1953) and Archibald T (1906-1983).
In 1906, Bovington went to Rochester to take his Doctor of Divinity; while there he was an instructor in Systematic Theology and Homiletics. In 1915, he took his Master's in Systematic Theology at the University of Chicago. From 1916 - 1925, Bovington served as the pastor of First Baptist Church, Cleveland, OH.
In 1925, Bovington was asked to become the fourth president of Brandon College. Although he accepted the position his wife and family did not accompany him to Brandon when he arrived in the summer of 1925. Bovington resigned from the Presidency on May 24, 1926, claiming that the pressure of trying to secure funds for the financial support of the school was beyond his strength.
David Bovington died in Cleveland, OH on August 21, 1955.
Scope and Content
Dr. Bovington was President for only nine months. His collection includes correspondence regarding the Baptist Union of Western Canada, Modernists, and Dr. MacNeill. As well, religious field work is documented. There is quite a bit of correspondence from the Registrar and Bursar regarding student accounts. Fundraising for Brandon College is documented, especially the Davies’ Fund campaign and the Endowment Fund campaign. There is quite a bit of correspondence to and from Dr. MacNeill, who was Acting President, from before Dr. Bovington arrived in Brandon and after he resigned.
Dr. Evans was born in Nanaimo, B.C. on March 15, 1891. In the fall of 1907, at the age of sixteen, Dr. Evans entered the Academic Department of Brandon College. He played an integral part at the College, participating in academics, sports, and various other college functions and organizations. In his final year he was Senior Stick, the highest position in the Student Government. In 1913, Dr. Evans graduated from Brandon College. Immediately after graduation he was hired to teach Science and Academic Mathematics. In 1917, he became Principal of the Academic Department, while continuing to teach Mathematics and Science. Dr. Evans took leave in 1920 to study post graduate work at the University of Chicago. During the summers, he was the Acting Dean of the Department of Geology in Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in Geology in 1923, and returned to Brandon College. His new positions at the college were of Professor of Geology and Resident Master. He also taught some Chemistry.
On August 1, 1927, Dr. Evans married Adelene M. Bailey (Class of 1921, Music 1924) at the Joseph Bond Chapel in Chicago. He took over as College Dean in 1928 after the position became vacant. In September of 1928, Dr. Evans accepted the position of President of Brandon College, thus becoming its fifth president since the college’s inception. Dr. Evans was head of the college at a very difficult time. He guided the College through the Depression and repeated threats of closure from the Baptists. Dr. Evans resurrected the Department of Theology in the mid-1930’s. He helped with the reorganization of Brandon College as a non-denominational college in 1938, and its new affiliation with the University of Manitoba. During World War II, Dr. Evans started a War Emergency Fund, aimed at keeping the College from sinking into debt during the war years as enrollment shrank. With increased financial support from the government, Dr. Evans began expansion plans for the College. In 1958, he created the Dr. J.R.C. Evans Student Loan Fund in conjunction with the Alumni Association in order to provide worthy students with interest-free loans. It was also in 1958 that Dr. Evans was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Coronation Medal for his outstanding contribution to education in the British Commonwealth.
On July 29, 1959, Dr. Evans died suddenly at his summer home in Robson, B.C.. On his desk was the programme for the sod-turning ceremony for the new Arts and Library Building and Lecture Theatre. When it was completed, the Lecture Theatre was christened the Dr. J.R.C. Evans Lecture Theatre on behalf of the man who had made sure that it would be built. The Theatre had been his dream, a place to hold Chapel and Assemblies, as the student body grew in number.
Scope and Content
Dr. Evans collection is quite substantial, owing to the fact that he was President of Brandon College for thirty one years. His collection is primarily made up of correspondence between Dr. Evans and various people. The letters deal with students, teachers, finances, fundraising, the Bursar, the Registrar, and legal matters. The collection also includes the minutes from various meetings, including Board of Director meetings and National Conference on Canadian Universities. There are accounts dealing with World War II, its affect on campus, the C.O.T.C, and the lending of part of Brandon College to the R.C.A.F. during the war. The complete withdrawal of Baptist support for Brandon College is well documented in this collection, as is the ensuing affiliation of the College with the University of Manitoba. The Brandon College Campaign and other fundraising endeavors are documented in Evans’ papers as well. Evans was bent on the expansion of Brandon College, and there is a lot of correspondence dealing with this topic. There are various financial accounts and financial histories of Brandon College in Evans’ collection.
Dr. John Everett Robbins was born 9 October 1903 in Hampton, Ontario the son of John and Gertrude (Brown) Robbins. He married Catherine St. Denis on 11 June 1934 in Ogdens, New York. John Robbins was raised in Darlingford, Manitoba. He attended the University of Manitoba graduating with a B.A. Hon 1928 and M.A.in 1929. Dr. Robbins completed a Ph.D at the University of Ottawa in 1935. From 1936-1951 he was Director of the Education Division, Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
Dr. Robbins helped to found the Canadian Association for Adult Education, the Social Science Research Council of Canada, the Humanities Research Council of Canada, the United Nations Association in Canada, and the Canadian Citizenship Council. In 1942 he became a member of the Board of Directors of Carlton University. Dr. Robbins was active in UNESCO work: he was a member of Canadian Government delegations to foreign conferences, and, in 1951-52, he spent a year as Director of an educational project for Palestinian Refugees in the Middle East.
In 1960, while editor-in-chief of the newly compiled “Encyclopedia Canadiana,” Dr. Robbins was asked to become President of Brandon College. From 1960 to 1967, he oversaw construction of the Arts and Library Building and Lecture Theatre, a Men's Residence, a Dining Hall, a Heating Plant, a Ladies’ Residence, a Music Building, a Physical Education Building and an Education Building. After the university charter was granted in 1967, Dr. Robbins was installed as the first President of Brandon University.
After his retirement from Brandon University Dr. Robbins was appointed Canadian Ambassador to the Vatican 1970-73. In the years after his departure from Brandon, he held many positions including President of World Federalists of Canada 1977-79 and President of the Canadian Writers Foundation
1976-78. Dr. Robbins served as Executive Chairman and Treasurer of Amnesty International in Canada 1973-75.
He was the recipient of an honorary LLD from the University of Manitoba (1967), Carleton University ( 1969) and Brandon University (1974). In 1994, the title President Emeritus of Brandon University was conferred on John Robbins by the Board of Governors of the University. Dr. Robbins died in 1995, at the age of 91.
Scope and Content
Dr. Robbins' administrative records are located in the Brandon University fonds.
Dr. John E. Robbins archival papers are held at the Library and Archives Canada.
These records consist of notes that Lady Sticks have written regarding functions during their term in office. The records contain suggestions for future Lady Sticks on how to deal with certain aspects of the job.
RG 1 Brandon College fonds
Series 8: Brandon College Students Association