Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Tribute in Education - École Elsie MacGill School

How do you commemorate Canadian history in a meaningful way? There are many ways - books, articles, statues, stamps, plays, movies - and the list goes on. Each one of these methods provides an important means of reaching out to the communities its links to most strongly. And each one should be celebrated for its own merits.

However, I was personally really moved when I heard that The Lakehead Public School Board in Thunder Bay, Ontario had chosen to name its newest school: École Elsie MacGill School. See one of the local articles from tbnewswatch here.

Elsie strongly supported education, especially for women, but for society overall. She knew that it was the key to social change and encouraged all Canadians to take it seriously, while not allowing stereotypes to impede the paths of those who, like her, chose 'non-traditional' paths. From her perspective, a woman pursuing engineering deserved just as much support and encouragement as a man pursuing nursing. The importance was for the individual to figure out where his or her passion was and pursue it fully. 

I was happy to chat with CBC Thunder Bay's Cathy Alex about this announcement on June 19, 2019, see article and listen to the interview here.

As a former resident of Thunder Bay and beneficiary of the education provided by The Lakehead Public School Board I am very proud of the choice - and I hope that the name the school carries will inspire its administration, teachers and each student to dream big and pursue those dreams into the future with Elsie' s dogged determination.

Stamp of Approval!

This year has been fast-paced - and racing by like a jet plane! It seems like we just celebrated the New Year, and here I am at my computer and the calendar tells me it is actually July 28, 2019! With the day-to-day comings and goings, I have fallen behind in my blogging, but better late than never - and for a historian - relatively speaking - I am only a few seconds behind!

On March 26, 2019, Canada Post released a special series of stamps entitled "Canadians in Flight". I was happy to be able to help consult on this project pertaining to the background on Elsie MacGill. If you missed this announcement, or haven't seen the stamps at the post office here is the link to the press release.

Curious about what they look like? Take a look:

As I told CBC Cape Breton's Kathleen Jones in a radio interview this was an excellent choice.