Every day is Remembrance Day when working with war memorials, but as November 11 rolls around each year, the “For King and Country” team aims for an extra push.
Toronto Branch is pleased to add 3,026 names (from 10 schools) to our database in time for this year’s Lest We Forget observances.
Canada’s “too much geography, not enough history” comes to mind when reining in the nearly 600 Toronto District School Board’s schools crowded under one umbrella after the creation of our megacity on January 1, 1998.
Former smaller Boards (East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, and York) were suddenly one. A lot of geography. A lot of ground to cover! Toronto schools don’t have “too little history,” but we do have the problem of information scattered in many places. The neighourhood focus of our project means we rely on those who know their school geography well.
Schools open, close, get renamed and misplace memorials. On the East York trail, we thank Connie Culbertson who knows her area inside out and has wonderful rapport with current school staff. Connie was involved in the development of the Century School, built and furnished to give today’s students an idea of school life in the olden days. In 1982, Connie compiled a history of R.H. McGregor and dug out many facts we used for our website. She applied her skills to William Burgess and Plains Road (now Diefenbaker) and continues to work away.
On the Scarborough front, thanks to Ken Cox, a former school principal who had often referred to war memorials during Remembrance Day ceremonies. Aware of the fast growth of north Scarborough in the 1950s, Ken headed for the southern schools, deducing that’s where memorials would be. Midland Avenue School (formerly S.S. No. 10 Scarborough and John A Leslie Public School) and Agincourt Continuation School are among his contributions.
If you, or someone you know can lend some neighbourhood knowledge to the For King and Country project, please contact us.