The Month That Was – June 1873

All articles originally appeared in the Ontario Reformer

June 4, 1873, page 2

The Female Seminary

The liberal bonus system lately inaugurated by the Municipality of Oshawa has had the effect of bringing to its notice a variety of enterprises. Among the more recent may be mentioned a project for the establishment of an institution to be called the “Ontario Female College.” Judging from present movements, this embryo, like an addled egg, is puzzling the generative powers of its foster parent. A new idea, therefore, to being about, if possible, its final development is soon about to be adopted. We learn from various sources that an appeal to the County Council will be made the current session for aid to enable Mr. Demill to chip his egg and set his pet on foot. Our present High Schools, and for which the County Council make large annual grants, are adapted and competent to furnish to both sexes a good English Education, and if desirable a classable education also; then why, it may be reasonably asked, should the County Council be expected to duplicate the provisions they are already making from year to year? The chief argument advanced in favor of the proposed institution, is that it is intended in its management to adopt a course of domestic training – in other words a system of instruction is to be employed which will result, it is expected, in “orthodox (?) housewifery.” It is also argued that it will afford cheap instruction. The teachers this institution will employ it is stated can be had at a salary varying from $100 to $150, and according to an extract copied by the Vindicator of last week, from a Rochester paper, even as low as $70. Now we would ask any class of educationalists their opinion as to the merits of an institution conducted by teachers at the above figures? What, we ask, must be the character of the musical instructions imparted by a teacher paid a salary of $70 per year? A lady music teacher, of ordinary note, can have no difficulty as a private teacher in earning from $500 to $600 per year. Will any teacher then, we ask, having the slightest claim to musical ability, give her services at the pittance mentioned? – we think not. If teachers are to be had at the figures claimed, we need have little trouble in judging the nature of the instructions they will be able to impart. The same may be said with regard to those employed at like salaries to teach the languages. Still some make it convenient to argue that an institution conducted upon this Cheap Jack principle will furnish ample provisions for our young ladies to receive a finished (?) education. The salaries of our High School Teachers vary from $800 to $1500, and that of their assistants from $500 to $800. Is it reasonable then to claim that an institution taught by teachers whose salaries vary from $70 to $150 – who, according to the extract published in the Vindicator, come out at the end of the year, $2 24 in debt (according to our calculations $4 24), can afford instructions anything approaching that of our High Schools, or even the poorest of our Public Schools? Teachers engaged at such salaries may do to amuse and infant class, or instruct children in the art of imitating sounds, or enable them to exhibit a series of comical grimaces, but very little tending toward a sensible system of education will be found to result. And the idea of sending a girl at the age of 16 to a public institution  to be taught domestic duties, is something so ridiculous as to be hardly worth talking about…

…In view, therefore, of the facts we have mentioned, we feel that the County Council will only be acting justly and properly in sending the petitioners on behalf of the proposed college to the right-about, and let its friends, if it has any, contribute from their own private pockets to their hearts content.

*NOTE: The question marks in parentheses (?) in the above article were as originally written and not added by the transcriber as unknown marks. The editors, it is believed, were using these to illustrate their points.

4 Jun 1873, page 3

Our neighbour, Mr. Whiting, leaves for England in about two weeks. It is his intention we believe during his tour to visit the Vienna Exposition. The trip will afford an excellent opportunity for relaxation from the active duties consequent upon the large business relations of his firm, and will, we have no doubt, do much for our respected friend towards general health and bodily invigoration.

June 11, 1873, page 2

The grounds in front of the Hat Factory, within the last few days, have been enclosed by a handsome and nicely designed fence.

The Stove foundry is being rapidly pushed to a state of completion. The smoke stack is up and the principle portions of the walls. The boiler is also on the ground and portions of the building is now being roofed.

Dame rumor has it that Mr. TN Gibbs is to have a place in the cabinet of Sir John A Macdonald, and we have good grounds for believing that the Tories have had a political caucus at Whitby; but what the result was we cannot surmise, but suppose they are feeling their way in the event of another election. Reformers to the front! and prepare for the hottest struggle ever yet in South Ontario, under one of the best standard bearers.

June 18, 1873

Torch-Light Procession

At about 9:30 o’clock on Monday evening, Hon. TN Gibbs arrived by train at the Oshawa station. He was there met by two brass bands an Fife and drum and a considerable number of people, chiefly boys who like to hear music. When the procession arrived in the village, Messrs. TN Gibbs, WF Cowan, FW Glenn, and Dr. McGill addressed the assemblage. The procession turned around only one or two streets, very little enthusiasm was manifested, and it struck us that the cheering was somewhat crestfallen for such an occasion. Was it ominous of the result of the elections come? “There is many [  ] slip between the cup and the lip.” “Lochiel, Lochiel, beware the day” when Reformers “meet thee in battle array.” The notes of warning we quote seem a propos, but we would fair not disturb the sweet slumbers of ambition too soon.

18 Jun 1873, page 1

No. 1 Rescue Fire Company has challenged No. 2 Fire Company to a trial of engines. The trial to be made shortly after their annual picnic.

Strawberry Festival

The LADIES OF THE BAPTIST Church intend holding a STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL and PROMENADE CONCERT in Wilson’s Music Hall, on Wednesday next, the 25th inst. when good program will be prepared for the occasion.

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