Alex Lord's British Columbia: Recollections of a Rural School Inspector, 1915-36

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UBC Press, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 192 pages
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Alex Lord, a pioneer inspector of rural BC schools shares in these recollections his experiences in a province barely out of the stage coach era. Travelling through vast northern territory, utilizing unreliable transportation, and enduring climatic extremes, Lord became familiar with the aspirations of remote communities and their faith in the humanizing effects of tiny assisted schools. En route, he performed in resolute yet imaginative fashion the supervisory functions of a top government educator, developing an educational philosophy of his own based on an understanding of the provincial geography, a reverence for citizenship, and a work ethic tuned to challenge and accomplishment.

Although not completed, these memoires invite the reader to experience the British Columbia that Alex Lord knew. Through his words, we endure the difficulties of travel in this mountainous province. We meet many of the unusual characters who inhabited this last frontier and learn of their hopes, fears, joys, sorrows, and eccentricities. More particularly, we are reminded of the historical significance of the one-room rural school and its role as an indispensable instrument of community cohesion.

John Calam has organized the memoirs according to the regions through which Lord travelled. He has included in his introduction a biography of Alex Lord, a brief description of the British Columbia he knew, a sketch of its public education system, and an assessment of the place Lord’s writing now occupies among other works on education and society.


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Editors Introduction
1 North of FiftyThree
2 Northern Interior Episodes
3 Politics and Personalities
4 Dig Yourselves Out
5 By River to Quesnel
6 Peace River Memories
7 Isolation in the Charlottes
8 Chilcotin Country
9 Kelowna Beginnings
10 The View from Headquarters
11 Losers and Winners

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About the author (1991)

John Calam (editor) is Professor Emeritus of theDepartment of Social and Educational Studies at the University ofBritish Columbia.

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