Some Day the Sun Will Shine and Have Not Will Be No More

Some Day the Sun Will Shine and Have Not Will Be No More by Brian Peckford Read Free Book Online

Book: Some Day the Sun Will Shine and Have Not Will Be No More by Brian Peckford Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brian Peckford
And his
     help and counsel were invaluable to me—from fisheries matters to the
     Constitution. It was so good to know that I could call on someone like him
     at that time.
    Shelley said of Wordsworth and I say of Brose Paddock:
    “Thou hast like to a rock-built refuge stood
    Above the blind and battling

    â€œA university should be a place of light, of liberty and of learning.”
    â€” Benjamin Disraeli

    IT WAS ALL A new experience. Exciting and sometimes
     puzzling. Everyone was swept up in the new campus celebrations. The opening of
     the new modern Memorial University campus, replacing an old and worn-out campus
     on Parade Street, took place in October, 1961.
    Mr. Smallwood, the premier, had all these famous people visit, and I remember
     being part of the parade celebration, marching with hundreds of others along
     Elizabeth Avenue parallel to the new campus. There were bands and marching
     groups, schools and various organizations, and people representing electoral
     districts from all over the province. There was the prime minister of Canada,
     Mr. Diefenbaker, the new Chancellor Lord Thomson, and the distinguished
     American, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was
     a glorious time for the province, and it launched me and many others on our
     educational and life careers.
    There was lots to learn and courses to choose from and my first exposure to
     lineups. Just registering at the university meant a lineup, and choosing
     subjects and books all involved lineups. Being a bayman, this did not come easy.
     We quickly became aware that this new place was very much a townie place, and we
     baymen were the outsiders. It was changing with the large influx of baymen
     registered in the Education faculty, but there was still a big swagger to those
     townies that did not sit well with many of us. This became even more grating
     when one of our own numbers tried to act like a townie.
    However, perhaps the most surprising early experience of thebayman’s place was a particular policy at the university. We were informed
     that we would all have to take a speech test. And if we did not speak “properly,”
     we would have to take special speech lessons. Wow! This was a bit of a
     shocker. And so we were all given times when we would have to appear before two
     professors in a room and read a prose passage, the reading of which would
     determine whether we would have to take the special speech course or be
     exempted. This was perhaps the first time since my experiences in high school in
     Toronto that I felt I was being hard done by, as we say.
    So I was ready with my own approach to the situation. On entering the room I
     was asked to sit, which I refused, interrupting the two professors to propose
     that I remain standing and recite a piece of work that I had chosen. Somewhat
     taken aback, the professors agreed, and I proceeded to recite from Tennyson’s Ulysses : “It little profits that an idle king, by this still hearth,
     among these barren crags, match’d with an aged wife . . .”
    I don’t remember the exact number of lines I recited, but it was not many
     before I was interrupted by one of the professors and told that that was just
     fine—there would be no need to recite more, and I could go.
    There was no speech class for me.
    But the whole thing was disgraceful. This procedure did not last for many
     years, thankfully. Ironically, it wasn’t long before there was a Folklore
     Department and valiant efforts made to preserve the many dialects (that we were
     encouraged to “eliminate”) throughout the province. There was this attitude
     throughout the land that we had to modernize, as exemplified by the new campus,
     and that meant for some strange reason that our language and customs would have
     to undergo major surgery. I was later to realize that this was largely

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