Alex Lord's British Columbia
200 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jan 1991
Release Date:01 Jan 1991
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Alex Lord's British Columbia

Recollections of a Rural School Inspector, 1915-1936

Edited by John Calam
UBC Press

Alex Lord, a pioneer inspector of rural British Columbia schools,shares in these recollections his experiences in a province barely outof 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 andtheir faith in the humanizing effects of tiny assisted schools. Enroute, he performed in resolute yet imaginative fashion the supervisoryfunctions of a top government educator developing an educationalphilosophy of his own based on an understanding of the provincialgeography, a reverence for citizenship, and a work ethic tuned tochallenge and accomplishment.

These memoirs invite the reader to experience the British Columbiathat Alex Lord knew. Through his words, we endure the difficulties oftravel in this mountainous province. We meet many of the unusualcharacters who inhabited this last frontier and learn of their hopes,fears, joys, sorrows, and eccentricities. More particularly, we arereminded of the historical significance of the one-room rural schooland its role as an indispensable instrument of community cohesion. JohnCalam organizes the memoirs according to the regions through which Lordtravelled. Included in the introduction are a biography of Alex Lord, abrief description of the British Columbia he knew, a sketch of theprovince's public education system and an assessment of the placeLord's writing now occupies among other works on education andsociety.

This book succeeds both as a slice of rural conditions in the past and as a solid contribution to the history of education in British Columbia, and as a result bears the unique attribute of appealing to the casual reader and serious scholar alike. Paul J. Stortz, BC Studies
Lord's strength is that he delightfully conveys a sense of rural life in B.C. and explains the problems associated with establishing an effective educational system in a sparsely settled resource-based frontier. Alex Lord's British Columbia should be of interest to educators and local history buffs; the extensive notes provide a rich source of primary and secondary references for the academic historian. Tim Dunn, Historical Studies in Education
John Calam (editor) is Professor Emeritus of theDepartment of Social and Educational Studies at the University ofBritish Columbia.




Editor's Introduction

1. North of Fifty-Three

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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