Wednesday, February 5, 2014

from "Among the Deep Sea Fishers" | July 1911

Toronto, July, 1911

Doctor Grenfell’s very special appeal for aid and in particular for money to send two young men to the Pratt Institute is emphasized in more detail in the following memorandum from the Reverend Mr. Halsey: “Since January first we have been having a night school. About twenty of the younger boys, ranging in age from ten to eighteen, have been under Mr. Wright’s tutelage for three nights a week. During a part of January, Mrs. Halsey had them at “Tuckamore Croft” but since then they have been meeting in one of the hospital wards that is not in use now. The older, or more advance, boys have been meeting with me and have made good progress with geometry. On Friday nights, Dr. Coker has been having a chemistry class for these same boys. ‘Boys,’ I call them, I ought to say ‘men,’ for they are our standbys here. Three have been to Pratt Institute and of these it is that I wish to write. We have been doing the geometry and chemistry (and expect to do some algebra) as these were the things that would be most needed if the boys were to return to Pratt Institute as we hope they may.

Indeed to come to the point at once, I am writing this in hopes that some friend of the mission may be willing to make it possible for two of them to return next fall. Both of these fellows have made good records, one of them standing second in his class. When we remember that neither of them had attended school for over six weeks before leaving here for Brooklyn that record can be appreciated the more. Boys from American high schools “flunked out” at the mid-year exams. In the summer of 1900, when I first helped one of these fellows he had not had decimals, in ten days’ time, with two hours in the evening he had gone through the arithmetic and could do cube root, and before Christmas he was doing logarithms in connection with his work in New York and would tell me of problems in mechanics that were away beyond my mathematical comprehension.

Edgar McNeill has been in charge as foreman for two seasons, and it is owing to his hard work that the doctor’s home, the children’s home, the hospital extensions, and the new school house are such creditable buildings.

Wilson Jacque has been my invaluable assistant in all the plumbing work; both here and at Battle Harbour, and has used to the utmost all the knowledge he acquired in New York. I wish that he might take a plumber’s course with his other work another year.”

It is indeed to be hoped that this appeal will be successful. Neither Dr. Grenfell nor Mr. Halsey states what amount is required but if an endowment fund of $10,000 will suffice to keep a boy at school, it may be presumed that about $500 is the annual outlay, and that $1,00 will answer the present special need. But for the industrial work in general, with all its promise of personal uplift and possibilities of economic betterment, a much more substantial sum may well be forthcoming.

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