Name: Gerald Belliveau

Position: Alumnus.
Dates associated with Saint Mary's: 1933-1937

Scope and Content: Main topics include: humourous anecdotes about experiences as a student both at the high school and college levels at Saint Mary's in the 1930s; Irish Christian Brothers style of teaching and discipline; the change from the Christian Brothers to Jesuits; different backgrounds and religions of students; extracurricular activities.

Mr. Gerald Belliveau Interviewed By Angela Baker July 9 1993

Transcription By: Armin Shujaatullah February 28 2000


AB [Yup I got it.] Okay that's great, it's sensitive. Okay, well let's start with a little bit of background information. Could you state your full name please?

GB John Gerald Belliveau.

AB Okay, where did you originate?

GB Where did I originate?

AB Yeah.

GB The same place from whence all people originate.

AB I was thinking of your date and place of birth.

GB Oh, oh I see, you don't want to go back that far.

AB No?

GB Well I was born in Halifax on December the 27th, 1916.

AB Okay, so did you—when did you attend Saint Mary's?

GB Well I went to Saint Mary's in 19—I left there 1937, in the in the spring of thirty, the spring of thirty seven and I had been there in nine [wait now] nine, ten, eleven and two years of engineering—five years that would be to thirty six, to thirty five, to thirty four, to thirty three.

AB I see, so did you go to the high school first?

GB Yeah I started in grade nine. I went to the convent near the elementary schools in the city to grade eight. [And then] Saint Mary's ran in those days what they call a you know Saint Mary's High School, and they had a you know a colle- Saint Mary's College and Saint Mary's High School. And I started at nine, so I went to school with girl's up to grade eight and then never crossed their path after that.

AB Yeah.

GB Hip hip hooray! No no. That that would be reported to a racism committee. So [but naturally] from grade nine on, you know my years at Saint Mary's, then I went to Tech which is now TUNS. In those days no girls were taking engineering, so there were all boys. So I never crossed path with a girls class starting with grade nine.

AB So what was it like going to a school, that, that was an all-male school?

GB Well to tell you the truth, it's hard for me to make a-an object of statement here. All I had was an opinion.

AB Oh yeah.

GB And to tell you the truth, there are plusses and minus, minuses. I think there are a hell of a lot less distractions to the boys if there're no girls in the class for obvious reasons. So the boys had more of a tendency to knuckle down and pay attention to what they're there for. And it seems to me like if you had a class like half boys and half girls, you'll always get some guys that wanna goof off in front of the girls and in other words, their minds aren't one hundred percent on their studies. Now I may be wrong, but it seems to me you know that's the way it would work.

AB What were the academic courses and things that you took when you were there?

GB Starting grade nine?

AB Yeah.

GB Well we used to write, if I recall, we used to write 12 subjects for exams. Used to write two a day. And you, well you had math and English and French and Latin and history and [there was] chemistry and physics. You don't think I could reel off the 12 now but I remember exam time. I tell you I was a [mentally] lazy student. I'm not bragging, but I never really had too much trouble learning which is kind of a bad thing for people some time because you have a tendency to coast if you know your abilities. I used to always know I could do it the night before. So I used to leave things [going] till the night before then I'd have to work like a dog and when you work on twelve subjects like a dog and twelve exams, oh you're like a worn out tired, [but] by the time exams are over. But I know there are twelve subjects and the exams you know it was a lot of work

AB Yeah.

GB But one of the subjects we took I could never understand why we took it you know it was Latin. I always had the feeling it was a dead language and what in the hell were we learning a dead language for when it seemed to me there were a lot of other things we should be doing than a dead language.

AB Yeah

GB Now in the philosophy and the language was the-it's like going to the gym for exercise for your mind and of course Latin is the the basis of-of a lot of languages like French and Spanish and Italian, and there is some merit to it but at the time I couldn't see any of this merit at all

AB Yeah, yeah.

GB But, now that it's done I can see the value of it because I can speak French and speak English and I can think in either language I- which I never know which one I'm in. And I find that with my knowledge of English and French and the Latin we had to take that if I'm listening to short wave and listen to Portuguese or Italian or Spanish, it's surprising how much you can make out from your mind, you know?

AB M-hmm.

GB [Handling] these three so I guess there was some merit in the la- in the Latin after all.

AB Yeah.

GB They, but they still teach it for example at the grammar school today. They teach it and I think its mandatory at the at the grammar school. And in the the junior high you know they have Latin but it's an elective subject so it's still being taught

AB Well what was the work load like? What were the expectations?

GB Well the workload, the workload was heavy, the workload was heavy. We used to call it homework in those days, a plain old word homework. When I say it to my grandson, d-do you have any ho-home work, he says, what are you talking about homework? You know they call it something else but, it used to take you a couple of hours every night to do it and at the time it seemed to be an awful chore, but what it did do it imposed on you some some discipline. You had to manage your time and it was almost being like in a in a [a hidden] army. You know the things you had to do. So I guess it was better doing that than going outside and getting in to trouble

AB Yeah.

GB at the time.

AB Yeah.

GB But the workload was heavy enough. Another thing they had at Saint Mary's, they were, they were great on sports. And the, the old building was up where Saint, where Saint Vincent's guest house is there now, and then where Saint Mary's—Saint Pat's High School is, that was the ball, the football field in the university. And then next to the Saint Mary's property going on Quinpool Road, they had the Saint Joseph's orphanage and the fences separated Saint Joseph's orphanage from Saint Mary's College. They had two handball courts there outside, and the Irish Christian Brothers were the, the teaching staff then and they were great on handball and boy they were really good at it. I don't know if you've ever seen handball played, ever seen it playing?

AB No, not live no.

GB You ever seen a squash court? Well it looks like a squash court, but instead of using a racquet and a round ball, you hit the ball with your hand. And that ball was an Indian rubber ball and hard. And when you'd hit that well sometimes if you played two or three games you'd go to class and you couldn't write the rest of the afternoon.  Your hand'd be just going this way and then your hand would get about that thick. It would just swell right up and after you played, it used to hurt for about the first ten minutes and then after that your hand would get numb, and you could swat that ball and never feel a thing and the Brothers used to love to play and we used to play, you know, with them. And that was always a big drawing card that every time you see, think of a handball court you think of the Irish Christian Brothers. But the Christian Brothers it was a private school, and the tuition fees for the year was 60 dollars and they had the academic year was broken up in to three parts, the three terms and the scholastic fee was 20 dollars a term.

And the, actually all education like at—when I went to Tech the fee for a full year at Tech was seventy-five dollars. There were two terms, that's thirty-five dollars a term. So my my whole engineering career or studying for five years not counting books, total, two hundred and ten dollars. Like there were three years at Saint Mary's that's sixty dollars a year, [which was] one eighty, and at Tech I got a full scholarship the first year which was no great shakes because they had lots of scholarships. So that was thirty five, that was seventy-five dollars I didn't have to pay, and in the second year I got a half a year scholar ship. It was seventy dollars a year so I only had to pay half a term, so my two years at Tech cost thirty-five dollars. For the whole five years, you know came to two hundred and fifteen dollars. You know when ya, when you hear that, you know [mentioned] today with school terms, it it you know starts to sound kind of silly.

AB Yeah, I would say! Oh my goodness! So-

GB But it was a private school and the Brothers were, they were strict disciplinarians. You know they, they didn't take any fooling. And the attitude was, if you didn't like it, just just scat, just go cause someone else can always take your place. So there was no point in-in any parent complaining about the treatment their kids were getting because the stock reply was if you don't like your boy being here just take him out. So the discipline they used to give the fellows was really good for them and they were strict but they were fair. And they were well liked because when they they left and the Archbishop brought in the Jesuits, there almost became an internal revolution amongst the, the alumni. Cause you know we didn't know the Jesuits then and the Christian Brothers had been here for eons and they were deep rooted in the souls of all the graduates and it was it was a heck of enough [evil] I can tell you. But the Jesuits turned out to be good fellows too! But the old alumni still look back fondly on the Christian Brothers.

AB What was the discipline like specifically? What were the rules and the, like?

GB I seen a fellow get an upper cut to the jaw that sent him flying down the aisle.

AB What had he, what had he done?

GB He passed a note to somebody, I guess he had written something he shouldn't have written. And [the] Brother asked him for the note and he wouldn't give it to him and it led in to a tug of war between the two and then finally crack! But no they didn't take any fooling. The type of stuff they would do for example, they had one or two lay teachers, they had an economics teacher, fellow name of Jackson, he taught economics. And then they had a French teacher was, Allan Frecker. His father, Frecker's brother and Allan Frecker went to Newfoundland, and finally got to be the Minister of Education there in the small [ward] government years ago. But he was a meek fellow, and a nice fellow and a quiet fellow. So there was always the problem that, we would take advantage if a guy was meek. So one day in the French classes, he was supposed to come in, said ten o'clock. So we heard him coming down the corridor, so a couple of fellows went up—and the way to get in the class room if you were standing in the corridor you had to turn the doorknob and then pull the door towards you. You didn't push the door in the class, you pulled it out. So a couple of fair sized fellows in the class went up and they grabbed the doorknob, and then they held it tight. So Frecker came and tried to pull it [and] he expected the door to come and he pulled on it and of course the door didn't come but he flew back and banged in the wall—on the other side of the corridor. Half killed himself, because you know he had given a tug, and nothing happened but he's the only guy that moved. So he came back and he got a little mad at the time, which was strange for him, so he was trying to pull on the door and these two fellows could easily hold it so they just held it. And the door might open a half an inch and then you know then bang closed and open up three quarters of an inch and bang closed. And this used to shake the walls in the corridor. But what these two fellows didn't realize was the Irish Brother disciplinarian happened to be teaching a class in, across the corridor and boy he was a holy terror! And he heard this banging and he came out and apparently he told Mister Frecker just to stand to one side. The guy was very short, light weight, but boy what a temper. And he had a bushy head of grey hair that was parted on the side and it — if you looked at him the first thing you would notice was this crop of grey white hair. So apparently he said, let me at that door and [I'll]—so he starts pulling, so then again the door going this way and apparently at one time, it opened up far enough that the fellow—they could see and they, they saw this crop of white hair. Well mister man did they ever let go of that doorknob quick! So the little fellow comes in and he didn't say anything. All he said was come with me. So they went downstairs followed by what we thought were the two heroes! So about fifteen minutes later they came back and the French class had started. So they came in and they went each to his desk, and they were standing there, so Frecker said well okay fellows sit down, sit down. And they each said no Mister Frecker if you wouldn't mind; we'd rather stand. And they stood up the whole rest of the morning. They were taken downstairs like in the guest room, and they had to lean over on a big plush chair, bottoms up, and the disciplinarian had this great big thick strap, and I guess he whacked their rear ends. Honest to Pete they couldn't sit down till about three o'clock that afternoon. And that's the kind, you know if you did that in school today a fellow'd probably end up in the penitentiary for two years.

AB Yeah.

GB But that's the kind of stuff they would do, so most of the fellows were pretty, pretty well behaved.

AB Yeah, so…

GB One day we had a gale, it was in the fall, and there used to be a lot of gales in Nova Scotia in the month of August. They used to call ‘em—actually it was in September but they used to call them August gales. It was like the tail end of the gale season, and school used to start in the beginning of September and you'd still get an odd one. So one day we had a bad one and the ball field beside the university was lined with trees along Windsor Street and along Quinpool Road. Well one tree lost a huge branch. It was about that big around, a tremendous thing and and it snapped right off and fell in the ball field. So at recess that day we all went over to see this thing, and one of the fellows says—the next class we had to go to was a French class, by Brother Murphy who was an affable fella, real nice —someone said lets get this up in the class room, we'll fool the Brother. So we all looked at this branch, it seemed to be the size of a big house, and they said what are you crazy? You know get this in the cla—what are you talking about. And [our] classroom was up the second floor. And he said I think we can do it if we try. So there were 55 of us, so 55 of us got in different places, and we started yanking on this thing haul it across the the field of the school. Got to the front of the college building. We opened up the big double doors at the front, we knew that the Brothers were having their Irish coffee, in their in their rest room, in their quarters so we were trying to pull this thing through the door, and it's like trying to pull an umbrella through a knot hole, you know, not the wrong way but the right way. So we finally got our selves working like a team and we'd all you know grunt together, the whole fifty-five.  And then the tree would inch about an inch ahead each time. Well it surprised us all we finally got it in the big main hall, and of course when it got in there, it just go right out again and all the leaves and the branches and everything. Then we had to go around a stairway that went this way and this way, and we were hoping the Brothers wouldn't hear. Well to make a long story short with this tremendous work, [these] are one of the toughest jobs that I've ever tackled, we got the tree up on the second floor in the corridor. Then when we got to the classroom, it was just an ordinary sized door. Well mister man, you talk about a job getting that tree through that that door. And we finally did it. And when it got in, when the big branches would get in the class room, they go, they'd pop right out again, and when we got the tree in, it went from one corner of the room to the diagonally opposite other corner. And the whole room was full of tree. All — you know branches and leaves, you couldn't see three feet ahead of ya. And then the bell rang for the class to start, so we all had to go like monkeys, climbing through the trees to get to our seats which wasn't easy to do and we finally, there were fifty five—fifty in the class. I think it was fifty or fifty-five, we all sat down. Took us a while to get there, and then when we had shut the door, and in comes Brother [and he] opens the door, which wasn't easy—well you should have seen the look on that Brother's face when he saw that! It's easy to understand. You'd be astounded because the last thing you'd expect to find is a classroom full of one big tree. And then he got mad as hell, and we had to go down and see the janitor who was a Mister Shue. And he had like eight carpenter saws…us down there in the [boiler] room. And we had to get the eight carpenter saws and we had to saw the tree up, and they had a fireplace in their, in their rest room downstairs, their sitting room. And we had to saw the tree up in little logs fireplace length. So it took us from then until lunchtime sawing up this tree, and we had to open up the window and throw the wood outside, and then stack it. But it was something you'd believe that's something that couldn't be done but, it's amazing what you can do when you put your soul in it.

AB Okay, let's talk about your fellow students for a little while. What were the

family backgrounds of the students that were going there?

GB Well, generally speaking they were, I'd say middle class and some upper middle class. But see in those days those were the days of the depression, and it was a worldwide depression and it was extremely severe. You know people are talking about hard times now, but this is nothing compared to what it was then. It was, it was awful. So twenty dollars a term doesn't sound like much money, but believe me that was a lot of money in those days so a lot of fellows that would have liked to have gone to Saint Mary's you know, their parents just couldn't afford it, it was just impossible. I know one fellow his father was out of work for four years, and you know there was no welfare in those days - they didn't have all the safety that you hear about today. And so the ones that went were people who were lucky enough to be working and could afford it.

AB So was a, were they all Roman Catholic students at that time?

GB Not all. One friend of mine was a Jewish chap, and no there were some Protestants there. And the majority of them were Catholic but they would take anybody who'd come along as long as they behaved themselves.

AB What as the, what type of role did religion play in school?

GB Well they had, religion played a - it was one of the main subjects and it was a subject you had to pass and then they taught it all the way through. It's a subject I like very much because in one particular year we had like almost like comparative religion studies, you'd study Buddhism and and all the different others and it was really fascinating. It was very good. When I'd go—every class would start with a prayer. I remember the Jewish fellow, we'd be standing and he would just stay seated. And you know that was just common behavior it's, nothing to it. But the, as a matter of fact I don't know how many other fellows are living today. Not too many. My grandson asked me that day. He said, you know, where are your all your friends? And I said John, I said all my friends are dead, which is true. They're all gone, every one. But this Jewish chap that I was talking about is in our class, he's still living. And he's living in Spring Garden Terrace. As a matter of fact, he got kicked out of school. He was a good ball player; he had a brother who was a good ball player and a fair hockey player and his brother lost an eye, he got hit with a puck right in the eye and he lost the eye ball, so his parents wouldn't let him play hockey any more. But this chap that's still living, he got a call one time to go to the, the Boston White Sox for a trial for the big team. And he didn't ask Brother's permission to skip classes for—he just went. And of course, he was missing for a couple of days, so when he came back he was no longer a student at Saint Mary's.

AB I see.

GB Yeah.

AB What were some of the other recreational activities that you had?

GB Well we had a rink. They used to call it the Rorum. Did you ever hear them at Saint Mary's that term? Roarum? It was, naturally it was [n't] artificial ice, and it was, it wasn't a standard size, it was a little smaller, so playing hockey, instead of a six man team, you had to have a five man team. You only had two forwards, two defense and a goalie. And you could only play if it was cold enough, but it was used whenever it was usable all the time. One of the troubles was in one part of the rink, just about at center ice on one side, the floor used to go up in what they call a frost boil every year. So when you got in the spring where it used to thaw and then get cold and thaw and get cold, the ice would start going up, up and up. So you, when you're playin' hockey, you almost had a mound the right wing had to cope with, and passing the puck wasn't easy with this mound. And then when it got near the end, when it would start to melt the ice would melt there first and was all full of mud underneath. So if you're playing right wing, when you got to this spot, you had to run, you had to run through it on your skates, almost like splashing in the mud, to get to the other side! Believe me it was hockey with a bit of a handicap. But still it it was very popular and really used. And then on the playing field, well of course Saint Mary's had the regular, they had the high school hockey team, and they used to play against, it used to be the academy, there was no QEH in those day - Saint Pat's and the Academy and Saint Mary's High School was the [league]. And then, they had the-the college team and when Saint Mary's entered the league, the league consisted of I think it was Acadia and Dalhousie and Saint FX. I think that was all, and Saint Mary's entered as a fourth team, and all the other teams refer to them as the Windsor Street kids. They just called them [what on to ] Windsor Street kids because their enrollment wasn't very high. So they entered the league and then they never lost a game for 12 years. Never lost a game for 12 years. And as a matter of fact the guy that in my first job, I only worked in one place for 44 years, and my deputy played on one of these [collegiate] teams. And he says I had the honor of playing on the team that lost its first game after 12 years.

AB Ooh, is that an honor?

GB Yeah he's [an] had the honor of being one of those players. Oh they were disappointed because they almost looked you know unbeatable. But they were good. Let's see…no, that was my—well isn't that annoying. I thought I'm gonna put my hand right on it. Son of a gun.

AB Looking for the year book?

GB Huh?

AB Looking for the yearbook, or?

GB Oh I had one of [those]…but, oh god dammit! I had a picture of one of those big hockey games. It's, no I had I used to save all of my yearbooks. And my mother when she was cleaning out the attic, turfed them all out in the garbage. God I could'a cried—I had post cards - in those days every ship used to have post cards of the ship. They were color, and I had a post card of every ship, every passenger boat that sailed the oceans of the world—every one. Used to have to write the different companies, took me years. A friend of mine—and I had this as a hobby, and I had a stack that high and every ocean going passenger vessel I had. Today it'd be worth a fortune.  My mother and the garbage. So my year books kind of disappeared.

AB Let me see...

GB One of the things they used to have at Saint Mary's that everybody used to like they used—they had two things. They used to have what they call a boy's night. I'll tell you about boy's night in a minute. One of the subjects we had to learn there was Irish history. You know why. But it was really fascinating. And for several years they taught Irish history and they went in to it just as deeply as the British, English history. And I'm very glad we took it because I really enjoyed the subject and I tell you it gave me a hell of a better handle on what's going on in Northern Ireland today because you won't get it from the British side. And that one subject that was really attributable to the Christian Brothers. But they used to have another thing we used to get from the Irish Christian Brothers from Ireland, was a collegiate publication called Our Boys. I always remember it was five cents, and it used to, it used to come—seems to me it was every Friday. And if you bought it, you were allowed to read it in class for half an hour. So I always bought one! But it was fun because you kinda get the dope on what was going on in their schools over there. But they also had once a year an Our Boy's night, and every class would put on a skit, you know the school had an auditorium and a little stage in front. And for boys night, the only people who attended were the boys - Nobody else, just we - and every class put on a skit and that was always fun. And then they would always put on for the parents, they would always put on a gymnastic display. Yeah that was done for the parents. I've never forgotten the gymnastic display because a buddy of mine and myself, we were the smallest guys in the class, and the lightest guys in the class. When I went to Tech to get my last [years] of engineering, I only weighed 135 pounds - my waist was slimmer than a girl's waist. I could take my thumbs and put them in my back like that and bring my fingers within two and a half inches from one another. You know, now that's that's some size waist! So my buddy and I used to always, there were two big pyramids we'd end up with as a finale and of course we always had to be the top guys. And the top guy believe me was high, and you had to climb up the legs and the backs and you gotta get on top. And you'd be standing on the shoulders and then he'd be holding your feet and your head was almost bumping the ceiling, and you looked down and you'd see all the parents, you figured my golly if I ever went. And one time our, the the pyramid I was on got wobbly, and it started going this—it started going this way. And then finally it stared going this way, and I had to yell you know let go of my feet, because we were over about thirty degrees and he was still hanging on, and I was screaming for him to let go and finally he did then I jumped backwards but I've never forgotten the gym night.

AB What type of skits did you put on, on boy's, [bad] boy's night?

GB Well each class had to dream up a skit. One class, they had sort of a variety thing, and I'll tell you if there's one song I just can't stand is “Smoke gets in your eyes”. D'you ever hear that song?        

AB Yes, yes.

GB Well there's one guy in our class, he wasn't a bad singer, but I didn't like his voice. And he sang this thing, and I think he sang every verse that the, you know the [why] had put in. And believe me, my wife always used to ask me, why do I get so hostile when I used to hear “Smoke gets in your eyes”? But the skit that we had in our class was a shadow, a shadow skit. We hung a big white sheet across the stage and then we had a powerful light at the back of the stage, it cast a shadow. So yeah one fellow was a doctor, and there was a table supposed to be an operating table, and one fellow comes in as a patient and he was complaining, and you talk loud you know so they'd hear it. And then all you see's the shadow and then the, then you'd hear the voice. So fellow came in, you know limping badly, doctor tells him get up on the table, asked him what was wrong. Fellow told him he didn't know but [boy] something was wrong. So the doctor examines his leg and oh he says I see the trouble, and he says really, he says there's no way at all of curing this, he says I'm gonna have to amputate your leg, your leg at the knee. So the fellow puts up a protest. Well he says its either that or you're gonna die. Well he says okay, so just beside his leg there'd be like a two by four, so the guy would take the saw and all you'd see's the guy leg and the saw and you'd hear this [gone] and you'd see the saw dust going down looked like [bong] and all of a sudden the two by four would let go [cut] bang on the floor. And then the guy would walk out like on one leg and a pair of crutches. But it looked quite realistic, when you, you know, as though you saw this happen. You know, and all stuff like that. Another thing we used to do there looking back on it, I don't know how in the hell we ever did it, we used to time ourselves. I was one of the fastest ones, but there were three of us in the whole school, everybody would try it. We used to be able to go from the third floor down to the main floor in something like 22 seconds. And what you do, you'd go to the wall on the third floor, face the stairs and kick yourself off the walls, so you go fast as a devil, and then when you got about- about six feet from the first stair you jump right up in the air. And as you're in the air, you turn around, so that when you came down and landed you'd land on about the third stair and you'd land with your toe just on the tip of the stair, and at first we used to put one hand on the banister, but after that we could do it without even touching the banister. And your foot would slip from stair to stair, and all they'd hear was, and you'd go down each set of stairs just sounding like a machine gun, and you weren't touching anything, but you were just skiing on the edge of the the treads. [Easy] when I think of that, you know wonder I did how crazy can you get. But it was just as easy as walking, but it's funny little things like that always bring to mind your good old days at Saint Mary's. Another thing, the students at at Saint Mary's always had to enter the school by a side door, on the north side of the building. And a little further from that, the tennis courts used to be located there too. I forgot to mention the tennis courts, they had, think it was three courts and they were well-used. Well in the wintertime when you'd come to class all the senior and bigger fellows used to stand at one side of this area beside the side door, and they'd make snow balls. And as the younger guy, like the grade nines and the grade tens would come, they'd all start belting you with these hard snow balls, and it was just like running the gauntlet. You take your wind breaker and have to put it over your head and you have to just [sneak] a [unclear] and you'd run like the devil and try to get through that side door before you got half killed. And every day it was running this gauntlet. And you'd keep doing this until finally you got in about grade eleven, started belting the the new young guys. But it was all you know part of fun. One day there was a fellow up in the the dormitory, most of the students those days were day students. You could [watch their cloth] were day students, and they had boarders, but they could only take so many, and they used to be up in, like in the dormer section of the building. One day, there was a ball game going on and some of the students were standing at one of these dormer windows and they were big windows, and one particular window they had worked on it so they had taken out the lower and upper pane, so it just happened to be at [the moment] one large opening. So a couple of fellows were standing there with their foot on the windowsill which was just almost floor level, watching the game. And I don't know what happened, well one guy got so excited he fell out the window. And down he goes three stories, and everybody thought good grief, you know here's a couple of broken legs and a broken back. And what had happened was the previous day the gardener had prepared the garden to put in some spring flowers and he dug it up and sifted, and oh, and this fellow when he came down luckily he landed feet first and he went right in to this soft earth right up to his knees. Right to his knees, and didn't have a mark on him. Now you know [what frightened him] flower bed.

AB What luck.

GB Oh boy, another fellow came from a little village in Cape Breton. He was a boarder and he was new to the city, he wasn't familiar with things here. So this Brother Murphy (I told you about the classroom full of trees), asked him [one evening to go early], he said, in front of the university on the street there, there's a mail box, you want to mail this parcel for me. So the fellow says sure. So he goes out, and Brother said boy he's some lucky, for some reason I just happened to be looking out the window when he got to the street, and he says he goes and puts it—the next day was garbage day, he goes to this garbage can, lifts up the lid and puts the parcel in a, puts it in and comes back to the university. So he says I had to tell him the difference between a parcel post box and the garbage cans. Now he said if I hadn't have been looking, he said it would have just gone in the garbage, and I would have wondered what happened to my parcel. What else do you want to know?

AB Well that's about all that everything that I wanted to cover

GB Okay.

AB Is that all that stands out in your mind?

GB Yeah I think so. There's a lot of…we had one president there, Brother Cornelia. I don't if remember if it's Cornelius or Cornelia. He was a nice fellow but he, he had to be strict. I don't think he was as strict as he was letting on, but every body really paid attention to this fellow. Well we had one fellow in the classroom, this was the engineering drafting first year, he was Tubby Hinch. He was a fair size, let me tell ya. And the columns in, the university was an old building with these cast iron columns about that round, you've probably never seen one, but buildings in those days were built with cast iron columns. And the thing had been painted and varnished many times, and was right slippery. So one day I thought, well I didn't know if I could do it, so I shinnied up this thing which wasn't easy ‘cause it was so slippery. The ceilings were high, about 14 feet high. I shinnied up to the top and touched the ceiling, and then slid down. So a couple of guys said, boy, we never thought you could do that, that's pretty slippery. So Tubby Hinch says, oh nothing to that, I can do that. So we all said, Tubby, don't be stupid, you can't go up that. Sure, he says, I can. So he goes and starts off. Well believe me, it was an almighty struggle to get these pounds off the floor, and after he had gone up about three feet, his face was blood red and his veins were sticking out but he was a very determined guy. And he's going and going and going and my god he got up to the top. And when he got there he was just beat. And just when he got up to the top and touched the ceiling, the door to the drafting room opened and Brother Cornelius came in, and walked over to this post you know was five feet away and then leaned against the post. Well there's about 250 pound guy up on this slippery pole leaned on the post and started to talk to us. One thing he never did, he never would come in and talk. But for some reason today he got in a talkative mood, and we thought he would never, never, never leave. And we were trying to give him yes and no's for answers so he would get on his way. Well I, under circumstances like that it just seems like a second is like a year, and then finally he went and when he clo-