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People and organizations
Victoria University Library - Special Collections

Huie, Jennie

  • Person
  • 1928-2009

Jennie Huie was born in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar) in 1928. After graduating with a B.A. Honours in English Literature from the University of Rangoon (1951) she obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of Hong Kong (1953). In 1961 she received a Ph.D. from the University of London; her thesis was on the life and work of Anne Thackeray Ritchie. From 1962 to 1969 she taught English language and literature at United College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as visiting universities in Britain and the United States, including a period as Visiting Scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University, doing research on Anne Thackeray Ritchie. Jennie Huie emigrated to Canada in 1969, and went on to teach English and Canadian literature at Trent University and the University of Toronto, as well as doing further research on Anne Thackeray Ritchie in London. In 1981 she earned a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Toronto, and from 1982 to her retirement in 1993 held the position of Librarian of the Ontario Women's Directorate. Jennie Huie died in 2009.

Schmid, Catherine

  • Person
  • 1942-

Catherine Rank Schmid is a Canadian artist based in France. She was born in 1942 in Toronto, Ontario, to Margery Butler and Harold Rank. In 1968 she married Stephen Yeomans. They divorced in 1988. Their son Edward (Ted) Yeomans resides in Peterborough, Ontario. In 1995 she married Gérard Schmid in Switzerland. He passed away in 2003 in France.

Schmid studied Modern Languages at Victoria College, University of Toronto from 1961 to 1965 and received an Honours BA in French and German. During this period, she took part-time courses at the Ontario College of Art, studying painting with Aba Bayefsky. After graduation she taught in Bad Godesberg (Bonn) Germany in Amos Comenius Gymnasium, a Pestalozzi school, travelling extensively as well. Returning to Toronto, she completed her diploma at the Ontario College of Education and taught French, German and Art for many years in Secondary Schools in Toronto and Peterborough Ontario. While in Peterborough she was a founding member of the Art Gallery of Peterborough.

During a Sabbatical leave in 1984, Schmid spent several months in France and Germany drawing and painting. In 1987 she exhibited her work at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and gave a lecture in the Department of Philosophy of Education on the theme of the creative experience and its relationship to the development of learning. She also exhibited at The Art Gallery of Peterborough and in 1988 at the Here and Now Gallery in Toronto. In 1990 she moved to Saint Gallen, Switzerland, teaching Art at the Institut auf dem Rosenberg, an international private school. Her experiences travelling and living in different surroundings have been a compelling influence on her philosophy and in her artistry.

Schmid has also exhibited internationally. In 1989, she painted in Indonesia and The Cross Cultural Institute in Jakarta exhibited her drawings and paintings “Indonesia: the first impression of a Canadian artist”, sponsored by the Canadian Embassy. In 1990, The Museum of Contemporary Art Nyoman Gunarsa in Yogyakarta invited her to be Artist in Residence, where she had an exhibition “Explorations in Indonesia”. Her work is held in the collections of Victoria University at the University of Toronto, the Art Gallery of Peterborough, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation in Toronto, Crédit Suisse in Saint Gallen, Switzerland, the Agung Rai Gallery in Bali, Indonesia, the Art Gallery of Ontario in the art rental collection, and in many private collections.

Since 1994, she has resided in Provence in the south of France, where she has her studio and has given private instruction to students from many countries.

Schmid’s works reflect the elements of chance, surprise, capturing a world full of possibilities, originating in her broad travel experience and exposure to many cultures. Always “looking”, suddenly she “sees”. She is especially interested in the contrast of light and darkness and in architectural forms. The inner space of the mind: a thought, a word, a feeling, are all part of her creative approach.

Taylor, Kenneth Douglas

  • Person
  • 1934-2015

Kenneth Douglas Taylor was a Canadian diplomat and businessman. Born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1934 to Richard and Nancy Taylor, he was educated at Crescent Heights High School. He received his B.A. at Victoria College in 1957, and his M.B.A. at the University of California, Berkeley in 1959. He married Patricia Taylor, née Lee, whom he met while studying for his Masters at Berkeley. They have one son, Douglas Taylor.

Upon graduation in 1959, Taylor joined the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, and was appointed General Director in 1974. During his time with the foreign service he was posted to Guatemala from 1960-63; Detroit, Michigan from 1963-66; Karachi, Pakistan from 1966-67; London, England from 1967-71; and finally to Tehran, Iran from 1977-80. In 1980, he became the Canadian consul-general in New York. In 1984, he retired from the diplomatic service and settled with his family in Manhattan to pursue a career in business.

Taylor was Senior Vice-President of corporate government relations at Nabisco Brands and RJR Nabisco, Inc., until a takeover changed the composition of the management team in 1989. He continued as a director of several firms and served on the boards of various agencies including the Business Council for International Understanding, the School of International Affairs at Columbia University, Vancouver-based company First City, Alberta Northeast Gas, and the Matthews Group in Toronto. He was Chancellor of Victoria University from 1998-2004.

Taylor is best known for his role in the Iran hostage takeover of 1979, when he was the Canadian ambassador to Iran. In November of 1979, following a year of civil unrest, Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 hostages. Four US consulate employees and two of their wives escaped capture and found sanctuary at the Canadian Embassy. With assistance from the CIA, Taylor and another Canadian diplomatic official, John Sheardown, hid the six Americans in their residences and obtained special permission to create Canadian passports and documents under false names to help them escape. The operation was known as the “Canadian Caper” and several books and films were made highlighting Taylor’s work, including the television film Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper (1981), and the book Our Man in Tehran (2010) by Robert Wright. It also provided the inspiration for the Academy Award-winning film Argo (2012), directed by and starring Ben Affleck, in which Taylor is portrayed by Canadian actor Victor Garber.

For his involvement in the Iran hostage crisis, Taylor received numerous awards and honours, including the United States Congressional Gold Medal, the Military Order of the Mike Award, the Americas Society Gold Medal, the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award and the Gold Medal of the Canadian Club. He also received honourary degrees from various universities and keys to several cities throughout the United States and Canada. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1980.

Ken Taylor died in New York City in 2015.

Robson, Donald Oakley

  • Person
  • 1905-1976

Donald Oakley Robson was an academic. He was born in Fenelon Falls, Ontario. He married Rhena Kendrick in 1931. He died in Toronto.

Robson received a B.A. at Victoria College, Toronto, in 1928, and an M.A. in 1929 and a Ph.D. in 1932 at the University of Toronto. He was appointed Professor at the University of Western Ontario, London (1930-47). In 1947 he became Associate Professor of Latin at Victoria College, where he was promoted to Professor (1956-75), and to Chairman of the Department of Classics (1960-71). He was appointed Professor Emeritus in 1975.

Robson received the Edward Wilson Gold Medal in Classics, Victoria College, in 1928. His publications include: The Samnites in the Po Valley (1934) and The Nationality of the Poet Caecilius Statius (1938).

Margaret Susie Gairns

  • Person
  • 1910-2005

Margaret Susie Gairns was born on July 26, 1910, in Toronto. She attended Victoria College, studying English and History, and graduated in 1931. A year later she graduated from the Ontario College of Education, but as there were no teaching jobs available at the time, she returned to Victoria College to complete her MA. In 1937, Margaret began teaching English at Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute in Toronto and remained there for her entire career, retiring in 1969.

Margaret Gairns endowed a scholarship at Victoria College in 2004 in tribute to the professors that she had while in attendance. The Margaret Gairns Scholarship is awarded to a newly-admitted student who intends to study English or Literary Studies.

Margaret Gairns passed away in Toronto on January 10, 2005 at the age of 94.

Ide, Thomas Ranald

  • Person
  • 1919-1996

Thomas Ranald (Ran) Ide was born in Ottawa on February 20, 1919 to Lola Scharfe and Richard Mold Ide. He moved with his family to Saint John, N.B., where he went to high school. After graduating from Mount Allison University, he taught at Pickering College, Newmarket, Ontario, where he met his first wife Eleanor Aylesworth. During WWII, Ran Ide served as a navigator in the RCAF and afterwards, returned to teaching at the Port Arthur Collegiate Institute.

Eleanor and Ran had three children Richard, John and Douglas. In 1953, Eleanor was struck by polio and lived the next twelve years as a quadriplegic until her death in 1964. During this period, television played an important role in the household. TV, as Ran saw it, could bring the classroom into a hospital room, the home, or isolated community and he immediately starting promoting its potential as a powerful educational tool.

After spending twenty years in Port Arthur, Thunder Bay, and Fort William as a teacher, principal, inspector and superintendent of secondary schools, Ran Ide was asked in 1966 by the Honourable William G. Davis to establish a branch responsible for educational television within the Ontario Department of Education. When the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, better known as TVOntario, was created in 1970, Mr. Ide was appointed its first Chairman and CEO.

Following his retirement in 1979, he established T. R. Ide Consultants Inc. with his second wife Arlene Miles and, among other activities, chaired the federal Department of Communication’s Research Advisory Board (CRAB), the Science Council of Canada’s Committee on Computers and Communications and served as acting Vice-President of Planning at the CBC.

Ran Ide held honorary doctorates from Queen’s and Waterloo universities. He was a Fellow of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, the World Academy of Art and Science and was an active member of the international Club of Rome. In 1996, he was made an Officer of The Order of Canada. Ran Ide died of leukemia in October of 1996.

Saddlemyer, Eleanor Ann

  • Person
  • 1932-

Eleanor Ann Saddlemyer is an internationally known author, academic and expert in the field of Anglo-Irish literature and Canadian theatre history. Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, to Elsie Sarah, née Ellis, and Orrin Angus Saddlemyer in November 1932, she attended high school in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. She received her B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1953, her M.A. from Queen’s University in 1956, and her Ph.D. from the University of London in 1961. She was awarded a D.Litt. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1991.

Saddlemyer taught at the University of Victoria in British Columbia from 1956-1957 and 1960-1971, when she accepted appointments as Professor of Drama and Professor of English in Victoria College at the University of Toronto. She was Director of the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the University of Toronto from 1971-1977, and visiting Berg Professor at New York University in 1975. In 1988, she was appointed Master of Massey College, a position she held until her retirement in 1996.

Saddlemyer has lectured extensively in Canada and elsewhere, and has served as founding President of the Association for Canadian Theatre History and chair of the International Association for Anglo-Irish Literature, as co-general editor of the Cornell Yeats series of manuscripts, founding co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Theatre Research, and is on the Editorial Boards of numerous other journals. She is currently Director of Colin Smythe Limited, Publishers and is a Corresponding Scholar of the Academy of the Shaw Festival.

She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1976 and the Royal Society of Arts in 1987. In 1995, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She has received several awards for her scholarship including the M.L. Rosenthal Award from the Yeats Society of New York, the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, and holds five honorary doctorates from universities across Canada. In 2013, she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research.

Ann Saddlemyer is the author of many works including Becoming George: The Life of Mrs. W.B. Yeats (2002), W.B. Yeats and George Yeats: The Letters (2011), The Letters of John Millington Synge (1968), which was given an award by the British Academy, Conversations with Our Past: Stories of North Saanich (2006), Later Stages: Essays on Ontario Theatre from World War I to the 1970s (1997), Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario 1800 to 1914 (1990), Lady Gregory Fifty Years After (1987), Theatre Business, the letters of the first Abbey Theatre Directors (W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory and J.M. Synge) (1982), A Selection of Letters from John M. Synge to W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory (1971), In Defence of Lady Gregory, Playwright (1966) and The World of W.B. Yeats: Essays in Perspective (1965), as well as numerous articles and chapters in books.

Ann Saddlemyer was a close friend of famed Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. Upon learning that he and his family were considering leaving Belfast so he could become a full-time writer, she offered him the rental of Glanmore Cottage in County Wicklow, which she had purchased in 1971 while lecturing in Dublin. His family moved there in the summer of 1972. Their time at the cottage greatly influenced his work, and in 1977 he dedicated the “Glanmore Sonnets” to Saddlemyer. In 1988, Saddlemyer sold Glanmore Cottage to the Heaneys. They remained friends until his death in 2013.

Gray, Margaret

  • Person
  • 1922-2017

Margaret Miller Gray (née Blair) was a Scottish-born Canadian writer. Born in Glasgow in 1922, she immigrated with her family to Canada in 1925, where they settled in Toronto. After graduating from St. Clement’s School in 1939, she worked for a stockbroker before enlisting and serving in the Royal Canadian Navy, where she met her future husband, Don Gray. In 1945 she left the Navy and married Don Gray. They had two children, Ann and Ian.

While her husband’s job moved the family back and forth between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, Gray remained at home to care for their children, although she was active in community activities, taking art classes and performing in local theatre. In 1967, Gray began her Art History Degree at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal, however her studies were briefly interrupted when the family was transferred to Toronto. She continued her studies at the University of Toronto and completed her B.F.A. in 1974.

Gray is the author of three books: A.J. Casson (1976); Charles Comfort (1976); and Carl Schaefer (1977), all published by Gage Publishing. Co-written with her friend Margaret Rand and photographed by Lois Steen, the books were part of the Canadian Artists series, a project dedicated to highlighting younger contemporaries of the better-known Group of Seven. Gray arranged and conducted interviews and wrote the artist biographies, while Rand carried out background research on the technical aspects of their work. A fourth book on Yvonne McKague Housser was also planned and written, however due to production issues, underwhelming sales, and a change in the editorial staff at Gage Publishing, it was never published and all subsequent books in the series were cancelled. Gray continued to edit books in the 1980s and 1990s. She was a docent for several years at the Royal Ontario Museum and she also wrote numerous unpublished stories for her grandchildren.

After her husband's death, Gray moved west in 2011 to be close to her family in Calgary. She passed away in 2017.