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People and organizations
Education

Gillan, Charles H.

  • Person
  • 1911 - 1980

Charles Hansen Gillin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in February of 1911 to Hugh Clement Gillin and Margaret Hansen. After Hugh’s death, Margaret married Patrick J.Malloy. Gillin had one sister, Marnie Hubbs-Gillin; four half-brothers, Alexander Molloy, Patrick Malloy, Peter Malloy and John (Jack) Malloy and a foster brother, Gerald Giba. He attended Kelvin Technical High School in Winnipeg and later graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1936. Gillin began his career as an architect with Green, Blankstein, Russel and Ham and eventually moved to Ottawa where he met his wife Madeleine Belanger. In 1943 he joined the Royal Canadian Engineers and trained as an officer, but did not serve overseas. In 1946 he moved to London, Ontario and began working for the engineering firm, M.M. Dillon and Co. In 1948 he opened his own office, Charles H. Gillin Architect, BArch MRAIC, at 389 Queens Avenue in London. As an architect in London, Gillin worked on several projects for the Separate School Board taking a role in the design and building of many of London’s Catholic schools including Catholic Central High School. Gillin also designed private residences, including the heritage listed Ginsberg residence in London; public buildings, including the Southwest Middlesex Health Centre in Mount Brydges and the club house at the Highland Country Club in London. His advocacy of the contemporary modernist style of architecture can be seen in all of these projects. Gillin and his wife had five children and lived in a house on Cathcart Street in London, which Gillinde signed himself. He was a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Ontario Association of Architects and the London Society of Architects. Gillin was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Highland Golf Club. He died on September 23, 1980 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario.

Hellmuth College

  • Corporate body
  • 1869-1976

Hellmuth College was originally granted by the Crown to the English Church Corporation. The Anglican Bishop Hellmuth directed the building of a young ladies’ college which opened September 23, 1869. The college went bankrupt, and the land where Hellmuth College was situated was put up for sale and subsequently purchased by the Sisters of St. Joseph of London on June 10, 1899. A year later, on April 29, 1900, the property was blessed and the name was changed to Mount St. Joseph. In 1900, approximately 108 school age children moved from Mount Hope to Hellmuth College, and the site also became an orphanage. On April 3, 1914, the Sisters moved to Sacred Heart Convent after its purchase from the Religious of the Sacred Heart. After the move, Mount St. Joseph became exclusively a home for orphans, and the remaining children at Mount Hope were moved to Mount St. Joseph in 1914. There were as many as 370 children cared in the orphanage at any time. Mount St. Joseph Orphanage had a fire on April 14, 1925, which was attributed to defective wiring, however only the roof was lost. The orphans were moved from Mount St. Joseph to Fontbonne Hall in 1953. In 1967, Fontbonne Hall came under the direction of Madame Vanier Services of London and the Sisters withdrew. In 1954, the Sisters built a new Motherhouse next to the old Mount St. Joseph building. The former orphanage building was renamed Fatima Hall, and became the home of the Mount St. Joseph Academy, a private girls’ school, from 1954 until 1959 until a new wing for the school was added to the new Motherhouse building. The building was also used for a Kindergarten and pre-Kindergarten which ran from 1954 until 1975. The building was also used from 1957-1967, the Fatima Hall High School and Aspirancy was founded for girls to introduce them to religious life. The former orphanage building was demolished on May 28, 1976.

Mills, David

  • Person
  • 1831 - 1903

David Mills was born 18 March 1831 in Orford Township, Upper Canada, to Nathaniel Mills and Mary Guggerty. David received his early education at the local school in Palmyra Corners. He became a teacher and from April 1856 to April 1865 he served as a school superintendent in Kent. He married Mary Jane Brown on 17 December 1860 in Chatham, Upper Canada, and had three sons and four daughters. During this time spent as superintendent he also farmed on his inherited part of the family farm at Palmyra. By 1864 he seems to have become active politically in the Reform party in Kent.

In 1865 he enrolled at the University of Michigan Law School from which he graduated in March of 1867. Mills attained his degree but made no formal application to the law society until 1878, and he was not called to bar until 1883. He first practiced law in the firm of Ephraim Jones Parke in London, Ontario and later practiced with one of his sons. In 1885 he was on the faculty of the newly opened London Law School as professor of international law and the rise of representative government. Five years later he became a Queen's Council lawyer.

After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1867, Mills returned to Canada and secured the Reform nomination for the federal constituency of Bothwell, which covered parts of Kent and Lambton counties. He would hold the seat until 1882 and again from 1884 to 1896. He introduced a motion to do away with the practice of dual representation at the federal level on 20 November 1867 and had it completely abolished in 1873. In 1872 he suggested that senators be properly elected or chosen directly by the provincial legislatures, and remained an advocate for the Senate to be rendered a better guardian of provincial interests. Mills told parliament in June 1869 that if ever it was "a question whether Federal or Local Legislatures should be destroyed," his view was that "the country would suffer far less by the destruction of the Federal power."

In 1872 he asked Oliver Mowat, the Liberal premier of Ontario from 1872 to 1896, to prepare a written defense of the province's placement of its disputed western and northern boundaries. The report was published in early 1873 and made Mills a key player in the boundary dispute. Mills was asked in January 1876 to chair the select committee established to investigate the economic depression and was appointed minister of the interior in October.

The defeat of the Mackenzie government in the election of 1878 put an end to Mills' ministerial duties and administrative ambitions. He retained Bothwell, however, making him one of the senior Ontario Liberals in the caucus. He was one of the leaders of the movement in 1880 to oust Mackenzie from the leadership position. Mills became one of Edward Blake's chief lieutenants when he became leader and coordinated the Liberal filibuster in 1885. He considered his speech of 1 April 1885 to be one of the finest speeches of his parliamentary career.

As editor-in-chief of the London Advertiser from 1882 to 1887, Mills built a case against the Macdonald government's administration of national affairs in a series of unsigned, but distinctive, editorials. He seems to have been particularly active as a journalist in 1883, when he was defeated in the election of 20 June 1882 and was forced to sit out a session of parliament while his case was considered by the courts. He won in February 1884 and returned to the commons. In 1886 he followed Blake in condemning the execution of Louis Riel and in 1889 he delivered a strong speech opposing disallowance, arguing that parliament had no business interfering with legislation that was clearly within provincial jurisdiction. In the 1890 debate over the use of French in legislature, Mills delivered an eloquent speech in defense of linguistic rights.

Mills lost Bothwell in the general election of 23 June 1896. Although summoned to the Senate in November 1896, he was not invited to join the cabinet. He consequently devoted more time to his law practice in London, continued his work at the University of Toronto, where he had been appointed in 1888 to teach constitutional and international law, and wrote and lectured on a wide variety of religious and political subjects. Laurier asked Mills to fill the vacancy left by Sir Oliver Mowat in 1897 and on 18 November he was sworn in as minister of justice and became government leader in the Senate.

In 1902 Mills arranged his own appointment as a puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, a move that was widely criticized. On 8 May 1903, Mills died suddenly of an internal haemorrhage, leaving behind his wife and six of his children.

Mount Saint Joseph Academy

  • Corporate body
  • 1950-1985

The Mount Saint Joseph Academy was a school for girls directed by the Sisters of St. Joseph from 1950 to 1985. It was initially located at Sacred Heart Convent with a mere six students. In 1953, it moved to the newly built Mount St. Joseph convent property, opening in the former Hellmuth Ladies' College and Mount St. Joseph Orphanage building. At this time, there were 26 students but by 1957, this number had grown to 105 students. At this time, 80 girls resided at the school and 25 were day students. In 1958, the Academy was moved to a newly completed wing in the new Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse building.

The mission of the Academy was to provide secondary education for girls in which the Catholic faith was integrated into the curriculum and school life. Students had the option of being day students if they lived in the area or boarders if they came from far away. Students came from across Canada and 10%-15% came from other countries including the West Indies, Mexico, and Hong Kong.

Music was always an important part of life at the Academy, perhaps due to the influence of the St. Joseph’s School of Music which was also run by the Sisters. Students who wished to learn to play musical instruments did so on their own time, usually through the School of Music. They could also volunteer to join the Glee Club, one of the choirs, or the choral group called the Academy Singers which was well-known in the area.

In addition to regular curriculum classes, students were required to sign up for an activity for their enrichment and cultural development. These activities included photography, driving school, typing, fencing, drama, ballet, horseback riding, charm class, scripture study, physical education, crafts, and home economics club.

The Academy closed in 1985, and the wing that it occupied became a guest wing for relatives of hospitalized patients, also run by the Sisters. It is estimated that over the course of 32 years, between 2,000 and 3,000 students received at least part of their high school education at the Academy.

St. Joseph's School of Music

  • Corporate body
  • 1914-1982

The Sisters of St. Joseph have a long history of music instruction. The St. Joseph’s School of Music traces its beginnings back a century ago to 1914, when the Sisters of St. Joseph first took up residence at Sacred Heart Convent in London, Ontario, and began formal music instruction, due to the initiative taken by Sister Ursula McGuire and Sister Patricia Mallon. The school's earliest known music recital took place in 1919; however, it wasn't until the early 1920s that the school was established as the Sacred Heart School of Music. The music ministry has an even longer history, though, as individual Sisters were actually offering music lessons in small mission houses and schools throughout Ontario as early as 1867.

In the early days of the Sisters’ music ministry and the Sacred Heart School of Music, music studios were established in a number of schools within the London Separate School Board, and Sisters would visit the schools once or twice a week to teach. These schools included St. Michael, St. Martin, Holy Cross, Holy Rosary, Blessed Sacrament and St. Peter’s Catholic Schools. By 1929, the music ministry had 27 music teachers, and the Sisters offered music instruction in Windsor, Belle River, Leamington, Goderich, St. Mary’s, Ingersoll, Woodstock and St. Thomas in Ontario, as well as in Edmonton, Alberta. That year, Sister Callistus Arnsby was appointed Community Music Supervisor and Principal of the Sacred Heart School of Music. She was responsible for creating uniformity in policies and structure throughout the schools, and for helping the Sisters to grow professionally.

The Sacred Heart School of Music’s instructors studied and were trained themselves at the London Conservatory of Music (1892-1922), which later became the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music (1934-1997). Some of the Sisters also received special instruction in violin and piano teaching from a well-known musician of the time, Mr. St. John Hyttenruck.

The Sisters originally taught a program of studies based on the examination requirements of the Toronto Conservatory of Music (now the Royal Conservatory of Music). Students could take annual examinations, with examiners from the conservatory coming to the school for the exams. However, when the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music was established in London in 1934, the Sacred Heart School of Music began following its courses and requirements instead.

As the years went on, the Sacred Heart School of Music continued to grow. School policies were instituted, student recitals took place regularly, scholarships and awards were established, and bi-annual report cards were issued to students. There was even a music library. In the 1940s, the Sacred Heart Concert Orchestra was formed by Sister Immaculata Brophy. Originally a string ensemble, the orchestra eventually expanded to include wind, bass and percussion instruments. The Sacred Heart Concert Orchestra played frequently at important civic and religious events, and gave annual concerts in London and other nearby cities until the late 1940s when it disbanded.

When the new Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse opened in 1954, the music school was relocated there and its name was changed to the St. Joseph School of Music. The new St. Joseph School of Music contained larger, modern facilities, including St. Cecilia’s Recital Hall and adjoining music studios for teaching and practice. However, some of the school’s original studios were still retained, such as the studio at 429 Colborne St., a small house across the street from the Sacred Heart Convent, which continued to be used for teaching until 1973.

In addition to piano and violin instruction, the Sisters also offered vocal instruction. In fact, Sister Mary Margaret Childs organized several choirs over the years, including a senior girls’ choir called the School of Christ Choristers and a junior choir called the Little Radio Choir. In 1963, she formed a choir of her own senior vocal students called the St. Cecilia Singers who sang a repertoire of sacred songs, folk songs, popular songs, plain chant and carols. The St. Cecilia Singers made quite a name for themselves, touring throughout Canada and the United States and winning many awards at Rotary and Kiwanis Music Festivals. The choir is still in existence today as part of the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University. By 1972, the St. Joseph’s School of Music had an enrolment of approximately 400 students, and lessons were offered in piano, violin, singing and music theory. At this point the school had 30 teachers, seven of whom were Sisters.

In September 1982, the St. Joseph's School of Music was amalgamated with the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music on the University of Western Ontario campus. The St. Joseph's School of Music programs continued, its teachers were invited to join the conservatory staff, and its students were able to continue with their same teachers. By 1993, only three Sisters remained teaching at the conservatory. Shortly thereafter, the three Sisters began teaching independently again, offering independent instruction at the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse. Today, in 2014, Sister Caroline Bering is the sole Sister still offering music instruction, with one student under her tuition.

Western University

  • Corporate body
  • 1878 -

Founded on March 7, 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth (1817–1901) ‘The Western University of London Ontario’ opened its doors to students for the first time in 1881. Four faculties were established (Arts, Divinity, Law and Medicine) at Western's inception.

In 1916, the current campus property was mainly purchased from the Kingsmill family, with construction beginning in 1922 and first classes held in summer of 1924. In 1923 the university was renamed The University of Western Ontario.

Since that first class graduated in 1883, the university has become a vibrant centre of learning. Through 12 faculties and three affiliated university colleges, Western today offers its 36,000-plus students more than 400 specializations, majors and minors.