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Page 14 text:
About (@ur Jirmrijjal Qs IXTY-FIVE years ago there was born in the “Garden of the Gulf” a youngster who was destined to know and be known and admired by more young people probably than any man now living in the Province of Alberta. This young spriggins so commended himself to the authorities of Prince of Wales College that he was recommended for a First Class Certificate in 1894. He had by then developed into the tall, dignified and austere Ernest William Coffin whose contribution to education in this prov¬ ince can never be. measured. After teaching for a time in Prince Edward Island, he registered for an Arts course in Dalhousie Uni¬ versity. It was during this period that the writer of this note first made his acquaintance. He received his Bachelor ' s Degree in 1902 and then spent some years in Trinidad as Headmaster of Naporina College and Training School. Not finding the climate of Trinidad to his liking, he returned north and entered Clark University for graduate study. In 1908 he emerged with a Ph.D. Degree. Thirty years ago a Doctor’s degree was a phenomenon much less frequently met with than it is today, while in Alberta it was a “rara avis” indeed. After hesitating one year for a glance at teacher-training in Indiana, this budding young doctor arrived in the City of the Foothills during the summer of 1909 to begin his work in the Calgary Normal School. He had, therefore, com¬ pleted 30 years of service in this institution at the opening of the present school year. He was appointed principal in January, 1911, and has occupied this position continuously since that date. In this time more than nine thousand students have passed through the Calgary Normal School and come under the gracious influence of Dr. Coffin. They will be found either in the ranks of the teachers or doing other work, by far the largest number being em¬ ployed in home making. In all this multitude there is hardly one that does not remember with gratitude the kindly interest and wise admonitions of this man whose every lecture sparkled with clever and witty but never bitter sayings. Page ten
Page 13 text:
OAil @A nxrcA We, IV Class of 1939-40 affectionately dedicate l%is book to our Principal ♦ ♦ . —— Dr. Coffin-
Page 15 text:
OAc QAcruroA - ' When Dr. Coffin was at Clark, Dr. G. Stanley Hall was in the hey-day of his powers. It was inevitable that this impressionable young Canadian should have his thinking colored by the dynamic personality of the famed psychologist. It was fortunate that the point of view of the man who was destined to exert such a pro¬ found influence on the educational life of this province should have been shaped by a leader whose outlook was so wholesome and full of good sense. A major interest of Dr. Coffin in his professional work, to mention but one among many, has always been the problem of spoken and written English. While at times discouraged, almost to the point of desperation, with the lack of facility in the mother tongue disclosed by many who came to his classes, Dr. Coffin always maintained a cheerful optimism when dealing with his students. He “allured them to brighter worlds and led the way.” Without doubt, the cause of better English in this province owes a great debt to Dr. Coffin. Outside the walls of the school over which he has presided so many years, to the credit of himself and the advantage and satis¬ faction of the public which he served, Dr. Coffin has discharged fully the duties and responsibilities of the good citizen. He has served on curriculum committees for the Department, both of the professional schools and of the elementary and high schools; he has for many years been a member of the Senate of the University of Alberta; he has been active in study clubs, in Home and School Associations, and in Church circles. In fact he has been the type of citizen which any community would be proud to claim. His associates in the public service, including those who have worked with him in his own school in Calgary, those who are en¬ gaged in teacher-training elsewhere in the province, those at head¬ quarters at Edmonton, the Supervisory Staff throughout the province, and the teaching body apart from his former students — all these and many more join his former students, who have experienced the more intimate association of teacher and student, in a grateful tribute of praise and appreciation of a task of the highest importance nobly done. — G. FRED McNALLY. Page eleven
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