A Separation of Languages

Jubilee Hall circa 1917.  Photo courtesy of the Greater Sudbury Historical Database.On January 17, 1894, the school board had passed a motion stating that children could receive instruction exclusively in their mother tongue. This resulted in an imbalance of classroom sizes as the French-language students considerably outnumbered the English-language students. By September of 1911, five of the ten total classrooms at brown school and Jubilee Hall were designated for French instruction. However, two thirds of the student population were French, resulting in extremely large class sizes. The sisters requested that another classroom be designated for French instruction to accommodate the overflow. The school board debated the issue at length and no resolution could be reached. The status quo remained for a few years more and during that time, it became apparent that the French-speaking children were losing their heritage. They were coming out of school unable to speak their mother tongue.

On September 11, 1913, John Frawley, now school board chairman, called a board meeting to once again address the issue of classroom division. After another extensive debate, the board decided to allocate the six classrooms at brown school for French instruction and the four classrooms at Jubilee Hall to English instruction.


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