Sesquicentennial flashback: February 1967

By Dale Johnson Posted: February 6, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Regina Campus principal Dr. William A. Riddell, speaks at the official opening of the physical education centre on Feb. 18, 1967.
Regina Campus principal Dr. William A. Riddell, speaks at the official opening of the physical education centre on Feb. 18, 1967. Photo courtesy Alvin Schafer, Heenan Studio, Regina; from U of R Archives and Special Collections

As Canadians were celebrating the nation’s 100th birthday in 1967, Regina Campus was a busy place. It had been less than two years since the first classes had been held at the new campus.

expo ad

From the Carillon, Feb 10, 1967.

Photo: U of R Archives and Special Collections

The main talk in 1967 was Centennial Year – and making plans for a trip to the world’s fair, Expo 67 in Montreal, which would open in late April. An ad in the Carillon newspaper offered air fare and accommodation for 10 nights for $235.

The Feb. 10, 1967, issue of the Carillon also included advertisements for:

  • cigarettes – “You can’t beat the taste of Player’s filters”
  • the upcoming Gordon Lightfoot concert with tickets $2.00 and $2.50
  • movies downtown: Dean Martin and Ann-Margret in Murderers’ Row, and Joey Bishop and Dean Martin in Texas Across the River
  • jobs for teachers in Edmonton, $3,800 to $10,850 per year; and in Calgary, $3,950 to $10,800 per year

Crescent Furniture was selling new colour TVs for $1,049.50. Down the street, a new Volkswagon Beetle cost $1,777. Pay ‘n’ Save Drugstore had a nine cent sale, offering such items as ballpoint pens, chocolate bars, soap, and baby food – for nine cents each.

Also making the Leader-Post newspaper in February 1967 was a debate over building a civic auditorium as “a lasting symbol of the nation’s 100th birthday.” Today the facility is known as the Conexus Arts Centre.

The top three songs, as listed by CKCK Radio, were Armful of Teddy Bears by Barry Allen; Words of Love by the Mamas & Papas; and Georgy Girl by the Seekers.

So although there are many differences from when Canada marked its Centennial Year, what hasn’t changed since 1967 is that the campus is growing, and is an important part of the community.

On Feb. 1 the principal of Regina Campus, Dr. W. A. Riddell, announced that construction on two buildings would begin in the fall. One project was the first residence, Luther College. The other was the Education Building. “We need that space desperately. We hope we can do the excavation work in the fall and do the foundation work during the winter,”  Riddell told the Leader-Post. As well, planning was underway for an engineering building and a student union building.

On Feb. 10 the third annual Basterfield Lecture was held. About 175 people turned out for the lecture by Dr. William Feindel, professor of Neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University. The Leader-Post reported that Feindel “took a lighthearted tour from the Egyptian beginning to modern surgical techniques dealing with the blood circulation of the brain.”

ribbon cut

Alan Tubby (left), memeber of the board of governors, watches as Dr. William A. Riddell cuts the ribbon to open the new phys ed building on Feb. 18, 1967.

Photo courtesy Alvin Schafer, Heenan Studio, Regina; from U of R Archives and Special Collections.

Regina Campus presented On Stage ‘66 at Darke Hall, a performance for the community, on Feb. 10 and 11. Performers included the 16-piece varsity stage orchestra, campus folk singers, and students from the school of dance at the Regina Conservatory of Music.

On Feb. 12 Regina Campus hosted the Winter Institute of Public Affairs. The topic was Fair Shares for all Canadians and guest speakers included R. A. J. Philips of Ottawa, director of the federal government’s special planning secretariat, an agency created to co-ordinate the government’s anti-poverty program, and James Norton of Toronto, an economist with the United Steel Workers Union of America. Also speaking was economist R. B. MacPherson, who outlined what developing nations must do for themselves and what help Canada can give them.

Also on Feb. 12 a weekly 15-minute program on CKCK radio was launched, called Regina Campus Presents. The program was “designed to better inform people of Regina about the affairs and ideas of students on Regina Campus,” the Carillon reported. The program included newscast, as well as a jazz combo of Ross Purse, Ron Szyski, Ron Brooks, and Barry Whitmore vocalist.

On Feb. 18 the new physical education centre was officially opened when Dr. W. A. Riddell cut the ribbon. The Leader-Post said: “The centre provides two large gyms, each with two cross courts and one full length court and a double tank swimming pool area with one shallow swimming tank 25 metres long plus a diving tank 12 feed in depth in which synchronized swimming instructions will be provided.” After the ceremonies in the main gym, tours of the new facilities were offered.

On Feb. 28 a new dean of education was announced – Dr. Norman France, who was associate professor of education at McGill. Dr. France “has made contributions in the field of educational psychology and in the teaching of mathematics,” the Leader-Post reported. He held several teaching and supervisory posts in Great Britain before joining the faculty of education at McGill in 1965. Dr. France succeeded Dr. F. L. Bates who resigned to devote more time to teaching and research at Regina Campus.

This year, the University of Regina is marking Canada’s 150th anniversary with the Making of Canada Lecture Series. The commemoration of Canada at 150 is an excellent opportunity to make Canada’s history relevant to all  citizens. The next lecture in this series is Contradictory Colonial Positions: The Ambiguous Trajectories of Francophones in the Canadian Prairies, by Jérôme Melançon, Lecturer, Cité universitaire francophone University of Regina and Directeur, Centre de Recherches sur les francophonies en milieu minoritaire. Lectures are bilingual. This event is free and open to the public.

Date:     Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Time:     7:30 p.m.
Venue:   Language Institute 216 (Rotunda)

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