Roslyn Elementary School 1937

This is just one of those things I picked up at a second hand shop in Belleville, Ontario…just because it was beautiful, so crisp and nostalgic…a bit of a glare on the photo I’ve included.

Kath's Canon January 2, 2016 New Years Tracks Salmon Sculpture 026

Upon removing the frame, I found a list of what I believe to be nicknames and first names of a group of male students Grade six, 1937.  I love to get these sorts of things back into the hands of descendants if I can, but because the details are not sufficient to do a search, I’m just landing ‘what I do know’ here, in this one place.  If you know anyone who is seeking out this archive, I’d love for it to go to a family member.

Kath's Canon January 2, 2016 New Years Tracks Salmon Sculpture 023

From what I can tell, Roslyn Elementary school was/is based in Montreal.  It seems that if this is the same school, Leonard Cohen attended Roslyn.

“Leonard Cohen, author, poet, and musician, was born on September 21, 1934 to a prosperous Jewish family in Westmount. His grandfather, Lyon Cohen, was the owner of the successful men’s clothing manufacturing firm, the Freedman Company, and was perhaps the Jewish community’s foremost leader during the early decades of the twentieth century. Leonard’s father, Nathan Cohen, died when Cohen was just nine years old, leaving him under the care of his Russian-born mother, Masha, as the family became more dependent on the support of his father’s brothers. Cohen attended Roslyn School and then Westmount High School, while also going to Hebrew school and becoming a bar mitzvah at the Shaar Hashomayim synagogue, where his family was actively involved. It was during his adolescence that he turned more and more to writing and learned to play guitar. This more introverted, artistic side of Cohen in some ways contrasted with the student who played sports and was a leader in extracurricular activities.”

Back Row: Sweezy, Romney, Schulman, Chisholm, Kosh, Evans, Gurd, Murray, Graham, Tilden

Middle Row: Cummings, Nutter, Casgrain, Williams Chodal Walker Moyle Walls Polcock Oliver

Back Row: Nicholson Bishop Burke Miller Griffith Walls Strachan Waller Cockfield Swaine

Haggett King

Grade  VI Roslyn School May 1937

To update this story, I spoke to Joanne Penhale this morning.

“I’m a Montreal-based freelance reporter and your blog post featuring the 1937 photo from Roslyn School has piqued the curiousity (sic) of my editor at the Westmount Independent – the community newspaper serving the community Roslyn is in.”
If a story does, in fact, run in a local newspaper, the chances are greater that this photo will fall into the hands of one of the boys in this photograph…or one of their descendants. I took a new set of photographs as a result of this connection.  WHOOT!
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26 thoughts on “Roslyn Elementary School 1937

  1. I went to Roslyn in Montreal, as did my Dad and Grandfather. He doesn’t seem to be in the photo though. I know people whose kids go there now. I could ask any questions you want.

    • Hi there, Joanne…I’m just thinking how wonderful it would be if one of the descendants of one of these school boys had the chance to receive this photograph. Maybe print it off and pass it around and hopefully someone will recognize a name or a face or the teacher’s face in this photograph. Thanks for your help! If you get any leads, I can be contacted at Kathleen

  2. My Dad went there a few years earlier than this. I certainly grew up knowing members of the Gurd family. Fraser Gurd was of my fathers era and went to med school at McGill. I knew his daughter Jennifer growing up though she was a year or so behind me. I was at Roslyn from 59-66.

  3. Pingback: 1937 Roslyn Photo Got Noticed | The Chapel

  4. Great photo and thank you for sharing! I received a call on Tuesday night telling me my dad was in paper. It was friend his childhood neighbour, who immediately recognized him before she read his name. She also found her brother in the 2nd row.

    My father is Graham in the back row, 2nd in from the right. He name is Donald Grahame. He passed away in 2009. David Casgrain was in the middle row, third in from the left. He passed away in 2006.

    I would suggest giving the photo to either the Westmount Historical Society or the Roslyn School Foundation. It is a gem and should be available for people to view. My brother and niece are looking forward to see this photo!

    • This is sooo absolutely wonderful! So…this photograph has connected several students and I think that it is absolutely wonderful! Do you know if you still have a copy of the same school photograph? Did your father save such things? I’m sooo sorry for your loss! I will make inquiries about a historical society…and will sort something out so that the love of such an item as this can be shared. 1937!!! Can you imagine! Bless you for responding to my search, Cynthia. Kathleen Moors

    • Thanks, Bev! I’ve also found a living man who is in the photograph…Mr. Jack Walls. I’m hoping that we can create a bit of a moment where the families represented in the photo can come together and see it. I’ll wait to hear from Westmount Independent and how I get the actual photo out in the mail and who might be there on the other end, to receive it. Such a happy story.

  5. Hi there,

    My mother is till alive and enjoyed seeing the picture of the 1937 Roslyn school class. Her brother, Robert (Bob) Cockfield is sitting in the front row.
    Both my parents went to Roslyn, as did I and as my daughter does now. It’sounds a fabulous school.
    Thanks for posting the picture. It brought back a lot of happy memories 😊.
    Nancy Hutchison for Lois Cockfield Hutchison

  6. I asked around and the well dressed guy at the end of the first row appears to be Peter King. The gang that was 2 years older appreciated very much seeing the photo and recognized my father and Dave Casgrain right away. Thank you again for sharing, Kathleen.

      • They all lived on the same street, essentially beside each other or across. I am sorry to learn that Bruce passed away last year. I saw him with the gang a couple of years ago at lunch. If you are in contact with his family, please give them my e-mail. When we last met, he told me that he had some photos of my family, that he wanted to get to me. They would be great to see, if they around. You’re doing a great job, Kathleen!

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