Fredericton School of Poets

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Four years ago this month the University of New Brunswick observed Founders' Day for the first time in 142 years. Tonight we are assembled for a similar event, to pay tribute to those early citizens of this province whose vision and foresight laid the solid foundation of what is today one of the outstanding educational centres in Canada, the University of New. Brunswick.

It is a very happy occasion for me to be here to speak to you briefly and late:r to perform an official duty as representative of His Majesty The King. I was very interested in reading recently the history of U.N.B. One could speak at length on its history, its growth and improvements down through the years. Time does not permit me to do this. I am sure, however, that I, like many others, have been deeply impressed with the magnificent record of the university and especially the great success which has been attained by so many of her graduates.

To those students who served in the armed forces, of whom there are some 500, and who are now once again taking up their studies, may I extend the grateful thanks of the people of New Brunswick for a job well done. Some of you may find it difficult to get back to civilian life and to become re-established. This is only natural to expect. But let me say to you that I have every confidence that lads who showed the courage that you did, who have such stout hearts beating within you, who never failed, no matter how difficult the objective, displaying that same courage, that same stoutheartedness will find no objective, in civilian life that you will fail to overcome, once you set your course and go forward as of old, determined to win through. You have the stuff it takes.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the university in having as its president Dr. Gregg. He has all qualities necessary for a great leader and brings to his high office exceptional administrative ability. Surrounded by able Professors and a Faculty of outstanding men, a bright future lies ahead for the University of New Brunswick.

To the student body — good luck and best wishes. You have a very high record of achievements to maintain. It is a challenge to you all, but I am sure you will do your best to live up to it.

Founders' Day Address


Mr. President, Your Honour, Members of the Senate, Ladies and Gentlemen: I must begin by expressing my deep sense of the honour you have conferred upon, me in inviting me to address you on this significant occasion and to thank you for the opportunity of visiting New Brunswick for the first time under such happy and impressive circumstances. It was suggested that I should devote this address to an examination of the part played by this university in creating and nourishing a poetic tradition that has made its influence felt in a most vital way upon the cultural and spiritual life of the whole Dominion; and I assented gladly, not merely because such a task is less difficult than some others might be but because it is in itself such a worthwhile thing to attempt. It was felt, I believe, that the number and excellence of the poets produced by this university was so great and of such a high order that an examination of their work might safely be left in the hands of one who comes from another, though not a very distant, province, the Province of Quebec. But be that as it may, no Canadian, however new to New Brunswick, could fail to respond to the challenge of this subject. For one who cares for the monuments and memories of Canada's real greatness the city of Fredericton and the venerable walls of the university Arts Building take on a kind of sacred grandeur. The records preserved in the museum of the university library and the collection of manuscripts, periodicals, and books concerned with Carman collected by Rufus Hathaway and left by him to this university are of incalculable value to the student of Canadian literature. Largely owing to the exertions of Dr. J. C. Webster, whose loving care for the records of his native province is already bearing rich fruit, the Dominion Government will erect a cairn in this city to the memory of the poets of Fredericton, who are also the poets of Canada. The resting place of two of the greatest of these—Carman and Roberts—here in Fredericton will become something in the nature of a national shrine. They—and the poets before them also-were intimately associated with the University of New Brunswick.


Among the Founders of the university was Jonathan Odell, the Loyalist poet of the American Revolution, one of the most