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Robert Edwards Holloway

Robert Edwards Holloway: Newfoundland Educator, Scientist, Photographer, 1874-1904

Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Robert Edwards Holloway
    Book Description:

    Holloway was a scientist and innovative teacher who opened his classes to the public and kept up with current developments in science, demonstrating new discoveries in public lectures. For a time College Hall at Methodist College, later named Holloway School, was the site for the production of X-rays and their use for diagnosis and treatment by local doctors.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7258-4
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xvii)
  5. Map of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1899
    (pp. xviii-2)
    (pp. 3-5)

    As the rmsCircassianprepared to dock at the Furnace Withy pier in St John’s harbour on 12 June 1874 after a five-day voyage from Liverpool, a young man stood out among the passengers on deck. Although he was dishevelled from the journey, there was an air about him that drew the attention of the people waiting to meet the ship. He was short, with a thick brown moustache and small beard, his hair combed back from a high forehead, and dark eyes that took in his surroundings with great interest. He was looking for someone in the crowd on...

  7. Chapter One BEGINNINGS
    (pp. 6-25)

    As with all biographies, there is a beginning, and the beginning was with Robert Holloway’s father, William, of Camden Town, London, and his mother, Mary Edwards, born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.¹ Robert Holloway’s early life in England unfolded in the context of a family that as time went on included four sisters and a brother. When Robert was four years old, his father’s career took the family from Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire, to London, where the young boy encountered a fortunate assortment of interesting people and experiences. He would be greatly influenced by his father, not only as the first-born in the family...

    (pp. 26-34)

    Time seemed to crawl by as Holloway waited for a reply to the application he had sent to Joseph Laurence for the principalship of the Wesleyan Academy of St John’s. Later, he realized that the waiting time had not really been very long and that the decision to offer him the position must have been made very quickly by the board of directors. On 30 March 1874 Laurence received the following cablegram: “Offer Holloway two hundred sovereigns and twenty-five expenses out. [signed] Milligan.”²

    It was now Holloway’s turn to review his own situation, consider the salary offer, and think about...

  9. SUMMER INTERLUDE I First Explorations
    (pp. 35-44)

    For Holloway, that first summer in a new land, like others to come, was a time for exploring, for becoming acquainted with his surroundings and for meeting many people whose lives would intertwine with his own in his new community.

    His fascination with the city had begun on his arrival, and there was time now to explore it further and to travel the roads that led to little communities such as Topsail to the west, Torbay, Portugal Cove, and Pouch Cove to the north and Petty Harbour to the south. It was June, and there were wildflowers in the nearby...

    (pp. 45-63)

    The impetus that the Wesleyan Methodist Academy needed came in 1874 with the board’s decision – considered by many a courageous one – to hire Robert Edwards Holloway, a young graduate of London University, not quite twenty-four. The directors would support him in his varied enterprises for the next thirty eventful years of the “Holloway Era,” a “notable period in the history of the Academy and College; also of education in Newfoundland.”²

    In the first years of the academy’s operation the directors had made many attempts to stimulate its success and increase enrolment. A new prospectus had been written in...

    (pp. 64-76)

    In the summer of 1880 Holloway returned to England to study, with the aim of “passing a further examination.” At its 28 April meeting, the board had granted him permission to close the school on the fifth of July instead of the fifteenth and to remain in England until the end of August if necessary. To allow the Holloways time to get ready to leave for England, Distribution Day was held at the end of June, with William Pitts presenting the prizes and diplomas.

    The time in London would also give Holloway the chance to spend some time with his...

  12. Chapter Five A TIME OF TRAGEDY
    (pp. 77-82)

    Shortly, Holloway would be facing a grave crisis not in his own health but in that of his family and the broader community of St John’s. All the schools in the city and many outside it would be affected by an epidemic of diphtheria which, because little was known at the time about treatment of the disease or the precautions that should be taken, spread quickly and caused a great number of deaths, especially among children.

    In 1888 the newly appointed Board of Health had uncovered 273 cases of diphtheria which affected ninety-nine families in the town and resulted in...

    (pp. 83-100)

    The epidemic finally began to abate. In spite of all the concern and interruptions to the routine, Holloway and his staff tried to make school life in 1889–90 as normal as possible for their students. Enrolment at the Methodist College in 1890 was 208 and there were 137 students in the primary and infant grades. Milligan reported on the comprehensive nature of the curriculum at the college, mentioning the core subjects and remarking on the growing numbers of students in special courses suited to their needs: “All were taught reading, spelling and dictation, writing, arithmetic, English grammar, geography, history,...

  14. SUMMER INTERLUDE II White Bay, Labrador, and the West Coast
    (pp. 101-112)

    Especially since Holloway’s first serious bout of illness in 1878, summers had been the time to recover from the school year and regain the energy needed to resume the pace he set for himself, to continue the labour of love that characterized his devotion to his students, the school, and the community. Each summer was an interlude, a division in space and time between successive school years. As life went on, the interludes began to blend together, a tapestry of sights and sounds and memories, some fleeting, others captured on glass plate negatives or in his writing. He travelled Newfoundland...

  15. Chapter Seven “AND STILL THE WONDER GREW …”
    (pp. 113-127)

    In spite of the lingering effects of the crises just past, Holloway would refer to 1894-95, the first year of operation of the new Methodist College, as a “singularly prosperous educational year.”² For Holloway, who had always poured his energies into his work as headmaster, the same challenges existed as before; but he was convinced that in these ideal surroundings nothing was impossible, no goals too lofty to be realized. There had been losses, but these would be balanced by many gains.

    Among the losses was the Athenaeum. The hall had been a venue for his public lectures, and the...

  16. SUMMER INTERLUDE III The Cruise of the Argo: Notre Dame Bay
    (pp. 128-134)

    In the late 1890s a small yacht called theArgo, capable of towing a dory and carrying a crew of six and lots of food and camping equipment, would make it possible for Holloway, accompanied by family and friends, to spend several happy summers cruising, drifting, and sailing among the islands of Notre Dame Bay. Notre Dame Bay was then called Green Bay, even though Green Bay was only a small portion of the vast expanse. Two writers would describe the summer voyage of 1899 – Robert Holloway and Peter LeSueur, the music master, expert with the pen as well...

    (pp. 135-146)

    Even in the relative isolation of nineteenth-century Newfoundland, Holloway continued to keep in touch with scientific developments through his contacts with visiting scientists, his friendship with the medical community, and his reading of scientific journals. To make up for the loss of the books and periodicals of the Athenaeum Reading Room, he had added to his personal list of subscriptions theLondon Illustrated News, Pearson’s Magazine, and scientific journals likeScientific Americanand theEnglish Scientific Magazine

    It was while reading theEnglish Scientific Magazinethat Holloway came across some troubling news from Captain Robert Bartlett of theKite, the...

  18. SUMMER INTERLUDE IV A Visit to Snook’s Arm
    (pp. 147-153)

    In his book Holloway would refer to himself as “one of the favoured few” who, long before the railway came into existence, “enjoyed the delights of the sportsman, scientist and photographer under conditions which are, perhaps, more pleasant to look back upon from the very difficulties which had to be overcome.”¹ The difficulties to which he was referring – the physical hardship that travelling involved and his deteriorating health – were more than compensated for by the fresh air and the beauty of his surroundings as he sailed once more through the tickles and bays near Pilley’s Island, crossed Long...

  19. Chapter Nine THE WORK CONTINUES
    (pp. 154-170)

    It was the beginning of a new century, a time for visionary planning towards the fulfilment of Holloway’s dreams for the Methodist College. Holloway had never had any difficulty with making plans and working towards their completion, and the college was showing the results of his work and the efforts of an enthusiastic group of teachers, some of whom had been his pupils. As principal he had always stressed the value of frequent school examinations, and the Council of Higher Education and London Matriculation examinations had provided incentives for a broad curriculum in the arts and sciences and enough flexibility...

  20. SUMMER INTERLUDE V Return to Labrador
    (pp. 171-176)

    At the turn of the century, Holloway wrote appreciatively of the “innumerable kindnesses” shown to him by his old pupils during his summer travels, and noted that without their help the treasured experiences and the opportunities to continue to record the beauty of the landscapes would not have been possible. On the Notre Dame Bay trips and those on the west coast of Newfoundland, there were always younger and stronger companions to row the dory, put up the tents, cut the wood for campfires, and carry his camera, tripod, and glass plate negatives.² Because of their assistance and the help...

  21. Chapter Ten AND SO FAREWELL
    (pp. 177-191)

    Holloway had always been small in stature and given the impression of frailness; now his face had an emaciated appearance. The first months of winter in 1902 were especially severe, and he felt that this year he could not wait for the relief that usually came with the advent of summer. The board also realized quickly that a warmer climate would be necessary if he were to regain his health. After several conversations with Holloway, the chairman James Pitts brought to the board of governors on 3 December the suggestions they had worked out for the conduct of the school...

    (pp. 192-208)

    The school year that began in the days following Holloway’s death opened, like so many others before, with students assembled in the college hall, girls on the girls’ side, boys on the boys’ side, and the vice-principal, Samuel T. Harrington, on the platform accompanied by the members of the staff and representatives of the board of governors. This year’s class of matriculants and associates was larger than ever before.

    The successes of the associates and the London Matriculation candidates in the June examinations, along with the news received in letters from old pupils, were left for others to record in...

    (pp. 209-228)
  24. NOTES
    (pp. 229-254)
    (pp. 255-262)
  26. INDEX
    (pp. 263-274)