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Academic year: 2021

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The Graduates.'. Society of McGiII University, with uncanny acumen and

an a~tounding sense of tinllng, recently made a slgniflcant contribution to

the store of knowledge at its Alma Mater. As part of the Homecomlng Weekend this Fall, the Society chose Don Harron as its Guest lecturer at the leacockluncheon. Professor Harron is well-known for his seminal (if not unique) works such as HistrY'of Canda, Jogfree of Canda, the Whirld and

Other Places and, most recently, Charlie Farquharson's AJ/mynack.

The claim that these are, indeed, seminal works Can be readlly sub-stantiated by any doubting academic who takes the trouble to consult, or even flip through, any one of them. For example, perusal of Jogfree of

Canda will unearth places undiscovéred by other explorers of the atlas,

will exhume Ideas unknown to mere phllosophers. and conjure up words to bemuse the most erudite of lexicographers. Who but Harron could clarify thOse perennial misty misimpresslons of the Atlantic Provinces with such accu rate definltions as:

Nase Kasher Is what yer old-tlmer Latins say when they mean yer Noo Scotch-land. Mlnd you, the reel Noo Scotch Is over ln Newfieland and cal/ed Screech, on accounta that'swhat ya do when ya gets a mouthful. (p. 26)

Harron's incisive description of "Sittydell Hill" and other Eastern resorts, his careful examination of "Trawntuh," hls painstaking investigations of "Yer Prayery Provincs" (Manytober, Sasquatchyouwan, and Elberta) finally lead him to a consideration of "Yer North Waste Terrortory: Our Froze Asset:' En route, the redoubtable Professor Harron, a master of .nicetles of scholarship, touéhed upon such rare places as Camel-oops and Harrlsslng Hot Springs (both splendidly illustrated on pp. 78-9). While these exotlc outposts may be known only to the most thoroughly initiated cognoscenti of geographers, most members of the McGiII community in post-Olympics Montreal will readily recognize Harron's "Cubec: la Bill Pro-Vaunce."

Clearly, with its local and national interest, Jogfree of Canda is a gem of Canadian learning, uncut (uncouth?) though it may be. It must, however, be admitted that, while this' book is mercifully free of jargon and almost entirely IIberated from footnotes and blbliography, It does contain an occasional malapropism -:- doubtless the fault of a sleeping edltor or careless typesetter. Nevertheless, its contribution to knowledge far out-weighs the temporary literary lapses (as Leacock mlght have said) and the academy can be grateful for this exceptional and encyclopaedic work. Indeed, .so comprehensive is the professor's treatment of the subject that we are left with only one substantive question: Was it chanèe, seren-dipity, or a great geographer's unfaillng sense of place that brought Pro-fessor Harron to Montreal and to the notice of the McGiII Journal of

Educa-tion just as we were grappling with thls issue on the Social Studies? While

some cautious academicians may hazard subjective estimates, preliminary hypotheses or tentative calculations, only the Graduates' Society knows for sure.


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