Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - October 3, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, October 3, 1970 _ the IETHBRIDG8 HERALD - S Builders Of The South-12 Margaret Luckhurst Mayor, Judge And Chancellor T'M quite sure I qualify as " one of southern Alberta's md�i devoted citizens," Judge Louis Sherman Turcotte declared recently, "particularly, of the Lethbridge area. And probably a good deal of my enthusiasm stems from being involved in civic affairs during the city's boom years." Judge Turcotte, who formerly served the city as alderman and mayor, is at present judge of the District Court of southern Alberta and first chancellor of the University of Lethbridge. As is the case of so many enthusiasts of the west, Judge Turcotte was born in the east. "I'm a native Quebecois who can't speak French," he said ruefully. "The community of Grand Mere where I was born was pretty well divided into French and English sections so I really didn't have the opportunity to learn the language. Although my Dad and older brothers were bilingual, my mother who was Irish couldn't speak French, so even at home I didn't hear much of it. If we had remained in Quebec this would have been a distinct disadvantage, but here in Alberta, while I could have used French from time to time, I likely would have lost the knack for it after a while." ? * ? The call of the west was what enticed the Turcotte family to pull up stakes and re-locate in Alberta. "Dad had been active in civic affairs in Grand Mere for years, and was elected mayor in 1900," Judge Turcotte explained, "but financial reverses had plagued him and it seemed sensible to him to try Ihis luck in the west which was just beginning to open up. We made the move in 1912 when I was eight. Lethbridge was a real mining centre at that time, but the thin population was scattered over a large area. "I attended St. Basil's and Lethbridge High School located in Bowman School, graduating when I was fifteen. In those day3 a good student could skip grades, and as I was blessed with a retentive memory I was able to move ahead rapidly. I was always very interested in history and geography. During the First World War when my three older brothers were overseas I followed the day-today events with the aid of maps. I think this formed the basis for my continued interest in these two subjects, as all my life, when I have had the time I have avidly read biography and autobiography dealing with the world's course of progress." In 1921 young Sherman Turcotte graduated from the University of-Alberta. He received the degree of LL.B. in 1924 and was admitted to the bar in Edmonton in 1925. "There were twenty graduands including myself," he reminisced, "I know of seven who are still alive, and there are possibly two more." Following a few years' private practice in Vegreviue and Cardston, Judge Turcotte moved to Lethbridge in 1936. "These were rather grim years,'' he recalled. "Almost every family had been touched by the depression, and professional people had to take a tuck in their budgets along with the rest. For many years Lethbridge simply didn't grow. It seemed to be at stagnation point in its development, and this lasted for a number of years." ? ? ? The fateful progress of the Second World War brought a few changes to Lethbridge. A bombing and gunnery school was situated at Kenyon Field, and a prisoner - of - war camp developed on the outskirts of the city. "Although the permanent residents of the city totalled less than 15,000 in 1941, for a few years our numbers swelled with service personnel," Judge Turcotte recalled. At that time he was the commanding officer of the 2nd 20th Battery of the Reserve Army in L e t h-bridge, having become associated with the local reserve in 1939. "In the fall of 1943, former Mayor Bob Barrowman called on me and asked me to run for city council," Judge Turcotte said. "I inherited my father's interest in civic affairs I guess for I agreed and was elected. I served four years with a couple of flings at federal politics thrown in." In 1944 Alderman Turcotte was chosen by acclamation as the Liberal candidate for the Lethbridge constituency in the next federal election. "I didn't make it," Judge Turcotte grinned, "but I polled a satisfactory number of votes. In 1948 I voluntarily -eUred from council to have another go at federal politics. It wasn't that I was less1 interested in civic affairs, but rather the opposite. Our council was composed of highly efficient, hard - working experienced men, whereas the Liberal party convinced me I was needed more to aid and abet their cause. However, once again I was defeated, and this time I decided not to try again." During the time of his second federal campaign, Judge Turcotte was secretary of the South Alberta Water Conservation Council, first vice - president of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, president of the Lethbridge Bar Association and an active member of Jhe Lethbridge Rotary Club. "I had also served as treasurer of the Alberta Liberal Association," Judge Turcotte recalled, "and for eight years or more was an official receiver under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act. I don't know now how I did so much in those days, but there seemed a lot to be done and I hated to say no when approached on any matter that would move southern Alberta ahead." ? * * In 1950, a half - century after his father had been elected mayor of Grand Mere, Quebec, L. S. Turcotte, who had returned to civic affairs the month before, was elected mayor by a 4-3 vote of council. "The years following the Second World War and the ones during which I was alderman and mayor were, I believe, the city's most successful so far," Judge Turcotte stated. "Aldermen worked hard and diligently for the common good of the city. Our population was growing, but we were careful not to allow the city to become a ragtag of hit and miss developments. Although the city owned a great deal of vacant land, we opened up only one area at a time to preserve uniformity and conformity. We worked to get industry and business to think in terms of locating here and in this matter we were highly successful. A look at population growth backs this up; in 1946, at the end of the Second World War, there were 16,612 by total count in the Lethbridge area; by 1956, we were almost double at 31,110. It has to be said I believe, that the hard - working councillors of that era, who worked for a pittance and with single - minded dedication, are probably not given the credit they deserve far the growth of our city." In 1952, Mayor Turcotte was re - elected to the chief magistrate post in Lethbridge, by a six-to-one vote by the council. "I prefer this way of electing the mayor," he said, "because the mayor knows what support he has in council. With the support I got in that year I knew that in spite of my own reservations to the contrary, I must be doing a creditable job." The next couple of years presented many problems, Judge Turcotte recalled. "It seemed our problems grew in magnitude as the city grew," he said. "Our greatest concern was with the expansion of the city's water and electric system, but we knew when that was resolved there would be another problem to face. It was a never-ending business we were pleased to deal with because the city was booming." In 1952, excessive fatigue suggested to Mayor Turcotte he would be wise to slow down. "The combination of a busy practice and involvement in civic duties caught up with me," he explained, "and my doctor and my wife were at me to slow down. I indicated to council I wished to retire but would continue as alderman which I did. until 1955 when I was appointed judge for a period of 24 years and 24 days. I now have completed 15 years and the time has passed very quickly." In his experience as a busy lawyer Judge Turcotte remembered many interesting cases. "I was appointed defence counsel for three German prisoners - of - war who were accused of murdering a companion here in the p.o.w. camp. I represented the Japanese before the commission hearing claims for property taken from them when they were moved from the Pacific coast in 1942.1 was counsel for Hutterites before a commission of the Legislature in hearings which resulted in the 40-mile limit between colonies. I appeared for the Alberta government before the International Joint Waterways Commission on the division of the waters of the Belly and Wsterton Rivers. There were many other interesting cases one inevitably deals with in a long career but I think these perhaps were the most outstanding in my own instance. As judge I was appointed by Premier Manning in 1958 to make an inquiry into Calgary's city government. I heard 35 days of evidence, and wrote a 200 page report." One of Judge Turcotte's most pleasant duties has been presiding at Citizenship Court. "I think I've heard the oath of allegiance from about 3,200 new Canadians," he smiled, "and it's a happy experience to be involved in this." Has anyone ever failed? "Oh, the odd time I have had to send someone home to do a bit more homework, but not very often." Naively this reporter, somewhat confused by legal terminology, swerved down an o t h e r path of this busy man's acitve life. "And don't you also have something to do with the University of Lethbridge - on the board of governors or something." "Or something," Judge Turcotte smiled kindly, leaving the reporter to find out the details in The Herald library. As Chancellor of the University, Judge Turcotte is chairman of the senate and confers degrees on graduating students. In 1969 he was appointed chief judge of the District Court of southern Alberta. His appointment was made by federal Justice Minister John Turner on Sept. 25. Has he any comments to make on the legal system in Canada? "There are many areas where it needs updating, but progress in this is slow, in spite of the many recommendations for change by the Canadian Bar Association. We have a very fine bar association in the Lethbridge area and the new young lawyers coming along are following in a fine tradition." "A judge must have the abil- ity to absorb facts and then apply the law to the facts. One can't let one's mind wander. Sometimes one has to listen to four or five hours of evidence, therefore it is a help to have a retentive mind." No longer actively involved in civic affairs, Judge Turcotte is now able to spend some of his few extra hours in his favorite pastime, reading. His wife, the former Agnes Dinwoodie of Veg-reville, shares her husband's interest in history and geography. "I still have about nine years to go" Judge Turcotte said, "but when one loves one's work, the tone I know will pass quickly." 1 Focus on the L Jniversity By J. W. FlSHBQURNt LOUIS SHERMAN TURCOTTE -Photo By Walter Kerber Booh Reviews A History Of Homosexuality "The Love that Dared Not Speak Its Name: A Candid History of Homosexuality in Britain" by H. Montgomery Hyde (Little, Brown and Company, 323pp., $9.75). T^HE subject of homosexual-ity is finally being discussed, openly and intelligently. For a long time it has been a topic people could only allude to in veiled fashion. Although there is now an in-terst in exarnindng this subject it is doubtful if a history of homosexuality will attract many readers. What happened to homosexuals two or three centuries ago does not seem to be a matter of great importance now. Yet one of the things a history such as this can do is relieve people of the mistaken notion that ours is the The Eve Of Change "New Reformation: Notes of a Neolithic Conservative" by Paul Goodman (Random House, 208pp., $6.95). yHE possibility that we ire living in the midst of a revolutionary time comparable to the 16th century has been suggested before; Paul Goodman proposes that a better comparison would be that of the time of ferment that preceded the actual reformation. The impression is conveyed in his book' that he has some doubts that the new reformation will take place. While Goodman sees some hopeful signs in the young people who have absorbed his ideas (he has been the major intellectual force behind the New Left), he also expresses some disillusionment with his "crazy young allies." There is grist for both the antagonists and protagonists of today's youth in this book. Any notion that Goodman has suddenly reversed his field-after the fashion of cartoonist Al Capp, for instance - and become an u 11 r a-conservative cannot be sustained in a reading of this concoction. A neolithic conservative is one who is concerned to preserve the fundamental quality of life made possible through respect for the environment. It is not the kind of conservatism that idealizes the freedom to exploit. Goodman's conservatism antedates any 19th or 20th cen-lurv models. There are four sections in the book. "Sciences and Pro- fessions" calls for some radical changes in attitudes among scientists so that mankind can be served and not destroyed. "Education of the Young" emphasizes the importance of incidental education and continues to argue against mass schooling. "Legitimacy" attempts to establish a theoretical framework for participatory democracy. "Notes" is largely just that - disconnected paragraphs. Despite much that is interesting and valuable, the book as a whole is disappointing. It seems to have been hastily put together - published in its first draft form, as.it were. But perhaps being on the eve of a possible radical change does not permit polishing. DOUG WALKER. first age to be obsessed with sex in its many manifestations, including homosexuality. It might seem odd that Britain should be singled out for an historical review of the subject. But it is in British history that one sees both the most prejudice and the greatest enlightenment. From homosexuality being punishable by death, Britain 'has advanced to its acceptance on the part of consenting adults. Except in the extracts from debates in Parliament on the implementation of the Wolfen-den Report, there is little in this book to help break down irrational prejudices about ho-mosexuality or to arouse sympathy for the homosexual. This may be because the author presupposes that people will have read other books on the subject. H. Montgomery Hyde is a lawyer. This accounts in part, no doubt, for the large amount of material drawn from court cases. For ten years Mr. Hyde was a member of the British Parliament which may account for the interest in legislative actions. In the course of campaigning for the implementation of the Wolfenden report Mr. Hyde failed to be re-elected and attributes his defeat to his concern for humane considerations of homosexuals. DOUG WALKER. A Dissenter's Story "Goliath" by David Harris (Sidereial Press, 134pp, distributed by Clarke, Irwin and Company). "DEFUSAL to report for in-duction into the U.S. army brought David Han-is a prison term and time to state his case for nonviolent revolution. He presents his case in a series of short pieces in a print version of the popular multi-media presentations. The consequence is that one is left with an impression but not an argument. Some pieces are more like mediations than anything else. Others are descriptive of events and people. Only one section directly discusses revolution. There is some very good writing to be foun.l in tbe book but it is the spirit of this young man that stand out. Those who tend to lump the dissenters in American society together as wild people would be surprised by the tone of this book. David Harris' wife, singer Joan Baez, has written the introduction. It lends little but her own notoriety to the book. He stands on his own feet. DOUG WALKER. A New Ploy? A LTHOUGH this column appears in the Saturday edition, the page on which it appears is put together a couple days in advance, which seems that this particular corner of it should be written the preceding Wednesday. A column like this, then, is not a particularly handy vehicle for commenting on day-to-day events, unless one happens to have a crystal ball. Not a bad arrangement, really; I'm a little dubious about spur-of-the-moment brilliance, and prefer to mull things over a bit. However - there just must be a "however"-there always seems to be a few more or less topical items that aren't quite beaten to death by the instant experts. One such is a notion recently advanced by the Minister of Education, that would limit the number of non-Albertan students at Alberta universities, and charge higher fees to foreign students. There are a couple of surprising points. First, I think it is a little odd that there has been so little reaction from people in the education business, particularly at universities. I should have thought that some eminent academic would have risen to point out that there are a few differences between university degrees and agricultural commodities, and that the marketing board approach is scarcely appropriate for education. Something might have been made of the emergence of this policy-if it is to be policy - at a time when there has been so much stress placed on free access to education. Someone might even have mentioned the philosophy of this particular university, which places a high value of "cosmopolitan influence and diverse cultures." But perhaps no one asked. The other surprising point is the complete lack of connection between this notion and what is known about enrolment patterns of Canadian students. The facts are these: A few -� a dozen or so-more students from the Maritimes come to Alberta universities than there are Alberta students attending university in the Maritimes. Probably because certain faculties exist in Alberta but not in Saskatchewan, there are significantly more Saskatchewan students in Alberta than Alberta students in Saskatchewan. All other Canadian provinces take in far more Alberta students than they send to Alberta. The net emigration of Alberta students is substantial; over the past 10 years, the number of Alberta students studying elsewhere has been just about double the number of non-Albertans coming here to study. I don't know whether exact figures have been published, but they are available to anyone who wants to spend a little time digging them up. There is nothing especially noteworthy about them. It is simply a matter of there being many more universities outside the province than in it, a wider choice in Canada as a whole than there is in Alberta, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the collective attractiveness of a score or more Canadian universities would be somewhat greater, for the students of any province, than the relatively limited choice within their own provincial borders. So, as long as this new "policy" includes one reported feature, that Alberta will provide a place for an out-of-province or foreign student for each Alberta student leaving to attend university or college elsewhere, it should not prove worrisome. Indeed, it is hard to see that it will make any difference at all. The figures indicate our universities (I don't know about the college) could almost double their enrolment of non-Alberta students, before running into the Minister's proposed guidelines. So, on the surface, the whole Idea seems almost meaningless, except for one rather unhappy feature. This is the imposition of higher fees for foreign students. In Canada, we boast one of the highest standards of living in the world, and Alberta is generally considered one of the wealthier Canadian provinces. Our excellent universities are as well endowed as any on the continent. Contrast that with the situation in India, Africa, Southeast Asia, the homeland of so many of our foreign students. It seems a little sad that our financial "problems" cannot be met except by charging these people higher fees. The Voice Of One -By OR. FRANK S. MORLEY The Problems Of Solutions AN editorial in Theology Today (July, 1970) mantains that "for every solution there is a problem." The situation is worse than the writer states it. Marxism is a good example. Marx was deeply humanistic, and early Marxism was filled with idealism like the slogan, "The final aim of all our endeavor is man." Instead of the state "withering away," however, a far more ruthless dictatorship than Czarism was established and for cruelty, terror, and oppression communism is unsurpassed. Nuclear fission solved the world's problem of power, but poses the problem of world destruction. Chemical solutions were found to solve the problem of weeds and bugs, but produced the problem of dead birds and the spectre of a "silent spring." Medicines, sanitation, and a variety of life-saving techniques dramatically decreased death at childbirth, prevented plagues, and prolonged life, but so spectacularly increased population that population explo-csion became a major menace of the 20th century and made relief efforts in many cases futile. To feed and elothe everyone and give maximum efficiency to industry, mass production was hailed as the solution to the industrial age. The result has been standardization and depersonalization, so that every industrialized country has seen a frightening increase of insanity and alcoholism. Things are more important than men. In 1850 men supplied 15 per cent of the energy for work, animals 79 per cent, and machines six per cent, but in I960 the ratio was three per cent, one per cent, and 96 per cent respectively, with a continuing decrease in manpower since then. Is man becoming obsolete? Similarly a decrease in production costs and increase in efficiency have been achieved by consolidating firms into giant corporations so that most cities have one newspaper and the manufacturers of cars in the U.S. have been reduced from about 40 in the twenties to half a dozen today. At the beginning of the nineteenth century four fifths of the American nation was self-employed entrepreneurs, which declined to one third by 1870 and to one fifth by 1940. Thus anonymity and centralized control increased, as well as the manipulating managerial middle class. Personality, good taste (even in food) and manners have declined before robotism and what Durkbeim call* "the disintegrated dust of individuals." Take another example. Workers were exploited and no one in his senses would want to go back to those old, bad days of worker exploitation when the mass of men lived in frightful misery and over-work with under-pay, but today in Great Britian unions threaten to pull down the economy and do damage workmanship. Twenty years ago in this column I advocated compulsory judicial arbitration, the only way of giving both sides justice and protecting society. It is intereting that this idea is now catching on. Universal education was a battle-cry and education was seen as a cure for every ill. H. G. Wells trumpeted that civilization was a race between education and anihila-tion. Germany, the best-educated, spawned the Nazis and in Canada we have overcrowded universities, poor teaching, huge class rooms, student anonymity, impersonality of the academic process, and remoteness of faculty and administration, with mediocrity in scholarship and personality. Victorian discipline was often sadistic, so we substituted a permissiveness in school as well as home, producing chaos. In the church itself one could easily illustrate cures that are worse than the disease, solutions that have brought problems aplenty. Yet who would go back to the old evils, the ignorance, brutality, and social ills of the nineteenth century? A sense of social responsibility has gripped society, a social conscience which accepts the fact that we are our brother's keeper. The problems of environment are international and can only be solved on an international basis, so nations may be drawn more closely together. The problems we have are desperate enough, but they are those of an advancing civilization and must be solved with adult maturity. Man is challenged to control the gigantic forces of science and to grow up. Yum, Yum! By Doug Walker YT/HEN meal time in our house happens to come in the middle of a baseball game Elspeth has been known to say that she might as well have served up boiled cardboard for all the notice taken of the food. We always thought of this as a lament rather than a threat. But recently she did serve cardboard for dinner. There were guests present and * large platter of chicken went around the table. Nobody took the square of fried cardboard but everybody noticed it. Apparently Elspeth figures that if we are going to make a fuss about a little thing like finding a wire twister in a casserole she might as well give us something worth hollering about. Or maybe she just need* to get her eyes tested!