Taking a break from a 36×24 inch canvas that I was working on this afternoon, I went into the storage room in search of some documents on architecture relating to the buildings I have been painting of late. I had completed the soft sky and blocked in the foreground and before I started on the house, I wanted to see what information I had on the architectural details of 1840’s Georgian 1 1/2 story houses.
Instead, I stumbled onto some photographs I had acquired a little while ago when my Grandfather was put into a nursing home due to Alzheimer’s. The images were from my Grandfather’s convocation at the University of Toronto in June, 1949.
It’s June now – probably very close to 59 years to the day that this event took place at Convocation Hall. My Grandfather was able to go to university after serving as a gunnery officer in the Canadian Navy during World War II. He took a degree in Commerce and Finance, which led him to a career in the heating oil business. He began as a traveling salesman and rose to vice president and president of his division until he retired in the ’80’s. He used to take me to lunch at his golf club when I was a student at U of T and tell me stories of the War in the Atlantic and of his experiences in business.
I graduated U of T in 1992 and the ceremony was in the same building. I was lucky that in those days, I was granted 3 tickets for family and my Grandfather was able to attend with my parents.
The image above is of the Peace Tower at Hart House from that same day in 1949. Also called the Soldier’s Tower, it was erected in 1919 to memorialize UofT students, alumni and faculty that died during World War I. There are, since, tablets listing the names of the fallen from both world wars.
It is amazing to me that the only difference in appearance to the days when I attended summer classes in University College (to the left almost out of the frame) are the cars and the fashions….
I never found those architecture documents – I don’t expect that I was meant to.