What’s in a name?

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Dear Editor: It was nice to see that the school district is seeking input from students and parents in the naming of the ‘new’ junior high school on Mount Bernard. Too bad they didn’t seek input from the larger community.

At least from graduates of the school.

Whether I’m asked or not, here’s my two-cent’s worth. But since pennies are now extinct, I guess it’s my nickle’s worth.

I vote that it be called Regina Junior High School. But — with the following provision — that they rename the senior high school Herdman Collegiate.

I have no idea why these two proud names were ever discarded. It must have been done in a fit of political correctness. When the present senior high school was redeveloped, and our two former high schools were combined, the school district threw away 50 or more years of local school history and tradition.

I’ll bet if you had polled graduates of these schools, they would have heartily endorsed the retention of the old names, Herdman and Regina, both synonymous with Corner Brook.

And by the way, I did not graduate from either of these schools, so I have no personal axe to grind. I attended schools in Grand Falls-Windsor, where they went even further and renamed just about every school in the district. At least here, we’ve kept the old names of our lower schools in the Corner Brook area.

Grand Falls Academy had 100 years of proud history. Gone. I did not attend that school, so it’s not a case of sour grapes on that matter either.

Corner Brook Regional High School — what an unimaginative name. And, I have no idea why the name got complicated with that word “Regional.” Political correctness again, I suppose.

All our high schools are regional. It’s a redundant and useless tag. “Corner Brook High School” would have been adequate, barely. It appears that folks at the school agree with me too. Did you ever notice the school name on the side of the building? The word “Regional” is printed much smaller than “Corner Brook High.”

So now I’ll finish my rant with this one. Naming the school after Joe Mullins is also a laudable suggestion. Although many present students would not know of him and his extensive contributions to local sports, theatre, fundraising, city politics and the media ... and humour. But why add the tag of “Memorial” to the name? Say the name — “Joe Mullins Memorial Junior High School.” Way too long a name.

If they’re naming the school after Joe, isn’t it obvious that it is a memorial to him. Simply, Joe Mullins Junior High would be just fine. Like adding the word “Regional,” tacking on the word “Memorial” is redundant. KISS principle, please.

As an aside, it’s a similar principle with the naming of “Cpl. Pinksen Memorial Drive.” I agree with naming the street after this brave soldier. I too honour his memory. But you don’t need the word “Memorial” in there. It just makes the street name long and unhandy. It’s already obvious that the road was named after Mr. Pinksen. It was meant as a memorial to him. Cpl. Pinksen Street or Brian Pinksen Avenue would both have been entirely appropriate and adequate.

So… there ya have it. My soap-box rant for the day. For what it’s worth. Maybe I’ll ask Rick Mercer for a few minutes on his show.

 Just imagine some bald 60-ish guy (not as handsome as Rick), walking down an alley full of graffiti. Or along Broadway or West Street, barking at you about school names.

Jerome Jesseau, Corner Brook

Organizations: Dear Editor, Regina Junior High School, Corner Brook area.Grand Falls Academy

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Grand Falls-Windsor, Brian Pinksen Avenue Broadway West Street

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Recent comments

  • John
    April 05, 2014 - 17:17

    Mr. Jesseau makes some excellent points here. People surrender heritage too easily. I also would have preferred to keep the names Herdman and Regina. Unfortunately, I don't think we will get the clock turned back now on the naming of these schools. It was very nice to see the wisdom of the north shore communities in their continuing to honour Rev. Templeton on the occasion of the redevelopment of that school system. We were not as fortunate in continuing to honour the legacies of Rev. Hollands, Canon Richards, Harriet Curtis, etc.. Sadly, there is only a small group of people who care about these things and they do not speak up. Likewise, I agree that the adjectives 'regional' and 'memorial' are redundant. At least maybe on these points someone may take note for future naming.