Author: Gloria Dent

Publication Date: 2007

Edited: 2022



In her later years, Greta Shutt was known as Guelph's Great Lady; her active, varied career had brought many honours and accolades, and her wisdom was readily acknowledged. Witty, homespun speeches at high school commencements ensured a certain notoriety among the young, who still remember her Rose Bowl prize and her affiliation with Guelph's Board of Education. Those speeches were honed by a lifetime of writing, reading and clear thinking, of pride in the history of her family, her city, and by the practice of good common sense.


She was old-fashioned, to be sure. As one of Guelph's 'Old 400,' she appreciated a lady who could serve a 'proper tea.' Inspired by the spiritual and intellectual energies of late nineteenth-century society, she strode through the twentieth with determination to preserve the past and make good the present. In spite of her practical training and diligent search for historical facts, she was a romantic at heart and possessed the vision of a poet.


An excerpt from her History of the Board of Light and Heat Commission of Guelph, published in 1966, illustrates the scope of her mind and her subtle wit. In the prelude, she wrote:


"At the close of the nineteenth century, electric power was a dream and an ideal. It was a beacon in men's minds, as nuclear energy and space flight are now. Abundant light changed our living habits. Abundant power made industrial expansion possible; it brought the dreams of Jules Verne to reality."


Greta was born in Guelph on February 15, 1891, the only daughter of Charles R. Crowe and Edith B. Skinner, two musicians of exceptional quality, whose values and perspectives profoundly influenced her life. Charles Crowe was the son of John Aldenby Crowe and Emma Adeline Raymond. Emma was the daughter of Charles Raymond, designer and perfecter of the Raymond Sewing Machine, "A public spirited Mary," as Greta later wrote, "Who served on the School Board and the Town Council."1 After nine years in Raymond's employment, John left to establish Crowe's Iron Works, specifically, at first, to provide iron castings for Raymond Sewing Machines.


John and Emma were also musicians, she was the organist at the Congregational Church and he, known as an excellent tenor, was the chorus director. Both contributed generously to local concerts and fund-raising events. Music came easily to their son, Charles, who, at the age of 13, was accepted at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.2 After graduation, when he returned to Guelph, he did not advertise himself as a music teacher but, more practically, as a graduate of the School of Piano Tuning at the above establishment. His name appeared frequently on concert programs, though with little notice. A Guelph Mercury critic, assessing the program of the Choral Union on March 10, 1885, confessed that, "Charles Crowe's cello solo formed a pleasing change to the vocal numbers."


In September 1885, Charles left Guelph again, this time for post-graduate work at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music. Returning two years later, he astounded audiences with his piano recitals and cello performances. Of his first 'Grand Concert,' a critic wrote, "The music is of a distinctly higher character than is usually given at such entertainments. A better-appointed concert in all its details has not been held in this city."3


Charles soon became an integral part of Guelph's late nineteenth-century musical activity, taking his place beside William Philip, Charles Kelly, and Captain Clark as an organizer of grand events. At the Congregational Church, where he succeeded his father as choirmaster, Charles fell in love with the organist, Edith Skinner.


In October 1889, noting the lack of music instruction in Guelph schools, Charles offered to teach vocal music at Central School, as an experiment, free of charge.4 The Board of Education accepted his offer and provided a room for practice after school. The experiment was a success. Two hundred and twenty-five children took part in his final concert on April 8, 1890. Among them was 11-year-old Edward Johnson, who made his first public stage appearance in Guelph City Hall's auditorium, as dwarf No. 1 in the operetta Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. One can only surmise the influence that Charles Crowe had on the young singer who, 40 years later, donated 25,000 dollars to the Board of Education for teaching music in schools.5


Charles Crowe's success as a rifle shot on Canada's Bisley team, ardent golfer and curler, Colonel of the Wellington Rifles and responsible citizen in many other areas can only be mentioned in passing. One can imagine, however, the stimulating environment in which Greta and her younger brothers grew up. All the sons became military men, some fine musicians. For Greta, it was her mother who guided her path, or perhaps, in whose steps she chose to follow.6


Charles and Edith were married on June 5, 1889. On January 1, 1890, Edith gave a farewell concert in the Congregational Church, and turned her talents to homemaking, spiced with a passion for church and social commitments.7 It has been mentioned that a son was born that year, but did not survive. Greta's birth in 1891 was followed by that of another son who lived only a year and a half. Then came four boys: Charles Douglas (Doug), 1898; George Kenneth (Ken) 1900; Ernest Watson, 1902; and Ralph Marston, 1911, when Greta was 20. Like most middle to upper class families, Edith probably had a servant or two. She would have had time to write letters, particularly in the years between the birth of Ernest and Ralph. At some point, Edith began to correspond with the Toronto Globe, using the pen name, "Susan Nipper".


On November 4, 1904, two letters appeared in The Canadian Messenger, one from Greta, one from her brother, Douglas.8 The letter from Greta stated:


"Dear Editor,
I saw a number of letters in your paper from girls about my age, so I thought I would write, too. I am 13 years old, and have three little brothers and their names are Douglas, aged six; Kenneth, aged four; and baby Ernest, aged two. It is sometimes hard work caring for all the boys, but I wouldn't change my position for any you could offer me. I am in the first form of the collegiate here, and I am very fond of schoolwork. One of my classmates passed the entrance exam pretty high last year, and is only ten years old. I wonder if any of the 'Messenger' readers can show such a good record. As we live in the city, we do not have any large pets. However, we have some guinea pigs and father keeps some Bantam chickens. I would love to live on a farm and have horses and cows and dear little pigs. I don't think I would mind the work very much, but I would like to live in the city in the winter. Well, I must say goodbye.

Greta M. C."


Whether Edith influenced the children, or the reverse, one cannot tell; but it was the beginning of Greta's career as a journalist and, perhaps, that of "Susan Nipper".


Shortly after Edith's death in 1941, the Globe's 'Homemaker' wrote:


"Susan Nipper was one of our most valued correspondents and even before there was a Homemaker Page, in our earliest newspaper days, she has always been a source not only of good news concerning all the worthwhile projects in which she was engaged but also of wise counsel, unfailing good humour and good-will."9


Greta first attended a small private school for girls run by Mrs. William Hart on Kirkland St., the last of its kind to survive. As far as she could remember, she was six or seven when she started.10 A year later, she transferred to Central School, earning several certificates of honour and merit and, in 1902, was first in reading. She passed her Entrance Examination to high school in August 1904, and obtained her Junior Matriculation in August 1907. Her best subjects were Latin, French, Algebra, and Geometry. Surprisingly, her marks were low in History and English Composition. Instead of proceeding with her education, Greta spent the next four years helping her mother look after the home and her young brothers.11 It is probable that, during these years, she and her mother had lively discussions on the proper way of doing things and conversations on the place of a woman in the world. They wrote letters to friends and relatives; and to tine Globe's 'Homemaker's Page' - Edith as "Susan Nipper", and Greta as "Mistress Mary."


In 1911, Greta entered the Normal course at Macdonald Institute. "This did not qualify me for a degree," she pointed out, "But it did qualify me to teach high school when I graduated in 1913."12 She enjoyed those two years and was a loyal alumna for the rest of her life, continuing to oversee the fund established in honour of Katherine Fuller, superintendent of Macdonald Hall, from its founding in 1904 until 1931.


Little is known of Greta's life at Galt Collegiate, where she taught physical training and home economics between 1914 and 1918, except that one of her tasks was to make cocoa for lunch time. She did have to find a boarding house, and a later comment sheds some light on this. Writing to her newspaper readers, she confessed:


"For years I have tried to live down the fact, but it can no longer be denied that I am a graduate of Household Science. It is a great handicap when you are searching for a boarding house. Landladies give you a dismayed look, as if you have leprosy. Nobody asks you out for meals and, if they do, they apologize for each dish that comes to the table."13


Meanwhile, with her daughter mostly away and the boys in school, Edith became intensively involved in civic and religious affairs. To completely cover her activities would require more space than even those of her husband; at one time, she was active, usually in an executive position, in 15 organizations, including the Guelph YWCA, the Women's Canadian Club, the Women's Conservative Association, the Women's Missionary Society of the Congregational Church, and the Ontario Red Cross. In the Guelph branch of the Red Cross, she headed a committee that equipped and operated a canning centre, sending tons of apple jelly, canned chicken, and pickles to overseas hospitals. During the influenza epidemic of 1918, the Red Cross supplied food to victims in Guelph. When Greta came home in May 1918, she found her mother intensely concerned with the physical and spiritual welfare of her fellow human beings.


Historic Guelph V46P57

Mrs. Crowe and Sue Eber Barnes at the Red Cross Canning Centre.
(Photo courtesy of the Guelph Public Library Archives C6-0-0,0-0-971. Crowe C.R., Mrs. and Sue Eber Barnes, CA. 1917).


In the Guelph branch of the Red Cross, Greta headed a committee that equipped and operated a canning centre, sending tons of apple jelly, canned chicken, and pickles to overseas hospitals. During the influenza epidemic of 1918, the Red Cross supplied food to victims in Guelph. When Greta came home in May 1918, she found her mother intensely concerned with the physical and spiritual welfare of her fellow human beings.


Greta did not return to Galt in the fall of 1918. She had hoped, perhaps, to find work as a teacher in Guelph. But she may have planned to pursue a writing career, for she began to polish articles and poems, written at an earlier date. She wrote to the Globe's 'Circle of Young Canada Page,' asking about the age limit for the column, describing herself as:


"A stern-looking teacher (that stern look took some cultivating, too). I have at least three gray hairs and a permanent kick in my good temper. Being, however, of an open and candid nature, I am mentioning these drawbacks at ease so that I may not enter the Circle under false pretenses."14


She then revealed that she was corresponding with Canadian soldiers in France and England who asked her to write, "Long and often." As the soldiers told her how much they longed for pictures of Canada, for "Here we see nothing but change and desolation," she advised the readers to write about things that are the same - "The shops, the people you meet, what they are wearing and talking about and tell lots of gossip. I tell all the gossip I can collect. I am a real scandalmonger and I used to think there was nothing more disgusting."15 Using a pseudonym, as was the custom, she signed her letter, 'Grumpy Grouch.'


Her poem "Finisterre" was first published in the Circle in 1918.16 An erudite article, discussing plot and characters of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities appeared on January 25, 1919, and a two-part history of John Galt and one on John McCrae later that year. Poems could also be found under the pseudonym 'March Hare' that bore a resemblance to her style.


Then, on November 6, 1920, the management of The Guelph Evening Mercury and Advertiser published an "Appreciation" of its retiring women's editor, Jessie Hill, and announced a significant change in policy:


"The column will now be conducted daily by Miss Greta Crowe. Miss Crowe will endeavour to maintain the high standards achieved by her predecessor and it is hoped she will receive the same kindly cooperation that has distinguished the friends of Miss Hill in the past."


Greta wrote over 500 columns as 'Mary Marston'.17 In answer to a reader's question about her 'sweet alliterative pen name,' she replied that she had chosen it:


"Because it stood for a very definite part of Guelph's history. Mary had come to Guelph with her husband and two daughters at the time of the Civil War. She was a college graduate in the days when higher education for women was considered unnecessary. Her hobbies were geology and astronomy, and she taught her children and their playmates the wonders of each. She was also a famous housewife and needlewoman."


'Mary Marston' was Greta's paternal great-grandmother, the mother of Emma Raymond. The first column by 'Mary Marston' appeared on Monday, November 1, 1920. It was a short defence of the society column of which she was also in charge: "It was not, as some thought, to get one's name into the paper but to let out-of-town friends and relations know the news from home." The second column voiced one of her pet peeves: talking aloud during a concert and not giving the artists the respect they deserve. The rest of the week dealt with the virtues of long skirts compared with short skirts; selfish habits of making work for others; household duties, menus and cosmetics for young girls (against, that is). The format of the page stayed the same, with the usual society column, a fashion cartoon, and advertisements pertaining to women's ailments. On November 9, she 'came clean.'


"Personally, I have little use for women who turn first to the Society Page. Enfranchisement should have brought a wider interest in general affairs. The Front Page news and editorials are of primary importance to every reader, man or woman. Women's pages have become an institution in most of our papers because women are supposed to have certain interests that do not concern men. As a matter of fact, women's issues do concern men, either directly or indirectly."


She complained about the empty phrases reiterated in club reports: "A paper on missionaries in India 'was read', a solo 'was rendered'; the meeting was opened with a hymn and a prayer." She then described a number of women's organizations worthy of proper reports, listed five rules for submitting interesting, publishable reports, and included in the social column two lively descriptions of meetings she had attended.


The social column improved but Greta still found it difficult to stir her readers.

"When I undertook to manage this department, I had the brave idea of working it into a sort of open forum where all the women of Guelph and surrounding districts might air their views and notions. But so far only a few have sent their help and, as a consequence, there is only one Guelph woman whose notions and views get much publicity."


E.P.H. replied:

"Did you think your column was not read by the women of Guelph? I attended three committee meetings last week, and at each one I brought up something about Mary Marston's column and each lady had read and enjoyed it. But there seems to be some doubt what it is for other than social events."


A surprised Mary Marston answered:

"What is the column for? Why, it is for the women of Guelph and anything that interests them. The social events are quite separate, as you may see by looking at the page, although that column has the same editor as this. Certainly, discuss anything printable here, preferably affairs of local interest."


E.P.H. also asked Mary if they could discuss whether or not school children's mothers could appoint their candidate to the Board of Education. Ah! Finally! Greta poured forth her answer:

"If the school-children's mothers wish to appoint a candidate for the Board of Education, the way to do it is not through the newspaper, though I should be delighted to help in any way possible. First select your candidate and be prepared to attend the nomination meetings with responsible people to move and second your nomination. Be quite sure that your candidate is qualified both legally and through experience and interest in public affairs. It is better to have a reliable man than an unproven woman as a candidate. [ ...] Then when your nomination goes through, get out and canvas voters to inform them the reasons for your nomination of this candidate. With no property qualifications this year, the mothers on any ward could control the vote if they organize in time."


Greta was informed on matters of education because her mother, appointed by City Council as their representative, had taken her seat on the Board of Education in January 1919. During that year, she had raised eyebrows by questioning the sufficiency of the allowance to caretakers for cleaning materials; moving that the public school teachers be given a straight increase in salary instead of a War Bonus; suggesting that the maximum salary be raised to 1,000 dollars per annum so as not to lose valuable teachers; and bringing forth a resolution with regard to the formation of a class of special instruction for backward children. These matters, although not discussed in the column, as well as her mother's activities in other fields, formed part of Greta's frame of reference. Her awareness of basic issues, her inquiring mind and interest in ideas and in sharing them enabled her to entertain, educate, arouse interest in a variety of subjects, and to encourage women to actively participate in the world around them.


Greta was never at a loss for a subject. She found inspiration in everything from world affairs to a child's dirty hands on a book. Her training in home economics served well. She dwelt on the delights of dish-washing, devised her Daily Menu with a healthy life in mind and was explicit about the courtesies due one's hostess at a dance; but that was only a small part. Her most lively columns bemoaned the ridiculously low salaries of teachers, "To whom we trust our growing children," the deplorable state of the Old Priory (and its history); difficulties encountered by Red Cross canvassers; shortage of nurses; the plight of a young teacher getting 850 dollars a year; the loss of the music of words (everybody one met said 'fine' as an answer); the work of the Women's Institute, the Red Cross, the YWCA; art exhibitions and sunsets; and the question as to why women are less likely to give satisfactory sales service to women rather than to men. She also addresses the fact that Guelph's birthday (April 23, 1927) had passed without celebration or comment; and defended her page when the Ontario Home and School Associations declared that the Women's departments of daily newspapers were, "A medium of public information gone wrong." One of her most touching paragraphs described her enjoyment at seeing a little girl pushing her doll's carriage wearing a sunbonnet and a pinafore. She added, "I wonder why more little girls don't wear pinafores. It must be because of the laundry."19


Mary Marston's last column was published on May 28, 1921. She said nothing about her retirement, but ended it with a lengthy book recommendation for summer reading and with her poem "Finisterre" (unsigned). That was not the end of her career in journalism, as we shall see later, but, at age 30, Greta was about to start on another adventure - that of marriage.


Sometime during the past year or so, she had met Donald Bethune Shutt, a student who, in 1919, had returned to Guelph's Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) after three years in the Canadian and British armies overseas. Greta attended lectures, concerts, and various activities in town and at the college; they could have met at either. They shared many interests: among them, a passion for truth, details, and plain facts. Both had inquiring minds, a love of nature and history, both wrote well and appreciated earlier times.


The date of their engagement is unknown, but 'Mary Marston' expressed some ideas on the matter, admonishing a reader who complained about an engaged couple who wanted to sit by themselves on a garden swing.


"The only wish of an engaged pair is the occasional opportunity for uninterrupted conversation. There are so many plans to make and to revise; so many dear little funny things to talk over which wouldn't sound at all dear and funny if one had to discuss them under the stern nose of the family council."


Outdated, but more advanced than her reader! They were married on May 25, 1922, two days after Donald's graduation. The wedding took place at 2 o'clock in the Congregational Church on Norfolk Street, with a guard of honour formed by Guelph's first Girl Guide Company, founded by her mother, of which Greta was captain. The bride's veil of embroidered white net was caught up with a wreath of orange blossoms. Her bouquet was lilies of the valley, her long train of charmeuse crepe and, on her gown of beaded georgette, she wore a handsome brooch that had belonged to her great-grandmother. That evening, the couple boarded a CPR train for Moose Jaw.


Donald had been promised a job in Ottawa, but a month before his graduation, the project involved was cancelled. A scurry of letter-writing to firms and colleges across Canada resulted in a year's contract from Saskatchewan Creameries in Moose Jaw to solve its long-standing problems of bad flavour and mould. Once there, the Shutts rented an apartment, had their wedding presents shipped out, and bought enough furniture to make do. After three months, however, another disappointment! Donald - earnest, honest, meticulous - had solved the mystery by correcting some unsanitary conditions, and, in spite of the year's contract, was let go. Fortunately, his sister, Vera, living in CaIgary, provided a place to stay while another batch of letters was set in motion. Then came the offer of a two-year post for 2,000 dollars a year at Manitoba Agricultural College's department of bacteriology. This time, they lived in the married student's quarters and took meals in the dining hall.


Winnipeg was pleasant in the summer, Donald wrote.20 They particularly enjoyed picnics by the river, but winters, they found rugged. And for Greta, with one room, no cooking and little housework to do, it was the perfect time to continue her education by entering the College's Bachelor of Science program in Home Economics. In the summer of 1923, when not needed in Winnipeg, Donald began a graduate program at Michigan State Agricultural College. At the same time, Greta found work with the extension service of the State of Michigan in East Lansing. The summer of 1924, found them both completing their degrees, Greta in Winnipeg and Donald at Michigan State. It must have been with great joy that, upon his graduation, he was offered a post as lecturer at OAC. They packed up and returned to Guelph to live with the Crowes until the first paycheck arrived. On September 2, they were able to rent a house, send for their remaining furniture from Winnipeg, and haunt the auctions, "To fill in the gaps."


Details of the next ten years are scant, but later material reveals that the couple had much to share and much to keep them working happily apart. Both were dedicated to a variety of organizations and institutions and frequently accompanied each other to annual meetings and conventions.


As Donald became involved in his career at OAC, Greta returned to The Mercury, working on women's news and preparations for the 1927 Centennial Edition. It is possible that she was the instigator of this edition. She was certainly thinking about it in 1921, when one of her readers, interested in her story of the original Mary Marston, asked that she write more about Guelph's pioneer women. "We have had wonderful women in our city. It seems to me that the generation now growing up should not be ignorant of their virtues."


Greta agreed and answered,

"In 1927 Guelph will be one hundred years old. Of course, some people will want to celebrate with a parade and a pageant, but no parade ever invented could teach the people all they ought to know of their first century's history... The whole fabric of the city's history is interwoven with family histories, commercial enterprises... What I should like to do is to collect bit by bit any interesting items either by interview, letter, or research, so that when 1927 comes, we will have a definite idea of what we are celebrating, no matter what noisy parades or wordy orations are inflicting us."


Six writers were hired to contribute to the Centennial Edition.21 Greta was either one of them or, being already on The Mercury staff, the editor and organizer. The section on John Galt certainly bears resemblance to Grumpy Grouch's 1918 article for The Globe. Six months were spent writing, organizing and assembling the Centennial Edition. The result was 132 pages, arranged in eight sections and covering, with the exception of a history of crime and of Guelph's municipal government, every aspect of Guelph's first 100 years. Unfortunately, no by-lines indicate the author of any particular article, except one; and that is a paragraph on the teaching of Dr. William Tytler by Edith Crowe, not a member of the team.


Three months earlier, on April 23, 1927, "The Circle of Young Canada," had celebrated Guelph's Centennial by devoting an entire page to a "History of Guelph," by Grumpy Grouch, including an engraving from a photograph of the Church of Our Lady, "By a Guelph boy, now studying in Paris, G. Kenneth Crowe." At the bottom of the page was a picture of Grumpy Grouch, "When she was four and said to have that disposition."


In the fall of 1927, her work on The Mercury reduced, Greta applied to the Board of Education and was hired as a substitute teacher at GCVI. Two years later, in that capacity, she responded to an editorial in The Mercury in which the writer claimed that, while a nurse was needed in the public schools to make sure the children were medically fit and to keep a check on contagious diseases, high school students were old enough to know if they were unwell and to take the necessary steps to protect their health. In a lengthy rebuttal, Greta pointed out that the economic advantages of hiring a nurse for the high school, "To ensure a higher average attendance, a reasonable security from contagion, and a healthier City Council in 1910 or 1950," were much greater that the cost of one more salary.22


The letter also showed Greta as an observant, caring teacher, concerned with the details of her pupils' lives. She mentioned that one half of them slept with their windows shut; two-thirds arrived without having a hot breakfast; one-third were never in bed before 11 P.M. and many were unaware that hands should be washed before eating and even touching such things as chalk and doorknobs that, "Other sniffling sufferers had touched." She then took the parents to task:


"If the taxpayers of Guelph were really concerned over their bill for education, they would show their concern by sending better raw material to school to be educated. A sleepy, hungry child cannot learn much even in the best-built room with the most gifted teacher. If the taxpayer is paying the bill, he has himself to blame if his child does not receive the benefit."


In the 1927 to 1928 term, the Guelph Board of Education introduced glove-making as a teaching project in evening vocational classes. Greta signed on, became enthusiastic, and searched out every available scrap of information on the subject. The following year after devising a method of instruction, she taught part-time vocational school classes held for industrial employees under the age of 16. They learned how to make gloves for farm work, industrial jobs, home cleaning; fur-lined for winter, cotton for summer, etc. Following the publication of her article on glove-making in Chatelaine Magazine in 1930, she received letters of inquiry from all parts of the continent. Seven years later, after answering many questions and discovering the requirements of glovemakers, she published a small book, of which she was proud. It was a textbook on the history and art of glove-making that, "Helped many to keep their sanity during the Depression."23


The scrapbooks record little of the Depression years. Greta worked for The Mercury's women's department during the 1930s, and on special editions.24 Donald had taken a pay decrease, but, at least, money was coming in. Fortunately, "By 1929 to 1930," she wrote, "We had achieved a financial miracle. With a capital of $1,000, we each had major surgery, and we bought a cat, a home in Guelph and a property in Southampton."25 And, in 1935, three of her family received King George V Jubilee Medals; her father, as a veteran Bisley rifleman; her mother for her work with the Red Cross and other women's organizations; her brother Lt.-Col. Charles Douglas, recently appointed Canadian Pensions Commissioner, for his distinguished military service. In honour of the King V's 21-year reign, the City of Guelph was prepared to celebrate. It did so with a parade through town to the Winter Fair Arena - that included the Guelph Musical Society Band, officers and men of the 11th Field Regiment and the Wellington Regiment, the Bugle and Trumpet Band, veterans of the Red Chevron Club. Last in line, were the Scouts, Guides, Cubs, and Brownies. In the area, with the Union Jack flying high, a choir of school children sang O Canada and The Maple Leaf Foreaer, and, after speeches by the mayor and the rector of St. George's, the medals were presented to 22 citizens of Guelph. Crowds had lined the streets and had filled the arena.


In spite of idealistic tendencies, Greta's feet were always on the ground. When her mother, forced by ill health to resign from the Board of Education in 1938, feared there would be no woman on the Board, Greta ran for election to take her place. She lost, but the following year, she defeated an incumbent by coming in fifth on the ballot. In January 1940, the Guelph Board of Education greeted its second woman member, immediately assigning her to the School Management Committee and the Advisory Vocational Committee.


Greta wrote that she was not too popular at first with the Board members, who had learned to work together as a team, and that any new member, "May expect an initial period of chilly politeness. Patience, willingness to perform the required duties, an intelligent grasp of the problems and discussions will soon gain recognition."26 Chilly politeness did not prevent her from speaking a few weeks later on behalf of a request from the Presto Music Club. The Metropolitan Opera was in dire straits, and would it be possible for every school child in Guelph to contribute one cent to save the Metropolitan Opera House? Greta proposed and, remarkably, the motion was seconded and passed. The sum of 146.76(?) dollars was raised and sent to Edward Johnson, who wrote thanking the children for their substantial contribution, and the teachers and Board of Education for their sympathetic understanding. Greta's motion that the Board join the Metropolitan Opera Guild was also approved. Johnson thoughtfully returned the membership cheque, requesting the privilege of taking care of the matter himself and promising that a copy of Opera News would be forwarded regularly.27 Greta had had no qualms about approaching the Board on a subject dear to her heart. Determined to show support for her friend, who had done much for the Board of Education, she was convincing in her speech and had early earned its respect.


She also respected the Board - with some qualification. "In committee discussions," she wrote, "There is one thing a woman must learn, unless she has been brought up in a family of four brothers. That is, if the argument becomes acrimonious, to take as good as she gives and bear no grudges. Once the vote is taken, the subject is closed."28


The Board consisted of nine persons, each one serving on at least two committees, each consisting of three members. It is difficult to determine the originator of a committee's proposals, because it reported as a whole, but certain themes run through the reports that indicate Greta's influence, particularly in those concerning the health of children, teachers' salaries, and the need to look to future requirements. On April 24, 1940, for instance, the School Management Committee stressed the importance of immunization against smallpox and suggested that the Board of Health inaugurate a campaign along the same lines as was used for diphtheria. The first crisis of Greta's years on the Board was the fire at Central School in July 1941 that started in the main office and burnt through the ceiling to the rooms upstairs. The cleanup, the repairs and the modernization of the interior kept members busy for a year.


On March 9, 1942, Greta was appointed vice-chairman for the remainder of the year. The National War effort was high on the agenda, with the selling of War Savings Stamps and certificates, the Cadet Corps, and the use of the school properties for fundraising events such as concerts and bridge parties. The next year, on January 20, she was elected chairman of the Board on the first vote. Among the priorities listed in her acceptance speech were the expansion of health services in the schools; the development of a long view in the question of teacher's salaries; close attention to the auditors' report for 1941; a suggestion that informed persons be invited to speak to the Board; better use of the basement rooms; better lighting in the gym; and a request to the city for a survey as to possible requirements for future accommodation.29


She met her first obstacle the following month when the Board voted against an IODE's request to raise money for their war work by holding a dance in the gymnasium. Greta responded by calling a special meeting to reconsider the motion. After noting that it was at the request of the mayor, she launched into the history of the building, pointing out that the gymnasium was built not only for the school but also to provide the citizens of Guelph with a public place for gatherings, meetings and concerts. Only after considerable discussion and the imposition of several rules for concerts and dances, was the motion passed by the Committee of the Whole. Otherwise, her first year as chairman went smoothly.


Illustrations of her popularity showed through the sometimes tedious Board minutes. ln June, she was warmly congratulated for her, "Interesting and entertaining report," on the Urban and School Trustees Convention she had attended in Toronto. In 1944, she was re-elected on an unanimous standing vote. She humbly replied that she hoped to be able to give better service to educational matters than she had in the last year.


Greta's early years on the Board had coincided with, a period of shock and sadness for the Crowe family. The first blow was the death of Greta's brother, Captain Kenneth Crowe. In Montreal on leave from active service with the Royal Canadian Engineers, he had slipped on the kitchen floor, hitting his head and never regained consciousness. A few months later on January 1, 1941, after several years of pain and mental stress, her mother succumbed to bronchial pneumonia. With Charles Crowe incapacitated by the flu at the time, Greta assumed the burden of the funeral. Emphasis was on the impressive achievements of her mother's life, but Greta's brother, Ernest, the only son able to attend the funeral, with the other two being overseas, wrote about the drive to Woodlawn Cemetery: "I couldn't forget all mother's jokes about that ride."30


Further trauma occurred when news arrived in July 1943, news of the death of her brother, Lt. Col. Ralph Crowe, Commanding Officer of the Royal Canadian Regiment in Sicily. He had been shot by a burst of machine gun fire while leading a thrust to dislodge the Germans from the Sicilian mountains. The memorial service at St. George's Anglican Church was a moving tribute to a dedicated, courageous man.


Through this troubled period, Greta worked steadily with the Board, missing only a few meetings. She was also back with The Mercury. Early in 1943, when the paper was experiencing difficulty maintaining a staff because of the war, she was asked to return as city editor. In that capacity, she was presented to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, who came to review members of her army stationed in Guelph in 1943. In 1946, she became an editorial writer, and some of her pieces are preserved in her scrapbooks. They concentrated on practical ideas, reports of speeches, and the efforts of certain societies or individuals to improve the world, often quoting memorable language or poetry to illustrate that 'new ideas' were not so new. Her best points were made when her dander was up, for example in, "Educating a Trustee" and "Where is the Loose Screw?"31 Although Greta continued her connection to The Mercury by occasionally holding forth in a column headed, "Mrs. Shutt Says," or "According to Mrs. Shutt;" by 1947, she was concentrating mainly on her work with the Board of Education.


Greta remained on the Board for 22 years. She was elected chairman four times: 1943, 1944, 1952, 1953,32 also becoming chairman in September 1955, to finish out the term of chairman Thomas Bell. This occasion inspired an editorial, praising the Board for selecting a woman, "Whose record as presiding officer was probably unequalled by any woman trustee in Canada," and hoping that the confidence placed in Mrs. Shutt, would inspire others to seek municipal office in Guelph. Experienced and capable leadership is needed to handle the complex matters, financial and otherwise, that confront those entrusted with administration of educational affairs in Guelph. Mrs. Shutt, through years of experience, has the qualifications required. She has proven her capabilities and can be counted on to preside with efficiency as she takes up her new office.33


In November 1945, as Chairman of the School Management Committee and after careful scrutiny into systems in other cities, Greta put forth a plan for an accumulative sick leave system. On February 11, 1946, it was confirmed by the Board and ordered to be put in place by September.34 Wage increments gradually followed.


Her early insistence on the need to prepare for population growth was eventually heeded. The demographics were obvious; fewer children were living Downtown. In 1949, King George School was built, the first new public school in 30 years, followed in 1951 by John McCrae School. The cost of these schools alarmed taxpayers, producing perennial criticisms of the Board's extravagances. As she prepared her inauguration speech for 1952, she knew that better public relations were needed. Making sure The Mercury headlines would be dramatic, she stated clear facts. The situation was acute! Additional accommodation was needed for children already in Guelph, let alone an increase in population. During her time on the Board, student population increased from 3,502 to 6,463. Eight new schools were built: one secondary, seven elementary; and additions were made to several public schools and both high schools. A highlight for her in 1955 was the naming of a school for her dear friend Edward Johnson.


Perhaps the greatest reason for Greta's success as a chairman, vice-chairman and member of the Board was her understanding of the rules. She liked them short, clear, and practiced. Her admiration for Henry W. Peterson, who drew up a by-law of rules and procedure for the Guelph Board in 1865, was unbounded. Seven pages in all, no chairman could fail to understand its provisions. Although much had been added over the years - the rules and regulations of 1956 required 33 pages (some unnecessarily verbose, Greta pointed out) - Peterson's framework of procedure, largely unchanged, enabled the Board to conduct its business with order and authority,  "She always makes herself understood," her colleagues on the Board agreed, "And can be depended upon to sum up a situation with just the right word or phrase."35 In the words of Fred Hamilton, Director of Education for Guelph,


"Her experience, combined with her keen analytical mind has helped the Board to untangle many snarls in procedure and thus has benefitted the school children, whose interests have been uppermost in her mind, by obtaining on their behalf, prompt action, [and] her interest in staffing the schools with the finest personnel and in supporting and encouraging the existing staff to do their finest work may be her most lasting monument over the years."36


In Greta's view, "I think my work on the Board has been mostly off-stage, particularly in connection with the personnel."37


Another lasting monument was her book, The High Schools of Guelph. The Guelph Board of Education first proposed the idea in 1954, the year of GCVI's centennial celebrations. Four years later, after finding the work too time-consuming, Hamilton asked Greta to undertake the project. She agreed, thinking it would take about six months. Hamilton had researched old Inspectors' Reports, and he, Rae Stuart, and Hugh Douglass of the GCVI staff, sat down with her to outline chapter headings. Enthusiastic and optimistic, Greta wrote to Hugh Douglass,


"I am planning to take a month, likely October. Send my husband out for his lunches, refuse all invitations, and get to work at school hours. I work fairly fast, and the job is clearly outlined, so a month should be enough to collect material and make a start at writing. Another month of solitary confinement at home should finish the job. I think it will be fun."38


She then appealed to residents of Guelph for newspaper clippings, pictures, and information about Guelph schools that might be stowed away in bottom drawers. Response was so large that Donald had to relinquish all but one small drawer of his desk to store it. Hugh Douglass made his large research collection available to her; and she was fascinated. "Working in historical research is like living a perpetual detective story," she said in a speech to the Dietetic Association.39 "One thing leads to another. The great difficulty is to know when the inviting side-path is not more important than the main line of inquiry. My main frame of reference is the history of secondary schools, but I keep finding out things about the town."


One of the beauties of the book is the melding of the history of the town and its people with that of the schools, their principals, and teachers. Education had been a force since John Galt established a school in the Priory lean-to. The high quality of Board members over the years and the persons they hired to educate the youth was evident in the success of so many of their students.


The first draft was not finished until late 1960. Revisions and rewriting were completed in May 1961, just before the Shutts left for a holiday in England. The University of Toronto Press was pleased to accept it. The final negotiations, wrangling and all, were handled by Dick Brimmell and Fred Hamilton, and it was published on October 1.


Life after the book was full for Greta. In demand as a speaker and having several other projects in view, she realized that, after 22 years on the Board of Education, it was time to leave. On the occasion of her retirement in January 1963, the Board gave her a grand send-off at the Cutten Club. "A wonderful party," Greta wrote, "All kinds of speeches, an armful of red roses, and a barometer-hygrometer framed in wood from the old Collegiate building."40


Greta had found a kindred spirit in Hugh Douglass, teacher, artist, collector of rare, old textbooks, and an accomplice in the preservation of important facts about the history of Guelph. In late March 1959, they had visited Edward Johnson in his home, hoping to record his thoughts about Guelph and particularly his recollection of his school days there. "He was in fine form and told us much of interest. It was a most memorable evening."41 Johnson died a month later, and a transcription of that meeting is deposited in the Guelph Public Library.


Douglass helped with her family history, and, together, they searched records and old papers to add to and complete the History of Guelph and Wellington County, published in 1866. They persuaded The Mercury to republish it in 44 instalments, starting May 25, 1963. True to form, she sent a letter to the Editor thanking him in elaborate detail for the care taken with the manuscript and the great service he was giving his readers by publishing an invaluable history.42


The founding of the Guelph Historical Society in 1961 was due to Greta's association with Hugh. A meeting was first held on February 21 with Douglass as chairman. Donald also attended and was named chairman of a committee instructed to write the Society's constitution. He, Verne McIlwraith, Walter Tyson, Mable Stuart, Findlay Weaver, Harold Cole, and Fred Grundy were among the founding members. Greta, supported by Donald, was the backbone of the Society during its formative years. She edited its typescript publications and, when no articles were forthcoming, wrote them herself. One of the Society's first resolutions was to send historical information to churches and schools to assist in the observance of Guelph's birthday in April 23, 1961.43


Historic Guelph V46P71Greta Shutt helped to found the Guelph Historical Society in 1961. She is photographed here at a tree planting ceremony in 1965.
(Photo courtesy of the Guelph Public Library Archives F45-0100154, Plants tree for Historical Society, 1965).


Having in their possession a number of artifacts relevant to Guelph's history, Society members opened a small museum in the old Light and Heat building. After a fire there, in which the material was not damaged, the artifacts were transferred to the old Isolation Hospital on Delhi Street, under the care of Frank Vigor, director of the Recreational Centre, where it was opened on April 20, 1963. In 1964, the city was persuaded to take an interest, and thus, began the development of Guelph Museums.


Most of Greta's public life so far has been gleaned from newspaper reports, her own writings and her scrapbooks. In 1949, she started The Guelph Clarion, a Christmas letter to her friends and relatives, eventually numbering about 150 letters. From it, we learn more personal aspects of her life. She started to write the news in late summer, while still at the cottage at Southampton, and many issues portray a delightful picture of the days spent there.


The Southampton area provided an opportunity for Donald to renew his interest in archeology, aroused during his war years in Europe. Digging along the banks of the Saugeen River, he uncovered several sites of archeological specimens of which three were included in a comprehensive report by Tom Lee of the National Museum. One had been the site of a temporary Iroquois fort, thrown up about 1750 in defence of invading Ojibway. After acquiring the land and paying taxes on it for several years, he offered it to the Saugeen River Conservation Authority for the development of a park. Today, it is known as the Donaldson site in Denny's Dam Conservation Area.44 Donald was instrumental in the foundation of a museum in Southampton, primarily organized to house his archeological finds.


Vital statistics, as Greta called them - births, marriages, deaths, and accidents, covered a large part of a page. She was grateful to Hugh Douglass for his help with her family history. About Charles Raymond's second wife, she had her own opinion,


"Thank you so much for taking the trouble to copy out the account of my great grandfather's life. I think the 'illness' that prompted his withdrawal from business and public affairs was his second mar- riage which was disastrous, both for the health and the business. His second wife's relatives turned up in scores to be given positions, and they mismanaged the factory until it had to be sold. He lived to be 82, so he was no invalid."45


In the 1959 Clarion, writing that research on her book had turned up several items of family history, she added a "Special Supplement to Relatives Only," consisting of a chronology of the Crowe, Skinner, and Raymond families. At its conclusion, she urged her readers to make a family tree of their own branch. "A family connection like ours whose story is the story of Ontario history for the last 127 years deserves to be well and proudly recorded." As a result, she received many requests for help. "Now there are limits," she answered.


"Just try to make a family tree on a typewriter. Then, too, why should I do your homework. My dears, most of you belong to different branches, make your own tree a far as you know it. I shall be delighted to answer your questions and fill in the gaps."


It comes as a surprise, considering her active life and cheerful disposition, that Greta was not always in good health. Her Clarion friends and relatives were informed about it. In 1962, she had a bout of cancer, telling them she could not spell the name of the operation, so she was not going to write about it. A few months later, describing her speech to the Dietetic Association, she added, "Everything went well but I was a little wobbly in the knees." On January 27, 1963, she wrote, "Isn't the weather awful? Don and I are just staying indoors. At every excuse, I crawl back into bed, where my electric blanket keeps my lame legs warm. I am no worse, maybe a little better. Perhaps when spring comes, there will be a real improvement."46 There must have been improvement, for she was active during the rest of 1963. After a second operation in 1964 (no malignancy this time), she was diagnosed a diabetic - this she controlled fairly well by diet. After Don's death in June 1973, she was hospitalized for two weeks with minor surgery and treatment, and again in February 1974 for, "A nasty little thing in my mouth," that was malignant. "Don't worry, it is all healed cleanly now, and Dr. Ewart Jones, who married Ruth Cook, relined my dentures so that they fit better than ever. Such comfort!47


These problems seldom lessened her activities. Having discovered a manuscript on the Congregational Church by the Rev. George H. Knighton, she edited it, wrote an introduction, added explanatory footnotes where necessary, and indicated in square brackets her additions to the text. It was published it Ontario History.48 Her speech to the Dietetic Association in July 1962 on the history of Guelph resulted in a lengthy article in The Mercury, as did the one in September to the Speedside and Barrie Hill Church, explaining the origin of Congregationalism and its development from the Reformation to the present. The History of the Board of Light and Heat Commission of Guelph (1966) has already been mentioned, as have Greta's many articles for the Historical Society. She was also expert at writing Letters to the Editor. One of which she was particularly pleased concerned Guelph Mayor Gordon Rife's opposition to the construction of the Waterloo-Wellington Airport. She called attention to the fact that industrial development here had always followed transportation and that the Raymond factory, in which the mayor's father had worked, originally located in Guelph because of the railway. The mayor dropped his opposition.


In 1968, when the Historical Society was floundering, she let her name stand for president, a term that was to last four years. The minutes now showed enthusiasm and clarity. Donald contributed to the meetings with illustrated talks on his travels and the old buildings of Guelph, and, in May 1971, Greta, "Thrilled a good-sized audience with a talk on John McCrae." She told of interviews with Col. David McCrae, father of John, and his sister as she prepared a news story for a Toronto newspaper more than 50 years ago.49 She concluded by inviting all the members to her 50th wedding anniversary party. And what a party it was! Held at the home of her cousin Robert Crowe and his wife, Betty, she wore her wedding gown of 50 years ago. "There were people there from almost every interest I had - Congregationalists, Anglicans, United Church people, members of the Board of Education, the Historical Society, and many, many more. The OAC and Macdonald Institute were well represented."50


At the end of May 1973, she and Donald planned a bus trip to the Ontario Historical Association convention in Owen Sound. Donald was not feeling well, so she went with a friend. Four days later she was called home. Her husband was seriously ill and, five days later, he died. The autopsy showed he had been suffering from lung cancer. After a period of mourning and illness, she returned to the Historical Society, now in the hands of Mrs. E. A. Pollard, to continue as editor of publications.51 She enjoyed the OAC Centennial in 1974 and wrote in the Clarion that she was on television and attended four formal meals, In 1976, she received the Guelph Certificate of Merit Award for Education.52 That year, she spoke to the graduating students of John F. Ross Collegiate and Vocational School and presented the Greta Shutt Rose Bowl for the last time.53


Historic Guelph V46P74Greta and Donald Shutt on their Golden Wedding Anniversary, 1970.

(Image courtesy of Guelph Museums).


As teacher, writer, journalist, historian, public speaker, and homemaker, Greta's aim was to help others in a fundamental way. She wanted to instill the youth of Guelph with pride in their city, one that had been founded with, "Design, purpose and ceremony."54 She wanted them to be educated in the best possible way so that they could fulfil that purpose in their lives. Her message to the men and women of Guelph was, that: "In giving service to the municipality which is one's home, one can repay in some small measure all the work of past generations that has made that home of today possible"55 From her early writings as Mary Marston to her last speech at John F. Ross, she was a catalyst for the appreciation and conservation of Guelph's heritage and, in her mother's footsteps, she set an example for women in public life. Greta had dignity. She was tall and possessed the bearing of her military family. People laughed at her sometimes, but she was gentle and kind. "She was a people person," said Ross Pauli, a young teacher when Greta was on the Board, "Charming and understanding." Eileen Hammill, who worked with her on several historical pursuits reminisced: "Her persistence was fun, not irritating. She was calm, steady, but absolutely determined to hunt down what we wanted to know. We enjoyed her dry, witty humour; and her sandwiches, made with watercress and non-iodized salt, [which] were very, very good."



  1. The Guelph Clarion, 1959, "Special Supplement for Relatives Only." Charles Raymond replaced John Hall on City Council in March 1889. He was an, "Inventor, manufacturer and philanthropist. As a member of the Board of Education, he was active in the organization and building of Central school in 1875 and the rebuilding of the high school in 1879." Greta M. Shutt. The High Schools of Guelph. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961).
  2. In The High Schools of Guelph, Greta writes that her father was only ten years old when admitted to high school, and adds, "His complete failure to comprehend algebra resulted in his withdrawal from high school in a few months. This was hardly surprising. In later life, he was a brilliant musician, operated a large business, and was greatly respected by all who knew him."
  3. The Guelph Daily Mercury and Advertiser, June 8, 1887.
  4. The actual date of Charles Crowes offer in 1898 can be found in the Board of Education Minute Book 1869-1900. An editorial in The Guelph Mercury (circa 1950) undated in scrapbook F79-00027, summarizing the progress of music in the schools, reinforced an error that Charles Crowe obtained permission to conduct classes in music as an experiment in the schools in 1898, and that Edward Johnson was dwarf No. 1 in the operetta Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, presented by Crowe in the City Hall as culmination of his teaching that year. Johnson was 20 at the time.
  5. After two years as chorus master at the Congregational Church, Charles spent 13 years as organist and choir master at Norfolk Methodist Church, where Edward sang in the choir. Charles was also a founding member of the Guelph Musical Festival Association, formed after Edward's donation to the Board of Education to help him with his plans for the 1929 festival.
  6. When John Crowe retired (circa 1900), the operation of his Iron Works passed to Charles and his brother, Raymond. Although Charles resigned as organist at Norfolk Street Methodist, a post he had held for 13 years, he continued to teach and perform and became an enthusiastic supporter of the Presto Club. Greta was also a member and frequently attended concerts with her father.
  7. She was assisted by her husband on the cello, his sister, Mabel on violin, his father John as tenor, and his mother on piano.
  8. The Canadian Messenger was a widely circulated Jesuit magazine.
  9. Guelph Public Library Archives. Greta Shutt Scrapbooks: F19-00074. The Globe's "The Homemaker's Page" debuted November 15, 1917. Edith Crowe had, therefore, been corresponding to The Globe for some time before that.
  10. "People of Interest Column," The Guelph Mercury, February 2, 1963.
  11. Charles R. Crowe and family lived at 284 Woolwich Street from 1889 until circa 1935.
  12. "People of Interest Column," The Guelph Mercury, February 2, 1963.
  13. "Mary Marston's Own Column," The Guelph Daily Mercury and Advertiser, circa 1920.
  14. The Globe, Saturday, May 11, 1918.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Unfortunately, in her earlier days, Greta did not date the items she saved in her scrapbooks. Her poem is included below.

    Heart of the Ancient Vastness,
    Secret soul of the sea,
    Rest my heart on your strength for a while!
    Breathe me your harmony!
    The headlands are lost in the dimness,
    The sky, dully luminous, grey,
    Water laps on the boulders
    The lighted ship fades away.
    The hills are gloomy in slumber,
    The tittering birds soon cease;
    Mystery, silence, detachment,
    Loneliness, infinite peace!
    What matters our footling sorrows?
    Why struggle with grief and care?
    Steal an hour by the sea alone
    At twilight and lose them there.
  17. Greta pasted her columns into a scrapbook in 1966. They must have been altogether in a drawer or box, because they are neither dated nor in order. Some in this article are dated because I have been through many issues of The Mercury, namely from November 1920 to June 1921, but not all.
  18. After a survey of Guelph schools by the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene, over 60 children were found to be backward or defective and not benefitting by the system.
  19. The Daily Mercury and Advertiser, April 26, 1921.
  20. Archives and Special Collections, University of Guelph. "Memoirs of Professor D. B. Shutt," 1960.
  21. My thanks to Dick Brimmell for this information. He also knew that Joe Collins, who later became an editor, was one of them.
  22. The Guelph Mercury, November 18, 1929. The editorial was printed on Saturday, November 16, 1929.
  23. The quotation comes from a speech on historical research to the Ontario Association of Superannuated Teachers (OASWT) recorded in The Guelph Mercury circa 1963. I have not yet found the Chatelaine article. Information on the glove-making book, a work of about 16,000 words plus patterns and instructions, comes from the unpublished manuscript of her book prepared in 1937 in the Annex, McLaughlin Library, University of Guelph.
  24. Interview with The Mercury, "Greta Mary Shutt: Much-Honored Lady," 1976 (undated donated clipping).
  25. Guelph Historical Society Publication No. 9, XII.
  26. The Guelph Mercury, January 7, 1963.
  27. Edward Johnson was General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera from 1935 to 1950. In 1940, the Metropolitan Association was trying to buy the opera house from the box holders, a group of New York industrialists and socially prominent families who owned the building.
  28. From the Standpoint of Mrs. Shutt: "Women Can Seek Office- But Why Don't They?" The Guelph Mercury, circa 1955. (Undated in Scrapbook F79-00022).
  29. Minute Book, 1938-1946, Upper Grand District School Board Archives.
  30. January 5, 1941. Scrapbook F19-00014.
  31. About a member of the Toronto Board of Education who had placed himself on record as stating that the United Nation's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural organization was, 'Moscow inspired;' and Canada's leading physicists who, after a secret session during their convention, were agreed on one thing: that they were unprepared to speak as a body on political matters.
  32. She was honoured for her work that year when awarded with the Queen's Coronation Medal.
  33. The Guelph Mercury, September 29, 1955.
  34. The plan as described in Minute Book 1938-1946. One fifth of the unused portion of the allowable sick leave for teachers (20 days a year) may be accumulated over the past five years as a reserve. This gives a teacher a possible maximum of 20 teaching days plus 20 days of accumulative reserve in one year, if required. It was only for teachers after five years of teaching, and no more than 20 days of reserve could be credited to one teacher at a time. On leaving the employ, a teacher must be paid for the number of days to his or her credit in the reserve, but not for the current year.
  35. Schutt, The High Schools of Guelph, p. 112.
  36. The Guelph Daily Mercury, November 8, 1960.
  37. "People of Interest," The Guelph Mercury, February 2, 1963.
  38. On July 6, 1958. Scrapbook F19-0006. Guelph Public Library Archives.
  39. July 1962.
  40. The Guelph Clarion,1963.
  41. Ibid, 1959.
  42. The Guelph Daily Mercury, March 11, 1964.
  43. Minute Book, February 21, 1961 to January 16, 1964. Guelph Historical Society Archives.
  44. Donald Shutt's discoveries and his generous donation of his entire collection to the National Museum is acknowledged in Archeology of the Donaldson Site, J. V. Wright and J. E. Anderson. Bulletin No. 194, National Museum of Canada, Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, Canada, 1963. My thanks to Sharon Wood, Manager of Communications, Saugeen Conservation Area for the reference.
  45. Scrapbook, F19 series.
  46. "Letter to Alan," Scrapbook F19-00025.
  47. The Guelph Clarion, 1974.
  48. "A Brief History of the Congregational Church by Rev. George Knighton, edited by Greta Shutt," Vol. LIV 1962, No. 3.
  49. "Minutes," Guelph Historical Society, February 10, 1972.
  50. The Guelph Clarion, 1977.
  51. Roberta Gitbank had been Publications Secretary for a number of years.
  52. An honour Greta received, not mentioned in this article, was the Queen's Coronation Medal in 1953.
  53. The Greta Shutt Rose Bowl prize was conceived by principal Lorne Fox to honour both Greta for her service to education in Guelph and the deserving pupil to whom it was presented. It was, and still is, school's most prestigious award. My appreciation to Diane Harvey for her clarification.
  54. Schutt, The High Schools of Guelph, p. 3.
  55. "From the Standpoint of Mrs. Shutt," The Guelph Mercury, Friday before Monday election day, 1955.


My thanks to Diana Mannis, Upper Grand District School Board; Kathleen Wall, Guelph Museums; Darcy Hiltz, Guelph Public Library; Susan Ratcliffe, Guelph Historical Society; Betty Crowe; Dick Brimmell; Eileen Hammill; Ross Pauli; Diane Harvey; Helen Sudbury; and research assistant Bonnie Durtnall.