Mount Allison Alumni take note: Another House Smashed by the university

Welcome Mount Allison AlumniWelcome Mount Allison Alumni! Remember those old houses you used to take classes in, where your professor's office was, or maybe you lived at one while you were a student at Mt.A? Remember the residences and student centre built of red sandstone? Well, one by one they're getting smashed to bits and carted off to landfills.

The Heritage Canada Foundation decries loss of Mount Allison’s
historic Memorial Library – a 2011 Top Ten Endangered Place

Mount Allison University has turned a landmark into landfill"

Latest activity (November 2012)

In the Mount Allison Record's recent article on Purdy Crawford (after whom the new arts centre, built on the site of the demolished Memorial Library, is to be named) there were many testimonies to his almost saint-like character, but a strange lack of any mention of the fact that Crawford was successively President and COO, CEO, then Chairman, President and CEO of the holding company IMASCO between 1985 and 2000. If you are not familiar with the name IMASCO, you might have heard of its subsidiary: Imperial Tobacco, producer of such brands as Players cigarettes. According to Macclean's Magazine, Crawford's annual salary at IMASCO in 1995 was $2,267,152.

Imperial Tobacco is the company that pleaded guilty in 2008 to "aiding persons to sell and be in possession of tobacco manufactured in Canada that was not packed and was not stamped in conformity with the Excise Act." Translated, that means cigarette smuggling. Imperial Tobacco was fined $200-million, and will pay up to an additional $400 million over the next 15 years. In the words of then-Revenue Minister Gordon O'Connor, "These represent the largest criminal fines and civil settlements in Canadian history."

According to the CBC, the charges "stem from contraband tobacco sales between 1989 and 1994, which involved products being produced in Canada and shipped to locations in the United States to be distributed to smugglers or black market distributors, who brought it back into Canada for illegal sale, the RCMP said."

Coincidentally, that is the period in which Crawford was CEO of Imperial Tobacco's parent company, IMASCO.

Reflecting back on the now-demolished Memorial Library, which was built with donations from the friends and family of 73 alumni killed in the First World War, it is interesting to note that during that war 56,638 Canadians were killed. By comparison, according to the Heart and Stroke foundation smoking contributes to more than 37,000 deaths a year in Canada, of which about 17% are non-smokers killed by second-hand smoke. That means that during Purdy Crawford's tenure with IMASCO/Imperial Tobacco roughly 555,000 Canadians were killed by tobacco. Maybe the new arts centre will be a kind of memorial, too?

The post-war call for subscriptions to pay for the Memorial Library said "No greater service could be done for Mount Allison than to provide such a memorial building" - i.e., one to perpetuate the memory of those alumni "who gave their lives for the Empire" - and for all our freedom. Instead of standing as a perpetual sign of respect to them, it was razed on the eve of the First World War's hundredth anniversary. Perhaps we should consider its replacement as a kind of memorial to those who died for the profit of Imperial Tobacco? Or will they be forgotten too, and the new arts centre simply be a reminder that money speaks louder than memory?

The effort of Alumni and friends of Mount Allison to save their beloved historic Memorial Library has been portrayed in a 28-page photo essay conceived as an attractive coffee table book. A book launch will take place at the Sackville Farmer’s Market on Saturday, September 22nd.

Click here for information on ordering the book, or contact us at:

A blog at takes readers through the long and fruitless attempt to obtain answers from the government minister who withdrew his intention to designate the Memorial Library a Provincial Heritage Site. The Minister has refused to supply any of the evidence that he based his decision on, and Mount Allison has refused to allow the evidence they submitted to the process to be made public.

In response to the fact that the Alumni Board tended, during the Memorial Library question, to unequivocally support the administration instead of representing the range of opinions amongst alumni, a motion was presented at the Mount Allison alumni annual general meeting to: "constitute a Task Force comprised of 10 or fewer suitable, concerned Alumni and Friends who will research, discuss, report and make recommendations to the Board regarding the relationship between (1) the Alumni and the Alumni Board and (2) the Alumni Board and the Administration. The report of the Task Force would be made available to all Allisonians." Download the full text of the motion in PDF here.

What Memorial Hall was meant to be:

“ ...a memorial which would inspire future generations of Mount Allison men and
women to emulate the noble spirit of the time in which these men and women
gave their lives.” - Mount Allison Record Vol III No 4 January 1919

“Of the six hundred Mount Allison men who were in uniform during the war
seventy two gave their lives. The time is fully come when a suitable and lasting memorial
should stand on the campus at Mount Allison to tell to
the generations following of their heroism and sacrifice.”
-Mount Allison Record Vol 9 No 6 July 1926

What Memorial Hall has become under Mount Allison's
current administration & Board of Regents:

We are proud of Mount Allison’s record of commitment to preserving its patrimony -Robert M. Campbell, President and Vice-Chancellor Mount Allison University
 and Bruce McCubbin, Chair, Board of Regents Mount Allison University

Mount Allison's Memorial Hall, December 2011

NEWS: After claiming they could not afford the 5 million dollars the administration said was needed to restore the Memorial Library and incorporate it into the proposed arts centre, Mount Allison University administration turned down an offer of 5 million dollars from alumna and philanthropist Joan Carlisle-Irving according to an article in the Argosy. The Globe and Mail has also reported on this offer to pay for preservation of the building.
Destruction of Mount Allison's war memorial Why is MtA pursuing this wanton destruction? Nothing the administration has offered so far has seemed a rational, well-founded reason. Could it be that a rich donor offered millions for the arts centre to be named after their family? And more - say, tens of millions in the coming years? Maybe that donor insisted the arts centre be a certain form, without Memorial Hall. Might that be why the administration turned down a mere $5 million from Carlisle-Irving for preserving the Memorial Library? It would explain why Mt. A is willing to ignore and insult alumni, and destroy a beautiful war memorial - all to please a temperamental patron? All so that someone can put their name on an ugly, characterless arts centre that has been built on misinformation, deception, and the ruins of the university's traditions and ideals? One thing is certain: whatever name is attached to the new arts centre, that name will (if Memorial Hall is destroyed) be forever linked with dishonour, bad faith, and betrayal. Saving the building, and retasking it as part of the new arts centre, would have been a perpetual honour to whatever name went with that project.

Latest Media Reports on the Mount Allison's demolition of its war memorial
Argosy article, January 17, 2012
"For Truth and Faith, for Justice and for Right"
Globe & Mail article, November 4, 2011
"Razing of war memorial sparks outrage"
CBC's As it Happens' interview with alumnus Bruce Coates, 27 September 2011
(The interview is about 7 minutes and 45 seconds in to the Part 3 podcast file at the top of the page)
Globe & Mail article, September 26, 2011
"Mount Allison’s move to destroy war memorial sparks alumni uproar"
CBC Radio interview with Professor Emeritus Virgil Hammock, 26 September 2011

NOTE: The Board of Regents, the body which is responsible for the demolition order, proposed and carried a motion on November 26, 1918, stating "...that this Board most heartily endorses the proposition of erecting a Library Building as a War Memorial in honor of Mount Allison students who have made the supreme sacrifice in behalf of our country." See here for more excerpts from the Mount Allison Record, the minutes of the Board of Regents, and the Mount Allison archives, which demonstrate what the Memorial Library was built for, and how it was paid for. Apparently, none of the Board of Regents or Administration has looked at the plaque which states This hall is dedicated to the memory of those Allisonians who gave their lives for the freedom of their country.

Another question which arises in connection with the Memorial Library is what will become of the endowment, established when the building was erected, if the administration succeeds in demolition? Will an endowment intended by donors for the maintenance of a war memorial be rolled into the university's general revenue?

The next target for the Mount Allison administration's scorched-earth policy of heritage Mount Allison's Memorial Library is scheduled to be demolished Memorial Hallbuilding preservation is... the old Student Centre, also known as the Memorial Library. That's right - looks like the old home of CHMA, the Tantramarsh Club pub, The Golden A Cafe, Windsor Theatre, and Hesler Hall is slated for demolition.

Memorial Hall is № 13002-004 in the Canadian Forces' National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials; it will be sadly ironic if the administration is not stopped from destroying this building (designed by Andrew Randall Cobb and built as the Memorial Library to honour students and alumni killed in the First World War) just before the centenary of World War One. Ironic, but also perhaps indicative of the administration's attitude towards history, as well as architecture. For several years, through their JUMP fundraising campaign, the administration collected donations from alumni while promising that "The Centre for the Arts will be constructed around the University's historic Alumni Memorial Library building, mixing the traditional architecture of that landmark with exciting contemporary design and state-of-the-art studios...". Then, they changed their minds and decided to keep the money and demolish the war memorial instead.

Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the firm hired by Mount Allison to draft the university's Campus Master Plan, recommended that the old Student Centre / Memorial Library be preserved and incorporated into a new arts centre (see here for comments by A.J. Diamond, principal of the firm). Diamond's recommendations have been ignored by the university administration, which has chosen instead to ask the Alumni to give 20 million dollars to pay for the demolition and replacement of the Memorial Library. Sign this petition to show your support for saving the Memorial Library before it is added to the long list of razed architectural heritage.

After the First World War, the following appeal (see here for full text) was sent out for donations to build this memorial:

"The Executive Councils of the Alumni and Alumnae Societies, with the cordial endorsement of the Board of Regents, recently passed a resolution that an effort should be made to erect a library as a memorial to the loyalty and heroism of Mount Allison men and women in the war... Those who have been saved the horrors of the battle front should have hearts moved with gratitude toward the men who have suffered and died in their stead. The Mount Allison boys who are out there "in Flanders fields" to stay deserve all the honours that a grateful country can bestow on them... If your friend has suffered, if your boy has died, how could you better honour his memory than to have his name placed where it will go down through the years cherished and revered by successive generations of grateful students?"

Memorial Plaques hidden behind a coat rackIt is a question that the friends and families of the wounded and killed of World War One answered by paying for the construction of the Memorial Library building. It is a question that the current Mount Allison Board of Regents and Administration has answered by ordering the building's destruction, after tearing out the memorial plaques and putting them behind a coat rack. It is a question that I hope friends and alumni of Mount Allison will ask themselves. Was the sacrifice not worth remembering, and worth spending a little effort to maintain a memorial? Is it not worth writing a letter, signing a petition, and letting the Alumni Office, the Board of Regents, and the Administration know that the plan to demolish this memorial building must be scrapped, and that the building must be saved?

A list of the Mount A students and alumni who died in the First and Second World Wars,
to the memory of whom the Memorial Library stands.

First World War (click for full list)
Second World War (click for full list)
Korean War: Arthur Graham Herman. Born in Moncton, NB. Died August 19, 1952 at Hill 210, South Korea. Age 24. Royal 22e Regiment. Buried at the United Nations Cemetery, Buson, South Korea.
South African War: Harold Lothrop Borden (B.A. 1897). Born in Canning, Nova Scotia. Died July 16, 1900, Withpoort, South Africa. Buried at Braamfontein Garden of Remembrance. Royal Canadian Dragoons. Mentioned in despatches for gallant and intrepid conduct.

proposed Mount Allison Arts Centre

Some contacts at the university, including for the Board of Regents that officially governs Mount Allison, are listed below. Please remember, when writing to anyone on this list, that regardless of how upset the Mount Allison Memorial Hall Dedicatory Plaqueplan to demolish the Memorial Library makes you, it is important to be polite and respectful. Keep in mind, too, that much of the power of the Board of Regents is usually exercised by a small committee, not by the full board, so some of the Regents may not have participated in the decision to demolish the Memorial Library. They may, though, be able to take some action if favourably impressed by the movement to save the building. Regents listed with a grey background are those on the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents, and thus are those primarily responsible for all decisions relating to university administration:

Board of Regents at the time of the controversy:
Robert Campbell Chancellor
Peter Mansbridge
Alumni Office Moderator of the United Church (appoints two Regents)
Alumni Board Link Rev. Meredith Fraser (Regent)
Andrew Grant (Regent) Monique Imbeault (Regent)
Sam Gregg-Wallace
Now: Pat Joyce

(Student Regent Rep) Rev. Dr.
Andrew Richardson
J. Scott McCain (Regent) Bruce McCubbin
(Chair, Board of Regents)
Kristina Mansveld
Sean McGilley
(Student Regent Rep) Jane Craighead (Regent)
David Booth (Regent) Dr Craig Brett
( Regent)
Carol Chapman (Regent) George Cooper (Regent)
Suzanne Crawford (Regent) James Dickson
( Regent)
Dr. Nancy Grant
Andrew Clark
Tom Hierlihy (Regent)
Donald MacLeod (Regent) Robert Ogilvie
( Regent)
Ron Outerbridge (Regent) Peter Winters (Regent)
Jane Ralling (Regent)

You can contact the Save the Mount Allison Memorial Library Committee at:

Mount Allison Alumni information facebook page
and express your opinions on the Mount Allison University Alumni Facebook page.

The Failure of the Province's Heritage Act
     On May 13, 2011, the Hon. Trevor A. Holder, Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport gave notice in The Royal Gazette (Vol. 169, Wednesday, May 25, 2011, pages 639-641) of his intention to designate Mount Allison's Memorial Library a Provincial Heritage Place, thus conferring both recognition of its heritage value, and protection against demolition. Mount Allison then filed an objection with the Minister.
    Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Hon. Trevor A Holder, reversed his decision of May 2011 to designate the Memorial Library a heritage place, and decided after hearing objections from Mount Allison's administration to withdraw his Notice (filed on May 25, 2011), of Intention to Designate the Memorial Library as a Provincial Heritage Place, stating that this war memorial to New Brunswickers and others killed in three wars - a memorial designed by eminent architect Andrew Randall Cobb - is of no significant heritage value to the Province of New Brunswick. If you disagree with the minister's decision, please let him know at or at Tel: (506) 657-2335 / Fax: (506) 642-2588. It is a disappointing decision, to say the least, especially as the MLA for Saint John Portland has in his background a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history, membership of the United Empire Loyalist Association, and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No.64, all of which, you would think, would have been instructive in respecting the heritage value of monuments to our province's war dead. But apparently not.
      In September, a Right to Information request was made asking for the evidence upon which the Minister based the reversal of his decision to protect the Memorial Library as a Heritage site. After delaying 60 days -- until demolition was under way -- the Hon Trevor A Holder refused to disclose any evidence whatsoever.

Documents related to the Memorial Library have been gathered here for reference:

Documents from the Save The Mount Allison Memorial Library Committee
Farewell to Memorial Library, 7 February 2012
Memorial Library Update 13, 6 December 2011
Memorial Library Update 12, 15 November 2011 Attached photos: |photo 1|photo 2|
Memorial Library Update 11, 8 November 2011
Lest We Forget, 11 November, 2011
The compromise design rejected by the administration, 6 November 2011
Memorial Library Update 10, 31 October 2011 (note: e-mail addresses for President Campbell and Bruce McCubbin should be and )
Appeal for donations towards legal fees, 11 October 2011
Memorial Library Update 9, 11 October 2011
Presentation to Board of Regents by the Committee to Save the Memorial Library on behalf of the Mount Allison Federated Alumni September 23rd, 2011 at 0930h
Memorial Library Update 8, 02 October 2011
President Campbell has been advised by the lawyer E.J. Mockler, QC, (September 26, 2011) that Mockler will be applying for an interim injunction to prevent the demolition of the Memorial Library until it can be determined by the courts whether Mount Allison has the right to destroy a property which it holds in trust.
Memorial Library Update 7, 16 September 2011
[attachments/links: Comments by Paul Gilbert '74 | Argosy article | Demolition Tender | War Memorial & Funding ]
Letter to McCubbin, 23 Aug 2011
Memorial Library Update 6, 13 August 2011
The Mt. A Memorial Library is a Cenotaph, 18 June 2011

Memorial Library Update 5, 12 June 2011
One on One with Peter Mansbridge, by Robert Eaton
Letter from the Hon. Trevor Holder, Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport, giving notice of the filing of an Intention to Designate the Memorial Library a Provincial Heritage Place under Section 32 (1) of the Heritage Conservation Act. (13 May, 2011)
Architectural Critique of the proposed Fine and Performing Arts Centre
Breaking Faith
Memorial Library Update 4, 9 May 2011 (and Comments on the Proposed Arts Centre design).
A reply to the Mount Allison administration's open letter to alumni, May 1, 2011
A Unique and Unparalleled Opportunity for the Town of Sackville, April 29, 2011
Memorial Library Update 3, 2 March 2011
Memorial Library Update 2, 25 Jan 2011
Names (A sampling of the over 1400 alumni, former regents, architects, honorary degree recipients, and administrators who oppose the destruction of Mount Allison's Memorial Library)
• Samples of comments by signatories to the petition: Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6

Letter from Katherine Fraser, Class of '85, former member of the Alumni Board,
To Mount Allison President Robert Campbell, November 10, 2011

Letter from the Regimental Advisory Council of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment
To Mount Allison President Robert Campbell, October 15, 2011

Letter by Marc Milner
Director, Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society UNB Fredericton
To the Globe and Mail, October, 2011

Letter by Dr. Tom Forrestall,
O.N.S., B.F.A., R.C.A., Member of the Order of Canada
Letter to President Campbell, September 27 2011

Letter by R.H. Thomson,
Member of the Order of Canada,
Producer of 1914-1918 The World Remembers
Letter to the President, to the Chair of Board, to the Chancellor, to the Board of Regents, September 22 2011

Crosses erected by alumni bearing the names of those students to whom the memorial library is dedicated
Globe & Mail article, September 26, 2011
"Mount Allison’s move to destroy war memorial sparks alumni uproar"

Letter by Foye Weatherhead
Cancellation of annual donation, 31 October 2011

Letters by Virgil Hammock, Professor Emeritus and Sackville Town Councillor

Letter to the Times & Transcript - "The past is not obstacle to the future", 7 October 2011
CBC Radio interview, 26 September 2011
Regents have power to save Memorial Library, letter to Sackville Tribune-Post, 1 June, 2011
Letter to the Editor of the Sackville Tribune Post, 9 March 2011

Letter by
Patricia Andrews
Regarding the administration's statement that no deconsecration of the memorial prior to destruction was needed because we are "a more secular society" than when the memorial was built and consecrated, November 2, 2011

Letter by Meredith Fisher

Letter to Sackville Tribune-Post, November 2, 2011

Letter by Nicholas Oldland BFA '94

Letter to Robert Campbell and the Board of Regents, September 27, 2011

Letter by Steven Smith, '93

To the Alumni Office, October 2011

Letter by Chris Milburn, '91

To the President and The Argosy, October 2011

Letter by Anthony SC Hampton, Class of 2005, former Regent & presidential search committee member

Letter to Argosy, September 28 2011

Letter by Patricia Saunders McKinna, '45 and '49, former Regent & Alumni Board member

Letter to the Board of Regents, September 18 2011

Letter by Pam Reardon, Class of 1978

Letter to The Guardian, "Desecrating a cenotaph is vandalism, a criminal offence of mischief. What is it called when a university deliberately chooses to demolish a war memorial?", September 17 2011

Letters by C. Jean Cameron, Class of 1978

Holding Holder to Account" ~ Open letter to Mr. David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick, 21 September 2011
Letter to Sackville Tribune - "For Truth and Faith, for Justice and for Right", 11 May 2011
to the Sackville Tribune - "The Dutch do not forget", 4 May 2011

• Letter
to the Telegraph Journal, 25 February 2011

Letter to the Argosy, Tribune, and Times-Transcript, 6 February 2011
Letter of 25 January 2011

Article by Alex Macdonald

Due Process, The Argosy, September 1 2011

Comments by Paul Gilbert '74, Executive Director, The Robert Bateman Centre, Royal Roads University
Mount 'A' should respect tradition, letter to Times-Transcript October 11, 2011
What an irony is this discussion about Memorial Hall..., September 2011

Letter by Lisanna Sullivan, Class of 2000

To the Mount Allison Administration, August 2011

Letters by John Houtsma, Associate Professor Emeritus of Economics
Letter to the Editor of the Sackville Tribune Post
Letter to the Editor of the Sackville Tribune Post, 16 March 2011

The Memorial Library is featured in Heritage, the magazine of the Heritage Canada Foundation
Endangered Places, (PDF) March 2011
Hardcopies of the magazine may be purchased by contacting the Heritage Canada Foundation at

Letters by Donald A. Cameron, Alumnus (BSc 1950, LLD 1989 Mount Allison), Registrar Emeritus, long-time Secretary to the Board of Regents, former Regent, one-time Honorary President of the Federated Alumni
Are Mt A students being duped?, November 2, 2011
Letter to President, Regents, and Alumni, 15 May 2011
Remembering Vimy, 18 April 2011
Letter to the Mayor & Town Council, and Sackville Tribune Post, 8 March 2011
Letter to The Argosy, 8 March 2011
Comments on the petition to save the Memorial Library, 8 March 2011
Letter to the Board of Regents, with foreword to alumni and the public, 27 January 2011

Letter by Donald Alward, Coordinator, Museums of South Eastern New Brunswick

Letter to the President & Regents, 14 March 2011

Letter by W. Eugene Goodrich, President of the Westmorland Historical Society

Letter to the Chancellor, Regents, and Alumni Board, 8 March 2011

Letter by Gerald Hannah, Professor of Engineering Emeritus

Older generation often decides what is saved for future, Letter to Sackville Tribune-Post, 1 June 2011

Letter by Eugenia Coates

Save the Memorial Library at Mount Allison University, United Church Observer, June 2011

Letter by J. Alexander Burnett

Letter to the Chancellor, President, Regents, and Alumni Board, 4 March 2011

Letter by Ken McReynolds
, Cert. Eng., B. Arch., M. Arch., & Life President of the Class of '61
Letter to President and Chair of the Board of Regents, 3 March 2011

Letter by Mark Hiltz
, class of ‘78, past Alumni Board member, Gold A winner, and past student representative on the Senate
Comments on Remembrance Day, 11 Nov 2011
Letter to President and Board of Regents, 15 Feb 2011

Letter by Patricia McKinna (alumna, and General Manager Performing Arts of The Royal Conservatory - TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, Toronto)
Letter to Mount Allison Board of Regents, 1 Feb 2011

Letter by A.J. Diamond of Diamond and Schmitt Architects (Architects of the Mt.A Campus Master Plan)
Letter to the Argosy, September 30 2010

Letters by Jerry Hicks, Alumnus
Letter to the Mayor and Town Council, March 14, 2011

Letter to the Sackville Tribune Post
Letter to the Sackville Tribune Post, March 14, 2011
Letter to the Sackville Tribune Post - rebuttal
Letter to the Sackville Tribune Post

Letters and documents from Bruce Coates
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, Murchie Rebuttal, 2 March 2011
Letter to the The Argosy - Mount Allison’s Forgotten War Dead, February 17, 2011
Letter to Telegraph Journal & other papers - Breaking Faith, 2 Feb 2011
Letter to the Sackville Mayor and Council, January 31, 2011
Letter to the Mount Allison Alumni Board, January 20, 2011
Letter to President Campbell, 21 December 2010
Mount Allison's Decision To Destroy Memorial Library Shortsighted, 15 November 2010
Letter to Alumni and President, November 13, 2010
Letter to Alumni, November 10, 2010
Original appeal for funds to build the Memorial Library

Letters by Robert Eaton (McGill Architecture, 1964):
Why is Mount Allison ripping out its heart?, October 19, 2011
An Open Letter re Sustainability and Architectural Heritage at Mount Allison, August 2011
Mount Allison’s Historic Alumni Memorial Library Is Architectural Heritage, July 13
Letter to the Times & Transcript, 30 May 2011
Right to Information request, 7 April 2011
Letter of resignation from the Sackville Heritage Board, 17 March 2011
Letter to the Moncton Times-Transcript, Standing on Guard, 28 Feb 2011
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, The Celebration of Andrew Randall Cobb, 16 February 2011
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, My Memorial Library, 9 February 2011
Letter to the Mayor and Council, 3 February 2011
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, Due Diligence, 2 February 2011
Letter sent out to a few Alumni, Save the Mount Allison Memorial Library, January 2011
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post and Moncton Transcript, Why Mount Allison University should repurpose the Memorial Library, December 2010

Letter to Maclean’s, Mount Allison Must Do Better, December 2010
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, Year of Culture and Creativity, 17 Nov 2010
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, Lest We Forget, 10 November 2010
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, Good Stewards of our Heritage, 3 Nov 2010
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, Postscript, 13 October 2010
Letter to the Argosy, A Lesson in Sustainability, October 7 2010
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, The Irony of the Memorial Library, October 6 2010
Letter to the Sackville Tribune-Post, Riddle of the Memorial Library, 29 Sep 2010
Article in the Sackville Tribune Post in 2 parts, Andrew Randall Cobb and the Mount Allison Memorial Library, August 18 and September 1 2010

Letters by Ron Boorne, Professor Emeritus of Engineering:
The End of Fine and Dramatic Arts?, 17 November 2011
Letter to the Times-Transcript, 18 August 2011
Letter to Mount Allison Board of Regents, May 15 2011
Letter to the Argosy
, February 8 2011
Link to Letter in Daily Gleaner, February 3 2011
• Letter to the Mayor and Council of Sackville (Page 1, Page 2), Jan 31 2011
Letter to the Chairman of the Board of Regents, January 31 2011
Challenge to claims of structural fatigue, Jan 13, 2011
Administration's refusal to provide evidence of structural problems, Jan 3, 2011
Challenge to engineering arguments
, November 25 2010
Questions for President Campbell, November 5 2010
Tactical blunders by the Administration, October 21 2010

Letters by Graham Watt:
Does honour have an 'expiry date?', October 12 2011
Collective Loss of Integrity, August 2011
Letter to the Telegraph Journal, "A Tragic Stubborness", 10 June 2011
Facebook Letter, "73 Dead Kids", 10 June 2011
Letter to the Argosy, Jan 17, 2011
Letter to Dr. Heather B. Johnston, Jan 3, 2011
Letter to the Globe & Mail re: architect Jack Diamond advice to save the building, Jan 3, 2011
Letter to Argosy, Oct 25, 2010
Letter to Sackville Tribune Post on the preservation of heritage, July 4th, 2010
Some Questions For Alumni Board Members
A great university is an ongoing conversation
Memorial "Cover-Up" - plaques stuck behind coat rack
Alas - a poem

Letter by Reverend Ronald W Dempsey:
Letter in the Times and Transcript, 9 February

Baxter House and Sprague House, below, have been destroyed (~August 21, 2009). You might recall the Philosophy and Political Science departments being in Mount Allison Demolish Baxter House and Sprague House homes of the philosophy and political science departmentsthem. You can't tell from the map in The Record [since the map key was omitted], nor from the Facilities Master Plan map [which is too blurry to make out the dotted lines indicating planned demolition] but if you put the two together you see that Baxter and Sprague houses have had a date with the wrecking ball for some time, as the latest press release regarding the houses confirms. According to it, "These Craftsmen style houses no longer fill a function in the University’s facilities master plan". Supposedly, "the two lots will be used as green space, reducing Mount Allison’s environmental footprint." If it was truly concerned with the environment, it would, perhaps, have been more imaginative for the university to have used the two houses as test grounds for trials of various residential energy-saving and green technologies, with the participation of students, who would no doubt have been enthusiastic to give their time and energy to such a worthwhile project. Instead, they are couple of empty lots, a lot of wreckage in a landfill, and more press releases about green spaces and environmental footprints.

Video of the Destruction of Baxter House
A RESCUE! During the summer of 2007, McGregor House, a 150+ yr old house on York Street (which had signatures going back to the 1920s on one wall of Allisonians who'd stayed in the house), was purchased and moved by local resident Jim Throop, thus preventing it from being demolished by the university. Puzzlingly, the university then tried to simply sell off the empty lot where the house was, which makes the whole plan a little hard to understand. If the administration didn't want to use the land for something else, why order the house moved or demolished in the first place? Surely it would have been more profitable for the university to sell the house in situ?
McGregor House Sackville
Palmer Hall demolished by Mount Allision University - alumni take note
Doorframe stonework
from Palmer Hall

Palmer House demolished. See below for more photos of Palmer.

Palmer Hall demolished by Mount Allision University - alumni take note
Doorframe stonework
from Palmer Hall

Palmer Hall Mount A
Palmer Hall 1933-2003

Palmer Hall Mount Allison Reading the Mount Allison new residence plan, it appears that the building is being lost in order to satisfy the desire of new students for private bathrooms and single residence rooms:

"We are competing with other Canadian undergraduate universities for the top students. Mount Allison must be proactive in keeping its facilities upgraded or we risk losing students to other universities that may be better suited to their residential needs

I guess we just have to believe that's true, since it uses big made-up marketing buzz-words like "proactive". And we have to sacrifice everything to the marketplace, don't we?

Foundation stone of Palmer House
Cornerstone of Palmer Hall

Mount Allison Academy
Founded 1839
This stone was laid by
Mrs Josiah Wood
Niece of the founder
July 15, 1933
Mount Allison University Demolishes Hillcrest HouseRemember Hillcrest House, at the corner across from theMount Allison History / Math Deptartment ( Hillcrest House ) Physics building, which was home of the Mount Allison History Department (and later the Math and Computer Science Department)? Hillcrest House was built in 1880 and survived for 120 years until...well until Mount Allison demolished it. A pretty nice house really - lots of pleasant architectural detail, and obviously the product of an era when some care and craftsmanship went into houses. Now it's just a heap of kindling (and a parking lot).
Mount Allison University demolishes the French HouseHillcrest House being demolished by Mount Allison UniversityHow about the French House, or as the residents called it, La maison française ? No doubt many who took French at Mt.A have some recollection of the French House; it used to be right next to Hillcrest House actually, but now there's just a big empty lot. Adieu, la maison française! It was demolished in 1998.

Then there was Hess House at the end of Rectory Lane, next to the parking lotMount Allison University Tears Down Another House behind the Jennings meal hall. But one day, SMASH! and there was a mound of splinters where it used to be.Mount Allison University Tears Down Another House


Tell Mount A University alumini office if you support the preservation of these housesSo, when the Alumni office phones you up to ask for a Tell Mount Allison Alumni if you support the preservation of these housesdonation this year, why not ask them if Mount Allison is prepared to commit itself to preserving the community's architectural heritage instead of just bringing in the wreckers and smashing it up. Help preserve Sackville's and the university's heritage by encouraging Mount Allison to properly maintain these buildings so they can be passed on to another generation. If you liked your years on the Mount Allison campus, let someone in the Mount Allison administration know that you'd prefer that no more of the campus is bulldozed into the ground.


Mount Allison demolishes 2 heritage buildings (CBC)
Razing Palmer (Argosy)
Mourning Hillcrest House (Argosy)
Hillcrestfallen (Argosy)
Historic Sites Identification Project
Letters from Visitors

If you have any fond memories of Mt.A houses past, want to vent your outrage,
or even if you think we should just raze the whole town and start from scratch, send an e-mail to :

This site maintains an archive of documents, written by various parties, related to issues of campus preservation.
The opinions expressed in such documents are those of the authors of the documents, and are not necessarily endorsed by the maintainer of this site.