Lake School and Headmaster C.W. Lonsdale in particular, gained
world-wide publicity when Time published an article about
the school in the November 3, 1947 issue of its widely-circulated
and a Hickory Stick"
In his father's English parsonage and at strict Westminster
School, Christopher Windley Lonsdale a was brought up to re-spect
a hickory stick. He thinks it did him good. When he emigrated
to western Canada as a young man, he was appalled at the way
sassy schoolboys talked to their elders. Since western Canada
had no pri-vate schools to turn out little gentlemen, Lonsdale
started one. In the wooded wilderness of Vancouver Island,
B. C., Lonsdale began with six boys. Today Shawnigan Lake
School has 100 boys, and 27 masters. One-third of the pupils
come from The western U.S. They are easily distinguishable
when they return home by their habit of sirring adults and
by their preference for "rugger" and cricket. Shawnigan Lake's
spartan Tudor dormitories, school ties, daily chapel and iron
discipline are still modelled after the England Lons-dale
knew 35 years ago. When a new boy arrives at Shawnigan Lake
he is known as a "shadow" and is placed in the hands of an
older "substance". At first, the shadow can do no wrong and
his substance is punished in his place. But the shadow soon
learns to stand at rigid attention whenever he meets his headmaster,
and to make his bed without a wrinkle. To Christopher Lonsdale,
now a ruddy, gruff and silver-haired 61, the theories of most
modern pedagogues are so much "poppycock". " Keep 'em happy.
That's their motto, But dammit, there's no easy road to learning"
His masters, who sir him as the students do, conduct their
classes with Victorian formality, emphasize the Scriptures,
Greek and Latin. Boys who break minor rules are punished by
extra work. Those who commit more serious offenses get a caning
in the headmaster's office. Last week, with the Michaelmas
term at Shawnigan Lake under way, Christopher Lonsdale patted
his German Shepherd Judy and pointed a moral: 1f 1 had let
Judy run wild and do as she damn well pleased as a pup, she'd
be a vicious, savage beast today. You can't develop leaders
by letting them do as they damn please when they're boys.
If nothing else, we're training boys to be less obnoxious."