The poor house on West Gore Street Stratford Historical Society
The poor house
A Midsummer Night's Dream by Lois Burdett
Lois Burdett, teacher extraordinaire
Lois Burdett made Shakespeare fun. Not for high school or university students; her charges were in grades 2 and 3 at Hamlet Public School at 315 West Gore St.
She literally rewrote Shakespeare in a series of books titled Shakespeare Can be Fun. Her style was rhyming couplets, to stir the performance juices in students as young as seven. Among her rewrites were Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
She and her students became fully engaged with Shakespeare and his life and times. They wrote letters and drew pictures of the characters and their situations. With some help, they created costumes and dramatized the actions of the story and even asked characters to go on dates.
Samples of the pages in Mrs. Burdett's books are below.
Illustrative pages from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Lois Burdett
A Midsummer Night's Dream for Kids, written in rhyming couplets, is suitable for staging as a class play, as well as for reading aloud. It's a voyage of discovery that brings the Bard to life!
Lois Maureen Burdett, received the Governor General's Award for Meritorious Service, Civil Division, in 1996.
Mrs. Burdett, a primary school teacher, has had a dramatic influence on the personal and educational development of children. This exceptional and dynamic educator brings to life the essence of Shakespeare by helping her students rewrite his plays and by transforming her classroom into an Elizabethan theatre. Since 1985, the students have also performed on the Stratford Festival stage, local television and at the University of Southwest Texas Children's Festival. Source: Mrs. Lois Burdett | The Governor General of Canada
Arthur H. Wright, home child and soldier
The book here was a Bible owned by Arthur Wright. It was presented to him by the British Foreign and Bible Society to as he boarded the ship Tunisian (see below) bound for Canada. He was a home child and, given the handwriting in his Bible, might well have spent time at the Annie Macpherson Home (see Avon Drive) in Stratford.
Wright was one of more than 100,000 Home children who were sent from Britain to Canada between 1869 and 1932 through assisted juvenile emigration. In 1936, according to Vernon's City Directory of Stratford for that year, the occupants of the house, which may have been a duplex, at 71 East Gore St. were Eldon Thompson and John Nicoll.
Staff at the Stratford Perth Museum found this book in their archives and on its inside cover discovered the Stratford address of his wife, Margaret. They were then able to find information to verify that Wright had enlisted in Staffa, Ont., to fight in the First World War. At age 18, he was killed in action at Passchendaele in Belgium on Oct. 26, 1917. He was with the 58th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment) and was buried in Poelcapelle British Cemetery, Langemark-Poelkapelle, West Flanders, Belgium.
Residence: 71 East Gore St.
The Tunisian – British home child ship
Built in Glasgow, the Allan Line’s Tunisian made her maiden voyage in 1900, travelling from Liverpool to Halifax and Portland, Maine. A month later, her first of many trips to Quebec, Montreal, Halifax and Portland began. Over a period of 21 years, she carried more than 2,000 British home children to destinations in Canada.