A Trip Down Memory Lane

On February 13, 2019, Mr. Manning Hobday visited The Martin H. Ainley Archives Centre to make some special donations pertaining to his family’s historical connection to our School.

Mr. Hobday’s father, Robert Hobday, attended St. John’s College School (SJCS) from 1938-1939 along with his brother, Leonard "Babe" Hobday, who was at the School from 1938-1941 and died in World War II in France on August 21, 1944. His photo can be found on the War Memorial that hangs in Hamber Dining Hall. Over the years, Manning and Robert (who passed away on September 3, 2014), have visited the Archives Centre on several occasions to make donations of photos and text pertaining to both Leonard "Babe" and SJCS. As with all donations made to the Archives Centre, these are invaluable mementos of our School’s history.

The donated records from the Hobday family begin in the 1920s and end with the Queen’s Coronation (June 2, 1953). The early years are photos from the Family Scrapbook, when Robert and Leonard "Babe" were small children. This scrapbook continues through their childhood and their time attending St. John's College School. Entries cover sports, theatrical productions, musical and cadet activities. There are also newspaper clippings outlining events and those SJCS students, including "Babe" who served (and perished) in World War Two. Two scrapbooks are devoted to sport and contain many SJCS students who played professionally. Textiles include the School emblem which would have been adhered to a School uniform.

This donation is a treasure as it contains records that will fill gaps in the St. John's College School Collection. The Archivist, Ms. Calla Grabish, notes that this is the fourth donation that the Hobday Family has made to the Centre over the years. In 2008, Manning's father, Robert, a graduate of St. John's College School (1939) donated photographs of his brother "Babe" along with those of his time at SJCS.

With thanks to Mr. Manning Hobday for taking the time to visit the Archives Centre, and thanks to Ms. Calla Grabish, School Archivist, for providing photos and material to accompany this story.

Photos: The Martin H. Ainley Archives Centre
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St. John’s-Ravenscourt School was founded in 1820 principally to serve the children of the Selkirk settlers. By 1834 there were forty students, evenly split between boys and girls. SJR has inevitably grown and changed over the years since, though its success throughout has been unimpeachable. We have graduated 18 Rhodes scholars, for example, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted patronage and established a scholarship in her name in 1981. Today the programs are as strong as our reputation. A strong academic program is paired with an equally strong attention to the values of stewardship, ethical leadership, and excellence in all areas of academic, social and athletic life.