Baron Byng High School
Baron Byng High School was an English-language public high school on Saint Urbain Street in Montreal, Quebec, opened by Governor General of Canada Baron Byng de Vimy in 1921. The school was attended largely by working-class Jewish Montrealers from its establishment until the 1960s. Baron Byng High School's alumni include many accomplished academics, artists, businesspeople and politicians.
|Baron Byng High School|
Baron Byng High School
4251 St. Urbain Street
|Motto||Latin: Constants et fidelis|
|Closed||22 June 1980|
|School board||Protestant School Board of Montreal|
|Color(s)||Orange, black and blue|
|Song||Echoes of Byng|
At the beginning of the 20th century, Quebec's confessional school system prohibited Jews from attending French-language Catholic schools, relegating them to Protestant schools. By 1916, Jews made up 44% of the total enrolment in Montreal's English-language Protestant schools. Jewish participation, however, was forbidden on school committees and at the Protestant School Board, and Jewish teachers were discriminated against in terms of employment opportunities. Throughout the period of mass Jewish migration to Montreal, the Board enforced a policy of segregation in its schools.:160
Built by the Protestant School Board in 1921, Baron Byng High School was named in honour of Julian Byng, Governor General of Canada from 1921 to 1926 and a distinguished World War I soldier. The school was designed by Montreal architect John Smith Archibald. The population of Baron Byng was consciously constructed to be Jewish by the Board, which sought to segregate Jews to avoid the dilution of English-Canadian culture and Protestant religious instruction taught in their public schools. From the 1920s through to the mid-1960s, the student population was largely Jewish, reaching 99 per cent by 1938, though the faculty and staff were resolutely English-Canadian.
Baron Byng's students went on strike in 1934 to protest the School Board's increase of school fees and reduction in teachers' salaries. In April 1945, Baron Byng held a commemorative service for the second anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, sponsored by the Canadian Jewish Congress; speakers included Baruch Zuckerman and Michael Garber.
Eventually, Quebec Education Laws prohibited the immigrant population from attending English schools. For lack of sufficient enrolment in the school's territory and rising costs, the Protestant School Board was forced to close the school in June 1980. After the school's closure, the Baron Byng building became home of the non-profit community organization Sun Youth. An extensive online museum was created in 2016 to honour the school's illustrious history.
- Len Birman (1932– ), actor
- Harry Blank (1925– ), Liberal MNA
- Myer Bloom (1928–2016), physicist
- Michael Fainstat (1923–2010), politician
- Morris Fish (1938– ), Supreme Court Justice
- Samuel Gesser (1930–2008), entertainment entrepreneur
- Alan Gold (1917–2005), Chief Justice of Quebec
- Phil Gold (1936– ), physician
- Yoine Goldstein (1934– ), senator
- Benjamin Greenberg (1933– ), Quebec Superior Court Justice
- Henry Gordon (1919–2009), journalist and magician
- Harold Greenberg (1930–1996), film producer
- Harry Gulkin (1927–2018), film and theatre producer
- Maxwell Kalman (1906–2009), architect
- A. M. Klein (1909–1972), poet
- Michael Laucke (1947– ), concert guitarist
- Irving Layton (1912–2006), poet
- Sylvia Lefkovitz (1924–1987), painter and sculptor
- David Lewis (1909–1981), Rhodes Scholar (1932), Leader of the New Democratic Party (1971–75)
- Marilyn Lightstone (1940– ), actress
- Frederick Lowy (1933– ), medical educator and President of Concordia University
- Rudolph Marcus (1923– ), chemist; Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1992)
- Herbert Marx (1932– ), Quebec Minister of Justice and Superior Court Justice
- Dorothy Morton (1924–2008), pianist and professor of music
- Louis Nirenberg (1925– ), mathematician; Abel Prize (2015)
- Alfred Pinsky (1921–1999), artist and art educator
- Jack Rabinovitch (1930-2017), founder of the Giller Prize
- Simon Reisman (1919–2008), Deputy Finance Minister
- Mordecai Richler (1931–2001), author
- Fred Rose (1907–1983), Communist MP
- Philip Seeman (1934– ), schizophrenia researcher
- William Shatner (1931– ), actor
- Reuben Ship (1917–1975), playwright and screenwriter
- Sydney Shulemson (1915–2007), World War II soldier
- Tobie Steinhouse (1925– ), painter and printmaker
- Lionel Tiger (1937– ), anthropologist
- Lorne Trottier (1945– ), businessman
- Gerry Weiner (1933– ), Minister of Immigration
- Eli Yablonovitch (1946– ), physicist
- Anne Savage (1896–1971), painter and art teacher
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