"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tales from the Vault: diary offers glimpse into life of renowned OVC surgeon


GUELPH, Ontario February 24, 2014 - Ontario Veterinary College Bulletin
Throughout its long history, the OVC has been home to a number of distinguished faculty members who made a significant impact on science and the veterinary profession. Many of these individuals were pioneers in their fields.
One such individual was the owner of the diary shown here. W.J.R. Fowler graduated from the OVC in 1899. In 1902 he was hired to teach anatomy, beginning a career at the OVC that spanned more than 50 years. A globally recognized veterinary surgeon, he was the first Canadian to teach veterinary surgery and was well-known for his surgical demonstrations, particularly his ‘roaring’ operation on horses.
Journals and diaries are a rare glimpse into the personal and working lives of individuals and we are fortunate to have several of Fowler’s diaries in the C.A.V. Barker Museum of Canadian Veterinary History. The page here is from his 1922 diary and mentions the first lecture he gave to a group of fourth-year surgery students at the new OVC buildings in Guelph following its relocation from Toronto. 
Throughout this 1922 diary, Fowler chronicles his busy teaching schedule, packing up his home and family to move to Guelph, and the various service calls he made to farms and other facilities year. It gives us a rare and unique glimpse into a significant moment in the OVC’s history and what it must have been like for the college to transition from Toronto to its current home.
— Lisa Cox

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