Annual Report 2007-2008


The James McGill Society had a very successful 2007/2008, with well attended presentations, on interesting topics by excellent speakers. Our hope is that the coming year’s range of topics dealing with McGill University’s life and history will prove equally interesting to the members and the general public. Comments and suggestions from the membership for future presentations are always appreciated.

The 2008/2009 program will cover a fascinating range of topics:

  • 142nd Meeting, Monday, October 6, 2008

    Dr. William Feindel on the 75th Anniversary of the Laying of the Montreal Neurological Institute’s cornerstone. (MNI).

  • 143rd Meeting, Monday, November 3, 2008

    Dr. Desmond Morton’s Presidential Address on the McGill COTC. (McGill Faculty Club).

  • 144th Meeting, February 2009

    Lilly Koltun on McGill’s Portrait Collection. (Redpath Hall). [Date to be announced].

  • 145th Meeting, Monday, March 16, 2009

    Professor Richard Brown on Donald Hebb and Psychology at McGill.

Last year, four speakers gave presentations on topics of great interest:

    • 138th Meeting, Monday, October 1, 2007

      Joe Schwarcz, “Eating: a Solution to the Confusion.” (Faculty Club).

    • 139th Meeting, Monday, November 19, 2007

      Ingrid Birker, “Redpath Museum: Renovated and Renewed, Tour & Talk.” (Redpath Museum).

    • 140th Meeting, Tuesday, February 12, 2008

      Richard Pound, “Rocke Robertson: Surgeon and Shepherd of Change.” (Faculty Club).

    • 141st Meeting, Monday, March 31, 2008

      Annmarie Adams, “The Redpath Mansion Mystery.” (Redpath Museum).

The Executive Committee would like to express its thanks to the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History for co-sponsoring Professor Adams’s March 31st presentation. Thanks are also extended to the McGill 1821 Society and its members for supporting the Society’s activities, particularly Dr. Schwarcz’s October 1st presentation.

During 2008/2009, McGill will be celebrating the centenaries of Ernest Rutherford winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for research undertaken here, awarding of the first dental degrees, and opening of the second Macdonald Engineering Building. Also, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital celebrates its 75th anniversary.

The Executive Committee is continuing initiatives in bringing the Society to the attention of a broader community. Membership last year stood at 93. Members are encouraged to invite friends and colleagues to meetings, which are open to all. Please keep in mind the following web sites:

After several years of tight finances, the Society’s situation improved somewhat this year - although the cost of holding events at the McGill Faculty Club remains a concern. The Society’s budget is funded by membership fees, endowment income, and gifts from friends.

Two well-known members of the Society are celebrating their 90th birthdays this year: Dr. William Feindel, President 1997-1999, and Dr. Hans Möller, Honorary Life Member, 1999. I’m sure members join with me in congratulating them and expressing our appreciation for their major contribution to life at McGill. A long-standing member of the Society – Professor Emerita Effie C. Astbury - passed away this year. Our deepest condolences are extended to her family and friends.

As always, appreciation must be expressed to members and friends for the continuing success of the James McGill Society and its work on behalf of McGill’s historical heritage and memory. Our President, Professor Desmond Morton, has acted with his usual energy and decisiveness. The Executive Committee is unfailingly creative and supportive. Dr. Stanley Frost (Honorary President) and Susan Button (Treasurer and Membership Chair) continue their invaluable service to the Society. Particular appreciation is expressed to Principal Munroe-Blum in her role as the Society’s Patron.

With your support, we look forward to another interesting and successful year.

Respectfully submitted,

Peter F. McNally
Executive Secretary