Memories of Miss B

Until she retired, Miss B used her "wall" - a rogues’ gallery of photos, notes and mementos – as a way to celebrate her boys and their achievements.

We have created this page - Memories of Miss B - in honour of Miss B’s wall, so that you can post your memories and stories in celebration of her impact on both UCC and its graduates.

Nigel, Seaton's, 1967

My memories of Miss B:

  • She was left-handed and only used an Osmiroid fountain pen, and had superb penmanship.
  • Would call boys "Mouse".
  • Always offered hot chocolate and cookies to all.
  • Moved at supersonic speed, much faster than students, and communicated at that speed, but would throttle back when something was important.
  • Loved her job and her life, and lived only to unselfishly help others.

Cal Watson, McHugh's, 1973

In the fall of '72, I burst the muscle sheath holding my left calf together while playing ball hockey. My doctor indicated surgery was required and I'd be off sports for a few months.

When Miss B was informed, this was unacceptable for 'her' co-captain of the track team. She rallied her Old Boys network of doctors and virtually commanded two busy surgeons to squeeze me in for a couple of medical opinions. Those doctors promptly concurred with the same surgery prognosis. That still wasn't good enough for Miss. B.

She then contacted Karl Elieff who was the Toronto Maple Leafs Trainer. Within a few days of the injury, I found myself in the bowels of Maple Leaf Gardens getting regular physiotherapy treatments with an injured Paul Henderson who had just scored that great goal for Team Canada. Within a few weeks, Karl had me good as new without surgery. When I tried to pay Karl, he said "I can't accept money for helping Miss B." I went on to a good season in track that simply wasn't possible without Miss B.

Miss B helped me numerous times in many different ways as she did for many others. My kids get her gargle when they have a sore throat so she's still helping me out. Behind that no nonsense exterior was a very special, dedicated woman with an enormous heart.

Herbert (Bud) Cooper, Wedd's, 1948

My memory of Miss B came when I was taken to meet her by my father, H.M. "Bud" Cooper. He wanted to show me his photo on her "wall" (top right 2nd row). At UCC, amongst other sports, Dad was a boxer (Killer Cooper) and therefore occupied a lot of Miss B's time in getting him fixed up. Dad was in very good hands.....

Thanks Miss B

Victor Spencer, Wedd's, 1943

We first arrived at the College in the same year as each other. We were sort of new boys together. We were both from the West. Miss B was such an important part in the life of every boarder. Boarders relied on her for her motherly council as well as their aches and pains. A common sight depending on the season was that red and black cape flying in the breeze with that white hat pinned on the top tending to a downed football player or on the ice for an injured hockey player.

I remember one time I was confined to the infirmary with a football injury. Doc McTavish had my leg suspended in a sling on a pulley. Barrow taught me how to knit and I managed two tea cozies while confined. Barrow picked up the odd missed stitch. Nothing was too much trouble for "her boys", as we boarders were referred to.

In a word, "Mrs. Chips" was, unforgettable.

Chris Cottier, Scadding's, 1970

As a student:
Despite being all of 5' 3" tall (1.6 m) and weighing only about 110 pounds (50 kg) dressed for winter, Barbara Barrow was such a commanding figure that most of us called her "Sir" until we were in the last term of our Grade 13 year and had already been offered a place at a decent university.

As a Reunion dinner guest at 200 Lonsdale Road circa 1980:
The Principal greeted one 'n all and thanked Miss B for attending. She got a long, loud standing ovation. An Old Boy from each of the five years stood up to deliver news of their fellows and read regrets from those absent. The men who had travelled the furthest were acknowledged for their devotion to the college. Polite applause followed each well prepared delivery. The Class who had graduated only five years earlier were not so well prepared. Eventually a young man stood up and fumbled through an adlib incoherent mess of words. Sensing his difficulty, one of the attendees shouted: "Hey buddy, why don't you introduce Miss B again!". He did. Another longer, louder standing ovation ensued for our former school nurse.

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