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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
DR. GEORGE ORCHARD
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
Dr. George Orchard
George (Ted) was born in London, England on November 26, 1935. He received his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in History and Education at Oxford University, and completed his Doctorate in History at McGill University in Montreal. George came to the University of Lethbridge in 1967 and was one of the History Department’s founding members. He retired as in 1991 and continued teaching as Professor Emeritus until 1993. George passed away in 2015.
George reviews his early days at the University.
The full audio interview will be made available online in late 2017. For more information please contact the University of Lethbridge Archives. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(JT: Jim Tagg, Interviewer)
JT: How did you get out here?
GO: Well, McGill (University) was sort of approached. Either they wanted someone in … well I mean … here, they were pretty well building up a faculty from scratch. And, the Lethbridge people were sort of writing to everybody. So, I submitted my application.
JT: You were probably finished writing your dissertation, in Montreal?
JT: Ok, so did you come out for an interview here or not?
GO: No, I just had a phone call with Owen Holmes.
JT: What did you think about that phone call? I mean, what did you think about talking to Owen Holmes because he could be quite direct about things.
GO: Yes, well he seemed very friendly.
JT: Oh good.
GO: I kind of asked him about fringe benefits and stuff. (Note: He was hired on the spot)
JT: Did he give you the lecture about, ‘You had to do a lot of things out here, because we are just starting up and everybody is going to have to be involved’?
JT: I think he gave that to every one of us who came out here. So, this is in ’67? Or did you come before ’67?
JT: You came in ’66. In ’66, there is nobody in History here except Jim Cousins, I guess. Is that right?
JT: You and Jim began the department (History), I think.
GO: And Bob Sloan.
JT: Who taught American.
GO: Yes, and taught a lot of the European, as well.
JT: He had come in ’66 as well, or before that?
GO: I think before.
JT: Before, to the College, okay. The first year you were here, you had to teach all sorts of things.
JT: Do you remember what you taught?
GO: European History.
JT: You probably taught all the European …
GO: Bob and I did quite a lot.
JT: Was there a Medieval course then?
GO: No, I had to build that up.
JT: And you must have taught a Russian Survey at least …
JT: … and maybe a seminar in Russian. Those days were pretty nice. You could choose what you wanted to teach, in a way.
GO: Well, there was something nice about those early years.
JT: Yes. What did you like about the early years besides the flexibility?
GO: Well, I could pretty well write my own ticket.