When Carlington Community and Health Services (CCHS) holds its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, June 27th at 7:00 pm (at the Centre, 900 Merivale Road), a short history about T.P. Maxwell, the man after whom the Centre's building was named, will be part of the evening's program.
Thomas Paterson Maxwell (T.P. to his friends and associates) was a beloved member of the education community in Ottawa and in the Eastern Region of Ontario. He was a man who made his life happen in spite of very difficult early circumstances.
Orphaned at the age of 10 in Glasgow, Scotland, T.P. later came to Canada to work on a farm just north of Kingston as an indentured servant. After working for five years with no time for school, T.P. was given nothing when he left the farm in 1891 at age 18. He then went to school for the first time while working for another farmer.
Studying and working at the same time, T.P. passed his Sydenham Public School Leaving exams in 1892 and then qualified as a teacher in 1893. Continuing to combine teaching and his own education, he earned a B.A. from Queen's University in 1913. T.P. came to Ottawa in 1914 to teach at the School of Higher English and Applied Arts at Kent Street School.
Over the years, his colleagues had many positive things to say about T.P. Maxwell and his teaching. One of the school inspectors said, “Mr. Maxwell is one of the very best teachers I have ever met.” Another said, “His discipline is excellent and is secured not by force but by getting the sympathy, goodwill, and respect of his pupils and by his methods of presenting his work to them.”
After 26 years as an obviously successful and well-liked teacher, T.P. was appointed Inspector of Schools for Carleton County in 1921. In the following year, his name was given to the school on Merivale Road that now houses Carlington Community and Health Services.
T.P. Maxwell retired in 1945 after almost 50 years of service to the teaching profession. He was honoured at a special banquet at the Chateau Laurier with more than 200 of his fellow teachers and associates from the Ontario Department of Education.
One of T.P. Maxwell's favorite sayings was, “If you want a helping hand, look at the end of your arm!” When we look at the end of our CCHS arms, we find members of our community. At the Centre we strive to work with mutual respect, team work, and collaboration with these community members. With the help of these many diverse hands, anything can happen!