Family oral history has:
Alfred Joseph Brooks going to the (French) Jesuit College at St. Boniface Manitoba to
(Editor's Note: As shall be seen later, this was partially correct, Fred was to study law at Grand Forks after his studies at St. Boniface.)
Alfred not "taking" to his law studies and dropping out before completing his studies
Alfred was also said to be quite active on the college hockey team.
There was also some discussion that younger brother Aimé also attended St. Boniface.
Le Collège de Saint-Boniface do have in their records that:
There is also a picture (see below) of Alfred on the school's hockey team for the 1908-1909 term.
However there was no law faculty associated with Le Collège de Saint-Boniface. Instead,
starting in 1914, the College gave
students the necessary prepatory education needed to enter the nearby, associated University of Manitoba Law School.
However in the senior year of the commercial course at St. Boniface, there is a second term course entitled Commercial Law.
Quotation from the yearbook: "Commercial Law – W.H. Anger"; 2nd term. Lectures on the most practical questions: Contracts, Notes, Endorsements, Mortgages, Deeds, Leases, Partnerships, Joint Stock Companies, Insolvent Debtors,etc."
This is the only refrence to anything to do with Law that can be found. At the end of the Commercial Course, they would receive a "diplôme de comtable" that is a diploma in accounting which would give the students Business competences. Perhaps this is the basis for the family oral history referencing law.......
Further, there is no record of Alfred Brooks graduating (and obtaining a degree) from Collège de Saint-Boniface however the College's archivist claims that this was not uncommon for students to directly go from Collège de Saint-Boniface to the University of Manitoba law program without getting a degree (a course of action that he himself followed)
There is no official record of Aimé Hubert Brooks ever attending Collège de Saint-Boniface
Very little information is available as a great deal of the College's records were destroyed in a fire in 1922.
The University of Manitoba Student records Office was contacted to see if Alfred did indeed attend Law
school in Manitoba to continue his schooling directly at Law School, however the Law School did not start at University of Manitoba
until 1914 and there is no record of Alfred enrolling at University of Manitoba.
The procedure prior to 1914 was that a student would article with an existing law firm for a 5 year period followed by some exams. The Law Society of Manitoba was contacted and no records could be found of Alfred Joeseph Brooks articling with known law firms of the time. The Henderson Directory, which essentially is and was a yearly census of everyone living in Winnipeg area at the time, does not have Alfred Brooks listed.
In the early 1900s, Le Collège de Saint-Boniface was a classical college as they were established in the province of Québec. The Jesuit Fathers administered many of these colleges and have been the administrators of Saint-Boniface College from 1885 to 1969. As of the 70s, the institution was known as Le Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface and presently is known as l’université de Saint-Boniface since September 1st of 2011. Le Collège de Saint-Boniface was one of the founding colleges that established the University of Manitoba in 1876 and has retained its affiliation with them ever since.
Saint-Boniface College did not offer a Law program, but Law was offered at the University of Manitoba to which the College was and is affliated. In order to go to a professionnal school such as Law, students had to take the Cours de grammaire (Grammar course). Alfred was in the Grammar course.
In the Classical course system, Éléments Latin was a level equivalent to Grade 8, as we know it, Grammar courses were catered to students wanting to become priests or go to a professionnal school such as law.
It normaly took 8 years to go through the Classical course that Alfred was attending. After the 8 years, the degree only granted by the Collège would have been a B.A. (Latin philosophy).
At that time, classes were held from Sept to June. In a typical school week, classes would have been held from Monday to Saturday, with Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons reserved for organised sports, music instruction, group outings or other more personnal activities like appointments, visits etc. There were formal class schedules from 8:50 to 4:10 but also formal study periods; 8 to 8:30, 11 to 12 noon, 4:30 to 6, and 7:30 to 9 or 10 in the evening depending on the level the student was at. Since this was a boarding schhool, students like Alfred would go home only for the Christmas period and the summer months. Local students at the boarding school would also get some long week-ends, and often brought students that were too far from home with them.
From the few remaining yearbook records that Le Collège de Saint-Boniface have from that period of time kindly supplied by the l’université de Saint-Boniface's acting archivist Marcel Boulet we see for the 1905-1906 school term:
It is interesting to note in the next panels that there were a few other students from North Dakota, other than Alfred, attending Le Collège for the 1905-1906 school term.
An image of the Study Room at Le Collège de Saint-Boniface appears below.
And for the 1906-1907 school term we see:
An image of the DORMITORY at Le Collège de Saint-Boniface appears below.
NOTE that the initials A.M.D.G. that appear at the top of all of the yearly St. Boniface College prospectus pages, was a Jesuit father motto standing for "Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam", latin for: "the greater glory of God".
In the 2nd year Alfred was enrolled in what was primarily called the "ÉLÉMENTS LATINS" course - as was one of the Martineau boys from St. John
And for the 1907-1908 school term we see:
And finally for the 1908-1909 school term where Afred was registered in the Cours de Grammaire we see:
Perhaps a "surprise" with the background family oral history that Alfred dropped out of St Boniface -- presumably because he was not doing well -- BUT, in his final year, he was awarded an MENTION HONORABLE for Bonne Conduite in the school's annual report. (Not the Gold, Silver or Bronze educational prizes but it would seem that he was not a trouble maker!)
As mentioned earlier Alfred did not graduate and left St. Boniface after the 1908-1909 school term. Despite his Honorable Mention in his last school year his course selections year to year appear to be somewhat non-focussed and it seem he was struggling and probaly came to the conclusion that school was not for him. Perhaps also coupled with life away from home, fellow-student friends from N.D. that seemed to last no more than one school year, no relatives around and living as a boarder which was not easy for any of the students, led Alfred to leave.
As indicated at the start of this section, St Boniface College has confirmed that Alfred Brooks played on the 1908-1909 ` school hockey team. The picture they provided (see below) is similar to the one already in Brooks family possesion -- although we are now able to identify Alfred and know his position ie. Rover.
One account has St. Boniface having both a Senior as well as a Junior Hockey Team. Alfred is thought to have played on the Senior Team. However, published inter-collegiate schedules has St. John only with a Junior team. There is some uncertainty here.
The mystery remains however, where did Alfred Brooks go in 1910. He was not registered at Le Collège de Saint-Boniface and he did not show up in the 1910 US Census with his family in St. John N.D. Was he "prospecting" for new opportunities in Manitoba and (LaFleche) Saskatchewan?
As a FOOTNOTE, there were at that time schooling alternatives to St. Boniface open to Alfred Brooks. For example, family friend
Laureat L. Martineau (b. July 12, 1883), son of Fortunat and Cedulie (Plante) Martineau, who was slightly older than Alfred, was educated
in the public schools of Rolette county and at
the University of North Dakota, in which he took up the study of law, winning the LL. B. degree upon graduation with the class of 1905. However
it is thought that Hubert wanted to ensure son Alfred's schooling in french and thus sent him off to boarding school at St. Boniface Manitoba.
As an aside, an Albert Martineau from St. John does appear in Alfred's class at St. Boniface for the 1906-1907 school term.
FRED BROOKS and LAW SCHOOL
So what to make of the family oral history that Fred Brooks attended Law School?
The ANSWER is found in a brief Sept. 22, 1910 Turtle Mountain Star newspaper item
Editor's Note: One of the Joe Brooks' sons, I believe it was Gerald, once told me that when Fred Brooks had left Bluesky for Ottawa, he'd left his law books with Joe Brooks. They were stored in the attic of Joe's house in Falher, and they were, at least in Gerald's recollection in mint condition -- i.e. largely unused. This speaks perhaps to the "Fred dropping out of law school" portion of the family history. Also recall that it was June 1911 that the Brooks departed from St. John for LaFleche SK. It is unclear as to whether or not Fred joined them immediately OR at a later date. Gerald thought that the books were "forgotten", or left behind in the attic when the family sold the house in Falher.
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The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.