Remembrance Day and Ryerson University

Ryerson University Archives & Special Collections honours Remembrance Day with these few photographic images from our collections.

Remembrance Day

In 1948, three years after the end of World War II, Ryerson was created as the Ryerson Institute of Technology. During this post war period, memories of the conflict were still vivid for many students and staff members, and Remembrance Day therefore held a marked significance for the community.  The observations included a march past of veterans and a service held in front of Ryerson Hall and officiated by Principal Howard Kerr, as seen in the photograph above. Today, what remains of Ryerson Hall is the façade and entry to the RAC (the “facade”).

During the war years, in both the U.S. and Canada, Kodak often incorporated typical scenes from the soldier’s life and the “home front”, to advertise the innovative products Kodak made as part of the war effort. The photographic images below are from Special Collections’ Kodak Canada collection.

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“Home folks – home things – are always uppermost in his mind. Natural, isn’t it, that he should want snapshots…that bring [home] to him as true as life!” Canadian Kodak Co., Limited, Toronto, Ontario.

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Canadian Kodak Co., Limited, Toronto, Ontario. The Monetary Times, January,1944

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U.S. Navy Photographs using Kodacolor Aero Reversal Films. The Monetary Times, August, 1944

Visit Ryerson University Archives on the 3rd floor of the Library and
Special Collections on the 4th floor.

Feature from the Collections: Who is this man in the Archives?

Peter. It’s his name. An interesting fellow, don’t you think?

The Dream That Fagged Out” is Peter’s official title. The word fagged in historical usage means completely exhausted, and there certainly seems to be a weight on Peter’s shoulders. “The work is so successful in its depiction of human despair and misery that no one at Ryerson has been able to keep it for long.” [The Lectern, October 1975, Works of Art docfl.]

Peter, as he’s known, was given his nickname soon after arriving at Ryerson in 1967. He resided in the reception area of President Fred Jorgenson’s office, then in Kerr Hall South.

He was created by artist Julius Damasdy, (1937/38 –  ) in the late 1960s and was anonymously donated to Ryerson by a founding member of the Board of Governors, Franc Joubin, who acquired him from a show of the Ontario Society of Artists. Peter is part of the university’s art collection.

After two years of dismally greeting staff and visitors alike, Peter was moved to where he could cheer up the students. What better place than the Library (located, then, in the former Business Building, now the Victoria Building).

General feelings were:

  • “[I] couldn’t stand the sight of Peter staring at [me] every day.” – 1969, executive staff
  • “I can’t stand him staring at my face whenever I come out of the elevator.” – 1969 library staff

When the Library moved to its current location in the Library Building in 1974, Peter insisted he come along. His new home was in a semi-dark area (they tried to hide him) near the 2nd floor elevators.

Peter got a medical diagnosis in the mid 1970s by a some Ryerson nursing students which they posted on him stating, for example, he suffered from: Malnutrition, Scoliosis, Stove Pipe Legs, Middle Age Spread, Facial Paralysis, and other interesting ailments.

Finally, in an attempt at banishment, Peter was offered to the Archives in the mid 1970s. He was cheerfully accepted and has been in safekeeping since, still creeping-out Archives staff and a few researchers.

To meet Peter, read his other ailments, and decide if he has any creepy or otherwise ill effects on you, feel free to come to the Archives on the 3rd floor of the Library. He will be happy to see you!

The Ryerson University Archives
3rd floor of the Library
Monday to Friday – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You can also visit our new Archives & Special Collections website and online database.  Please note the both are still in development.  http://www.ryerson.ca/archives/.

Celebrating Eggy

Sixty years ago Ryerson’s men’s varsity teams were called the Ryerson Rams. Why the ram? One theory is the school’s namesake, Egerton Ryerson, was born on March 24, 1803 – the ram in the zodiac.  Aries the ram is described as an extrovert with energy, assertiveness, a competitive nature and while courageous, impulsive and stubborn.

We all know our beloved Eggy.  We see him at school events. Not so long ago, in the near-distant past of 1961, Eggy had a, shall we say, realistic look.  Four students from the Student Administrative Council, wanting to boost school morale, acquired a ram for a reported $25 from the Toronto Stockyards.  The little ram, decorated with Ryerson pendants and ribbons made his grand debut at a Varsity Arena hockey game with Waterloo University.  Ryerson subsequently won the game, the little ram became a hero, and the rest is history.

Eggy I‘s debut at hockey game with University of Waterloo, Varsity Arena / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Hockey, 1960/61

Then, as today, Eggy attended celebrations, sporting, and parade and picnic events.

Eggy I in his finery / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Eggy, 1960/61

Eggy I oversees the band at a football game / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Football, 1961/62

Eggy II attends Convocation, ca. 1962-1968 / Photographer: Roy Nichols, Cliipping file Eggy

Eggy III helping with 1970 Shinerama fund raising / Ryersonian, RG 95.6.24.45

There were a total of five real ram mascots between 1961 and 1991.  Eggy I lived on campus during the school year in a pen and shelter behind Oakham House (then called Kerr Hall) and spent the summer on a farm outside the city.  Eggy II did the same until the mid 1960s.  From that time, Eggy II through V lived on a farm year long and was transported to campus for events.

Living on campus, Eggy II with his caretaker “Poppa” Wycik and his companion dog Lucky / Toronto Telegram, 24 April 1964 / with permission from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC07139

Eggy II’s chariot / Ryersonian, February 22, 1963, Clipping file Eggy

Eggy III was known to be a little ornery, charging bales of hay, fence posts, his handler, and just about anything in front of him.

Eggy III, 1975 / Ryersonian, November 13, 1974

Eggy III reviewing frosh contestants / Photo: Brenda Lee Allan, Ryersonian, October 17, 1970, Clipping File Eggy

Eggy IV is reported to have been gentle and willing to pose for photos.

Eggy IV debuts on campus in luxury / Photo: Fred Lum, Eyeopener, February 4, 1982

Eggy IV had very curly horns / Ryersonian, September 11, 1987

Eggy V was the last live mascot.  He died in 1991.  The Human Society pressured universities using live animals as mascots to stop the practice due to cruelty.

While the real Eggy was still making appearances, Athletics and Recreation had a costumed Eggy from about the 1980s.  Possibly the first costumed Eggy – we’ll call him Costumed Eggy 1 – had a triangular nose and had developed floppy horns.

Eggy with his floppy horns gets his send off, as seen in this strange double image / Photographer: Bogdan Hoshowsky, Ryersonian, March 1, 1989

This variety of Eggy is a little frightful / Eyeopener, September 10, 1997

1989 – 1997 : An Eggy to be proud of – Costumed Eggy 2 – Note his
heart-shaped nose with hoofed hands and feet.

Eggy pumps hand weights in front of the RAC entrance, 1989 / RG 76.14.576

1997 – 2004 : Costumed Eggy 3 had an upward sweeping, sharp-
cornered nose with hoof hands and running shoes.

Eggy helps at the Community Barbecue with then Chancellor, John-Craig Eaton, 1999 / Forum, October 1999, RG 395.38.126

2004 – 2011 : Costumed Eggy 4 had a distinctive nose outlined in
grey/silver and flatter sitting horns.

At the basketball court / Photographer: Don McHoull, Eyeopener, February 11, 2004

2011 – present : Costumed Eggy 5 – This academic year started with
a new look – a trimmer, fitter Eggy with two faces:
his mean face and his party face.

He’s muscular and mean / Courtesy of Athletics and Sports, RAM 4879 (cropped)

Party-face Eggy shows off his dexterity by holding a cup of coffee. / Courtesy of Athletics & Recreation, RAM 4378-1

To learn more about Eggy and other Ryerson history facts, visit the Ryerson Archives, 3rd floor of the Library, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  And visit our new Archives and Special Collections website.
http://www.ryerson.ca/archives/