A Brief History of
James Moore Central High

by Elmer Davis in the 1985 School Daze Reunion programme

James Moore Regional High

James Moore Central High opened its doors for staff and students for the first time in September, 1960, under the name of United Church Regional High School. It was one of approximately one hundred Regional and Central High Schools built by the Smallwood Government in the 1950's and 1960's. [The building itself was designed by architect T.A. Lench, MRAIC in 1959 -- Ed.]

The school was officially opened on May 3, 1961 with the Hon. J.R. Smallwood as guest speaker. Present also on stage in the school's auditorium were the Minister of Education, Hon. G.A. Frecker; Mr. Charles Roberts, U.C. Superintendent of Education for the Province; Rev. L.A.D. Curtis, United Church Conference President; Rev. Dr. Isaac Davis, U.C. Minister of the Carbonear Charge; Deputy Mayor G.W. Janes, representing the Town of Carbonear; Lloyd Powell, Chairman of the Building Committee, and also representing the Builder and Contractor, Saunders, Howell & Co. Ltd.; James Moore, Chairman of the U.C. School Board; Eric Taylor, Member of the Building Committee; William Stevenson, representing the U.C. School Board, Harbour Grace; and Principal of the U.C. Regional High School, Hudson Davis.

There were seven teachers on the first staff in September 1960 - Principal, Hudson Davis; Vice-Principal, Wallace Bursey; Elmer Davis, Harvey Beck, Clayton Peach, Ernest Pike and Marguerite Green. Approximately 160 students in grades 9, 10 and 11 came from Carbonear, Harbour Grace and Freshwater - students being bussed from outlying areas. Several bursary students attended as well under the Government Bursary Program. There were at least ten different communities represented by students in the first year. The school was one of the first Regional High Schools in the area and in the 1960's it was the envy of teachers and students alike, far and wide.

Academic excellence and school spirit were of the highest standard. Throughout the 1960's a graduating student of U.C. Regional High almost always won the Electoral Scholarship for the Carbonear District. In the public exams in Grade 10 of 1963, as many as 10 students won Confederation Scholarships and on a per capita basis this was equal or better than any other school in the province.

In the first year of the High School, the hockey team won the High School Championship for the area.

In 1967, the U.C. Regional High was officially renamed James Moore Regional High to honor James Moore who retired from the local U.C. School Board in 1962 after 25 unbroken years of service, five years as chairman.

Beginning in September, 1966, the U.C. School Board under Chairman John Rorke, Jr., and the Anglican School Board under Chairman, Bruce Hookey, began a new and co-operative educational endeavour called Joint Service Schools. All Anglican and United Church students were shared between Elementary North, St. James, and James Moore Regional High. All Anglican and United Church students up to Grade 7 attended Elementary North; all Anglican and U.C. students in Grades 8 and 9 attended St. James (which became a Junior High that year); and all Anglican and U.C. students in Grades 10 and 11 went to James Moore Regional High. Hudson Davis, Supervising Principal, was on educational leave at M.U.N. that year and Harold French returned to Carbonear as Principal of James Moore Regional High. This was also the first year of James Moore's famous Annual Talent Shows which lasted for ten years to 1976.

In 1969, when integration of school boards began in the province, the local school boards in Carbonear disappeared, and all Protestant schools came under the administration of Avalon North Integrated School Board situated at Bay Roberts. There was and still is, some administrative authority at the local level vested in the Local School Board Committee appointed by Avalon North Integrated. Also in 1969, Hudson Davis, our Principal, left Carbonear to become District Superintendent of Terra Nova Integrated School Board at Gander.

In 1974, the administration of James Moore Regional High and St. James Junior High was further consolidated when St. James Junior High became part of James Moore High and administrated as a single unit called James Moore Central High with Grades 8 to 11 under Lewis Cole as Principal in the James Moore Building and Elmer Davis as Vice-Principal in the St. James Building.

Over its 25 years, James Moore Central High has had only four Principals - Hudson Davis (Supervising Principal) 1960-66 and 1967 to '69 (8 years); Harold French (Principal and Supervising Principal) 1966 to 1972 (6 years); Leonard Pike (Supervising Principal) 1972-73 (1 year); Lewis Cole (Principal and Supervising Principal) 1973 to 1985 (12 years). Elmer Davis has the distinction of being the only teacher on staff for the full 25 years - the first year as staff member and the last 24 years as Vice-Principal.

Over the 25 years, there have been about 60 different staff members at J.M.C.H. and well over 1000 students have graduated. Five former graduates of J.M.C.H. were on staff when it closed - William Butt from the first graduating class; others were Glen Murray, Arthur Reid, James Burke, and Jill Pottle.

On June 21, 1985, James Moore Central High became educational history when it closed its doors to students and staff for the last time. But Animus Vivit - The Spirit Lives On.

A History Timeline of United Church Schools in Carbonear
1908United Church College is built
1952Hudson Davis and Harold French become principal and vice principal at United Church College
(more info and great pictures at The Virtual Museum of Canada)
1956United Church College and Alfred Penney Memorial Hall renamed United Church Academy
September, 1960First classes start at United Church Regional High School
May 3, 1961United Church Regional High School official opening ceremony
October 16, 1964Alfred Penney Memorial Hall (elementary school) is destroyed by fire
1965Davis Elementary School opens its doors
January 23, 1966First official services held at Bethany United Church
September, 1966Joint Service Schools shares Anglican and United Church students among Carbonear schools
1967United Church Regional High is renamed to James Moore Regional High
1969Protestant schools come under administration of Avalon North Integrated School Board
1974St. James Junior High joins James Moore Regional High to become James Moore Central High
June 21, 1985James Moore Central High closes its doors
July 5-6, 1985JMCH School Daze 25th Anniversary Reunion is held
September, 1985Carbonear Integrated Collegiate opens its doors, taking in remaining JMCH undergraduates
July 29-August 1, 2005UCRH Class of 1965 40th Anniversary Reunion is held

JMCH Faculty and Staff, 1960-1985

Hudson Davis
Harold French
Leonard Pike
Lewis Cole

Wallace Bursey
Elmer Davis
James Mercer

Eugene Abbott
Ross Adey
Kevin Ash
William Babb
Harvey Beck
Gerald Bowering
James Burke
Harold Butt
William Butt
Raymond Case
Ross Coffin
David Cooper
Clyde Crummey
Allan Cole
Brandon Davis
Desiree Dichmont
Donald Drover
John Eggby
Ian Feltham
Cynthia Follett
Ruth Francis
Fred French
James Green
Marguerite Green
Herman Greening
Harold Hancock
Peter Hanson
George Harris
Patricia Holmes
Trudi Holmes
Edwina Howell
Willis Jacobs
William Kennedy
Audrey Kirby
John Leamon
Charles McNeill
James Mercer
Glen Murray
Fred Noel
Leslie Nurse
Carl Oates
Barry Peach
Clayton Peach
Milton Peach
Clifford Penney
Debbie Phillips
Ernest Pike
Sandra Pike
Theodore Pike
Calvin Pilgrim
Winnifred Pilgrim
Dominador Pinilli
Jill Pottle
Ernst Prystawik
Arthur Reid
Fraser Russell
William (Art) Sharpe
Patricia Smith
Edward Somerton
Lorne Squires
Anthony Stephenson
Paul Stevenson
Irving Wareham
Brian Wilbur
Leslie Yetman
(Former UCRH/JMRH/JMCH graduates are shown in bold.)

Support Staff
Clara Wareham (School Secretary)
Charles Burden (Caretaker)
Donald Lewis (Caretaker)
Edison Penney (Caretaker)
Arthur Thomas (Caretaker)
Reuben Buckle (Caretaker)

United Church Board of Education, 1960-61
James Moore (Chairman)
Wallace Burden (Secretary-Treasurer)
George Stentaford (Past Secretary-Treasurer)
Rev. Dr. Isaac Davis
John Rorke, Jr.
George Murray
Eric Taylor
Calvin Powell
Llewellyn Lawrence
Joshua French
Fred Taylor
Ben Davis
Eric Clarke

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