Author Topic: My High School English Teacher Mr Scammell  (Read 2896 times)

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Offline W1RC

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My High School English Teacher Mr Scammell
« on: November 28, 2016, 06:19:56 AM »
I remember when I was in high school in Montreal in the early 1960s we had an English teacher named Mr. Scammell.  I have no idea why I suddenly happened to remember all this fifty five years later in the middle of the night but here are my recollections.

Arthur R. Scammell was from Newfoundland; a "Newfie".  For those of you who are not familiar with Canada, Newfoundland is a large island off the east coast and is Canada's newest province having joined Confederation in 1949.  Prior to that it was a British colony. 

Most of the folks who live there are of Irish descent and are a very unique people in the Canadian mosaic. 

Newfoundland is not a place of wealth and comfort.  Many "Newfies" earn their living from the sea as fishermen.  It's hard work and doesn't pay very much.  Traditionally many young Newfoundlanders leave the island heading for jobs in Ontario.  Thus there is a very large community in Toronto, probably as many "Newfies" there as in Newfoundland itself.

Mr Scammell was a good teacher and the students liked him a lot.  His classes were interesting.  One day he was teaching us a lesson about Newfoundland and happened to mention that he wrote a "little song" called Squid Jiggin' Grounds back in the late 1920/ when he was fifteen years old in high school.  One day he brought in the record and played it for us.  He also taught us the words,

I was thinking about high school some fifty years after I left and for some reason remembered Mr Scammell and his "little song". Just for fun I googled it and was surprised to find more than ten versions of it on YouTube, including the original recording made by Arthur Scammell over 70 years ago. For some reason it is in two parts.

Here it is for your listening enjoyment.

This is a lively multimedia version by Harry Hibbs with a collections of great photos...

Here is Stompin' Tom Connor's version, recorded live.

If you want more versions of Google Squid Jiggin' Grounds you will find them easily by searching on Google and YouTube.

I also found a great interview with my old teacher here.