Russian claims refuted

I am disturbed to note factual inaccuracies in an article claiming to describe the history of McGill's Russian and Slavic Studies Department ("In From the Cold," Fall'96). Among the many errors are:

1. the claim that the most famous graduate is Heidi Hollinger, BA'90, is ludicrous given the current position of political decision-maker, McGill law professor Julius Grey, BA'70, BCL'71, MA'73;

2. the claim that the most visible government links are with the discredited Zhirinovsky is equally incorrect. My late husband, John Greer Nicholson, founder of the department, met Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, who then held the senior position in Russian government.

Perhaps you would care to read the obituary of my late husband in The Times (London) , of June 3, 1995, to acquaint yourself with the facts of the history of the department.

Perhaps, if you did your research properly rather than relying on one "newish" professor in the department, your article might have been more accurate. It is hard enough to deal with the death of a beloved husband.

Monique Forthomme Nicholson
Cambridge, England

Editor's Note: The McGill News regrets not mentioning Mr. Nicholson but otherwise stands by all the facts in the article. The "newish" professor, Paul Austin, has been with the Russian department since 1968.

Get it Right!

I was most surprised when I read about Laurie Hardman, Beng'48 (Alumnotes, Summer'96). You wrote, "She worked in Smooth Rock Falls, St. Catharines and Thunder Bay, Ont. SHE still lives in Thunder Bay."

As one of two women engineering graduates in the class of 1948 (one electrical and one chemical), I would like to know how you discovered a third woman in the engineering class of '48 (a mechanical no less!). I am sure Laurie is also wondering how HE became SHE.

Seriously though, such an error only serves to emphasize McGill's lack of interest in the history of women in engineering. It would be a useful exercise to research the first five women in engineering.

Elinor R. (Watson) Linney, BEng (Elec)'48
Ottawa, Ont.

Editor's note: Please don't blame McGill for our error! Indeed, the Faculty of Engineering has stepped up its initiative to recruit women engineers through the committee, Promotion of Opportunities for Women in Engineering (POW) and the Faculty's Committee on Women, McGill has the highest percentage of women engineering students nationally ( 20%). Call Judy Pharo at 398-7256 for more information.

The Dawson Weekly

Belatedly I read the interesting article "McGill Daily Editors Resurrected" (Winter'96), which reminded me of a "competitor" at Dawson College of McGill (1945-1950). The Dawson Weekly, of which I was Editor-in-Chief in 1949-50, operated under a severe handicap: the French Canadian linotypist did not speak English, which led to proofreading difficulty. The Weekly reported largely on activities, of which many were required because there were 2,000 male students and only three females; and sports, since an unbelievable 93 percent of students participated in 18 intercollegiate and 21 intramural sports (with countless floor hockey teams). Like the Daily editors, I was occasionally called on the carpet by Vice-Principal Hatcher, for printing risqué stories (by the standards of the time).

Vincent M. Jolivet, BEng'52
Seattle, Wash.

Bourne's Birthday

Your article about the McGill Sports Hall of Fame (Fall'96) was very interesting as Dr. F. Munroe Bourne was our family doctor for many years. There was only one error, he died on July 11, 1992 not 1982.

I. Dorrance
Montreal, Que.

Editor's note: Munroe Bourne was inducted into the McGill Sports Hall of Fame at a luncheon held by the Martlet Foundation, September 1996. His widow, Margaret, attended as did his sons, Robert, Richard and Andrew.

Richard Bourne, BSc'69, Dr. Richard Tomlinson, PhD'48, Mrs. Margaret Bourne and Dr. Robert Bourne, BSc'67, MD'72, at the Hall of Fame Awards, September 19, 1996

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