The new Kindergarten to Grade 12 school in Forest will be called Lambton Shores Community School.
Even though this was passed at the Lambton Kent District School Board at its Nov. 14 meeting, it did not come without an objection.
Trustee Roberta Northmore, who represents the four First Nations in the school
district, disagreed with the choice of the new school name. She honed in on the use of Lambton. John George Lambton, the first Earl of Durham, is the namesake of Lambton County. His last name of Lambton was chosen for this region in 1849, because there was already a Durham County.
“It is old colonial thinking,” said Northmore, also mentioning Lambton was known as Radical Jack during his lifetime, and asked do we want to be associated with someone like that.
According to the Lambton County Museums website, Lambton was born in London, England, where he followed in his father’s footsteps and was involved in politics. He was known as Radical Jack because he supported liberal causes and helped draft the Reform Bill of 1832, which resulting in changing the British electoral system and expanded the right to vote to more people.
Lambton was made governor general of British North America in 1838 and came to Canada to investigate the causes of the two rebellions that took place in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837-38. He quit before the end of 1838, but submitted a controversial report in January 1839, which recommended a framework for responsible government and the union of Upper and Lower Canada.
Lambton died in 1840, but Upper and Lower Canada were united into a single
Province of Canada in 1841. Responsible, local, self government was implemented in the colony in 1848. He has been criticized because of his desire to assimilate French Canadians into the English Canadian population.
Northmore went on to say the use of Lambton Shores has been a contentious issue in Port Franks and Grand Bend, when the municipality was formed and wanted to brand those communities under the name of Lambton Shores, while Port Franks and Grand Bend wanted to keep their distinct identity.
“All of the community is moving forward to become a new school community,” said Trustee Jane Bryce, chair of the ad hoc naming committee for the new school.
“It is not necessarily my first choice,” said Trustee Jack Fletcher, but he accepts this is what the community decided. Fletcher was the other trustee on the committee.
Bryce said the committee met three times, with 176 possible names submitted from the public. Names were even submitted during the Forest Fall Fair. The list was narrowed down to 30, then shortlisted to 12. A committee went to the
public again with a survey, before the choices were whittled down to two.
The committee than voted by ballot at its last meeting on Oct. 30, where Lambton Shores Community School was chosen. There were over 30 members on the naming committee, with representatives from seven of the area schools.
The $39.8 million Lambton Shores Community School will be built next to the
Shores Recreation Centre. The project will bring students from Aberarder Central School, Bosanquet Central School, Kinwood Central School and North Lambton Secondary School under one roof.
Construction is like to start in the spring of 2024, but it is not known when students will move into the building.