Co-written with Pat Reddick.
Looking back fifty years, the world was a different place. In August 1964, the very first issue of Arthur was still more than two years away from rolling off the press and, as hard as it is to believe, there was only one Tim Horton’s store anywhere in Canada.
Here in Peterborough, the summer of ‘64 saw a city filled with excitement as a bright, exuberant, young Toronto academic and an internationally renowned, modernist architect were putting the finishing touches on the first phase of a new university. It was to become an institution that would forever change the social, intellectual, and built landscape of the community.
Trent University, of course, didn’t just transform the Peterborough community. The community changed it as well. Town and gown grew together over time and forged a relationship rife with all the casual bickering, existential crises, and grumblings of love that characterize any truly strong union. For thirty-seven years, from 1964-2001, Peter Robinson College was situated on the vanguard of this wonderful relationship, occupying the all-important middle-ground between two markedly different communities.
Arthur has always had a special relationship to Peter Robinson College as a student and community newspaper. The founding editors of this publication were College members and its very first front-page was devoted entirely to PRC affairs. Now, more than a decade since the official closure of PRC, Arthur is immensely proud to still be operating out of the old PR Master’s Office, amid all the architectural beauty and history of Sadleir House. This is why when we heard that there was to be a Peter Robinson College 50th reunion we wanted to be sure to find a unique way to contribute to the occasion.
This special PRC reunion issue is filled with volunteer submissions from College alumni and community members who wanted to share their memories of the PR and how their experiences here re-shaped and re-defined their lives. As you will discover in these pages, Peter Robinson College was, for some, a place of rebellion and radicalism. For others, it was a place adventure and new experiences. The common thread that binds all these stories, however, is that for everyone Peter Robinson College was viewed as home.
Over the course of a half century, many things have changed: Arthur now publishes more than twenty-five issues of community content a year and reaches a wider audience than ever thanks to the power of the Internet; and yes, there is still only one Tim Horton’s store … on every street corner in Canada.
What hasn’t changed in 50 years is the fact that it is the sharing of stories, memories, and experiences that constructs and maintains strong communities.
Although Peter Robinson may no longer officially exist as a college of Trent University, there is no denying its existence and in the stories we tell, in the memories we share, and in the hearts and minds of the numerous groups that that have fought long and hard to keep the PR spirit, with all its the rebellion, radicalism, adventure, and experience, alive within the Peterborough community.
To all the PR alumni, faculty members, affiliates, and honourary college members, welcome back! We hope you enjoy this day and all that it has to offer.
Feel free to drop by our offices and share your own stories with us.