ROBERT GAUTHIER,
EDUCATOR, SCHOOL INSPECTOR AND PRINCIPAL
 
Born in Cap-Chat, Quebec on 10 April 1902, he was the son of a doctor who was also a federal member of Parliament. After secondary school (classical studies), he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a Master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Ottawa. He also obtained a teacher’s certificate from the University of Toronto (1926) and a Bachelor’s degree in pedagogy from the University of Montréal (1940). His career as educator in Ontario spanned over 40 years. He started out as a teacher in 1926 and became a school inspector in Cochrane (1927) and in Windsor (1928-1937), before being appointed director of French-language instruction for the Ontario Ministry of Education (1937-1964). He established Le Concours provincial de français de l’Ontario (1938), French-language correspondence courses and kindergartens in Ontario. He founded L’Association des enseignants franco-ontariens (1939) and directed the education of the Dionne quintuplets (1941-1950). In 1949, the Ontario Ministry of Education appointed him to investigate the teaching of French and second languages in six European countries. In addition, he was sent to Burma on a pedagogical mission by UNESCO (1954) and, in 1959, he was the Canadian delegate to the International Conference on Public Education in Geneva. After he retired from the Ministry of Education in 1964, he taught French literature at the University of the Antilles – Trinidad and Barbados (1964-1966), and then ended his career as chief of the Inspection Service, Public Service Language Schools in 1966-1967. He served successively as president of L’Association canadienne des éducateurs de langue française, L’Alliance canadienne d’Ottawa and the Société des conférences (University of Ottawa), then as vice-president of L’Alliance française d’Ottawa and the English-speaking Union of the Commonwealth (Ottawa branch). He received an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy degree from Laval University in 1942 and the University of Montréal in 1958. A member of the Ordre du mérite scolaire franco-ontarien (very meritorious) in 1947, he was made an Officier d’Académie by the Republic of France in 1948. He was also an honorary life member of L’Association acadienne d’éducation (1950), an Officer of the Ordre “Honneur et mérite” of La Société du bon parler français (1952), a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1957), a member of the Order of Canada (1978) and a recipient of the Médaille de la Fidélité Française (1984). Robert Gauthier published Frou-Frou et Fin-Fin, (1939); Avec Frou-Frou et Fin-Fin (1941); Chez-nous (1949); Notre famille (1950), and Questions de langue, question de fierté (1993). He and his wife, Juliette Roy, had four children. He died in Ottawa on 25 March 2001 at the age of 98.