Clarence C. Cook Memorial Scholarship

Clarence Cecil Cook (1894-1982)

When family, friends and colleagues of Clarence Cook decided to set up a scholarship to honour him, they soon realized that, due to the late teacher’s great popularity, they would have to revise their plans and establish two scholarships in his name.  Perhaps it wasn’t too surprising, considering all he had given to those who knew him.

Clarence was born on his parent’s farm in Streetsville, Ontario.  He was educated in Ontario, and attended the University of Toronto, where he received a B.Sc. and a B.Ed. A M.Sc. followed from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbour.  In 1925, he married Frances Mckellar, also a teacher, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  Clarence taught for five years at Moose Jaw Boys School, then at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, until it closed in 1942 for World War II.  He was then transferred to Royal Roads in Victoria with the rank of Commander during the war.  After the war, he remained on staff, becoming Director of Studies.  After retiring from Royal Roads at the age of 67, he taught evening classes in Physics for the Victoria School Board for two years, then moved to the University of Victoria to teach first year Physics.  It became well known that Clarence Cook stayed at least 20 minutes following each of his classes, and students of other professors would even drop by for his help—a fact that pleased everyone!

Clarence considered all of his students members of his extended family.  With this approach, he also reached out to staff, colleagues, and members of their families.  It was not unusual for Clarence and Frances and their daughter and son to receive hundreds of Christmas cards each year, with notes and pictures and letters from people who recognized that the Cooks really did care.

As well as being a great teacher and a good friend, Clarence enjoyed sports and gardening, and had a good sense of humour and fun.  He had great interest in his six grandchildren, and was very proud of them.  Although the scholarship at Royal Roads has been discontinued, a scholarship at the University of Victoria still exists, paying tribute to Clarence C. Cook.

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