Just months after a street in Scarborough, Ontario was named after him, a new school bearing Alvin Curling’s name will opened in January 2014. Curling who is a former Liberal Member of Parliament, Legislative Assembly of Ontario speaker, and Canadian envoy to the Dominican Republic, is deeply grateful for this latest public recognition.
The Jamaican born Curling says, “Education has always been important to me, so to have a school with my name is quite fulfilling,” said the ex-president of World Literacy Canada, who also served as Seneca College student services director for 14 years. Scarborough was very White and Anglo-Saxon when I came here in 1967 and to see how the face of this city has changed over the years is quite amazing. We have people who have come from all parts of the world and have made this their home. To have immigrants like me being recognized with our names attached to institutions that are going to be here long after I am gone is testimony to the lasting impact people who were not born here have made.”
Curling also vowed to be actively engaged in the school’s activities. “I will attend graduations, I will be there to read to the kids just as I did on Fridays in Scarborough-Agincourt when I was an MPP and I have already suggested to the principal the possibility of the school twinning with a school in the Caribbean so that students from both institutions can learn of the cultures and history other than food, drink and dance. I am going to also work to entice businesses in the area to have a close relationship with the school,” Curling said.
Curling joins Barbadian-born Harold Brathwaite as the only Canadians of Caribbean descent with schools in the Greater Toronto Area bearing their names. The Harold Brathwaite Secondary School was opened in Brampton, Ontario in 2003; Brathwaite was Canada’s first Black director of education.
Since retiring from politics, Curling has teamed up with former Ontario chief justice and attorney general, Roy McMurtry, to author a youth violence report. In 2013 he was appointed strategic adviser on youth opportunities to the province’s Minister of Children & Youth Services.
He has also used his extensive political knowledge to help Mary Anne Chambers, Margaret Best, Mitzie Hunter, and Diana Burke advance their political careers.
Curling entered politics in 1984, as a member of the provincial Liberal government between 1985 and 1990. He served as Minister of Housing and Minister of Skills Development with special responsibility for literacy, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and parliamentary assistant to Premier David Peterson. He resigned as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in August 2005 to serve as Canada’s Ambassador to the Dominican Republic from 2005 -2006.
Original article by Steve Mitchell – FB
Edited by Karl A. Haughton
Image credit: www.theafronews.ca