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Published on May 25th, 2020

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Fifty Years Ago at SAC

By: Virginia Martin  

In 1970, The Canadian Speech and Hearing Association, the founding name of SAC, was six years old and there had been significant progress. Membership had gone from the original 12 in 1964 to 149 in 1965 when the first Directory was published. In 1970 membership had dropped to less than one hundred.    

There were also provincial associations in Quebec (1955), British Columbia (1957), Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario (1956), Alberta (1964) and the Atlantic Provinces Speech and Hearing Association, a regional association (1963).   

There were three Canadian educational programs for the professions at the University of Montreal (1956), The University of Toronto (1958) and McGill University (1963).      Before 1956 all the professionals working in speech and hearing in Canada had received their professional education in other countries. Some, like Isabel Richard, had gone to the United States for a graduate degree. Others, like Ruth Lewis, had gone to England to earn a Licentiate from the British College of Speech Therapists. Many were recruited from other countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, The Netherlands and South Africa.   

As of 1970, there were not yet any graduates from the University of Alberta or the University of British Columbia. The educational programs in both provinces started in 1969. 

Membership dues were raised from one dollar to five dollars in 1970. CSHA had published one directory in 1965. Although the first four presidents each sent out a “President’s Newsletter” at least once a year to communicate with members, the first periodical CSHA published was Human Communication in 1973. 

The president in 1970 was J. Brayton Person from Manitoba and the vice president was Gordon Zard from Alberta. The secretary was Germain Huot from Quebec and the treasurer was Elizabeth McGill from Nova Scotia. Only two provinces had legislation regulating the profession: Quebec and Manitoba. There was no national convention that year. The next one was in 1976 in Halifax. The executive committee met each year, typically in one of the executives’ hometowns and sometimes in conjunction with a provincial convention.     

In the twentieth anniversary issue of Human Communication Canada in 1984, messages from past presidents were invited and edited by the assistant editor, Mary Jane Cairns.  None were received from Gordon nor Brayton.  

Mary Cardozo, the president from 1968-1969, wrote: “I so well remember the fun our executive had when we met at each other’s homes as we did not have enough funding for a ‘site’ meeting… as I look back we accomplished a great deal with a minimal budget but a maximal love and dedication to the meaning and purpose of CSHA.”  




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