Aurora High School Teachers Photo Journey

Aurora High School Teachers Photo Journey

Aug 3, 2011
A while ago, (June 2011) I have published post (Aurora, A History In Pictures Collectible Book Arrived With A Surprise, An Old Photo) about a photograph that arrived in the mail inside the Aurora, A History In Pictures, a book by W. John McIntyre I have purchased on Amazon.

In a matter of few days of posting about the photo I was contacted by the descendant and grandson of J.H. Knowles, former Aurora Councillor Bob McRoberts.

Book and Photo, Miss Humphrys & Mr. Knowles, Oct 18, 1943

Also, by talking/writing to a couple of people prior the telephone call, instead of having one descendant per family, that is Knowles and Humphrys, I had leads for two Knowles in town. My life was getting complicated, but only for a day or so. I like to sleep on my decision no matter how urgent they are. And what will few days of thinking do to the photo that not many knew about and was lost for many years. My scanner wasn’t working properly, so that helped to get that extra ‘decision’ sleep and get the photo to the right person.

By listening to Bob McRoberts family history and doing some research in the old Aurora Era newspapers from 1940s, a decision was made. I delivered photo to Bob McRoberts. Delivering by mail was out of question. The photo was lost for many years, so this time wasn’t going to happen. Not to mention the Canada Post was going on or was on strike around that time.

We made a surprise delivery to Mr. McRoberts. During our chat for few minutes, he also showed us another picture of his grandfather J.H. Knowles. It was a picture from the army. I couldn’t believe how prefect the photo was. I really mean perfect. No scratches, no nicks and no fading, and it was also older photo than the one I delivered to him. Well, there is an excuse for that, the photo of the teachers was on the road for many years, and only protection it had was a book.

The results of my findings were published in The Auroran this week (Week of August 02, 2011 Volume 11 Number 40). I wrote Letter to the Editor, Journey of the lost photo from Aurora (pg 6, pdf file) and Bob McRoberts let The Auroran publish the photo (pg 4, pdf file). Few words were written under the photo for which I am very thankful. That was definitely a big surprise. That was also my first ever Letter to the Editor published in The Auroran, and it was very generous of Ron Wallace to let mention my blog.

To find the new place for the photo was a joint effort of few people in Aurora, including Bob McRoberts himself. I also had a nice chats with David Heard (A Step In Time), emails with Chris Watts (Temporary Sanity), and Michael Suddard (Michael’s Blog) hit the nail in the head with his comment here and confirmed my findings. Michael is now residing in Richmond Hill; however, he always calls Aurora his home.

Anna, It just hit me. The person you may have a photo of is J.H. Knowles the former Principal of Wells Street Public School. He had a house on Catherine Avenue (J.H. Knowles House) and is related to former Deputy Mayor Bob McRoberts somehow (grandfather?). House reference here:

Miss Humphrys may be a teacher at that time at Wells Street Public School at the time because of the context of the way the photos are referenced (Mr. Knowles & Miss Humphrys) as students would politly call them.
In the Aurora a History in Pictures there is a picture of Wells Street Public School with all the glee club in front with Mr. Knowles, the Principal, included.

Baldwin’s Restauarant has a small copy of the photo on their website near the bottom of this page: Baldwin’s Restaurant has a small copy of the photo near the bottom here:

That was a very interesting journey to be part of and I will always ask myself – why me?

About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.


  1. Glad I could help Anna!

    A big thanks and congratulations for returning the photo to it’s rightful place…in the hands of Bob McRoberts!

  2. Thanks Michael.