By Jack D. Cecillon
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Additional info for Prayers, Petitions, and Protests: The Catholic Church and the Ontario Schools Crisis in the Windsor Border Region, 1910-1928
19 Pasquale Fiorino’s doctoral work on the Bishop of London depicts Windsor’s bilingual schools struggle in a far different light. In his study, Fallon emerges as a flawed but charismatic visionary, whose opposition to bilingual schools was in fact perfectly consistent with the Vatican’s worldview for the future well-being of the church in a modernizing world. 20 Like Choquette, Fiorino recognizes Rome’s policy of anglicization and cultural assimilation for non-anglophone Catholics in Canada and the United States.
At times, however, divisions did appear within the leadership. Indeed, some nationalist leaders in Windsor even questioned the resistance to Regulation 17 for reasons that will be discussed later in this work. Those discussions surround ing resistance strategy tested the vitality of the movement and its need for cohesive leadership. Following in the spirit of historian Yves Roby, this study illustrates that the complex and divided nature of the Frenchspeaking communities of the Windsor border region posed unique problems for nationalist leaders hoping to devise a successful resistance strategy.
A conflict in the Windsor border region compelled Ryerson to address the issue. On 5 April 1851, Julien Parent of Sandwich and 16 French-speaking ratepayers petitioned the Essex County Board of Public Instruction, protesting against the employment of a unilingual Frenchman named Gigon as teacher at their common school. ”11 When the Essex Board of Examiners refused to grant the teacher a certificate of qualification, the Sandwich Board of Trustees, all of whom were also French-speaking, contested the decision by appealing to the Provincial Council of Public Instruction.