Monday, August 1, 2011

Theodora A. Philpot

Entrepreneur, first headmistress of Rockliffe Prep School (later known as Elmwood)

Theodora Philpot was born to Scottish parents in 19th-century Burma.

Was married to a teacher at Ashbury College in Ottawa.

In 1915, established the Rockcliffe Preparatory School with four students, male and female, aged four to seven in the ohe old house at Elmwood Farm in Rockliffe.

The school set out originally to “prepare” young boys to attend a nearby boys' school at age 11. However, Elmwood also attracted the daughters of Ottawa's elite. Mrs. Philpot was the only teacher at first but soon hired a second to teach French.

The Rockcliffe Preparatory School changed its name to Elmwood and shifted its vocation from the “preparation” of young boys to the education of young women in 1923.

Retired to England in 1920, leaving Elmwood in the hands of Edith Buck for the next 31 years.

Donated a Bible Box, inscribed with the words “Pactum Serva” meaning “Keep the Faith” to the school, and it came with a plea to carry on the work she had started. (Janet Uren)

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