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Title: Photograph - "Tommy Porter"
Identifier: 2005.4.55
Donor: Barbara Larson
Item Date: 1918
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A formal photographed portrait in black and white. The portrait depicts Tommy Porter, who at one time was the School Master of the University of Toronto School. Mr. Porter appears to be 50-60 years old. He is wearing a white winged collar, a university gown, and a hood over his shoulders. The portrait appears to have been removed from a mounting. There is a narrow band of adhesive residue and a fibre tear on the back of the top. The bottom right corner reads: 'JWL FORSTER'. Typewritten on the back reads: 'Tommy Porter, school master at UTS and taught me in 1918 - Geoff Sayers.' History: Geoffrey Sayers (1907-1997) attended University of Toronto Schools (UTS) and would stay with his aunts, Bessie (1835-1910) and Lucy Harris (1844-1925), who lived in Toronto on 71 St. George Street. The two sisters never married and received a series of inheritances that allowed them to move to the fashionable Toronto neighbourhood. UTS was established for exceptionably able students in 1910 at the corner of Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue. It became affiliated with University of Toronto. Originally founded to accommodate boys only, today it accepts girls into the private school. "The Twig" was the schools official magazine, which is still flourishing today. For information on the history of UTS, see: Asheesh Advani, "With Pardonable Pride: The University of Toronto Schools" (Unionville, Ont.: Addwin Publishing, 1991); Jack Batten, "UTS: 75 Years of Excellence" (Toronto: University of Toronto Schools, 1985). Items donated by Barbara Sayers Larson. Barbara Larson is the daughter of Annie Harris (1882-1986) and Beverly Sayers (1883-1976) and granddaughter of Arthur (1843-1932) and Mary (1859-1954) Harris. Barbara was born January 27, 1920 and was the youngest of three children. Barbara and her siblings, Geoffrey Sayers (1907-1997) and Dora Sayers Caro (1915-2004) donated Benares to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1968 after inheriting it from their aunt, Naomi Harris (1883-1968). Many of the items donated by Barbara originally belonged to her mother or Aunt Naomi and came from Benares. Barbara lived in a log cabin originally given to her mother by her grandparents at 1723 Birchwood Drive. She still maintains a close tie with Benares and is now living in Kelowna, British Columbia, with her daughter. Thomas, (Tommy) M. Porter was one of the original teaching masters at the University of Toronto Schools (UTS), serving from its founding in 1910 to 1932. As a bachelor, he lived his whole life for 'the boys of UTS' and was probably the most famous member of the staff in his day. For him, teaching was not a profession, but a way of life. In many tangible ways, he showed his interest in the school, such as through his generous scholarships, which are still awarded today, and his many gifts of equipment for athletics and music. One of his favourite maxims was "The boy is the father of the man", and he laboured diligently throughout his time at UTS to turn his boys into men.
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Related Links:
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)