DELANEY, PATRICK, teacher; b. 1829 in County Armagh, Ireland; d. 18 Sept. 1874 at Montreal, Que.
We know nothing about Patrick Delaney’s life before 1857, the date at which he was appointed schoolmaster at the model school for boys [see Jean-Baptiste Meilleur], as well as assistant master and usher at the École Normale Jacques-Cartier, at Montreal. This French normal school was primarily intended to train teachers for the Roman Catholic population of the districts of Montreal, the Ottawa valley, and Saint-François, and of the town of Trois-Rivières and the part of the district of Trois-Rivières to the west of the town.
Since 1826 the organizers of the normal schools, conscious of the two ethnic groups in Lower Canada, had maintained as an essential part of the curriculum the teaching of the mother tongue and of the second language, English or French, as the case might be. To make clear the seriousness of such a decision, Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau*, the superintendent of public instruction, and Abbé Hospice-Anthelme Verreau*, the principal of the École Normale Jacques-Cartier, decided that “English literature, and elocution and declamation in that language, shall be entrusted to Mr. Delaney, who has studied in the national schools of Ireland.” It was considered desirable, therefore, that future teachers should know French, their native language, but also English, the second language, of which the French-speaking milieu of Montreal realized the full importance.
On 16 June 1857, at the time of the first prize-giving at the École Normale Jacques-Cartier, Delaney made a speech in English, stressing “the difficulties that had to be surmounted last spring to organize the school and, taking into account each one’s level of instruction, to place the young pupils of the model school, who came for the most part from the different schools of the town.”
In November 1860, the principal, Verreau, solemnized the marriage of Patrick Delaney and Mary Ann Kennedy at Montreal. From 1857 on, Delaney had been a member of the Association des Instituteurs for the École Normale Jacques-Cartier district. He does not seem to have attended the meetings of this association with much regularity, since his name is mentioned only twice in the minutes.
On 23 July 1867, Delaney was appointed English language secretary to the minister of public instruction and assistant editor of the Journal of Education, in place of James Julien Theodore Phelan, a lawyer, who had been called on to undertake other duties.
Delaney died seven years later, and was buried in the cemetery at Côte-des-Neiges.
AJM, Registre d’état civil. JIP, 1857–1874 (Procès-verbaux de l’Association des instituteurs de la circonscription de l’école normale Jacques-Cartier de Montréal); mars 1857, 31; juin 1857. Adélard Desrosiers, Les écoles normales primaires de la province de Québec et leurs œuvres complémentaires, 1857–1907 (Montréal, 1909).