Who Was George Hull?
George Hull worked as a teacher and as a principal for forty years in Etobicoke. He had the rare ability to bring out the best in those around him. Dr. Clive Chamberlain, founding Executive Director of the Centre, and Michael Syron, founding Chair of the Board of Directors, were both former pupils of George Hull.
When seeking a name for this new children’s mental health centre in 1985, Mr. Syron indicated that they wanted a person who was distinguished but not a headliner. George Hull was a man who worked quietly and effectively all his life with young people in schools and on Saturday mornings on basketball courts.
Clive Chamberlain found himself asked to leave class more than once to visit George Hull at the school office. Hull’s imaginative method of awarding detentions was simply to ask the student to decide how many detentions the misdemeanour warranted. “I probably gave myself far more detentions than he ever would.”
George Hull is remembered as a man who could correct undesirable behaviour and leave the youngster’s self-worth intact. On another occasion, he called Chamberlain to the office and said a television host wanted to interview a student about school life and asked if he would go. “You usually get the brains of the school or the person with high athletic achievements to do these things”, reflects Hull’s former student. “But what he was looking for was someone who needed it. I wouldn’t say that this was a turning point, but it made me feel like a significant part of the school after that.”
Terry Redvers recently wrote to say that “George Hull was my high school principal when I served a year as President of the School Council at North Albion Collegiate Institute. He was an exceptional man who truly cared for both his school and his students. Without my knowledge beforehand, Mr. Hull went out of his way to recommend me for a Teaching Fellowship for students who aspired to be a teacher. That fellowship was a $2,000 award that, back in 1969, was enough to pay for my tuition for four years at the University of Waterloo. To this day, I treasure him and all the great times I had as a student at NACI!”