Granting and Unveiling of Turnbull School’s Coat of Arms
Address given by Founder, Mary Ann Turnbull, April 9, 2013 on the occasion of the granting and unveiling of the School’s Coat of Arms by the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, the official proclamation by the Chief Herald of Canada and the attendance of Her Excellency, Mrs. Sharon Johnston.
Your Excellencies, we are so pleased to have you with us today, and for granting us the opportunity, and honour, to have a unique Coat of Arms for the School. Your presence today makes it such a memorable occasion that will always have a special place in our School’s history.
I also want to express my appreciation to the Chief Herald, Dr. Boudreau, for your leadership with the creative team of Heralds who designed and painted this beautiful Coat of Arms.
It was a very rewarding and educational process, and I enjoyed working closely with the Assiniboine Herald, Mr. Kennedy. His attention to detail and thoughtful approach has resulted in an inspirational Coat of Arms. Thank you so much! The values and beliefs that we each hold as important in our lives guide our goals, our behaviour and our interactions with others. While the best way to demonstrate our values is certainly through action, it is also special to represent them in a visual way.
While there are many important things we value at Turnbull School, I learned that a Coat of Arms should be clear, uncluttered and well balanced. So I appreciate the Herald’s creative ability to provide symbols that have many layers of meaning!
On the screen you can see the overall school Coat of Arms, as well as the flag at the bottom left that we have been granted to fly, and a School badge with the bull’s face. The flag takes a few of the elements from the overall Coat of Arms.
So let’s now look at those elements in more detail.
First we have what are called the Supporters, who are:
- two friendly bulls, and refer to the school name, Turn-bull, as they are turned, to face the viewers, acting as guardians of the School.
- They are Scottish bulls because Scotland is the origin of my husband’s Turnbull family name.
- On each of their shoulders is a lamp of learning, one for the students and one for the staff, who both find a place to learn and grow here.
- As well as being the guardians of the School, the bulls have the responsibility to keep the light from these lamps burning continuously, because the light represents the values of the School that will always be part of who we are, and that will also extend beyond the School, through each of you.
The motto at the bottom, “A Place to Grow”:
- was created in our first year by a grade 7 student, Jason Hoffman, who also designed our School crest, which we use to this day.
- This motto applies to the students who grow here, of course physically, but also educationally, socially and personally.
- But the Motto also applies to the staff and the emphasis they, and the School, place on excellence, continual improvement, and professional and personal growth.
- Learning is seen as a lifelong process.
The Arms section, is the central portion:
- It includes part of my family’s history, since, like you, the values we learn start at a young age with our family, and the values that I brought to creating Turnbull School have origins in my family.
- But I was born with the last name “Evans”, so the section with the two boar heads and the lion, with the ermine tails in the background, are taken from a section of the Evans family coat of arms from my ancestors in Ireland and Wales.
- These animals represent the strength and courage needed to stand by your values.
The Crest, forming the top portion includes:
- the oak tree, as it represents learning and the sense of growth from small beginnings; but the burr oak, which is from the white oak species, was chosen because
- its root system is the strongest, deepest and widest spreading of all the oak trees
- These represent the deep rooted values of our School that guide us, and our belief that a solid foundation in life is essential for each child to thrive.
- And thrive the burr oak certainly does, living from 200 to 400 years, symbolizing our expectation for a long history as a School!
- The burr oak tree’s wide canopy of leaves spreads out to nurture and protect every child within our School, representing our belief as educators that every child has a right to come to school, free to be who they are, celebrated and cared for.
- And finally, I think the best part of the tree, is that the seeds of the burr oak are the sweetest of all the oak family, representing our students, as the sweetest of all children.
In addition, you can see that there are some other plants and seeds to represent nature, showing the importance our School community puts on taking care of the environment. But the particular choices have additional meanings:
- The maple seeds below the tree and on top of the coronet also represent young children in a Canadian context.
- The leeks and shamrocks down by our Motto are a symbol of Wales and Ireland, my ancestors’ homelands, but the Irish connection also represents where our new Director, Mr. Reid, was born.
And finally, I take you back to the Arms section, which contains the central and significant theme of who we are.
- with its rays igniting outwards, represents the talents, gifts and uniqueness of each child.
- Our duty, and joy, as educators is to ignite those special abilities of each child as they progress here educationally and personally, and they learn to make their positive and compassionate contribution to others near and far.
- The starburst conveys the idea of education as illumination and inspiration, starting at a young age, and that a child learns to be the star of one’s own life and, acting within the constellation of others, to bring joy to community.
- And that summarizes what our Coat of Arms represents!