Volume 95, Issue 64

Friday, January 25, 2002
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'I want to go out with you'

Alum now Lieutenant-Governor

Sophs want to sleep with the froshies

Western's tabloid hell

Queen's deregulation proposal denied

Pottermania reaches classroom

Alum now Lieutenant-Governor

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

Having just arrived home in Ontario as the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor, it seems James Bartleman has kept his Western experience close to his heart through many years and countless countries.

Bartleman graduated from Western in 1963 with an honours history degree and spent over 35 years in the foreign service – including positions as ambassador to Cuba and Israel – before recently being named the Queen's representative to this province.

He grew up attending a four-room school in the small Muskoka community of Port Carling and said his time at university was an intellectual, psychological and cultural break with his past.

Bartleman fondly recalled history professors that were veterans from both world wars and noted their enthusiasm to impart a broad-based education on students.

"I spent many hours reading in the library on subjects that had nothing to do with the classes I was taking and I think I got a very broad education as a result, which I was able to take with me into the broader world," he said.

While at Western, Bartleman was a member of the social service club and visited patients at local mental institutions as part of the club's volunteer work.

"It was like going back to the days of Dickens – they would open the doors with huge keys and you could almost hear them creaking as the keys went in and the huge doors opening and then there'd be a corridor filled with lost people that had been locked up there.


"Those days are gone, but it really struck me how big a problem coping with mental health is," he said.

His memories are part of a more extensive concern for issues of mental health. This concern became personal when he was attacked by a disturbed individual while serving as high commissioner to South Africa.

Bartleman was traumatized and suffered depression as a result of the attack. "I can understand the agony that people who suffer from these illnesses must go through," he said.

As Lieutenant-Governor, Bartleman would like to work in the area of mental health.

Bartleman is the first Aboriginal to be appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. In his new position, he would like to work towards a further understanding between Aboriginal and white Ontarians.

"I consider myself to be Aboriginal Canadian, but I am proud of my white roots as well," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001