South Park Community School was to become James Bay Community School housed in a facility adjacent to MacDonald Park What we were doing now came fully into public view and scrutiny. The magic started to die. The land and the Park belonged to the City Of Victoria and the school facility belonged to the School District. These entities needed to cooperate. The Provincial Government designated the enterprise as a Joint Project of the Health, Human Resources and Education Ministries. Then the shit really began to fly. Myriads of people filled with "satiable" self-interest flooded in to help; "themselves". Institutions rose around us. People fought for position. The flock was winning.
On the surface, James Bay Community School appeared to be a great success. 't wasn't so! The "Project" was slowly morphing into an institution like so many that exist today both private and public. They are: places to go to take courses; places to belong; places to pay homage; places to pose. They are self-perpetuating self-serving and self-congratulatory. Unfortunately, bullshit does baffle brains! Postman and Weingartner spoke of the need for a "Built in Foolproof Crap Detector" Today that need has been magnified a thousand fold.
In the Summer of 1973, I began pursuit of a doctorate at the University Of Oregon in Eugene. I had already established a "relationship" (affiliation) with the Northwest Community Education Development Centre at the U of O for them to support us at James Bay. The Centre Director was Larry Horyna who became a friend. The Centre was funded by the Mott Foundation. It was not a magnificent building. Instead it was a small rundown house on Moss Street and Larry spent his life filing huge reports to many committees to justify the Centre's existence. The University hierarchy dispensed the budget even though the money was Charles Stewart Mott's. Soft (Grant) money was big at the U of O and several "schools" existed through private funding. These were the places that broke convention. I did course work within these. I was the only white student in the Disadvantaged Youth Program. I was partnered by an immaculately dressed black student from Los Angeles, Lionel "Gentry" Johnson who told everyone: "Dave isn't a white man. He's a Canadian." Also, I found a soulmate in John Warden. We constantly critized each other's thoughts and argued the toss. He wrote extensively and so did I. We both wrote Working Papers and were published. Then, we decided to co-author a book. We began but never finished. At the Centre I helped to prepare countless grant proposals with John. The search for money was constant. I was also on the road doing seminars etc. throughout the state and then throughout the country. There were 16 Mott Centre's lodged in Universities throughout America. I visited and did work with several of them.
The flexibility of my studies was covered by an Oxonian notion called "Reading in Conference" In Eugene, I lived with my family in a rented house and when I wasn't working we took our tent trailer on weekend excursions to the Coast and up into the Cascades. The idea that I was ruining my marriage by leaving my wife for long periods in a strange place without transportation never entered my mind. I was shocked In 1974 when she said she didn't want to go back to Eugene.
In September, back in Victoria, joint moneys for staff were negotiated between the city and school district to fund the "Community" aspect of the school. The district decreed that the Community School Coordinator had to be a professional teacher. Brian Tugwell, who'd laboured so hard with so much heart had to go. Many others of the "originals" were shoved unceremoniously aside. Brian Wile was Vice-Principal and He was now partnered by Janey Allan who had just finished her Masters at the Northwest Centre. She was a Canadian I had met at the Centre. She moved into the neighbourhood and began to develop a power base. She was politically astute. She outlasted Brian and I. She later married John Talbot (a member of the Consulting Team). She is renowned in Community Education in BC. However, she is most definitely not a 242 mile an hour seagull.
One glaring example of the growing malaise at james Bay had to do with the joint funding of the "Community School" In November, the city pulled its funding. The district followed and I lost a friend. Bob Beattie had come on board as Librarian and media guru for the Community School Library. Now, I was over staffed and ordered to preserve Janey Allan's position. In order to do this I had to give Bob a classroom assignment. I gave up part of my time to his classroom, By this arrangement, Bob could still be a part-time librarian. Still, he was not happy. To this day, I believe he has never forgiven me.