Belleville, Inspector of Schools for South Hastings and the City of
Belleville, was born twelve miles from Inverness, Scotland, in the year
1838. In 1846 he arrived in Belleville with his parents, William and
Susanna Johnstone. When he had attained his eighth year he began to attend
the public schools of Belleville, and continued to do so for five years.
When he became old enough to be of service, he worked during the spring,
summer, and early autumn upon the farm with his father, and attended
school in the winter. So great were his industry and capacity that he was
able to keep up his year's work notwithstanding his summer absence. In the
sprint of 1857 he obtained from the county board a first-class
certificate, and on the 1st December of the same year, began to teach a
public school in the second concession of Sidney, being then in his
nineteenth year. He taught here for two and a half years, and then
proceeded to Toronto, where he entered the Normal School, under Thomas J.
Robertson, M.A., as head master, and Herbert Sangster, as second master,
obtaining at the close of the term a provincial certificate, second-class,
grade A. In 1861 he began to teach the very school at which he attended
while working upon the farm. In May of the same year he married Augusta
Rowe, of Sydney, and settled down to teaching and education as a life
work. In 1866 the trustees of his school permitted him to attend the
Normal institution; and during his absence his wife took charge of his
school. He now took a first-class provincial certificate, grade B; and in
June, 1871, obtained a grade A. He taught this school with so much
success, and in a manner so satisfactory to the public, that in April,
1871, the county council unanimously appointed him inspector of schools
for South Hastings. In 1874 he was likewise appointed inspector of schools
for Belleville. Inspector Johnstone is a member of the St. Andrew's
Presbyterian church, under the ministrations of the Rev. M. W. McLean,
M.A. He has likewise been president of the South Hastings Teachers'
Association since 1871. It is not overstating the case to say that Mr.
Johnstone is one of the most popular, and at the same time most efficient
school inspectors in the province of Ontario.
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