Albion Interactive History / Events / 1939

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Events / Starr Commonwealth

1939, Visit of Canadians to Starr Commonwealth

Though Starr strove to bring a variety into his talks by using fresh cases and current social trends, in time he began to fear the threat of repetition in his message. The more Starr pondered his dilemma, the more convinced he became that his story needed new faces, new voices. In the meantime, hefollowed the familiar circuit of Father and Sun banquets, PTA programs, and Rotary Club luncheons. Then in early January 1939, he journeyed to Windsor, Canada, to speak before the Hi-12 Club. This was a prestigious group of civic leaders who were considering “a correctional school” for their community. In the course of his talk, Starr reported later, “I asked the men if there was one among them who had never stolen anything or told a lie. And they all admitted there wasn’t.”

Later that spring, at Starr’s invitation nearly two dozen delegates from the Hi-12 Club boarded the Wolverine at Detroitto visit the Commonwealth and see it in operation. Shortly after their arrival Uncle Floyd had called the boys together to meettheir guests. Introducing the Canadians to his boys, ‘UncleFloyd‘ recalled that Windsor incident and declared, ‘Well, here they are, boys, a pack of liars and thieves.'” “After that,” one of the club members commented later, “the boys looked on us as regular fellows.”

For their part, the campus visitors look upon the boys as young gentlemen. Instead of the rowdies or the rebels they half-expected to meet, here was a company of neatly attired, well-mannered youngsters who would grace an exclusive prep school.Obviously Floyd Starr was a worker of miracles from who there was much to learn. They would invite him back the the Hi-12 Club.

Source: Keith Fennimore. FaithMade Visible: The History of Floyd Starr and His School. Albion, Michigan:Starr Commonwealth. 1988.