Mr. Laltoo

A graduate and senior master for over 10 years Naps in the 1940's, Mr Ralph Laltoo contributed greatly to the classic academic milieu at the time, inspiring in his students a personal admiration and the love of English literature. Remembered by many for his white suits and crew-cut, he was Dean of Studies nd Dean of Residence for many years. He went on to be principal of Queen's Royal College, and then the first principal of NorthEastern College. Subsequently, he continued to teach High School English in Canada.

Mr Laltoo contributed inspiration and written material to this website, as well as summary video-clips in 1997, when there was little video available on websites anywhere.

Ralph's father was Rev. Henry Laltoo, one of the first local Presbyterian ministers; his mother was one of the earliest pupils of Rev. Morton's Iere Home for Girls. The family lived first at Diamond Village, where young Ralph would witness newly-arrived travel-worn Indian immigrants arriving on horse-drawn drays. Subsequently, they moved to nearby Penal. Ralph was an outstanding student at Napsrima in the 1930s — he stayed in the dormitory as a student and afterward as a residence master.

Dorm master (right) in 1945 At Mrs Walls' Red Cross Training Class, 1945

At Dalhousie in the early 1940s. Ralph obtained his Masters in English Literature. He was vice-president of King's College Literary Society, and his favourite literary quote, in the Dalhousie year-book, was: "O for a draught of vintage, full of the warm South".

Hr attributed his devotion to literature to early NC masters, as well as an Oxford-educated Dal professor who himself had studied under Oxbridge dons and essayists — an unbroken literary bridge to the NC traditions and scions of the 40s and 50s, such as Drs. McKenzie, Lee Wah, and Ramchand.

Mr. Laltoo wrote (and revised) his own obituary at right, a few days before his passing.

A strict disciplinarian, he is remembered at QRC as the master who stopped an earthquake by speaking firmly to it.

He was writing on the blackboard, and being thereby on his feet with limited reference vision, did not realize that a significant earth tremor had begun, until he heard the commotion behind him as boys made for the door. He turned, and roared:

"What is the matter with you boys? Who gave you permission to leave this room?"

"Sir, sir, the earthquake!!"

"Earthquake! There is no earthquake!" thundered Mr. Laltoo.

The earth ceased quaking at once. The boys returned to their seats and the class - and the legend - continued.

  • Tribute from 1949 student
  • Videos of Ralph Laltoo


    Ralph Clarence Laltoo

    Mr. Ralph Clarence Laltoo, B.A., M.A., B.Ped., 88, of 66 Briarwood Crescent, Centennial Place, Moncton, passed away on Thursday, August 26, 2004.

    Son of the late Rev. Henry and Ethel Laltoo of Trinidad, West Indies, he was the husband of Marjorie (nee Mulchansingh), father of Heather, Hayden and Hans, father-in-law of Ronald Ferguson, Sharon (nee Stevens), and Mary (nee MacBeath), grandfather of Gregory, Alexandra, Devin, Reanna, Andrea and Lindsay; and brother of Mrs. Nora Lochan of Guelph, Ontario, and Mrs. Margaret Jagessar of Kingston, Ontario.

    After completing his secondary education and teacher-training at Naparima institutions in Trinidad, he studied at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S. and received the B.A. degree with Distinction in 1941 and the M.A. in English in 1942. Proceeding to the University of Toronto, he received the Degree of Bachelor of Pedagogy in 1943. Back in Trinidad thereafter, he served as Dean of Studies and Head of the English Dept. at Naparima College for ten years, thence as English Master and later Principal of Queen's Royal College and also Founding Principal of Northeastern College.

    Upon his retirement from the teaching service in Trinidad, he returned to Nova Scotia where he taught English at the Regional High School in Shelburne for eleven years. He retired finally in 1981 and took up residence in Moncton. Mr. Laltoo was a member of the Mount Royal United Church and served on the Church Council for ten years. He was also a member of the Church Choir for fifteen years.

    Mr. Laltoo was also a 32 degree member of the Fraternity of Freemasons and in May 2003 was presented with his 50-year Certificate and Pin by the Grand lodge of New Brunswick. The Masonic bodies to which he belonged include the following: Acacia Lodge, Botsford Royal Arch Chapter, Ivanhoe Preceptory, Tantramar Council Royal & Select Masters, Monckton Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners, Northumbria Tabernacle, Eastern Canada Priory, Britton Chapter Rose Croix, the N.B. Sovereign Consistory and Luxor Temple.

    Visitation for the late Ralph Clarence Laltoo will take place on Sunday, August 29, at Fair Haven Funeral Home 1177 Salisbury Road Moncton, from 2pm to 4pm and from 7pm to 9pm. A Masonic service conducted by Acacia Lodge #49 will be held on Sunday, August 29 at 6:45 pm. Funeral Services will be held at Mount Royal United Church, Moncton, on Monday, August 30, at 2pm, immediately followed by a reception in the church hall.