Larry described the challenges faced by Notre Dame students nearly 60 years ago as an opportunity to develop strong character. Working as a team and relying on your schoolmates were vital components of living in Wilcox. But according to Larry, this would help develop the three main characteristics of what he believes makes a Hound: Responsibility, Sharing and Initiative.
If asked, Larry Roine would proudly tell you he is originally from a lumber mill by Torch River north of Love, Saskatchewan. Although most recently living in Orleans, Ontario, the prairies will always have a fond place in his heart.
Larry attended Notre Dame for grade 12 and completed his Bachelor of Arts from the College - leaving in 1963. In his five years at Notre Dame, Larry was empowered to think for himself. Never once does he recall hearing Pere refer to his students as kids. Every student was given a chance "and what we did with it was up to us" says Larry.
Pere relied on his students to help run the College. Each student was given responsibilities and they were entrusted to see those projects through to completion. According to Larry, if you were not familiar with what was required of you, you would sure learn fast to avoid disappointing Pere or your fellow Hounds.
He recalls Pere's knack for discovering students' talents and helping develop their talents. Larry, for instance, played football, lacrosse and recreational hockey but was always more of a speaker than an athlete. He had a keen interest in public speaking; specifically debating. Pere, realizing Larry's potential, often sent Larry to various small towns and cities to speak and advocate on behalf of the School.
Although Larry can recall many memories, he reminisced over one memory in particular:
One evening Larry and a friend were gallivanting around Moose Jaw when they witnessed the ND cook stealing the school's meat. Not knowing what to do, they quickly informed Pere of the situation. Pere was reluctant to take immediate action despite Larry's insistence on firing the cook - Larry believed Pere's reluctance was due to the fact that the cook was a good friend of Pere's who often drove him to various speaking engagements around the prairies. To Larry's surprise, Pere gathered the students in Varsity to participate in a lively debate and vote to determine the cook's fate; Larry on one side of Varsity and Pere on the other - both men arguing their case of what should happen to the cook. After much consideration and debate, the students ultimately chose to release the cook of his duties. Pere agreed.
"It wasn't just him that influenced us but the whole ND experience including the need to work together and the need for mutual support which continues to this day."
Larry described the challenges faced by Notre Dame students nearly 60 years ago as an opportunity to develop strong character. Working as a team and relying on your schoolmates were vital components of living in Wilcox. But according to Larry, this would help develop the three main characteristics of what he believes makes a Hound:
- Responsibility - Every student played an important role in running the college; keeping them accountable for their actions.
- Sharing - Hounds shared everything from clothing to care packages. Larry can still remember the difference between your first day and last at Notre Dame. At first, you hid your care packages and tried to keep them to yourself. As time passed, you openly shared everything you received because you realized that "we were all in it together." The concept of sharing went beyond the shacks, or even the Hounds - often providing the nuns with gains after successful hunting excursions or volunteering to gather eggs from the Metz's farm. Sharing became second nature to Hounds.
- Initiative - Pere lived his life with a "make it work" attitude and passed this mentality on to his students. There may have been a lot of trial and error situations but Hounds would rise to the challenge and not disappoint their ND family. "There are a hundred reasons not to accept a challenge but there is only one reason to do it: because I will." - Larry.
Pere's passion for education ensured there was always a way for students to attend Notre Dame despite being able to afford tuition; often accepting payment in the form of chicken or cattle. If a student yearned for an education, Pere would find a way to make it happen. Although times have changed and poultry may no longer be accepted as payment, Larry was pleased to learn of the College's commitment to Pere's passion for education by providing such a high percentage of students with financial assistance.
Larry joked: "Pere was a great motivator and quite an inspirational speaker. I think if he was alive today, with astronomical speaker fees, Notre Dame would never have any cash problems."
Pere instilled a certain degree of empathy and humility to his students. After speaking with Larry, it was evident that the talents nurtured at Notre Dame were obvious factors to his success. Much too humble to boast about his accomplishments, fellow Hound and debate partner, Ezra NcWana'62 shared a remarkable story about one of Larry's professional achievements:
"...Larry came to the aid of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa in Ottawa. At a time when the governments of Britain and the U.S.A. chose to ignore the plight of the oppression of the Non-White people of South Africa and to minimize the struggle of the ANC for their freedom, the Canadian government under the Honourable Brian Mulroney, supported and trumpeted the cause of the ANC at the United Nations and abroad. Larry obtained financial support for the ANC's new office in Ottawa, and arranged for them to receive a bank loan credit so that they would be able to function effectively in Canada. This was done after only one meeting with the ANC representative. One year later, South Africa was a free country, and seven years thereafter, Prime Minister Jean Chretien favoured Mandela with an Honorary Canadian Citizenship, making it the first time in history the distinction had been given to a living person. Motivated by a sincere conviction to do what he felt was right, Larry had played a significant role in facilitating the work of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress in Ottawa."
After leaving Notre Dame, Larry ventured east-bound to pursue an education in law at Dalhousie University. Due to unforeseen car troubles, he found himself in Ottawa; attending Ottawa University and living with fellow Hound Jack Irving. In the fall of 1963, Larry would be set up on a blind date with Eleanor Robinson, the woman who would become his wife and the mother of his two children. Little did they know at the time but that blind date would lead to 51 years of marriage.
For the past five decades, Larry and Eleanor have tackled all life’s challenges together - including Larry’s battle with pancreatic cancer. Until the day that he lost this courageous battle, Larry continued to live his life with what can only be described as unbridled happiness, optimism and an obvious love of life. He will be remembered as a great man and a great Hound.