Adventures in High Endeavour


63 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-919275-26-5





Reviewed by John Marston

John Marston was a federal civil servant in Ottawa.


This well-illustrated paperback by Thomas McElligott and the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific gives readers an excellent picture of the aims and student life of this extraordinary school, the brain-child of the late Lester B. Pearson, former Prime Minister of Canada.

Students come from over 50 countries to live and study together for two years at this school, which operates under the aegis of the United World Colleges. Young men and women are welcomed without regard to race, religion, or politics and come from all levels of society. Students, selected competitively by committee in their own countries, come to Pearson College on scholarships, funded by governments, corporations, foundations, and private donors.

The book also tells of Jack Matthews, director of the College, a man who can see the broad horizons and has the empathy needed to work with young people — ably assisted by his wife and a fine staff of teachers.

Fine photographs in colour and black and white, by Dudley Witney and Duncan Anderson, give the reader insights into “rap” sessions with the Director; casual get-togethers; marine biology classes afloat; sea search and rescue services; help for the elderly, handicapped, and underprivileged; and pottery making and art. These are just a few segments of life at the College, where it is hoped that students will develop a humane knowledge of the contemporary world.

As Mr. Pearson said, “How can there be peace without people understanding each other, and how can this be if they don’t know each other?”

One can learn a great deal from reading this book, and all of it worthwhile.


McElligott, Thomas J., “Adventures in High Endeavour,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 22, 2024,