Wider Horizons

The Andrews building, one of the busiest places on Lethbridge College’s campus, was named for theKate Andrews visionary southern Albertan woman who helped shape every level of education in the province – and knew an important thing or two about horses as well.

Catherine [Kate] Brodie was born in Lethbridge in 1895. Shortly after her high school graduation in 1912, she started teaching at a one-room school in Etzikom, a small hamlet more than 130 km to the southeast of the city she had called home. The story goes that on her first day, one of her students, a young man in his early 20s, wanted to see if he could frighten her. He rode his horse into the school and up to her desk. Kate grabbed the horse’s bridle and calmly led it back to the door. Once there, she quickly grabbed the student’s shirt while at the same time slapping the horse’s rump. The horse ran, the student fell, and she quickly got to work teaching.

Kate’s matter-of-fact approach would serve her well as she taught at schools in Warner, Stirling and Lethbridge. She quit teaching when she married William Andrews in 1921; they moved to McNally in 1924 and went on to have three daughters, Nora, Dorothy and Barbara.

Kate Andrews remained active in education and worked at the school board for decades. She also was active in the founding of Lethbridge College, working on the planning committee starting in 1949 and being named the first chair of the Lethbridge Junior College Board when the doors opened in 1957. She oversaw early growth of the institution and always made sure college leaders considered both the city and the rural communities in their plans.

In 1960, Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale was named for her; in January 1967, the Andrews building on the campus of what was then called Lethbridge Junior College was also named for her. Kate Andrews did not live to see this last honour, however. She died on Jan. 9 1967 at the age of 71. Her legacy lives on in both schools and in the work she did for education in the province of Alberta.

Wider Horizons
Story by Belinda Crowson, Galt Museum and Archives
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