J. V. Jacobson

Edmonton Journal

Faces of Ottawa

J. V. Jacobson


An educator with a highly specialized background, J. V. Jacobson also is an electronics expert. His home in Overbrook has a highly sophisticated inter­ communication system.

This writer interviewed Mr. Jacobson in his office in the Centennial Towers Building. He is chief of the education and professional services division of the department of Indian affairs and northern development. He has taught French and had had the distinction in 1963 of starting h e first full-time bilingual school in the civil service.


Joseph Vincent Jacobson was born in Lansing, Iowa, the son of Ole Jacobson, a jeweller, and Rose (Joyce) Jacobson. His mother was kin to writer James Joyce. He is of Irish-Norwegian stock. Mr. Jacobson was educated at the University of Alberta and the University of Syracuse. He was superintendent of education in the Northwest Territories 1951-60. He was the only super­intendent for this vast northern area and travelled thousands of miles by bush plane. He recalls having been a passenger in 18 forced landings. One vivid reminiscence is his piloting a plane an hour without any pre­vious experience. The pilot has stricken will illness and unable to continue his duties. Jacobson, never losing his cool, figured out the mechanics by trial and error.


Figure 1J. V. JACOBSON

A former cubmaster and scoutmaster, Mr Jacobson has been boy scout commissioner for Alberta. Later he was field commissioner for the N.W.T. He at one time was a brigade su­perintendent of the St. John Am­bulance Association and was ac­tive in chambers of commerce, b o a r d s of trade and little theatre groups  as well as the Red Cross, public library boards and home and school associ­ations.  Mr. Jacobson in 1960 met President Eisenhower at the White House when he attended a conference on children and youth in Washington.

In his present capacity, Mr. Jacobson develops, recommends and co-ordinates broad educa­tional policies. He also directs all administrative aspects of the educational program and acts as consultant on Indian and Es­kimo education.

Mr. Jacobson has specialist certificates in bookkeeping, typewriting, stenography, dra­matics, music, art, physical education and first aid (St. John Ambulance Association). In ad­dition he has an auditor's cer­tificate for Alberta.

Mr. Jacobson is a prolific writer who has contributed to encyclopedias. He is the author of Better Writing, a manual of business correspondence, Meet­ing the Public by Letter and Meeting the Public by Tele­phone.

Mrs. Jacobson is the former Natalie (Dolly) Rattai. She shares many of her husband's hobbies. They have been host to many foreign students. Mr. Ja­cobson was master of ceremo­nies at a number of Chinese weddings.

The Jacobsons have two chil­dren. Ronald is consulting engi­neer with the Bectal Corp. with headquarters in San Francisco and Wendy is the wife of Gary Tysowkis. The Tysowkis are both students at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.