Tonight I just finished my second podcast with Mark Aaftink. He asked me lots of questions about one-room schoolhouses and the upcoming one room schoolhouse tour CFUW/Kanata will be hosting on May 29th in the Kanata area...more about that later. Mark plans to post this podcast on Thursday, so watch for the link by the end of the week.
Watson’s Mill in Manotick was the site of an interesting exchange of one-room stories by former teachers, students and me. In attendance were Coral Lindsay and her sister, Melanie Hayes. They both attended S.S. No. 1 North Gower and claimed they were the best school years of their lives! Coral’s story can be found on pages 139 & 140 of my book.
William Shauls from Kars, Ontario attended S.S. No. 4 North Gower and then S.S. No. 2 North Gower from 1960-1966. He said it was lots of fun with the interaction between the grades. Students all played together regardless of age.
Michael Doré is the owner of S.S. No. 1 Osgoode, also known as Davidson’s School, 1647 River Road in Manotick. He promised to send me pictures and information about this school so I can add it to my website.
Alison Whitlock & Pat Hopkins bought and renovated S.S. No. 4 Osgoode, 6631 Herbert’s Corners Road, Greely in 1994. After operating a floral nursery business in the former school, they sold the property in 2004. For further information about the school, look on page 34 of my book.
It was fun going down memory lane with other people in the audience too. Thanks go out to Cam Trueman for inviting me and sending out a well-written media release, and to John Cybanski (sound specialist for Orpheus Musical Theatre Society) for recording my lecture. It will be posted on-line soon.
While giving a book presentation at Chartwell Kanata Seniors’ Residence in Kanata, I met Rita Livingstone Joubarne. She went to S.S. No. 2 McClure in Maynooth, Ontario, about 35 miles north of Bancroft. Her mother taught at Pleasant Valley and Lake St. Peter schools close to Algonquin Park. Even though she was small in stature, she was able to put big bad Grade 8 boys in their place.
Alice Hughes, another resident, went to school in Grenville Township. She remembered a bear being killed at the back of the school. After planting seeds in the spring, she proudly showed off her produce at the local fair and earned a prize for her efforts. Her mother went to Normal School with Charlotte Whitten, the former mayor of Ottawa. Alice’s mother told her that Charlotte was rather abrupt and often contradicted the teachers, which didn’t happen very often in those days.
John Wilson attended the ‘Little Red Schoolhouse’ S.S. No. 3 March as a lad. His wife, Ethel Hill (Wilson) taught in many one-room schoolhouses including those in Oxford Station, Munster, Kinburn and Carp before ending her career at March Central and Crystal Beach Schools.
While Jeanne Sauvé was Governor General of Canada, she visited student teachers during cooking class at the Ottawa Normal School. Mrs. Sauvé asked Willard Davis’ cousin what she was making. “Apple sauce, You Excellency”, she replied.
As President of the Canadian Federation of University Women in Kanata (CFUW/Kanata), I attended the Ontario Council Standing Committee meeting in Toronto this weekend. I was delighted that Myra Willis (Ontario Council President) chose to read the poem I wrote, found at the beginning of my book, to open the session on education. She then introduced the two keynote speakers – Cynthia Westley-Esquimaux, Ph.D. Aboriginal Studies, University of Toronto and Shelia Burns, Past Chair FASD Ontario, Network of Expertise.
Cynthia explained to us that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_alcohol_syndrome is the leading cause of developmental delays in North America. Health Canada estimates that 9 in every 1,000 babies in Canada are born with FASD. They recommend that there is no safe time or safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant or planning to become pregnant (this includes both parents).
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder is 100% preventable but incurable. FASD first appeared in medical literature in 1968 when a French doctor, Paul Lemoine, published the first studies he had observed in children born to mothers described as alcoholics. FASD went largely unrecognized until 1973, when it was characterized as a ‘tragic disorder’ by Seattle physicians Jones and Smith.
Beverage alcohol is the only consumer product in Canada which is known to cause harm if misused that does not alert the consumer to that fact. Canadian distilleries currently place health warning labels on bottles destined for the US and other markets, but not in Canada. Sheila stated that health labels play a vital role in augmenting public awareness and education. She urged us to advocate for this as we can make a difference.
It is always a challenge for teachers to figure out why students have difficulty learning, and then plan programs to best meet their needs. Back in the days of one-room schoolhouses, teachers and families did not have the knowledge on how to deal with students with FASD, autism, dyslexia and other disorders that affect learning.
I was part of a Webinar with CreateSpace tonight firstname.lastname@example.org . The topic was "How to Sell More Books to Businesses". I think my book would be excellent as a marketing tool. In fact, Stonehaven Manor in Kanata bought 35 books from me for promotions. Contact me at email@example.com if you know of a business or organization that might be interested in this idea.
Tonight was my first time I was interviewed for a Podcast. Mark Aaftink, a long-time friend and ESL teacher, is starting up a Podcast featuring interviews with Ottawa area thinkers and innovators with a focus on education. He is also interested in environmental and social issues that affect people in the area. He hopes to release episodes on a weekly basis…stay tuned!
Vicki & Jack were dining with my parents, Howard and Marilyn Chamberlain, at the Stonehaven Apartments in Kanata. Upon verifying their daughter’s name, they informed them that they were delighted to receive my book as a Christmas present. They thought it was well written. I do think my book makes a good gift, especially for older people. The stories are generally one page and a quick read. So during a visit, friends can read them aloud if eyesight is an issue.
What a treat it was to hear photo journalist, Rod MacIvor, speak about his photos and his time as the personal photographer of the Trudeau family. The CFUW/Kanata History group arranged for him to speak at St. John’s Church today. I was honoured to be asked to give one of my books to him as a thank you gift. After he had given a delightful presentation, his wife, Marilyn started to look through my book. It turns out she used to teach at W. Erskine Johnston School in Kanata, as did I in the 1980s. We had both taught with a number of teachers, including Linda Preston, whose story is on page 7. Linda used one of Rod’s pictures on the cover of her latest book.
Marilyn emailed me later on to say she had another personal connection with the book. A picture of Ron Riley, a handyman for Marilyn and her first husband, Drew Shouldice, appears on page 26. He looked after their cottage on Bass Lake, near Lombardy, for about 25 years. Ron passed away last year from cancer, but he still has a warm spot in Marilyn’s heart. She was delighted to see his face, just the same, but a whole lot younger.
You never know what connection you can have by reading my book. Bruce Wright was surprised when he read the first story. He was fortunate to have had Mrs. Stearns for his teacher at City View Public School during her last year in the profession.
Imagine Bill Hart's and Ruth Hammill's surprise when they saw pictures of their relatives on my website! Bill's daughter, Susan Hart Partridge is the secretary at my school, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Barrhaven. When she showed her father and aunt my website, they saw a number of 'Hammills' in a 1920 picture at S.S. No. 4 Nepean in Bell's Corners. (Please note the correction in spelling. The correct spelling is Hammill, not Hamel.) After chatting to more relatives at St. Basil's Church the next Sunday after church, Rod Hammill was excited to get his hands on my book as his father, Leo Hammill, is in the picture on page 23.