Ron Wallace attended S.S. No. 6 Fitzroy in Mohr’s Corners and S.S. No. 11 Fitzroy in Kinburn. He remembered rubbing orange peels on his hands so that the strap would sting less. Lorna Scott Cavanagh also went to S.S. No. 6 Fitzroy in 1937 and two years later she continued at S.S. No. 4 Torbolton (p. 147-148).
Ruby Munro said her teacher, Marilyn Brackenbury, didn’t use the strap too often. She walked to the Billing Bridge one-room school by River Road from 1929-1937. She recalled the river overflowing one spring, and the kids were taken one at a time out of the school by boat.
Stan Headrick told me that his grandfather took the first log school of S.S. No. 8 McNab and moved it onto his property. Stan went to that school from 1934-1942 and I hope he will send me information about the school that I can post.
Joanna Sirois told us she taught grades 1-10 and was a principal in a two-room schoolhouse in Manitou Falls, south of Red Lake in northern Ontario. The previous teacher had had a nervous breakdown, but Joanna thought the kids were great and it was her best year in the classroom. Unfortunately, she was only there a year as the hydro project in the area ended and the village people disbanded.
Again I made several connections to people in my book. Tillie Smith Bastien was a student of Adele Muldoon (p. 53 & 54). Tillie was a very shy child, but Adele gave her so much confidence that she came in second at a regional public speaking contest. A former principal at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School where I now teach, Gerry Levesque, taught Tillie at St. Michael’s, Fitzroy. His wife, Anne taught her sister Helen McDonald. Tillie also attended S.S. No. 12 Fitzroy on Ferry Road (p. 14) and Don Armstrong was her teacher.
Education was a family affair for Margaret Steen Stevenson. She went to S.S. No. 2 Fitzroy in Antrim from 1941-1949. Her first teacher, Helen Wilson (p. 64-66) boarded at her home. Her father, Sedley Steen was the caretaker and trustee, and her mother, Evelyn Moreton, was the secretary. Sliding on the hill by the school in wintertime was a favourite pastime.
Frances Laughlin’s (p. 50) cousins, Harold Munro and Edna Munro Baird began their education with her at the Glen Ogilvy School (S.S. No. 19 Gloucester) in the 1930s and 1940s. Harold remembers eight grades with 19-20 children. Mr. T.P. Maxwell was the inspector for years. He used to stand quietly in the doorway listening, as no one knew he was there. The teacher was not good at administering the strap as it would bounce back and hit her on the wrist. So she used a ruler instead. The children then decided to leave their rulers at home until she said they couldn’t have Art, and so the rulers reappeared. She remembers that Clark boy had the job of putting the wood in the stove. One day it over fried, and smoked out the school. It was hot six pipes up! Harold went on to Ottawa Tech, but had to drop out of school six months later after his father died, and he had to look after the family farm at the tender age of fifteen.
Also in the audience was Mildred Marshall who went to Merivale Public School (S.S. No. 13 Nepean). She is the mother of my friend Shirley Monkhouse. Florence Johnston was her first teacher in 1931. Mildred recalls her being very strict, but good and “as pretty as a princess”. She was able to maintain law & order over the big boys. Her second teacher from 1932-1938 was Bertha Whyte. She used the strap to straighten out the boys. Mildred’s husband, Harold Marshall attended S.S. No. 1 Huntley.