Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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PRIMARY 1930-35

I was leaving Clanwilliam in 1930 so scanned Winnipeg papers for a class of grades three and four. I found it and made my application which was accepted, but it was for grades one and two. I accepted and thus my error led to five very wonderful years in Brookdale as primary teacher.

Mr. and Mrs. Armor Taylor''s home became my home, where I was most comfortable in every way.

Grades one and two were a real challenge.

Those wee people had to have lessons presented in an interesting, colorful way to encourage them to learn. I had more to learn than my pupils did, but with hard work, a lot of perseverance and determination, I did become a primary teacher. I loved my work as the wee folk were really genuine and honest.

As time went on I became involved in church and community work so became a real member of the district. However, I took on too much which resulted in nerve trouble so I resigned in 1935. The school board graciously offered me from one to three years leave of absence if I would return. I refused with regrets.

Christmas concerts were planned and prepared by the entire staff with each one responsible for some items. Music Festivals were another highlight of each school year; but the June Field Day involving Brookdale, Wellwood and Carberry was really the event which took top honors. I taught the step dancing in all grades 1-12 inclusive which meant there were several entries from Brookdale School. Those entered were usually winners in the competition due to the interest, hard work and keen desire to do their best by the pupils. Sports and athletic items also took a prominent place by pupils of all ages. Brookdale always held the spotlight in a major share of all events - ball, marching, drills, P.T., dancing, track and field, etc.

This small community really demonstrated practical ways that it was a solid unit whenever necessary. One example was the severe winter blizzard when all pupils and van drivers were billeted in every village home, fed and made comfortable until the storm was over.

Curling, hockey, baseball, and other seasonal sports were enjoyed by young and old. Church life was important in the life of each person. Classes were held for all ages in pre-school and elementary grades, there was a very interested and active Bible class of young people ages 1621. Iwas privileged to be the teacher and found I had to do some hard work and very thorough research each week to be ready to even start to lead the discussions. It was most stimulating in every way. There were the usual church organizations all active in the work each was responsible for. One year no woman would accept the task of being president of the W.M.S. so Rev.

McKenzie dismissed the meeting for one hour before recalling the ladies. His words - "Ladies I had two hours cf hell now I want some officers." informing me I''d be minus my boarding place if I refused one. I became the treasurer and held that until I left in 1935.

Tragedy was averted at one Christmas concert when Principal McAllister, dashing downstairs, knocked a gasoline lantern off its hook. Caretaker Borland picked it up, flew upstairs and outside to hurl it far.

Staff members 1930-35 were: Principal McAllister, Merrille Brigden, Bernice Whitman, Dorothy Davidson, Marie Evans, Principal Kramer, Marjorie Graham.


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