Quest in Roots:
Brookdale Manitoba History

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My home was at Justice, Manitoba. After graduating from Brandon Normal School in 1938, I was hired at Brookdale to teach grades one and two, and stayed for three years. I had my AT.C.M.

degree in piano so music was a priority for me in the school.

The first year at Christmas, we put on the cantata, "Just Call Me Jack," which involved the whole school. Beth (Brown) Fitzsimmons and I were pretty stiff after teaching the dances, and there was lots of work making costumes, learning songs etc., but everyone helped and our three-hour show went on.

I had a large class and remember lots of singing in my room - such songs as, "Who''s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?", "When You Wish Upon a Star", and others. We entered the Brandon and Neepawa music festivals and did well.

Mr. Doughty was my principal and of course dear Billy Borland was the janitor. The only time he was really fed up with our mess was the day that all the kids went home wearing Chinese paper mac he hats that we had made.

I remember the Young People''s Group, the wonderful dances with Al Brooker''s band from Neepawa, the curling, the hockey matches, but mostly all the friends that I made in Brookdale, many of whom I am in touch with still.

I married Mac Rogers from Carberry in 1941, and we have six children. Robert, who is married, is a concert pianist in Vancouver, and senior professor of piano at U.B.c. Jim, who is married, is an aeroengineer.

He and his partner own Flight Craft Co., in Kelowna. They fly, rent, service and buy planes, and have a staff of 80. They fly three freighters across Canada with bases at Halifax, Thunder Bay and other points. Jocelyn, who teaches, married an Australian teacher and has made her home in Australia since 1971. John is married and is a lawyer in Vancouver and a partner in his firm. Susan, who was a teacher, now sells ladies'' clothes in Banff.

Cindy is married and works for U.I.c. We have 10 grandchildren.

Two years ago, Mac and I drove over to Brookdale on a Sunday and were sitting on the church street reminiscing, when Mr. and Mrs.

North asked us in for coffee. Mrs. North had a key to the church, so I was able to go into the church.

Even though it seemed smaller than I remembered, I could still hear the choir singing - Mr. and Mrs.

AL. Curtis, Marg. Lawrie, Sis Chisholm, myself and others. Mr. McDonald was the minister, and Mrs. Dodds, the organist.

We have lived in Winnipeg, Fort Langley, Victoria and Kamloops. Mac has an allergy to ragweed so we had to leave the prairie and make our home in BiC. We have lived in Kamloops for 33 years. Mac was Welfare Administrator here for 21 years retiring in 1973. We bought an acreage in the country. Mac went back to his first love of horses for the next 10 years but we are now back in Kamloops.

I still teach piano. I guess ''once a teacher always a teacher''. It gives me great pleasure to teach others to play. I belong to the B.C. Registered Music Teachers'' Group, the Kamloops Branch.

Our family all enjoy music, all have travelled the world, and all love to come home. Mac and I are indeed fortunate to have them - healthy and happy.


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