Reading about Queen Victoria School's planned "homecoming" for its alumni in June of next year, it took me back to my first day in attendance there.
Having started in Grade 1 at Alexandra School in the north ward and moving over to the east ward a few months later, I was one of those kids who missed their playmates and stood quietly in the corner of the school feeling sorry not having my chums with me. Like all youngsters though, I was not long in meeting new friends and was soon participating in many schoolyard activities.
When I entered QVPS the teaching staff consisted of the following: Grade I, Miss Olga McQuinney; Grade II, Miss Marion MacMillan; Grades III & IV, Miss Ethel Tompkins; Grade V; Miss Meta Thorn;(who, by the way, was the only teacher at the school with a car) Grades VI & VII, Miss Hazel Slugget and Grade VIII, Miss Maggie Fee. Mr. John Staples served in the capacity of principal of both east and north ward schools until the following year when he became principal of Central School and Mr. J. F. "Jimmy" Wood was hired to take over QVPS replacing the retiring Miss Fee. Mr. E. C. Dettman was appointed principal of north ward's Queen Alexandra Public School.
For many years after leaving school I used to keep in touch with Miss Marion MacMillan of whom I was very fond. I vividly recall standing at her desk while she was explaining something to me when Mr. Wood walked in and placed her pay check on her desk in front of us and I couldn't help but notice the amount on it for her month's pay.
Years later I received a telephone call from Marion telling me she was in Ottawa and would like to meet with me and my wife. We arranged a visit and in the course of conversation I told her the story about her cheque. Marion looked at me and said, "Do you recall how much the cheque was worth?" I told her I thought it was for $100! Thinking for a moments she said, "You're right Jack, I was paid $5 a day back then."
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Mr. Alf Williams who was our school caretaker and Miss MacKenzie who was a public health nurse and regularly paid visits to Lindsay schools. And who could ever forget Mr. R. F. Downey who was Inspector of Schools for the area? We loved this tall, white-haired gentleman, not only for his soft, gentle manner but also for the fact that his visits meant we would be dismissed early from school so that he could visit with the staff.
I, for one of hundreds I'm sure, am looking forward to next year's get-together of our alumni. See you in '94 gang!