Wednesday, 6 February 2019

The Bankburn Star - December 21, 1907

Further to the last post about Bankburn School  , this tabloid school newspaper has survived the past 112 years fairly well and gives us a glimpse of the school and community though the eyes of the school pupils.  I wonder if there was ever a second edition or if this was the first and last. It is a wonder that it was printed on plain white paper, not newsprint, and the pictures were taken and reprinted so clearly.  Hope you enjoy reading it! 

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Bankburn School

It is always exciting to see a new comment on my blog and this week I received one on my Grandma Simms's post about a classmate of hers from Bankburn School. The school was located straight north of Oak River on the  Southwest quarter of 21-14-22 where a large bolder with an inscribed plaque marks the spot today. The Manitoba Historical Website has some information but I also have the following account written by former pupils, my great aunts.  

Memories of Bankburn School 1901—1917 
Written By Mrs. Lizzie Morcom and 
for the cairn dedication in 1984

In the year 1901 Bankburn School District No. 1098 was officially formed and the school opened with an enrolment of seven pupils. Bankburn School was built on a site overlooking the ravine which flowed through the farm owned by James Sinclair and his family. This farm was called Bankburn farm, so the school was appropriately named Bankburn. Mr. George Kelly of Pettapiece, Manitoba built the school which opened in August 1901. Classes had been held in James Sinclair’s granary in the summer months previous to the school being opened for a few years. We have James Sinclair, G. Sparling, and H. McPhaden to thank for being instrumental in having the “Bankburn District School” formed. Miss Ethel Sparling (Mrs. Walter Delamater) was the first teacher in the granary and also in the new school where she taught for two years before leaving to continue her studies.
The teachers through the years were as follows:
Miss Ethel Sparling (Oak River), Miss Annie Frazer (Hamiota), Miss Lizzie Shier (Hamiota), Miss Semima Cameron (Oak River), Miss Vivian Jackson (Rapid City), Miss Evelyn Spearin (Rapid City), Miss Mable Cooper (Souris), Miss Amanda Shields (Rivers), Mrs Islay Jackson (nee McIntyre) (Oak River).

The teachers boarded at Sinclairs, Sparlings, and McPhadens in turns. The highest salary received was $500.00 a year. Mother received $10.00 a month for room and board, washing, and ironing. A far cry from today’s prices.

The children that attended through the years have recalled the amusement they enjoyed when they knocked over the benches (accidentally on purpose) which were always the standard furnishings in the pioneer schools.

The second year Miss Cameron taught there were 42 pupils enrolled from Grade 1 through 8, 9, 10 and one studying for a third class certificate all had to go to Oak River and pay a sum to write and live there until the exams were all written (usually five days). What a thrill the teacher and pupils enjoyed when the report from the Department of Education came back—all had passed the exams clear with no supplements.

Many good times were held through the years at the yearly picnics, baseball games and football games, Box Socials through the winter months and of course dancing. The ravine was a big attraction in the fall and spring for skating and sledding. The Empire Day celebrations on may 24th honouring Queen Victoria’s birthday was an annual event. Maplewood School always came to Bankburn School for a baseball game. Miss Cameron had taught there before coming to Bankburn and she always arranged that game. After the ball game and programme, lunch was served by the parents. Rev McCullough, The Presbyterian Minister from Oak River, was chairman and Mr. Chris Cochrane, Reeve of Blanshard Municipality, gave a very interesting address on “The Flag” after which he raised the Union Jack which floated over Bankburn School for the first time. 

Sunday School was always held in the school every Sunday when a large crowd attended.

In the year 1917, a drastic change took place. Bankburn, along with Maplewood and Upland School Districts, were merged into the Oak River Consolidated School District ending the era of the three little “Red School Houses”. Some pupils were transferred to Oak River School by horse drawn vans—winter and summer. The taxes at the time were $42.00 a quarter.

Bankburn School was later sold to John (Jack) Andrews and moved to his farm which later became the property of W. D. Reid and son Bill. Eventually the former Bankburn School became the property of Murray Kirkpatrick. A cairn has been erected on the site where the Bankburn school stood. On Sunday, July 15, 1984, a dedication will be unveiled in the memory of the pioneers who were instrumental in having the school built, teachers, pupils, trustees and Secretary Treasurers.

The students who attended from 1901—1917 were as follows:
Mary Sinclair Ralph Espey                                Jennie Lee
Jean Sinclair                                 Ada Espey                                     Annie Lee
Nellie Sinclair Janet McKenzie Pearl Lee
Lizzie Sinclair  Katie McKenzie Frank Hyndman
Alex Sinclair Eddie McKenzie Annie Hyndman
Bill Sinclair                                  Bessie McKenzie Ralph Hyndman
Clara McPhaden Rosie Day                                     Rae Armstrong
Barclay McPhaden Herbie Day                                    John Warren
John McPhaden Fred Smith                               Marjory Thompson
Frank McPhaden Hilda MacLay                          Joshua Thompson
Myra McPhaden Russell Bayman Alex Thompson
Percy McPhaden Laura Ireton Norah Thompson
Cedric McPhaden Delbert Glazier Harry Thompson
Marjory McPhaden Earl Glazier                                     Laura Smith
Morton Furtney Tory Furtney                                   Frank Smith
Bella Furtney                                  Bill Reid                                         Harry Smith
Hubert Sparling Jack Reid                                     Mildred Reid
Muriel Sparling Sadie Reid                                       Eddie Reid
Ena Sparling Margaret Reid                                Gladys Reid
Elmer Sparling Myrtle McQuaig Pat Reid
Herbie Davis                                   Wilf McQuaig                                George Reid
Lorne Davis                                     Roy McQuaig                        Harvey Robinson
Arthur Davis                                    Elsie McQuaig Seaman Robinson
Harry Davis                                      Pearl McQuaig Lawrence Robinson
Jim Davis                                          Elsie Davis                                     Eva Davis

Although all those who taught and attended Bankburn School have passed on, it lives on in the ways each and everyone of these people touched the lives of others.

Keep reading my next post here for more on Bankburn School.