That June the Wilkie School Unit closed all the remaining one room schools, including Cavell. Six schools in the Leipzig District were closed and we were bussed to Leipzig where a new school had been built. From one room with 16 kids in 8 grades to four rooms (Gr. 5 to 12) with 25 to 30 kids in each grade. Two more rooms were added the next summer and Gr. 1-4 who had been temporarily taught in the convent joined us.
Leipzig was on the eastern edge of St Joseph's Colony, a settlement of German Catholics, established in 1905. The school was staffed primarily by School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Saskatchewan Motherhouse of which was located in Leipzig. Leipzig was a Catholic School in a Public School District because the vast majority of the students were Catholic. The few of us heathens left at 3:00 while the remainder had 30 minutes of Religious Studies. We were ably babysat by Sister Martina over at the Convent where we pretended to do homework.
My teachers included:
- Sister Raymond (Grade 8) - she despaired with me but survived the ordeal.
- Sister Marie LeClaire (Grades 9 and 10) - a wonderful teacher, much humour and a long yardstick to keep order. Worth a blog on her own someday.
- Sister Annella (Grades 11 and 12) - loved literature, especially poetry; we kept in touch over the years; recently deceased, age 88.
My dad, who was going on 39, drove the new 36 passenger GMC school bus. A real job, bringing about $125 in real cash money on a monthly basis to our family. We could stop milking cows and shipping cream. Freedom is no more cows to milk.
We left every morning at precisely 8:10 and arrived at the school at about 8:45 to 8:50. Picked up at 3:30 we were home by 4:00. No waiting for late risers on the return trip. Families in order of pickup in the morning:
Expect some of my readers, including my brother and sister, to fill in some memory gaps here.