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School Memories - Spring Coulee, Albera

"Pinepound Reflections"
a History of Spring Coulee - pages44 - 46
by Tom and Lillian Beswick

In the early 1920's the school board rounded up a bunch of little boys, had them taken to school and turned over to the teacher. When called to the front of the class they made a long line across the school.

Their teacher was a big ex-army man and he was definitely in control. He carried his strap in a back pocket and under his jacket. He could draw it as quickly as a cowboy could draw his gun in a western movie. Such action would not be tolerated today but was acceptable then because this man was the first teacher in Spring Coulee to stay on more than one year and he taught for three years from September 1920 to June 1923. This man's name was Robert Thomas Dick. His method must have been appropriate because those kids settled down and began to learn. The little boys on the roll at that time were Bill Rusk, Edward Lane, Norman Allred, Fred Greenwood, Rex Smith, Murray Chapman, William Sherman, Woodrow Anderson, Sonny Crawford, Roy Dustin, Neil and Bernard Kershaw. It has been told that it was one of the Kershaw boys who found his new shoes to be a hindrance in the spring when they began to play football. He took his shoes off, tied the laces together, hung them over the fence and they were still there when school let out in June.

These boys were included in the enrollment of 38 pupils and the school in which they were taught was built in 1907 by Neil Forsyth. The school district number was 1549 which meant that there were already 1548 school districts in the province. In the summer of 1922 it was decided the number of pupils warranted a second teacher. The school board bought the building just across the road to the west. It had been a Bank of Montreal until the fall of 1915, when the Roy Matson family bought the building. The old vault was laboriously removed, hauled to the station and sent to Magrath where it was used until the new bank was built in 1978. In the spring of 1917 the Matson family moved to Montana and Mr. and Mrs. Loveday and their children Annie and Olive, lived there until it became a school with teacherage attached. This 4-room teacherage was used until June 1960. The teacherage was later bought by Chris Holzworth and moved to Woolford where it burned. No one can remember what happened to the school which was attached to the teacherage.

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Mary Tollestrup