Looking through some old slides to prepare a visual presentation for my father’s 90th birthday I found this photo of my sister and me outside Sir John Franklin School where we were both students for the 1960-1961 school year. I was in grade two and my sister was in kindergarten.
The Manitoba Historical Society website provides this image of the school. It was built by Sutherland Construction Company for $52,000. It was designed by a local architect named J.N. Semmens. The school welcomed its first students in the fall of 1921 and in October was named after the famous Arctic explorer Sir. John Franklin. The original school only had five classrooms but additions were made in 1934 and 1951. In June of 1987 the school was closed and the building demolished in 1991.
I found both the principal and teacher in my second grade class photo listed on the Manitoba Historical website. The principal who is standing right beside me is Hannah Eleanor Fisher. According to the history page about her she was born in North Dakota in 1901 and moved to a small Manitoba town called Neelin about 200 km. south of Winnipeg as a small child. She taught in both rural and city schools before becoming a principal. She served at Sir John Franklin from 1954-1961. She never married and spent some time in England as an exchange teacher. She died in Winnipeg at age 95. I couldn’t find any additional information about my teacher Miss L. Ushey. My two best friends in grade two were April and Catherine. I can still pick them out in the class photo.
We lived on Beaverbrook Street when I attended Sir John Franklin and one day when I came home from school for lunch a car had careened off the street and driven right into the livingroom of the house next door to us. Other vivid memories of my grade two year are running back home one day because I encountered a big dog on my way to school. I got 7+7 wrong on a math test and remember being upset that I missed such a simple question.
I only went to Sir John Franklin for one year. My primary education took place in four different schools. I’d like to learn more about them all.