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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

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No. 10 February 1998

1946 - 1997

Fifty years continuous service to our
school and our community

(This is the text of the keynote address given
at the annual dinner meeting of the Louisbourg Home
and School Association held on February 19, 1997 )

This is a very special evening in the annals of the Louisbourg Home and School Association. In the fall of 1946, Mrs. Elsie (Bagnell) MacLean brought to the attention of the Louisbourg Board of Trade the idea of an association which incorporated the home and the school.

She had attended the Provincial Normal College the previous year and had seen such a program in action. One of its aims was, "to obtain for each child according to his/her physical, mental, social and spiritual needs."

The first of these associations was established by Mrs. Mabel Bell in Baddeck in 1895.

Dr. L. A. DeWolfe and Mrs. Dora Baker of the Provincial Normal College were responsible for organizing the associations throughout the province in the 1940s.

The Board of Trade, under President Charles Bagnell (Elsie’s father), decided this would be an excellent vehicle to join these two bodies together for mutual benefit. The Board of Trade members decided to invite these people to Louisbourg to hear more about the Home and School movement.

A meeting of approximately 75 parents and teachers with Dr. DeWolfe and Miss Baker in attendance, took place in the Navy Hut on October 21, 1946. The unanimous decision of the meeting was that we should establish such an association in our town.

The late Gordon Cameron was our first President.

Hard work has been the order of the day. Many and varied have been the ideas brought forward by the members. All of them were brought to fruition by the

concerted efforts of the parents, teachers, Board of Trade and the School Board. 

There was no such thing as a 9 AM to 3 PM day for Mr. Hilchie, our principal for nineteen years, who taught science and Latin after hours. Because the westerly sun in the late afternoon created a problem for him and his students, we provided blinds for his office.

Wooden floors needed scrubbing. I know Elizabeth Cross, one of our founding members (now 93 years old ), well recalls getting on her hands and knees to scrub.

Our first major expense was a projector and screen. We had a very supportive Board of School Commissioners who aided and abetted us in all our endeavors. In fact, there was always a member of the Board on our Executive.

We held many fund-raisers and with the money from these and some from the Board, in 1951, we provided the school with an excellent projector and a 40 inch beaded screen.

Next came a piano and a music teacher, Mrs. Bain, who taught singing and piano. Recitals and concerts became the "order of the day." Church halls were opened to our Association for our activities as well as the Navy Hut.

There was art work with Mrs. Gwen Lunn and public speaking competitions with Dr. Mary Lynch as adjudicator. Dan Joe (Thomas) is well-remembered for his wood working skills with the boys. He cleared away debris in the school basement and set up a workshop. Home & School provided wood and other necessities. We also provided cod liver oil capsules for grades 1 through 6 for many years. We sponsored a well-baby clinic under the direction of the late Mrs. Catherine Lewis. This was in the early 60s and it continued for a good number of years. Dr. Cusack, dentist from Sydney, was given space in the Elementary School for dental work, especially for our younger students. Each year the Home and School provided money for library books and grading prizes.

In 1951 the Home and School organized graduation exercises for grade 11 students. This practice continued until 1968 when the George D. Lewis High School was built under the direction of the later Mayor G. D. Lewis and Dr. T. Sullivan, Inspector of Schools. The list goes on and on.

When the Cape Breton Council of Home and Schools was organized with H.H. Simpson of Coxheath as President, our Home and School became an integral part of this and twice a year sent delegates to this body. Delegates also participated in the annual convention of the Home & School held, usually, at Acadia or St. Francis Xavier Universities. At that time there would be in the vicinity of 200 delegates in attendance all working towards one goal - " To provide the best we could offer our students."

In more recent years the Home and School members assist the school in many ways - concerts, in the library, helping students with reading difficulties, providing money for sports and travel groups, prizes for the annual Science Fair. During "Appreciation Week" the teachers are provided with goodies every day. The "Awards Night Dinner" is helped by the Home and School members.

At our regular meetings a head count is taken. The class having the most parents in attendance receives money for a library book.

This is just a brief resume of our fifty years service to the Louisbourg school system and the community.  


The Louisbourg Home &
School Association in 1998

In 1998, the Home and School supports the following projects at George Lewis School:

Projects in which the Home and School has been involved over the past 10 years include:

As its unique contribution, since 1992, the Home & School has managed the school library. This includes the following:

Louisbourg has the distinction of being the oldest continuously serving Home & School Association in Nova Scotia.

1946-1950 Gordon Cameron

1950-1953 Mrs. Greta Cross

1953-1955 Mrs. Mabel Fleet

1955-1956 Rev. Harold Seegmiller

1956-1958 Mr. William Stewart

1958-1960 Mrs. Jessie Wilson

1960-1961 Mrs. Jenny Whynott

1961-1962 Mrs. Greta Cross

1962-1965 Mayor Guy M. Hiltz

1965-1967 Mrs. Greta Cross

1967-1968 Mr. Gordon Cameron

1968-1971 Mrs. Eileen Kennedy

1971-1973 Mrs. Greta Cross

1973-1975 Mr. Florian Bryan

1975-1977 Mrs. Greta Cross

1977-1978 Mr. Michael Campbell

1978-1979 Mrs. Anne Townsend

1979-1980 Mrs. Christina Gartland

1980-1981 Mr. George Wheeliker

1981-1983 Mr. Bill Bussey

1984-1985 Mrs. Mary Kendall

1986-1987 Mrs. Dorothy Blanchard

1988-1990 Mrs. Marie Lohnes

1991-1992 Mrs. Olive Spawn

1993-1995 Mrs. Juanita MacKeigan

1996-1998 Mrs. Beryl Eavis

Mr. Charles Bagnell 1950-1951 , 1953-1955

Mrs. Jean Bagnell 1979-1981

Mrs. Betty Beaver 1977-1978

Mrs. Mary Beaver 1983

Mrs. Eileen Burke 1993-1997

Mrs. Karen Cann 1996-1998

Mrs. Louise Carter 1997-1998

Mrs. Debbie Dominey 1984

Mrs. Phyllis Drinkwater 1986-1987

Mrs. Ida Eisan 1979-1981

Mrs. Sherri Evong 1997-1998

Mrs. Patricia Harris 1978-1981

Mrs. Gertrude Hilchie 1955-1957

Mrs. Heather Hunt 1975-1977

Mrs. Dale Hutt 1985-1989

Mrs. Catherine Lewis 1947-1949

Mrs. Jessie Lewis 1946-1948

Mrs. Kathleen Ley 1990, 1992-1997

Mrs. Gertrude Lynk 1958-1961

Mrs. Julie MacDonald, 1982-1983, 1986-1987

Mrs. Mary MacMullin 1984-1985

Mrs. Christine MacLean 1949-1950

Mr. Gervan MacLean 1958-1979

Mrs. Annie Mae MacLean 1951-1957

Mrs. Elsie MacLean 1963/64, 1965/68, 1971/72

Mrs. Jean MacQueen 1973-1974

Mr. Ralph Marshall 1990

Mrs. Marie Meagher 1988-1989

Mrs. Patricia Mullins 1972-1973

Miss Marion Nicholson 1948-1949

Mrs. Louise O’Keefe 1946-1947

Mrs. Camilla Peck 1963-1965

Mr. George Phalen 1957-1958

Mrs. Sophie Poirier 1970-1972

Mrs. Rita Price 1981-1982

Mrs Jessie Rudderham 1951-1953, 1968-1970

Mr. James Steylen 1961-1963

Mrs. Mary Thompson 1964-1966

Mrs. Eleanor Wilson 1961-1962

Mrs. Debbie Spencer 1988-1991

Mrs. Sharon Tutty 1993

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