For many of us, it has been a long time since our paths have crossed, and so I am really looking forward to the Beck Reunion and the opportunity to reminisce about those by-gone days! But let’s just remember the good things!

                All in all, they were great days filled with a host of meaningful memories. Beck was an integral part of my life for 31½ years -- almost all of my teaching career. Why did I stay so long? I never really thought about it!

                I came to Beck in 1949 after two years at the Peterborough Collegiate. I was hired to teach girls’ Physical Education, Health and French, then in later years, I was head of the Guidance Department.

                From my earliest recollection, I wanted to be a teacher like my father and was groomed very early for the job. Even before I was five, I loved to go to school with my Dad, to clean the blackboards and later on to fill the ink wells. Ancient History, isn’t it!

                When I came to Beck, my mentor was Wilda Graber, with whom I taught Physical Education. It was she who helped me over the rough spots as a young teacher. And, as you know, we are still good friends and share a Condo in London.

                The year 1956-57 was an exciting one for me, as I was given a leave of absence in Paris, France. When it was over, I could hardly imagine returning to a life summoned by bells again. But of course I did!

                When we finished marking papers and doing report cards (by hand, remember) at the end of June, travelling was always a great escape in the summer months. Wilda and I enjoyed it together for many years. However, those days are over now that she is confined to a wheelchair, following an amputation in 1991. For the past fourteen years, we have retreated to Tucson, Arizona in the winter, and it is now our second home.

                Those of you who have kept in touch over the years, we appreciate your support and friendship.

                And those of you whom we haven’t seen for a very long time, we still remember you and the very seat you sat in - so do come back!






Marion W. ‘Bonnie’ Bell “Recollections”

Now here are a few recollections to muse over:

Dress code was in - no slacks, jeans didn’t exist and bare midriffs were unheard of.

The new cafeteria was opened about 1953. Good home cooked meals were 35¢; Beck had its own dietician. But there was no chocolate milk, no fries, no pop (except at dances). Just imagine life without junk food!

The school day was 9:00 - 4:00, then shortened to 9:00 - 3:15. Timetables included 8 periods. There were no spares and 3 minutes to change classes.

Seating plans were adhered to and attendance pads circulated. Those missing were soon tracked down by the office.

Noon hour restrictions were in force. If you had lunch at school, there was to be no wandering off the school grounds. Some ventured across the road to the little store. A few were caught!

Detentions in Room 201 were appointments you didn’t dare miss.

Rules were rules in those days, both for Staff and students: i.e. Traffic on the stairs was “Up north, down south”. And Harvey Stewart never let us forget --or else!

For gym classes, girls had to wear clean blue ‘rompers’ (gym suits) and white running shoes. How times and looks have changed. But they did look spiffy (well turned out)!

It was the ‘thing’ to go to the school on Friday nights to watch the school teams. We thrived on school spirit.

Then there were the Friday night dances too, eerie strobe lights and deafening music -- a new era was dawning. Not exactly a relaxing night for some of us on duty!

Singing auditoriums with 5-part harmony under Carl Chapman’s leadership bonded us in a special way.

Gilbert and Sullivan songs still ring in our ears.

Grade XIII Departmental Exams and final exams in the lower grades kept the school in a serious frame of mind. It was hard work until the last day in June -- remember!

Graduation Auditoriums were never without a few tears!


And so the years roll on and times have changed, but Beck produced the “right stuff” in spite of our tough stand. That was the way it was!


Contributed by Carol Lowe   Copyright Bonnie Bell   July 22, 2004


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