Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mom, how did you get so smart?

Mom, how did you get so smart?
The theme for the 48th carnival is Mom, how'd you get so smart? We'll examine our mothers' education. What schools did your mom attend? Did she graduate high school or attend the school of hard knocks? Did she attend a one room school house or was she home-schooled? Was she the first in the family to attend college? Maybe your mom took self-study courses or was an avid reader. Tell us all about how a mother figure (mother, grandmother, mother in law, godmother, etc.) in your life became so brilliant!
While growing up, I am sure my mom learned a lot about life situations from not only her mother but her grandmother and aunt who lived across the lane from her. She was raised on a farm so she learned the many lessons a farm provides.
My mom attended the Continuation School in Mindemoya, Ontario. It had both the elementary and secondary school. As they lived outside the village, they took the first "school bus". Now it didn't look like the yellow school buses of today. Back in 1928, the school van was a large box-wagon drawn by a team of sturdy horses. The first motorized bus came in 1932. However, they continued to use horses during the winter until 1942 because the roads were not plowed.

First school bus - here shown being pulled by Dr. Davis's "snowmobile", a converted Model T. Ford. [1]

I have a copy of her high school entrance certificate issued by the Ontario Department of Education in July 1933. Her high school graduation diploma outlines the courses that she had studied during her secondary school years. It is dated 1938 at Mindemoya, Ontario.

High School Graduation Diploma - subjects

Lower School British History and Physiography
Middle School Canadian History
Middle School English Literature and English Composition
and the following additional subjects
Lower School – Art, Geography, Agriculture I & II, Grammar,
Middle School - Algebra, Geometry, Agriculture I & II, Ancient History, French Authors and Composition, Latin Authors and Composition -- Dated at Mindemoya 1938 -- Minister of Education; Principal - J. Alex Mawdsley; Chairman of School Board - William Taylor
Mom left Manitoulin Island to continue her education in Owen Sound at the Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute and she took her special Commercial (C special) where she studied office procedures, typing and shorthand. This gave her the training she needed to work in a law office.

Mom also liked to read. When she moved to Owen Sound to take her C Special course, she joined the public library. She was an avid reader and the restrictions on the number of items that could be borrowed at a time made her a frequent visitor. If finances had permitted it, my mom said she would like to have been a librarian.
After my father's death, my mother and I took a few special trips together. We shared a room. How could I remember which set of towels was mine in the bathroom? My mother's answer was "Mine are on the right because mothers are always right." And she was right!
[1] photograph - "First School Bus" 22 February 1978 The Recorder p. 10. photos in newspaper article courtesy Percy Taylor.


  1. Mindemoya is a lovely town - and we all love Manitoulin Island, having spent many happy times there in the summers over the last 10 years or so. Do you still go back there at all?

  2. Larua
    Yes Mindemoya is a lovely place. Unfortunately, I haven't been back since 1996. I still have relatives living there.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I enjoy seeing old photos like the ones you posted - the "school bus"!


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