Barrouallie: Tales of different eras
February 22, 2013
The ‘old school’ way of feeding children

I wish to digress in the opening paragraphs from the ancient to the modern day era in an effort to highlight an issue which was aired over the weekend. I viewed with interest and subsequently read the story of young Linton Squires of the Marriaqua valley and my heart went out to that young man. I am appealing, through this medium, to those who are in a position to assist to “extend a helping hand” to young Mr Squires. In this era, there are many like Linton who are facing the same plight.{{more}} Thankfully he has chosen a “right path” but, unlike him, many have given up and “are falling through the cracks”. We should not sit idly by as “spectators” and watch while some children may be deprived of an education because their parents are “financially strapped”. Therefore, I am appealing to those who have, to help those who “have not” … please.

I am also aware that there are many persons who extend themselves in an effort to assist the youngsters who are in their care. In this era, some stories never get told and there are many stories which need to be told. Many unfortunate youngsters are determined to beat their issues and believe me, for some, the issues are numerous and, I wonder how they bear them on their tender shoulders.

A final word to Mr Squires: I have seen and in some instances read stories of children who came from indigent families, but have excelled academically and were able to break that cycle… you c an do likewise!!!

Now, let’s get back to some old time stories and take a brief look at the “old school” way of feeding their children. Back in the days of Teacher Sandy, a school kitchen was operated and that fed 40 children per day. One day of the week was referred to as “Pound Day”. Pound Day was the day which was set aside for some children of the school to go around to the stores/shops within the community to ask for supplies, which they often got. The teachers of that era were given a group to work with each week. I can imagine that many of the children whose parents worked on the estates were beneficiaries of such a programme.

The children were very involved with what took place at school too. They took care of their furniture and were often seen doing minor repairs when there was a need so to do. Back in those days also, I was told that girls were charged with the responsibility of keeping the interior of the school clean, while the boys’ duties included keeping the school yard clean. They had to comply. This brings me to this story ….

There was a big tree in the old school yard. One day it rained so hard that the tree was uprooted. One Ms Nicholls, who lived close by, noted that the tree was about to fall on the school’s building, but miraculously shifted. It would have been an ill-fated day had it taken the initial course. Since the boys were charged with that duty of keeping the yard clean, they were summoned by Teacher Sandy the Friday of that week to clear the branches and to clean up.
One youngster was adamant that he was not going to work that day and, he went home. Over that weekend, he put his plan into motion, then turned up for class the Monday. Well, Teacher Sandy was planning for him too. At the end of prayers, teacher Sandy identified him by name and enquired if he was willing to “take the punishment” for being so insolent and for disobeying orders…. What he did next was unthinkable and I would not mention that side of the story, but he refused and walked away… and, I was told, that was the last day he spent at school. He had made his choice.

Until next week.