|And there it is, my elementary school. Oh, this is exciting!|
My elementary school has a long tradition in Park Extension, a working class neighbourhood that I will write more about in the future. The rectangular, three-story, red brick building dates back to 1914, and up until 1928 it was named Greenshields Avenue School. It opened in autumn of 1931 as Barclay School.
|This is a main student entrance, and the one I used on my first day of kindergarten, which I still remember.|
When I attended Barclay, it was under the control of the Protestant School Board of Montreal (English speaking Protestant schools), which served all non-Catholics. Up until the late 1990s, school boards in Quebec had been organized along confessional lines, Catholic and Protestant. On July 1, 1998, a law was passed by the Quebec government that changed the school board system from denominational to linguistic: French and English.
|The building hasn't changed all that much since I was there.|
|This is the administrative entrance.|
Since 1998, Barclay has been part of Commission Scolaire de Montréal (a French-language school board), and now offers education in French. There are nearly 650 students attending, primarily of South Asian heritage, and representing almost 40 mother tongues.
|Students did not enter through here unless they were being registered,|
or they had to come in with a parent because they'd gotten into trouble!
Behind the school is a fenced-in grass field that I didn’t get a chance to photograph because there was a lot of construction going on. In addition to it being a play area, at the end of the school year it was where we had our ‘Field Day’; a highly anticipated end-of-the-year event that was held in June. Students were divided into groups, and they participated and competed (yes, we did that back then without worrying about self esteem) in sports and outdoor games.
|This funky and modern addition did not exist back then.|
|This is on the opposite side of the administrative entrance.|
The school was within walking distance of most, if not all, of the students’ homes, including my own, and we all went home for lunch.
|Most of my school recesses were spent playing in this area.|
With only 340 metres (371 yards) between my house and school, it took me four minutes to walk to and fro, which left me plenty of time to watch 'The Flinstones' during the break!
|Once upon a time, there were separate entrances for boys and girls, but not when I attended.|
There are so many warm memories inside this beautiful old building. Thank you for taking this heartwarming tour with me.
|I can remember daydreaming through some of those windows. *sigh*|