People say farewell to Temperance Street school

Published on June 18, 2014

NEW GLASGOW – Francis Dorrington never went to Temperance Street Elementary School, but he’s proud of it nonetheless.

As he watched his children grow up in the building, now more than 100 years old, he saw the building begin to show its age.

He told town council if he was elected, he would have it fixed up; he followed through.

After becoming a councillor in 1976, he made sure renovations on the floors were done within a few years.

“There’s always a beginning. Now it’s the end,” he said about the school that marked a major campaign promise for him.

Dorrington was one of many who filled the gym Wednesday night as the school prepares for its last class.

The building will be handed over to the town when students begin attending the new Primary to Grade 8 school, New Glasgow Academy, in the fall.

Although there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the new educational facility, many were sad to see Temperance Street Elementary close.

“It’s a very special school in the community,” current principal of Temperance at Brown School Glen McCarron said.

For Court Malcolm and Richard Bennett, it was where they made history in the sports hall of fame.

They might not have had sweaters to showcase their team, the South Albert Atoms, but they had a championship.

They beat the best in the province in a match in Halifax after someone helped them out with train tickets to the city.

“We had never been out of town,” Bennett joked as he talked about his memories.

For many, the school has educated several generations in their family.

Before Court Malcolm was a hockey star for the school in 1946, his father attended less than two decades after it opened.

The tradition continued with his kids and their children.

Malcolm said the best part of the school was the camaraderie.

He noted that it was a racially mixed school, a feat for the area at the time, and he feels privileged to have been a part of that.

“Don’t tear it down,” he said in response to a question about what he’d like to see happen to the building.

Dawn MacNutt, or Anna Reid’s daughter as she was known Wednesday night, echoed that sentiment.

Reid, MacNutt’s mother, taught primary at the school for 20 years until her retirement in 1969.

MacNutt even started – and finished – her teaching career there.

She filled in one day while her mother was recovering from minor surgery as a 15-year-old.

“I sure didn’t teach them anything,” she laughed.

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