Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 20 - Alexander Munro, Early Schoolmaster

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/8/1 (407 reads)

supplies. I brought only a few for my own use expecting that Mr. Fraser had a quan? tity, and also sampler gauze...but he nev? er received the parcel containing these articles, I got some thread too from a store but they are of a most inferior qual? ity at double price. The unbleached cotton is a double boon, first as work for the girls and then to be distributed among the most needful....What I see the people most in need of is stout warm clothing. Many of the girls come to school with nothing on but a frock. The people here have been un? commonly kind.... "A few girls who come to school lately sew tolerably well and are ready to leg in samples. The unbleached cotton is all cut up and nearly all sewed. I have distrib? uted about 3 dozen of shirts an4 shifts to young and old in the settlement....! have the satisfaction of seeing them come to school with cleaner linen than formerly.... Many of the girls came all winter without any petticoat. I made a few for the little ones of the flannel you gave me. The rest was made into shifts for sick old women and stripes for sore throats. A few also of all ages wear handkerchiefs on their heads in church and out of doors (in lieu of bonnets). "We take in in the evening the teachers and scholars who choose to attend without charging any additional fee. All who are near come. Mr. Munro teaches them grammar, arithmetic or any branch in which they are most deficient. I teach them singing. There are some cases of scarlet fever. Two children died. The parents came to me for cloth to wrap the corpse in. I give a square of cotton for caps. When the next came it was all cut up and I gave a bit of imbleached cotton." From Alexander Munro, February 2?, I838; "Since I wrote you last I feel the great? est pleasure in telling you that my school has greatly increased and is increasing. The number at present on my role is 212. Some of the young children do not attend at present on account of the inclemency of the weather. I have often been puzzled to think where so many come from for on look? ing round from the door of our schoolhouse, I can see not above 20 dwelling houses. The children evince such a degree of anxi? ety and zeal for instruction as has I think no parallel in Cape Breton.... "The parents display no less zeal and ea? gerness in affording them every advantage within their limited means, which I may prove by the following circumstance. A num? ber of children who live six miles dis? tance from school walked out and home dai? ly in sxjmmer. Their parents unwilling that their progress should be stopped have built log huts round the school,...these accommodate from 5 to 8 pupils 'ach. I vis? it the school hamlet weekly to see that all is right as to domestic comfort.... Their parents tell me that they are always anxious to get to school. I trust that by the blessing of the Most High the youths of this destitute Island will reap...bene? fit from their present ardour for instruc? tion." Exactly when Munro ceased operations at the Knox church and began in a newly erec? ted frame constructed school at the shore by the point of land that bears his name is not known. One source indicates that Munro purchased the property in 184?. The recorded deeds at Baddeck could not verify this since they only date back to I851. The Victoria School Returns Summary for i''k k USS' The CBC in Cape Breton NATIONALLYREGIONALLYPROVINCIALLYLOCALLY CBITTELEVISION Channels 2,5,7,8,10,12, and 13 nwas TO ZE CBIRADD 1140 on your Dial INFOFIMATION ENTERTAINMENTENLIGHTENMENT Cape Breton's Magazine/20
Cape Breton's Magazine
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