Posted on 02-06-2008
Filed Under (Calgary 1950s, Uncategorized) by Broken Rail

This picture was taken in front of King Edward School 1720, 30th Ave., S.W. in June of 1956.
King Edward School, Grade 1 photo 1955-56
Front row: (Left to Right) Jamie, unknown, Don Hardie, Ross Berg, unknown, unknown, unknown,
Second row: (Left to Right) unknown, unknown, unknown, John Turner, unknown, unknown, unknown, Grace Lackey
Third row: (Left to Right.) Unknown, unknown, unknown, Grace Gauley, unknown, unknown, Judy McAuley, unknown.
Back row: (Left to Right) Rusty Austin, unknown, Dave Cobb, Larry Buchan, Earl Wagner, Philip Risby, Ole Olson, Glenn
back row forth from the left hand King Edward School was built in 1912, one of 19 sandstone schools built in Calgary between 1894 and 1914. It is in the district of South Calgary, my uncle Fred, and my dad’s best friend, Jim Atkinson went to school here the first year it was opened. My father attended the second year. I was in school here from grade 1 until grade 9 in the summer of 1964. The school was a block and a half from my home so it was a short walk to school for me. Due to declining enrollment in the school was closed in 2001, and it looks like it will be torn down. With the real estate of one city block it will probably be developed for housing, unless someone comes to the rescue and finds another use for the building. The school as I mentioned was built of sandstone, a popular building material for many of the buildings in Calgary in that era, Calgary was called the “Sandstone City” but sadly many of these buildings have faced the wrecking ball, and are no more. I have also attached a picture by Alison Jackson showing the back of the school on 29th Ave. The girls side on the left, and the boys side on the right. During the summer holidays the top of the fire escape made an excellent viewpoint to watch the fireworks from the Calgary Stampede, a rodeo and fair, that is held in early July.
King Edward School from 29th Avenue Southwest, the right-hand side of the school contained a playroom in the basement on the back side for recess when the weather was bad. My Grade 6 classroom was in the front of the basement covered by the portable classroom trailer, my Grade 9 classroom was above it. Between the fire escapes on the right-hand side in the basement was the boiler room for heating the school, on the left-hand side was my grade 5 classroom, my grade 8 classroom was on the second floor above it. In the 1970s this part of the building started to fall away from the main part of the school and was torn down, along with the fire escape.
A Photo of the front of the school taken in the 1920s from 30th Avenue Southwest, showing what it looked like before the modern auditorium was built circa 1956-57
This front view of King Edward School from the 1920s clearly shows how it looked when I started there in 1955, not much had changed, and my grade one classroom was inside the front entrance on the right-hand side. It was a more modern classroom with brown linoleum floors, individual tables that would seat six students sitting across from each other on small chairs, my first traumatic experience was getting slapped on the wrists by my teacher Miss Down for copying my classmates work, which I was innocent of, to get their we had to go in through the BOYS entrance in the back on the right-hand side, and climb one flight of stairs and cross through the double doors of the auditorium that was located to the left of the entrance doors with the stage on the North side if my memory serves me correct, this all changed when the new auditorium, with industrial art shops, and home economics classrooms, with an auxiliary gymnasium in the basement were built around 1956. My grade 2 and 3 classrooms were side-by-side on the second floor in the left wing Miss. Black taught grade 2 above the stairs on the GIRLS entrance and Miss Watt taught grade 3 next to her they were to old maid teachers with granny glasses, and button up black leather shoes, Miss Black were short and stout, and Miss Watt Was tall and skinny and looked a lot like my grandmother, both my older sisters were taught by them seven years previous to my arrival, the classrooms were ancient, and had probably not changed a bit since the school opened, they had unpolished hardwood floors, and cast-iron desks with fold up seats, the blackboards were made of black slate, with dark hardwood framing, here we learn to print with pencils and in grade 3 to start writing, Miss Watt even had a windup gramophone for playing records, I remember her clearly telling us about world events like the launch of the Sputnik that started the space race on October 4, 1957, when a contrast from this old school room. My grade 4 class was on the second floor to the left of the entrance with Mrs. Campbell we started writing with pen and ink, the small double windowed rooms above the entrance were teacher lounges, and the other small double windowed rooms in the wings were used as the nurses room, and for other functions, across from the main entrance was the vice principal’s office on the North side. My grade 5 classroom with Mr. Norton was in the basement facing northward on the right-hand side the boiler room and mechanical heating was on the left-hand side, and the boys washroom was in the basement left of the main entrance, and the girls on the right-hand side. My grade 6 classroom was in the basement in the left-hand side wing with Mr. Houghton there were two basement playrooms on the north side of each wing where we would go for recess in inclement weather. In 1961, I started junior high school in grade 7, my teacher Mrs. Kellogh classroom was on the third floor on the left-hand side, this is when we started going to other classrooms to take courses, Mrs. K taught us art, next to her was Mrs. Cheal the music teacher, across the hall from us was Mr. Kennedy then, grade 9 science teacher, I can’t recall what the other classroom was in the north east corner of this floor, I remember Mr. Kennedy was quite involved with the church playing and restoring pipe organs, he had a bunch of parts stored in the attic of the roof of the left-hand wing. My grade 8 class with Miss Bales was on the second floor on the right side facing northwards, and finally my grade 9 class with Mr. Longair are Vice Principal at the time was on the top of the stairs in the left wing in the front, we took literature from Mrs. Murray on the second floor in the classroom west of my grade 8 classroom, the old auditorium was made into a library to the right of the entrance, and Miss Cochlan’s English classroom faced northwards. The next picture was taken before Christmas 1958. It shows my King Edward School Grade 4 photo 1958-59.
Front row: (Left to Right) Margaret Deesman, Jerry Dobos, Philip Risby, Milton Meehan, unknown twin sisters, Judy McAuley, Kyra Jojonek, Ole Olson, unknown, Don Hardie.
Middle row: Celia, unknown, Herbie Grey, Wayne Yarjau, Carol Lauderoutte, Grace Wiley, Dave Chibry, Warwick Gray, unknown, unknown, Sherry Meehan, Don Kennedy, Dave Cobb.
Back row: (Left to Right) Grace Lackey, Margaret Lund, Alice Jones, Brian McCreary, Gary, Tony Kraft, Barbara Dunphy, Edward “Butch” Taylor, Rusty Austin, Winston Mitchell, Larry Buchan. The other picture is the view of our backyard at 1921 30th Ave. SW. this was a very old house built before World War I, and many additions were added to it in the 1930s, my parents bought the house in 1945 after the end of World War II.
King Edward School from 29th Ave.
Homestead 1921 30 Ave. SW

(3) Comments   


pat on 12 July, 2011 at 9:50 am #

My family grew up in South Calgary and we all attended King Edward. I see my sister in that photo so she was in the same grade as you!

Eva Stefansson (Christensen) on 10 November, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

I had Miss Downey in grade one and she sent me to the office for the strap as I was caught giggling at Barb who sat across from me and made a funny face. Mr Wallace was principal. Tony Kraft, Larry Yarjou, Brian Ladaroutte, Butch, Sharon Risby, Glen Gollie, John Harland, Heather Young are just a few of names I remember. I was at our school in 2013 and managed to buy a memento from my time plus had a tour of the attic too!

John Turner on 28 January, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

Wow, what a trip down memory lane. All of the names are so familiar. I’m probably in the Grade 4 photo too. I’m passing this link along to John Harland. He’ll love it.

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