Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Back to School in 1944 with Miss Cassell

Seventy-two years ago this fall, Merle Lyla Cassell began her teaching career at Kinloss School and that event was to set the course for meeting her future husband Ed Boulton and them becoming parents to my husband, Randy. A leather zippered pocketbook recently rediscovered (perhaps the same one that she is holding in the first picture above) holds some items that helped to tell this story.   

 The well worn letter above dated September 15,1944 from W.G. Rathwell indicates:
The Department of Education is in receipt of official notice from the Director of Summer School for prospective permit teachers that you completed successfully a training course for teachers extending from July 5th to August 16, 1944.  In view of this the Department of Education is authorizing you to enter into contract with the Kinloss School Board for he school year 1944-45.
You should have this letter available to show your Inspector on the occasion of his visit and I am forwarding a copy to the Secretary of your School Board for his information.  

It doesn't say where the training course was but the Normal School building in Brandon had been taken over by National Defense officials in 1942 so I presume it was in Winnipeg.  What an adventure that must have been for a teenager from Elkhorn! 

The teaching contract above from August 12th, 1944 between Merle and the Kinloss School Board #934 (represented by Hart Sutcliffe and J.W. Baldwin) granted her a year's salary of $850.00.  Thirteen days after signing this paper, she would have been standing in front of her class of eager students!

This beautiful little Autograph book contains signature and verses written by many friends beginning in 1940 and it also includes the names and grades in her Kinloss class in October of 1944. Twenty names are included covering grades 1 to 9, almost half of whom have the Sutcliffe surname. Jean Boulton was in Grade 8 that year and would become Merle's sister in law almost exactly one year later.  

Merle's year was up in June of 1945 and I've read that permit teachers were only allowed to teach one year before having to return to Normal School for their training.  This was not in her future and although she may have filled in at times, her Kinloss teaching days were over.  She and Edwin were married in October of that year and I presumed that was the end of her teaching career but her papers tell us another story. 
To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Comment from Merle's sister Ena Cassell; I loved this blog. I had mentioned how much I really loved both Merle & Lyla as names. I seem to remember (as well as my old memory works) that Merle was invited to teach another year without going back to normal school. Of course I cannot be positive but it seems it was quite a feather in her cap or something as she was a very good teacher and very well liked. "Thanks again for this lovely memory, luv, hugs" Aunt Ena