Harmony School No. 1: 1921 – 1967

It was not until 1924 that it was decided to build a new school. Mr. R.A. Hutchinson of Whitby was inspector of schools in East Whitby then. He made it known to the Department of Education about the crowded conditions and the need for another building. Finally the business was completed. It was decided to erect the new school on the site of the old one and debentures were issued for $39 000.

When it was completed it had four large rooms, a full basement, auditorium and electric lighting. It was heated by coal furnaces. During the time of construction the children had their classes in the hall and likely with staggered hours.

In the Jubilee edition of the “Oshawa Daily Reformer”, June 30th, 1927, it was stated that the school cost a total of $40 000. Its classroom equipment was equal to that of any city school. There were ninety pupils. The school trustees were: George Hart – Chairman, Lawson Clifford (ex M.P.) – Secretary, and E. Michael – Treasurer. Preston Timmins was the principal and he was assisted by Miss Vera Mackie.

In the depression years of the 1930s, it was noticed in the minutes of the school board meetings that the expenses had to be cut to the minimum. The teachers were asked to take cuts in their salaries and the music grant was discontinued. The services of the school nurse were kept.

Later on the school again became in need of more class room space and two rooms were fitted up for that purpose in the basement.

In January 1952, the district of Harmony was taken into the corporation of the city of Oshawa. The last date in the minute book of the school board meetings was December 7th, 1950.

In the year 1957, a large addition was erected on the back of the school which had five rooms. At present (1967), the school is now equipped to accommodate a large number of students. In the original part there are five rooms. In the new part at the back there are four classrooms, a kindergarten, staff room, and an office, as well as washrooms, kitchen and a supply room. The community hall has been demolished.

In 1967, a permanent classroom was fitted up in the basement at considerable cost $3000, that included equipment and furnishings. Also, a room was constructed for physical education.

At present (1967), a portable is being used to take care of the overflow of students. No doubt more classroom space is going to have to be found in the near future. There are eleven teachers on the staff and two part time assistants.

Some of the family names of the children who attended the school in the early days were Drew, Taplin, Mothersill, Farewell, Horn, Young, Clifford, Robinson, White, Wadge, Alfred, Lick, Hall, Mackie, Churchill, Hartwell, Hoar, and Graden.

There is a visitor’s book in preservation in the school that people have signed when they made a visit to the school and have written their impressions of the children’s progress and etc. The first name was Abraham Farewell – 1857, the last entry was Miss Florence Farewell 1933, who gave the annual award to the highest [achieving] girl and boy. There is also an entry by Sir Oliver Mowat dated 1867.

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