Trafalgar School - Echoes Yearbook (Montreal, Quebec Canada)

 - Class of 1918

Page 14 of 64


Trafalgar School - Echoes Yearbook (Montreal, Quebec Canada) online yearbook collection, 1918 Edition, Page 14 of 64
Page 14 of 64

Trafalgar School - Echoes Yearbook (Montreal, Quebec Canada) online yearbook collection, 1918 Edition, Page 13
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Page 14 text:

EARLY DAYS By a Girl To write something of the first days at Trafalgar is not easy at so long a range, and yet there are several impressions which are very vivid. Imagine my dismay, upon arrival, at being told that I was the one and only house-girl. I suppose because of my crest- fallen look, the teachers hurriedly added that there might be a second upon the arrival of the Toronto evening train. Time seemed endless until that train arrived, and I wondered what the new girl would be like, whether we would hit it off, was she younger or older — an all-important matter at our time of life, then moire impatient waiting, spent on looking about the place and getting settled in my own special cubicle. At last the Toronto train arrived, and with it the second house-girl. No two could have been more different and perhaps for that reason we got on very well. I wonder whether this will come under her eye and whether she will agree School life was perforce, tame with so small a number, but we got some fun out of it and a third girl arrived before Christmas to vary the monotony. After Christmas we were six, which by comparison seemed quite a household. Our sense of humor was not lacking when we saw ourselves as Trafalgar on parade, at times it consisted of a teacher and one girl! It seems to me now, that it must have been an awful fag to take that one girl out, the temptation to tell her to run away and play must have been almost over mastering. After Miss Fairley arrived, in January of the first school year, many things were done for our amusement. There were wonderful Charades and Tableaux, which meant wonderful dresses, wonderfully made out of every conceivable thing. In the second year we had a fancy dress ball, that is what it was called, in the gymnasium, which was part of the coach house, not the present well equipped quarters, for it must be remembered that this was the beginning of things. Some of us have vivid recollections of that same room at 7.30 a.m. when we went, week about, through the snow, to practise the piano. The covered way came later, we were pioneers. I shall not forget the quantities of flowers that were in the house; they added something which we youngsters were not con- scious of, but which remains an impression after many years. The garden was always beautiful, and a great pleasure. We did not enjoy the high fence for we were sure interesting things were going on outside, and envied the day girls as they disappeared through the gate. The second year opened with a house full, twenty girls, all there was room for. They came from all parts of the Dominion 12

Page 13 text:

diversions, and if it be true, that " the years which make us happy make us wise " , the young damsels who are fortunate enough to be receiving their education in these days when so much is done to make the desert of learning blossom as the rose, should be wise above their fellow women. No account of the first quarter of a century in the life of Trafalgar can be complete without some reference to Miss Fairley, the Principal during that period. So great, however, is Miss Fairley ' s dislike for publicity that I must touch but lightly her part in building up the sure and safe foundations on which the spiritual and intellectual life of the school were laid. That the work is everything, the worker but a means to an end was a firm belief of Miss Fairley. Workers come and go, each one does his appointed task and passes out of the sphere of active life. The work continues and only by the work can the worker be judged, If the work is well done that is all that is necessary. That the school should be a real training for the wider school of life, that duty should come before pleasure, that the studies of most importance are those which teach concentration, exactness and a willingness to face and to overcome intellectual or moral difficulties were the chief principles by which Miss Fairley was guided. Very little by precept but always by example these ideals were kept ever before pupils and teachers. Miss Fairley took a deep, genuine and personal interest in all the girls. Many of her old pupils are doing useful work in various fields of activity, and there are few who do not acknowl- edge what a wonderful influence she had upon their lives and characters. During the twenty-five years that it was my privilege to work under Miss Fairley I can recall no lowering of one of her high standards under any pressure whatsoever. Of self-interest she was quite incapable. She is one " of the company of sincere souls who are content to " leave no memorial but a world made a little better by their lives. " The Trafalgar chronicles are singularly uneventful and the swiftly passing years record little but a slow but steady growth. In the time of re-construction which will follow the terrible upheaval which is at present shaking the whole world, past, pres- ent and future pupils of Trafalgar will, I am sure, play a worthy part. In so doing they can best carry on the traditions of the school. C. M. MITCHELL. 11

Page 15 text:

and things waxed interesting. Girls are girls in all ages and we sized each other up and broke up into groups, just as the following years have done Trafalgar on parade was growing to be something worth while, but alas, we were no longer taken to what we considered the interesting part of the town. Twenty girls in a crowded street was not to be thought of, and we were much grieved. Friendships were formed which have held fast. There was the usual competition in class, the girls who worked and the girls who came out at the top apparently without effort, for they never studied so far as we could judge. School life, I expect, was much the same as it is to-day, up to a certain point, but many things have been added to give interest and pleasure to the daily round. We all owe allegiance to Trafalgar and I may add, are glad to have been Trafalgar girls during the regime of our devoted friend. Miss Fairley. Market Drayton, England. March 14th, 1918 My dear Girls of Trafalgar: — I must first of all say a very sincere " thank you " to the Magazine Committee for giving me this opportunity of sending a word of greeting and best wishes to all Trafalgar girls past and present, and especially to those who were in the school during the two short, but happy, years of my principalshio. I am but an indifferent correspondent and the absorbing claims of these strenuous days have taken up much letter-writing time; but news of the school has often reached me and I have felt so proud and pleased to hear of the way in which so many of the girls have been devoting themselves to the different forms of service which we call " war work. " I am afraid that this cruel war has laid a very heavy burden of sorrow and separation on many a Trafalgar girl and I should like, if I may, to take this opportunity of saying how deeply I sympathize with those girls, they have been very often in my thoughts. It is a great thing to be Canadian in these days and one feels so thankful for the privilege one has had of working in a country that has sent such gallant men and women to suffer and endure for justice and liberty. Homes and schools are where such tradi- tions of service and sacrifice are fostered and never had we greater need of the finest and best of both than to-day. The strength of a school lies in its girls and p erhaps especially in its " old Girls " who are making the homes in which are to grow up those young lives who are to realize those ideals and high purposes for which civilisation is suffering and contending to-day. 13

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