Issue: July 2019
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Next deadline: August 29

​EGERTON CHRISTMAS

Written by
Published on January 2018

As for Egerton school I soon became acquainted with my fellow students.  The teacher, I recall, was a pretty young girl with dark hair though I do not recall her name now.

As it was nearing Christmas I was recruited for the annual nativity play and so two other boys and myself were given the task to make up costumes for the Three Kings of Orient and subsequently were the Three Kings.  Teacher gave us guidance on the design and the making of each King’s costume.
The concert night came and us three Kings stood up before the audience of parents and relatives and together sang the sacred song “We Three Kings of Orient Are”, then each in turn turned to face the baby Jesus and sang our own verse and presented to the Christ child our gift.  ie  Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  Finally we all sang the first verse together again.  I thought that we looked rather grand in our coloured paper gowns and homemade cardboard crowns made in gold, silver and purple.   
We had a good applause from the folks present including Harry, Jean, Allister and Norma, who was ecstatic, bless her.
In class I had a left hand desk which suited me fine, being a lefty.  I was situated at the back next to the window which was a mistake, really, as teacher soon found out when I suddenly went missing and she found me out that window during fruit season.  I would slip out of the window and gather plums from the nearby trees.  She soon moved me to the middle of the class, desk and all. 
Truth was I was not a good example to the younger pupils.  There you are.  That was me and they thought that I was very brave. 
 
One day in early spring, a man turned up at the school, no doubt by arrangement.  He was apparently from the National    
Film Board of Canada and his mission was to screen films of Canada with geographic content.  In other words, a window as it were of the other parts of the Dominion away from Egerton, far and wide.

He brought with him three reels of film to be screened in the evening to all who had a mind to come – children and parents. 

As he had much to get ready teacher dismissed the school for the afternoon so he could move around better.  As I was the biggest lad he asked if I could stay and give him a hand bringing in his equipment.  This pleased me to no end being his helper.  That evening the schoolhouse was packed with children, parents and even strangers.  It was standing room only when he was ready to go.  Before he did start he made an announcement, “whilst he was changing a film would someone care to sing a short song or recite some poetry”.  No one spoke.  Then if anyone will do this little service, he offered to give that person a $10 war bond.  Guess who volunteered?  I was always ready to earn a dollar or so.  So when the first film finished he beckoned me to the front of the audience and I announced that I would sing the Lovely Ash Grove and when he changed another film I sang Bobby Shaftoe’s Gone to Sea Silver Buckles on His Knee.  Finally, at the end, I gave them It’s A Long Way to Tipperary.

And at the end of the film show he motioned me to stand by him and kept his word and gave me the $10 war bond.  Finally, I helped him to load his van with his equipment and off he went.  I received many pats on the back for my effort.

Uniacke Newsletter
2018-01-13
https://www.uniackenewsletter.ca/stories/egerton-christmas