In 1959 I came to the little white school house in Barkway to teach.
The warmth of the families pointed out to me that the school was the heart of the community. That was never more evident than the night of the Christmas concert. Weeks ahead of the event many of the lessons revolved around preparation for the occasion. The day of the concert the school moved to the Orange Hall. Between rehearsals the younger children made decorations for the tree and to pin on the curtains that went across the stage. The older boys went to get a tree, while there was singing, recitations and an air of, will the performance go well?
The snowy cold weather the night of the concert hurried everyone inside. The hall was full and excitement bounded off the walls. The kids were great.
The ladies provided refreshments and the kids, basking in the glow of their success received a treat. I truly felt the spirit of Christmas in that warm gathering.
By Betty (Yeoman) Watt 2014
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYDE: Neither rain nor cloudy skies could deter a devout crowd from participating in Ryde’s Annual Birthday Party at Ryde Public School on Saturday. Many turned out to take part in the many fun games, demonstrations and activities put on to celebrate Ryde’s 106th birthday. A big hit with the kids was Anita Stephenson’s face painting…..
The Herald-Gazette August 28, 1985
Barbara Tingey (last school teacher in 1962 at S.S.1 Ryde (Barkway) taught 22 children in grades one to six during the last two years the school operated, with Grades 7 and 8 having been sent over to Housey’s Rapids. “I prepared work for each Grade in the core subjects of English, composition, arithmetic and penmanship,” she recalls. “But for science, health, and social studies, I grouped two or three grades.” In her day, penmanship and phonics were very important, considered to be the basics of the literate person.
The Muskokan May 28, 1987