S.S. No. 1 Komoka School – The Beginnings excerpt from The Heritage of Lobo
School Sections No. 1, known as the Komoka School, was in operation as early as 1842. The first school, south of the CNR tracks, was built on crude logs and heated by a huge fireplace. Desks were probably a board resting on pegs driven into the logs. Rude benches served as seats. Pens were devised from goose quills and were used with ink made from natural products. By 1857, the Komoka School had been replaced by a red brick school on Arthur Street. Students used slate pencils to do their sums when teacher W.E. Langford taught them in 1881-82. Wm. Batchelor became the next teacher in 1883, Emma Austin in 1885, John McLellan from 1887 to 1890, Emily Howard in 1891, Alex Rose, 1892, Wm. Robinson in 1893 and J.B. James in 1894. The last Komoka School was built in 1895 on a site on the east of Main Street, between Railway and Ontario Avenues. During the WWI years the teachers were, W.H. Stephenson and Fanny W. Westcott in 1913-1914, Leo J. Langan in 1915-1916 and Marguerite Douglas in 1917. Although trustees agreed to take no part in the school picnic at Poplar Hill from 1917 to 1921, they did donate $5.00 as price money to a school fair and this donation increased each year, reaching $75.00 by 1925. Teachers’ salaries also increased during the Twenties. Even the pupils, who had previously received $2.00 for piling 15 cords of wood, then received $3.00. Trustees in this period had familiar surnames: Wm. Barber, A.J. Campbell, L. Leckie, Wm. Waugh, Colin McKinley, Richard Frank, Chas. Wernham and Geo. Blanchard. The first woman to be elected as trustee was Mrs. E.H.A. Home. She was elected in 1927. Mrs. O’Neil and Mrs. I. Wernham, were also elected between 1927 and 1931. They were the only three women trustees. Other trustees in this period were Stilson Swales, Ed Small, Emerson Cornell, Harry Norton, W. Arrand, T.G. Turnbull, C.G.F. Bignell and Edgar Doan. Hyrdo was first installed in the school in 1929. In 1930, a Government Building Inspector reported the building to be unsafe and in need of repairs at an estimated cost of $3000. A special meeting of ratepayers was called and it was decided to repair the old school, rebuilding the side walls, lowering the ceilings and building two cloak rooms at the back of each room. It was decided, also, to hire two teachers, even though attendance had dropped to 42 pupils. This school was sold in 1965 to William Tunks for $9,000.
SS Komoka 1920
Issue 29 - Jan/Feb 2020 Page 13
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