poetry and prose about place

remembering place: high school

with 8 comments

swing chair voyages.png


In Grade 10, 11 and 12, I went to Sidney Stephen High in Bedford Nova Scotia .


Sidney Stephen High

Sidney Stephen High (now a Middle School)


I had good friends.  I loved all my teachers.  I took swimming and golf lessons.  I went to school dances and played piano at our various talent nights.  I was on our school’s Reach for the Top team and answered only one question during the television program … name Santa’s eight reindeer!  We lost to Halifax West, the school where my Dad was Vice-Principal.


I walked the sidewalk above so many times.  Once I carried Myles Goodwyn’s guitar down that hill.  The guitar was borrowed for a weekend, something to do with a talent night.  Myles Goodwyn is producer, singer, guitarist and composer in one of Canada’s greatest rock groups, April Wine.


Just outside the end door in the wing of the school visible in the image above, sitting on the grass, I helped my friends prepare for a test on William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.  Among my friends, I alone actually read the book, and I made the lowest test score of the four people I coached that day!!!


English and History were my favorite subjects.  My English teachers were Mr. Burke and Mrs. Bussey.  I learned about Shakespeare, the Romantic poets and travel writing. I remember Mr. Burke’s class so clearly: ‘Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ (Ozymandias, Shelley).  In Mrs. Bussey’s English class we went to live theatre and I fell in love with set design.  I remember the two-storey backdrop of the set for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Neptune Theatre.  The house I live in today, which my husband and I built with the help of my Dad, has a loft inspired by that set.


Our History teacher, Mr. Harvey, was a great inspiration, taking us to all the historical nooks and crannies in the area. Our History Club researched the first length of the old stagecoach route between Lower Sackville and Truro (surveyed in 1817-1818 by Woolford; for an old map of this road, see  For the project we actually walked the old road, even then almost obscured by the growth of the forest.  We could still see the path of the road by looking for the younger trees in the landscape, and we could find the old culverts.  Later, we made a 3-D model of the road and its path between lakes and hills.  Today, the old road begins at the Fultz Museum in Sackville (once Fultz’s Twelve-mile House, an inn along the way) and follows various local roads, including part of the Old Cobequid Road.  I once lived (my first apartment) just across the lake from the old road (the long lake in the upper part of the map below).


old road scakville to truro


If we ever had one, I did not go to my class reunion for Sidney Stephen.  I gradually lost touch with my friends, although I know where they live (not a threat!) and a little about their lives since High School.    And I still talk to Mr. Burke, my English teacher, occasionally.  Some friends I will never see again and that makes me very sad.


Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

8 Responses

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  1. Isn’t it great to “go back” sometimes.? Yes,,,,,Sid had a reunion,,,,Cyril didn’t go,,,I hope you were not here to take that picture cause if you were and didn’t come to see me,,,I will be wondering “why”. Ha.! Don’t mind me Jane,,,I know how busy you must be.



    May 31, 2014 at 6:47 am

    • Hi Patsi. I wonder if I would have recognised people from my old class??? The photo was from Street View … I will be visiting you some time! Jane


      jane tims

      May 31, 2014 at 9:25 pm

  2. an interesting project



    May 26, 2014 at 7:25 pm

  3. Great idea for a project!



    May 26, 2014 at 12:21 pm

  4. You have a good memory, Jane. My future sister-in-law and I grew up in the same town but in different school districts so we didn’t know each other until we married two brothers. Once we went back to the town to do some research on her family history. My former elementary school is now the town hall and her former elementary school is now the town library…


    Barbara Rodgers

    May 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

    • Hi Barbara. I have forgotten more than I remember. I later worked with someone who went to my High School in the same grade, but I couldn’t ever remember seeing him there. Jane


      jane tims

      May 26, 2014 at 5:32 pm

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