Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sepia Saturday



It's been a little while since I participated in Sepia Saturday and it's been a period of ups and downs, my beloved tia Linda died which has been a complete shock to my system, despite the fact that she was 91.  Somehow one continues to take life for granted even when one should know better.

On the up side of things, my latest book, Storm Warning, is out. My aunt was a great supporter of my writing so I think she'd be happy about that at least.

Below is a picture which I think was taken at the Antigua Girls High School back in the twenties or thirties but I'm not sure. It was a trimmed picture but when I asked my aunt about it, she couldn't say why.


FROM THE AGHS WEBSITE - "The history of the AGHS began in 1886, when an English couple- a Mr. and Mrs. Williams, came to Antigua, because of Mr. William's failing health. Mrs. Williams became the school's first headmistress. After her husband died, she sent for her sister and together they shared the responsibility of running the school. At this time the school had boarding facilities for local students, as well as students from neighbouring Caribbean islands such as St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Dominica and Grenada.
"In 1902 Mrs. Williams and Ms. Easie resigned and were succeeded by Ms. Simpson, who served for two years. From 1905 to 1944 Misses Millicent and May Branch served as joint headmistresses.
Because of steadily increasing numbers, the school changed its location several times. It first moved to St. Mary's Street, near the Nook, then East and Radcliff, back to St. Mary's Street and finally to its present location. At that time suitable accommodations became a pressing problem and so the idea of a building fund started. It was also decided that a governing body be created and have complete control of the school. In 1964 the school became government owned.
"During the 1960s the school's curricula was rather limited. Subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Spanish and Music were excluded from the school's curricula. At the end of Secondary School, many of the young ladies were only able to teach Latin, French, and English. Many passed through without the benefit of a science subject. However when the government took over the school there was expansion of the curricula and sciences were included. A science lab was built, for prior to that, the ladies had to go to the A.G.S for Science classes. Today, in addition to the science, business subjects, Spanish, Info. Tech, Library Studies and Music are all part of the curricula."


14 comments:

  1. For some reason I liked it when I would be asked to clean the chalkboard after classes in the afternoon. Your photo brings back that memory.

    Hazel

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    1. Yes, I liked doing it too and always made sure my fingernails didn't screech.

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  2. I visited Antigua in 1970 or so; also Nevis and St. Kitts -- went to visit a school on Nevis and loved the open-air concept! What a stunning part of the world! Loved this post!

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  3. I am sorry to hear about your aunt. This is an interesting photo. At first I was impressed with the wastepaper basket which seemed very grand. Now I'm trying to figure out what subject they're doing from the blackboard. It looks like Grammar - I can read the words "nominative" and "cases" but can't read the heading. Congratulations on publishing another novel. I hope to visit the Caribbean one day.

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    1. Alex, I was trying to figure it out too but haven't a clue.

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  4. Do blackboards exist anymore? We had a master who never missed when he threw a blackboard rubber. I can still feel the impact!

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    1. They do here in the BVI - at least in the public schools but maybe not so much the public schools where I hear they're using some sort of newfangled :) computer technology.

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  5. Balancing life's measure of loss and good fortune is always stressful.

    I'm struck by the girl's posture at the blackboard with her hand at her back. Cursive writing on paper or on a board is no longer taught. Recently I tried to describe the shriek of fingernails on chalkboard to a young child and they didn't know what I meant as they only use dryboard markers.

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    1. The sound of that screech is unforgettable!

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  6. So sorry to hear about your loss, and it's so true she was so lucky to live to be 91, but it still comes as a great loss, to those who want to share just another day in life. Memories will comfort you well, keep her close to you. It's good to see you back here too! I have to share my favorite memory in school with the old blackboard that has been replaced by the dry erase board for one. We used to play 7 UP with the erasers and I'm betting that game is history too now!

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    1. Hi Karen - thank you so much for your kind words. Ninety-one is a great age but yes, I certainly do wish I could have had several more years with her.

      What is 7 UP? I don't think I know it.

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  7. Yes, that blackboard does bring back memories.
    Sorry to hear about your aunt. Would love to hear more
    about your book.
    Nancy

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  8. Oh I have such memories of the blackboard. Just the blackboard and me through the lunch hour as I wrote "I will not talk in class" over and over and....

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  9. Welcome back to Sepia Saturday, and condolences on the death of your aunt. Whatever the grammar is that they're studying (I can't make out the first word either) they don't seem particularly pleased about it.

    Good luck with your new book.

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