Sep21ThuRetrospective #14 September 21, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
One of the first readers of my earlier posts made reference to attending a Salvation Army school when growing up in Newfoundland. I too was privileged to have this kind of experience as well. As a matter of fact, my dad started work as a teacher with the Salvation Army. Correction, my dad started work as a Salvation Army Teacher. “What's the difference?” I'm glad you asked. Someone teaching with or for the Salvation Army remains a somewhat independent entity but in the early years a "Salvation Army Teacher", not unlike an officer, was a uniformed soldier of the Army and subject to appointment.
His first appointment was to Triton, in Greenbay, Northeastern Newfoundland where he boarded with the Corps Officer and family, often the practice for young, single teachers. From there he moved to Windsor, in Central Newfoundland, where after a time he left teaching to work for a local business and met and married my mother.
Both my dad’s older and younger sisters also became SA Teachers - the younger, like her brother later leaving to pursue another path of employment. The older sister would one day retire from a long career of teaching with the Salvation Army. (A tribute to her is found below in the form of a poem which might well be applied to most if not all of the teachers I have known or currently know)
My own sister too joined the ranks of SA Teachers only by this time the soldier/appointment status was no longer part of the system, though Teachers did have to have the approval of the SA to work in the system.
The folk I currently work with were Officer/Teachers in their day - another expression of this unique career path and one of them “went to school to” my aunt, referred to above.
Teachers are a special breed in my book. I tried it for two years which was perhaps seven hundred and twenty-nine days longer than I should have. No harm, no foul, move along , there's nothing to see here!
Below you will find a picture of my dear Aunt, a school picture from my sister’s day, as a student that is (she’s front and center…but you didn’t hear that from me!) And then there is a collection of snaps of Newfoundland schools from yesteryear.
Passed the test!
Aunt Alma (Hicks) Abbott
(Remembered with love)
Randy C. Hicks
February 19, 2014
I didn't know her very well
And this I now regret
Forgiving me I think she'd say
"My son you needn't fret!"
For almost one full century
She journeyed down her road
Content with whate'er life did bring
Bravely she bore the load!
She raised her family with pride
Inspiring them with good
Providing for their ev'ry need
As by their sides she stood!
A sister, wife, and mother grand
Her roles fulfilled with joy
The little town in which she lived
Her talents would emplo
Entrusting her with precious stones
She polished them with care
Some rough, some smooth, some bright, some dull,
She bettered them to fare!
In this old world few do as much
Or work so long a time
To mold, to make such jewelry
To create the sublime!
Great treasures precious did emerge
True worth yet to be known
Gifts shining now for all to see
Young lives so healthy grown!
True to her name she nourished them
With kindness gave them love
Inspiring them to be their best
And so their value prove!
Well done good and faithful servant
You've more than earned your rest
Your graduation day has come
Your love has passed the test!