CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Friday Afternoons at School

Friday afternoons at Mattawa's Public School included a variety of events that we all looked forward to as kids .

Right after lunch , depending on the grade , activites started with the half hour of religious instruction by local ministers and priests ( Anglican and United Church ) . The Separate School took care of their own Roman Catholic instruction in English and French . We always felt lucky that we had only to do this weekly at school , on top of Church on Sunday/Sunday school , rather than daily .

 After the required session with our souls , the fun began . Younger grades had the Smokey the Bear Club . It always started with a rousing rendition of the theme song . " Smokey the Bear , Smokey the Bear , Growlin' and aprowlin' and asniffin' the air..."


 Older grades ,after a morning of listening to recited poetry committed to memory , had Music and Art .

Once monthly these activities were put aside for the Red Cross Club . All students were given the monthly magazine . The hour included reading articles from Current Events , hyigene discussions , a talent spot where  Knock Knock Jokes were big ,  and a quick first aid treatment lesson .

A mobile clinic

A TB Test Clinic
 The 1950's was the time when Innoculations and Vaccinations were discovered . All of these were given to school kids across the country . On those particular Friday afternoons , children lined up by grades to get needles for the dreaded Polio , Tuberculosis , Measles and Smallpox - the campaign to stamp out disabilitating or deadly disease - the front lines .

 We would nervously wait in line worrying about the moment when the needle went in . Some students fell apart before getting to the station . They were taken to the Principal's office . Of course , we thought they were in big trouble for not taking the shot and envisioned what torture was being inflicted . It had to be worse than the needle . In actuality , they were given the shot with more personal compassion and time to 'gather themselves' than the assembly line . We would strain to see the faces of completed children . Were they patients or victims ?

Grab the arm . Swab the spot . Stick in the needle . " Next !" . It was done in less than a minute . Most time the pain was minimal . The anticipation was the killer .

Once children in the country had the required needles , Doctors took over the job for new children coming up . The assembly line 'clinic' was reserved for epidemics .

1 comment:

thepowmill said...

Darn! I can't get that song out of my head now .