IMPERIAL OIL REVIEW September, 1927 pages 7 to 8
courtesy of Glenbow Archives, Calgary
Teaching The Young Idea How To Shoot

Imperoyal Youth Celebrating Canada's Diamond Jubilee 1927
Imperoyal Youth Celebrating Canada's Diamond Jubilee
"THERE is no Royal road to learning," but this old saw has lost much of its application for certain of the youth of Nova Scotia, for, since October 1919, there has been an "Imperoyal" route to knowledge for the olive branches of Imperial’s employees on our eastern sea-board.

One of the first problems caused by the influx of workers to the site of our refinery in 1917 and 1918 was what to do, educationally, with our boys, to say nothing of the girls.

The nearest "little red schoolhouse"  was a mile and a half distant, a long, long trail for the feet of tardy youth when summoned by a school bell, so, with a consideration that was perhaps not wholly appreciated by the youngsters, as distance in this instance probably lent enchantment and provided a "sure-fire" alibi for non-attendance, a temporary school was opened on the site of the construction camp, and ninety-six pupils sat down to master the three ‘‘Rs’’ under the guidance of Miss V. E. Lowndes.

The school thus formed was under the jurisdiction of "Eastern Passage School Section", but received financial assistance from our Company.

It was unfortunate that the first scholastic year should be interrupted by an epidemic
of "Spanish influenza," which not only interfered with the studies but resulted in
the resignation of the teacher.

If the Imperoyal youth was afflicted with the usual schoolboy psychology this must have been looked upon as a gift from the gods, for, as we recall it, there was only one calamity which was more to be desired than an epidemic and that was the total destruction of the halls of learning by fire.

It was soon apparent that more pretentious educational facilities were necessary and on May 26th, 1920, the schoolhouse shown in our picture was opened.

It is a wooden structure supported on concrete walls 10’ high, which affords ample playroom space in the well-lit basement.

The main building is 88’ x 50’ with a wing 44’ x 15’. A 10’ hallway extends the whole length of the building, and, from it, open the various classrooms, teachers’ room, cloak-rooms and library.

The nucleus of the library fund was supplied by a gift of $100.00 from the Imperoyal Amateur Athletic Association, augmented by a donation of $70.00 from the pupils themselves.

As an indication of the public-spirited citizenship which is nurtured in Imperoyal School it is worthy of note that the scholars’ contribution was part of a $300.00 prize won by themselves in a literary competition fostered by "The Evening Mail" and that, whilst their charity may have begun at home in rounding out their library, they had also a mind for the less fortunate and distributed the balance between the Blind, The Victorian Order of Nurses and Dr. Barnardo’s Home.

The Company have also been liberal in their support of the library and the children are not slow to take advantage of the carefully selected books upon its shelves, either as works of reference or for lighter reading at home.

The classrooms are airy and well lighted and the Primary and Intermediate rooms are capable of being utilized together as an Assembly ball for the scholars or for dancing, entertainments, and social functions in the evening.

Imperoyal School, Imperoyal Oil Review  September 1927
Imperoyal School 1927
Previous to 1922 there were no scholars advanced enough to warrant High School courses, but the passing years and the ambition of the children themselves have now made this a necessity and our graduates are fully equipped to hold their own with City scholars when they enter the Academy at Halifax or the High Schools of Dartmouth.

Amongst the scholars who have passed through Grade IX we have still to find a failure, and one of our pupils, Miss Olive MacMillan, led all the Halifax county schools and was third amongst the city scholars last year in the aggregate on eight subjects.

The Inspector of Schools for Halifax County, Mr. Creighton, on his annual visit this year commented favorably on the good condition of the building, of the decorum of the pupils, as well as their neatness in appearance and bright, cheerful natures. The teachers also inform us that the scholars are, as a whole, intelligent and anxious to learn, and take a pride in keeping their building and
themselves in the best of condition.

The playgrounds adjoining the school are well patronized and, in good weather, the pupils may be seen putting the same vim into their recreation as they evince at their studies.

Neither is their leisure endangered by that mischief which Satan is credited with finding for idle hands as troops of Girl Guides, Brownies, Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs are organized under the supervision of Company employees, who give largely of
their time and talents that the youth of their community may have impressed upon them, at the formative age, the great lessons of obedience, truth, honesty and service.

Now as to our teachers. After Miss Lowndes was laid aside by ill-health, Miss Pineo and Miss O’Brien carried on until the opening of the new school, when they were joined by Miss J. Dunlop.

These ladies resigned in 1921 and were followed by Miss Jessie Creighton, Miss Gladys Lewis, Miss Harriet Kempton and Miss Mackenzie.

IMPEROYAL TEACHERS -  Left to right - Misses Harriet Kempton, H. Simms and Margaret King
MPEROYAL TEACHERS -  Left to right - Misses Harriet Kempton, H. Simms and Margaret King
It says much for the attractiveness of these "school-marms" that they have resigned in rotation to enter the more or less troubled  seas of matrimony, but we regret that, with the exception of Miss Kempton, they have all seen fit to brighten homes in other districts and deprive Imperoyal of their charms. For Miss Kempton we bespeak a long and happy life in the community where she has labored so earnestly during the past six years.

Miss Simms and Miss King with a new assistant will reopen the school after vacation with probably 150 pupils under their care.

The School Board, consisting of Mr. D. M. Allan. Chairman, Dr. R. F. P. Malcolm and Mr. L. J. Isnor, Secretary, acts in perfect harmony with the staff and educational authorities, and to their efforts the high standard of efficiency, both of teachers and pupils, is largely due.

Imperoyal School is financed entirely by Imperial Oil Limited, and no one can question the wisdom of a policy which aims at promoting free access to the well-springs of knowledge.

We feel certain that the boys and girls who go out from this humble hall of learning, will, in the future years, prove a virile, clean-living and high-thinking addition to the manhood and womanhood of the nation, and a source of pride and satisfaction to their preceptors and the Company which is endeavoring to ensure that their early footsteps are planted in the way of wisdom