Celebrating the Past
By: Pam Heard '73
“There were five of us Heards attending Tweedsmuir and Strathcona, and we moved into the Headmaster’s house when STS moved to the country. We were called the Heard Birds."
It is such a privilege to write on behalf of my Dad, Sandy Heard, and the Heard Family. They all are so proud of what Strathcona-
Tweedsmuir School (STS) has become. My Mom, Lois Haskayne, fondly remembers her years at Strathcona School for Boys and STS, especially her relationships with the teachers and our childhood STS friends that we still have today. There were five of us Heards attending Tweedsmuir and Strathcona, and we moved into the Headmaster’s house when STS moved to the country. We were called the Heard Birds: myself, my sister Janice, Mark, Cynthia, and Rod.
You may think that living in that beautiful house just around the corner was a bed of roses. Not so fast!!! In the summer, we were in charge of the irrigation pipes to water the fields. Those were the pipes that you had to move around every hour. It was heavy labour. We also planted potatoes in the hockey rink, which required a lot of back-breaking weeding, as there were eight kids in the house. There was only one custodian at STS, so on many a weekend we could be found vacuuming and cleaning all the windows. I’m not sure that was even legal, but my Dad always made it fun.
My Mom attended our games, and hosted many dinners. She also took in additional children that lived down east but wanted to attend the School because of my Dad. At one point there were eight of us living in the house, not to mention seventy-five guinea pigs, a lamb, and three dogs. Beans was one of the dogs, and he was a school attendee – we would have no problem with mice if he was here today. Not so fondly, my Mom remembers ironing the five childrens’ uniforms, shirts, and my dad’s handkerchiefs.
One of my memories I have of my Dad is when he decided to ‘modernize’ assembly, which was held in what is now the small gym. At the time it easily held all of our students. We actually considered it a palace, because my gym at Tweedsmuir was the basement of the Elbow Park Anglican church. Along with O’ Canada, our assembly announcements, and probably the Lord’s Prayer, he decided that the whole school would sing Jerimiah was a Bull Frog. He handed out the lyrics. I was in Grade 10 and, much to my embarrassment, he decided to dance to that song in front of the school and bellow the lyrics to a totally stunned student body. While the teachers bravely accompanied him, there were crickets from the students. It didn’t happen again.
My Dad would be blown away by what STS has become, both physically and educationally, especially with regards to the Outdoor Ed program and the Arts. Our School still holds true to the culture he helped to create: teachers that are extraordinary and extremely dedicated, older students taking care of younger students, a sense of family and giving back to the community, a diverse student body that works hard and plays hard, a cultivation of leadership, friendship, and citizenship, parents who go above and beyond to support the School and, of course, Nil nisi optimum, Nothing but our best!
The future is bright as STS has a solid legacy and vision for the future. No pressure on my daughters, but I hope their children will attend in the future.