It may seem strange to hold the most exciting event of the school year in the autumn but winter weather and spring mud were obstacles to rural assemblies in the later part of the school calendar. This little exhibition of homespun achievements, arranged by the teachers and pupils at Denbigh, is probably little different from similar events across Ontario a century or so ago. The activities which kept children busy throughout the hot, sunny summer days and golden September are very different from those which occupy children now. Reading the list of exhibitors gives a brief glimpse of well-turned gardens, busy kitchens and basic classroom endeavors when our grandparents were young.

From Napanee Express, October 30th, 1928:


Oats - Vincent Ferguson, Isaiah Presley, Evelyn Blain

Oats (sheaf) - Isabella Presley, Vincent Ferguson, Lena Kline [sic], Evelyn Stein, Karl Fritsch

Wheat - Iona Rose, Isabella Presley, Lawrence Seeley

Wheat (sheaf) - Isabella Presley, Iona Rose, Lawrence Seeley, Cecil Edwards

Barley - Nelson Rose, Edna Petzold, Herbert Berndt, Ruby Ferguson, Ellsworth Presley, Lesley Seeley

Barley (sheaf) - Ellsworth Presley, Edna Petzold, Ruby Ferguson, Leslie Seeley, Nelson Rose

Sweet Corn - Ruth Faulk, Aileen Ball, Ethel Presley, Georgina Lane, Barnard Inwood, Ruth Gregg

Potatoes - Earl Gregg, Cecil Rogers, Reginald Edwards, Morgan Lane, Irene Adams, Kenneth Glaeser

Potatoes [different type? seed potatoes?] - Evelyn Ball, Gladys Thompson, Cecil Edwards, Janet Lane, Howard Green, Vincent Ferguson

Turnips - Harry Kline [sic], Morris Rogers, Kenneth Seeley, Vivian Dool

Mangels - Nelson Rose, Cecil Rogers, Kenneth Seeley, Elsa Fritsch, Vivian Dool

Beets - Audrey Gregg, Gladys Bell, Morris Rogers, Lloyd Smith, Ruby Ferguson, Dorothy Presley

Carrots - Lucy Gregg, Francis Inwood, Lloyd Ferguson, Cecil Edwards, Orma Fritsch, Dorothy Presley

Onions - Aleta Inwood, Edna Rose, Reginald Bloom, Cameron Dool, Ellen Thompson

Parsnips - Iona Rose, Sara Thompson, Gladys Thompson, E. Presley, Gladys Thompson [two exhibits?]

Asters - Orma Fritsch, Dorothy Presley, Evelyn Stein, Viola Lloyd, Edna Rose

Sweet Peas - Isabella Presley, Ruth Faulk, Viola John

Phlox - K. Frisch [sic], Ora Fritsch, Florence Rose, Ethel Presley

Zinnia - Viola John

African Marigold - Irene Lloyd, Ellsworth Presley

Verbena - Rena Glaeser

Calendula - Irene Adams

Salpiglossis - Elsie Fritsch, E. Petzold
[Also known as "painted tongue" or "velvet flower", salpiglossis has small, brilliantly-coloured, petunia-like blossoms. In Canada, it is a flower of late summer, blooming from August through to the first frost. It is considered challenging to grow.]

Apples, Wealthy - Viola John, Lena Kline, Doris Kline, Edna Rose, Evelyn Stein, Isabella Presley

Apples, Talman Sweet - Ellen Thompson

Apples, collection of different types - Doris Kline, Cecil Edwards, Isabella Presley, Janet Lane, E. Thompson, Ruth Gregg

Spring Colt - Lloyd Ferguson, Ernest Ferguson

Calf - Muriel Petzold, Edna Petzold, Kenneth Glaeser, Thora Green

Spring Lamb - Edna Petzold

Barred Rock Cockerel - Elmer Lloyd

Collection of Weeds - Ruth Faulk, Lucy Gregg, Isabella Presley, Madeline Dool
[A project often assigned to children was to mount a collection of weeds. The objective was to teach them to identify plants which were deemed a nuisance to agriculture.]

Collection of Hay and Pasture Crops - Isabella Presley, Bernard Inwood

Bird House - Clarence Shaw, Reginald Bloom, Bernard Inwood

Wooden Mallet - Bernard Inwood, Clarence Shaw

Bran Muffins - Doris Glaeser, Gladys Thompson, Ethel Presley

Oatmeal Cookies - Ruth Faulk, Orma Fritsch, Ethel Presley, Isabella Presley, Dorothy Presley, Gladys Thompson

Apple Pie - Ruth Gregg, Orma Fritsch, Rena Glaeser, Isabella Presley, Edna Petzold, Nora Rosenblath

Homemade candy - O. Fritsch, Viola John, Isabella Presley, Ellen Thompson, S. Thompson, Madeline Dool

Clothes Pin Apron - Ruth Faulk, Christina Ferguson, Isabella Presley, Gladys Thompson, Ellen Thompson, Madeline Dool

Handkerchief - Christina Ferguson, Gladys Thompson, Isabella Presley, Madeline Dool, Dorothy Presley, Ethel Presley

Wash Cloth - Gladys Thompson, Muriel Petzold, Christina Ferguson, Ethel Presley, Madeline Dool

Guest Towel - Gladys Thompson, Isabella Presley, Edna Petzold, Christina Ferguson, Aleta Inwood, Madeline Dool

Writing, "The Dandelion" - Ruth Faulk, Ellen Thompson, Fibrence Rose, Elsa Fritsch, Leslie Seeley

Writing, "The Shepherd Boy" - Christina Ferguson, Edna Petzold, Rena Glaeser, Lawrence Seeley, Isabella Presley, Viola John

Writing, "Indian Summer" - Gladys Thompson, Ruby Ferguson, Vinant Ferguson, Doris Glaeser, Ethel Presley, Ora Fritsch

Writing, "The Star" - Reginald Bloom, Lloyd Smith, Dorothy Presley, Addie Kenyon, Ellsworth Presley, Jimmy Wilson

Writing, "The Wind" - Violet Mountney, Muriel Petzold, Wm. Glaeser, Irene Adams, Carl Rahm, Morgan Lane

Map of Canada - Ruth Faulk, Florence Rose, Ellen Thompson

Watercolor Poster - Tommy Thompson, Isabella Presley, L. Seeley, Christina Ferguson, Bernard Inwood, Viola Malcolm

Drawing of a Cat - Aleta Inwood, Gladys Thompson, Ethel Presley, Samuel Thompson, Sarah Thompson

Drawing of a Pumpkin - Reginald Bloom, Addie Kenyon, Dorothy Presley, Lloyd Smith, Ellisworth Presley, Georgina Lane

Stock Naming Contest - Viola Malcolm, Florence Rose, Christina Ferguson, Ellen Ferguson

Public Speaking Contest - Edna Petzold, Ellen Thompson, Aleta Inwood, Evelyn Ball, Cecil Edwards

School Chorus - Denbigh S.S. 5 [Denbigh Village]; Denbigh S.S. 2 [Vennachar]

Strathcona Exercises [demonstration] - Denbigh S.S. 5 [Denbigh Village], Denbigh S.S. 2 [Vennachar]
[Once a ubiquitous part of elementary school life, these physical training exercises are now all but forgotten. They originated with the donation in 1910 of $500,000.00 to the Government of Canada by Lord Strathcona (Sir Donald Alexander Smith), who was then Canadian High Commissioner in London, England. The funds were to be invested at 4% interest, and the revenue was to be spent on developing citizenship, physical fitness and patriotism in Canadian youth. The funds were administered by the Strathcona Trust. At that time, physical training in Canadian public schools was an ad hoc, inconsistent endeavour, when it happened at all. Much concern was expressed over the new "sedentary lifestyle" enjoyed by young people a hundred years ago, which might surprize us today. In 1911, the Strathcona Trust published a sylliabus of physical training exercises based on the Swedish system of educational gymnastics. The intension was to raise the level of physical fitness training in elementary schools and at the same time make it more consistent across the Dominion. The "Strathcona Exercises" were a prominent feature of elementary physical education in Canada for nearly forty years. The Strathcona Trust is perhaps better remembered today for its support of the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.]

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