I had a post written for my Tuesday turn on the My Dad And Me segment of Janelle’s blog, but as I read her silly, sentimental thoughts about Western Christian College I smiled, choked up a bit, and wiped away a tear or two as memories flooded my mind, and I began to write a new post.
My memories also start as a young child, but go back to the day Radville Christian College was born. A few years after the birth of the high school my parents travelled from Harptree to Radville, one Sunday morning, to drop off a 13-year-old grade nine student, and my years of participation in Christian education had their beginning.
I remember the good times spent on the river, early morning hockey practice, public speaking contests, ball games and field days, drama practice, literary club and study hall. I also remember trying out the river ice too early in the fall and going swimming too early in the spring, and the consequences thereof. Oh yes, we also had classes to attend, but I don’t remember much about them – actually I do remember – it was there I acquired the incentive for further education. What I remember most are the people – the ones I went to school with and the ones who taught us and looked after our physical needs. The ones who loved me when I was learning to navigate my own way and was at times mistake-prone. They are gone now, but I remember them and thank them.
Janelle, your blog about Western brought back sweet memories of our time there. Last night I lay awake for an hour or two and looked out the living window of the red barn, and watched some of the things you described taking place. I was grateful Western provided the setting for those memories to be formed, and so for a while, I walked the sidewalk with you, visited some of the friends you talked about, and looked in on a few of the adults along the way. Because those adults were the friends we worked with, had coffee with, planned with, prayed for the success of our school with, and yes, at times, disagreed with, because they were our community.
As I traversed the sidewalk to the other end, I heard Norman shout, “Get off the grass,” and watched Sam going into the boiler room to feed the furnace. I saw Floyd getting the bus ready for a basketball trip, and Ernest coming out of his office carrying a pair of overalls as he was going into an apartment to fix some leaky plumbing. I passed by the new education building and saw some of the students busy at work, some pretending they were busy, and others enjoying the time with that special person in their life. I saw Roland going into the shop with an armful of broken hockey sticks that I knew he would skillfully repair and get ready for the next game. I did see Miss T in her familiar stance at the front of a classroom and Jack in his new lab. Roger was explaining something new to his psychology class, Jim was busy preparing for his next Greek class, Ellen was unpacking a new shipment of books that had just arrived, and John Harvey was explaining something to his statistics class.
A host of other people wandered by, and I was grateful for all of them. Students, teachers, staff members, parents dropping of their children for the first time, parents stopping by the office to find out what was happening in their children’s lives, and huge crowds of folks headed to the rink for lectureship. I saw Coy and Charlotte – they lived at the other end – trying to get together enough money to go for Chinese food later on with Shirley and me. Shirley was busy doing the same thing.
When we left the education building, we met J.C. going down the sidewalk with his paint sprayer, headed for the next building that needed a facelift. Clinton was going into the chapel with a group of young Timothy’s, and I thought about all the students he taught. I thought about other students who have learned under teachers at Dauphin or Regina, who have impacted our churches.
The Journey to The Other End took me through better facilities at both Dauphin and Regina, but it was still the people I saw, and it will always be the people. People that need to be in community. People that will, in community, be changed and bring about change in their worlds.
Thank you, Radville and Western Christian, for giving me the opportunity to learn and participate as a student, staff member, board member and a fellow sidewalk traveller. Thank you, fellow travellers, and may God’s blessing be with you as you continue your journey.
*** posted by David