From the Souvenir Program, January 15, 1951
In 1910 the District was assessed at $200. It was not until 1917 that School District No 5 was referred to as "Bridgedale School District No. 5." In 1920 money received was $637.56 and expenditures were $453.01. About this time teachers' salaries took a jump to almost $60 per month paid in installments.
The year 1922 brought rumors of school consolidation but nothing came of it. The next year $750 was voted for school purposes, and that further provisions be made for a graded school. A. Hazen Steeves was secretary and H.W. Gaskin, auditor. Business was surely picking up as the Secretary percentage amounted to $42.61 and S.K. Dawson was appointed assistant secretary in 1925. Talks still went on about consolidation, but the majority of ratepayers were against it. Trustees are Joseph Hoeg, Walter Steeves and A.W. Garland.
At a meeting in 1926, $1000 was voted on, but an amendment cut this amount to $500. Another discussion to determine the number in favour of erecting a modern tow-room school house was voted on and carried unanimously. Plans were submitted to borrow $4,000 with interest on same not to exceed 7%, for a period of seven years. The trustees were authorized to sell by public auction the former school house and land, and any furniture or fixtures not required for the new one.
In 1928 A. Hazen Steeves resigned as Secretary and was succeeded by Joseph McClure, Sr. Only routine school business is recorded, with here and there an item of importance standing out, such as enforcement of compulsory school attendance, the purchase of a new water cooler or a contract for janitor work. In this era, the janitor was to supply his own kindling. At this time report cards came into use. A new secretary in the person of Mr. G.O. Thompson was appointed.
By 1934 the Community had grown enough to warrant more school space, and the basement of the Baptist Church was secured for Grades one to four and was used for this purpose for several years.
In 1935, after a bitter struggle throughout the District, and after many historic meetings were held, where a spade was called a spade, it was finally decided to move the existing school house about one-half mile west, add one more class room, provide concrete basement, inside plumbing, electricity and electric pump. The old water pail and tin drinking cup disappeared at that time.
The motion to move the school house west provided for the erection of a one-room school house in the eastern end of the district. Land was purchased and a school erected on it by Frank Steeves.
The contract for moving the school was let to Mr. Charles McDonald, the concrete basement and floor to John Girouard, and the erecting of a new class room to F.M. Lichtenberg. The amount of money required for all operations for about $7,000. Trustees were J.H. McClure, S.K. Dawson and H.A. Garland. It may be of interest to state that Mr. Garland served a total of fourteen continuous years as Trustee, while Mr. G.O.Thompson was Secretary at this time.
Never a community to stand still, the ratepayers began to think of a High School. In 1939 that dream was realized when Grades 9, 10 and 11 were taught, under the direction of the Principal, Mr. Claude Taylor, who continued until 1943, when his resignation was regretfully accepted. In 1941 Mr. G.O. Thompson resigned as Secretary and Mr. C.C. Gaskin was appointed.
By 1945 the three-room school began taking on that bulging at the seams look - too may children for the too small accommodations - and the High School pups were sent to Moncton High School at the expense of the District. A Home and School Association was formed in 1947 and teaching of music in school began. The Mildred Bennett Chapter of the I.O.D.E, Gunningsville, has this as one of their adopted schools. A library has been donated and prize books given at Christmas and at school closings for the student with the highest standing in social studies.
In 1948 Mr. C.C. Gaskin resigned as Secretary and Mr. H.F. Rooke was appointed temporarily until Miss Sue Fullerton was appointed to fill the vacancy. The School Board of this time was faced with the knowledge that more school room was urgently needed. A temporary arrangement was arrived at by leasing the basement of the United Church Hall on Howard Avenue for Grades 1 and 2.
In 1950 the ratepayers and the School Board, under the chairmanship of Mr. Rooke, united to procure four and one-half acres of land from Mr. B.E. Chapman and to proceed with the erection of this splendid building for four class rooms, a modern, efficient, up-to-date school of which Bridgedale School District can well be very proud.
Further evidence of the growth of our community and the necessity for adequate school accommodation is seen in the fact that the School Board has arranged the purchase of a school lot on some five acres in the eastern end of the District which is growing rapidly. Their one-room school is already crowded, and it will only be a few years until more school room is required, the School Board should be commenced for security the site well in advance of requirements.