A Poem for Brussels

April 17, 2009

Just a little poem from Europe to remind you of all the beauty and majesty that exists in the world on this cold, cold night.

I often thought I’d like to write
A poem about a school
And when you’ve finished reading this
You’ll think I am a fool
For when I started out to write
The writing got me down
I thought I’d change the subject
And write about the town.

In 1940 thereabouts I went to B.C.S.
How many friends I made while there
I really cannot guess
As I recall some of the names
That spring into my mind
I hope that you’ll remember too
And may our thoughts be kind.

Now George MacNichol was my friend
We came to school at eight
And he is still my friend today
And really that is great
Of other names remember
Frank from Walton he drove in
And Jim Lamont right off the farm
As smart as any pin.

Now Jimmy Prest he married Jean
A neighbour she of mine
She rode in my car to school
When the weather it was fine
And Jean and Ruth were sisters fair
They were a comely pair
Their dolls I used to cuddle so
They had such lovely hair.

When I went off to B.C.S.
With Halbert I was riding
My neighbour he of many years
We were most law abiding –
Of other seniors at the school
Remember Tom and Ear
When arguing on religion
They’d cause your hair to curl.

Of Bakers there were many
Elizabeth and Mary
And George and Mac. I guess that’s all
Those four would drive you hairy
With nick names we had quite a few
Remember Tough and Tic
And Allen Rolles at hockey
Was a master with a stick.

Two students I remember
The names were Bert and Jack
They went away to fight the war
And never did come back
No doubt there were some others
Who in the war were slain
But we must not forget them
Or they have died in vain.

Now girls that were in my class
I guess I loved them all
Some were short and stocky
Others lean and tall
There was Helen M and Della T
And Doris and Tina A.
And there was Jean and Josephine
And more than I can say.

Ours was Continuation school
With grades right down to one
And one time I could name them all
For me that was some fun
Remember now the Samis twins
I knew each one by name|
And they could never fool me
Though they really looked the same.

The Lawless boys have gained some fame
As teachers in the schools
Although they sometimes acted up
They really were not fools
They really made a mighty mark
After they left town
I think ’twas Ruth and Dorothy
That made them settle down.

In classes at the B.C.S.
There always was a Stiles
With Alice Joe and Junior
Their names go on for miles
It was a lovely family
At studies they did well
How mother kept them fed and dressed
It`s pretty hard to tell.

Now teachers I can name a few
There was Helen, Marg and Ken
Remember Martin Murray
A man among all men
Now O.L.D. he picked on me
He made me sit up straight
And Maurice Laycock taught the Math
He really was first rate.

And when it came to music
Idella sang with Jean
In all my years in music
No better pair I’ve seen
And Bobs, our school caretaker
Was a good musician too
He played in church on Sunday
His theory well he knew.

Remember the Jardine girls
Dorothy and Joyce
I don’t know which one I would take
If I could have had my choice.
And then along came Isabel
To help out with my poem
Often after skating
I used to walk her home.

With Walker, Kerr and Cardiff
No teacher dared relax
For if they ever did so
They were apt to sit on tacks
As I remember B.C.S. I had not time to fool
When all is said that can be said
It was a real good school.

Remember Tom and Archie
Their parents loved to bake
I still can taste their loaves of bread
Also their pies and cake
And then there was Luella
She dearly loved to teach
To find a better teacher
I don’t think one could reach.

And then there were the Dickson girls
With their famous five and ten
Today the cents are dollars
As anyone would ken
It’s now run by Luella
With help from cousin Jack
I guess it’s nigh impossible
To get the old days back.

Of merchants on the Brussels street
I remember quite a few
There was Ike and Tye and Doris and Lorne
Can you remember too?
There was Joe and Bill and Reggie
And Arge and Bill and Cleve
And Stan and Maggie with hamburgs.
Some names I can’t retrieve.

The poolroom was the hangout
For many of the lads
Boston cost a nickel
We didn’t tell our dads
And sometimes at the old hotel
We’d get a game for free
No one seemed to really care
And it didn’t bother me.

We all remember Cecil,
A character of note
Everyone would tease him
Just to get his goat.
And Bakers had bologna
That no one else could match
And still today they make it
I wish I had a batch.

Skating was the winter sport
Students paid just five
Cents that is. Two nights a week
It was great to be alive
‘Twas Ned who made some fancy cuts
But no one could compete
With Bill and sister Janet
They were nimble on their feet.

Now just a few more names to write
Before I close the books
If I have left you off the list
Don’t give me dirty looks.
One teacher I shall never forget
‘Twas Science that she taught
Of course ’twas Mrs. Wilton
My interest soon she caught.

Remember Speirs and Bowmans
They ranked among the best
And Jeannie Yuill was special
A pearl among the rest
The Scotts were tall and handsome
The Huethers were all short
The Jewels and Foxes I recall
Were quite involved in sport.

We have some famous graduates
Our students were not dumb
There`s one that I remember
‘Twas Doctor Lois Plum
And teachers there were many
And nurses by the score
And Vets and farmers for the land
You couldn’t ask for more.

In Brussels there were Stevensons
I remember Doc and Billy
And then there were the Russels
One married J.P. Kelly
With Elliots and McCutcheons,
McTavishes and Woods
There’s nothing that you couldn’t buy
They really had the goods.

And when it came to soccer
Brussels always had a team
With Pearson and the Steiss’s
Those boys could be real mean
But when they met with Ethel
They put them to the test
With Percy, Charles and Eddie
And Cliff and Carl and Quest.

By now I think I hear you say
I’m getting sick of this
That guy is simply getting old
He likes to reminisce
You’re right, I do enjoy it
It’s one thing that is ours
And when it comes to rhyming
I could go on for hours.

So now I’d like to close my verse
With statistics up to date
So far I’ve mentioned several names
In fact just eighty-eight
If you remember all of them
Then I think I can agree
Your memory hasn’t slipped too much
And you’re near as old as me.

When writing verses such as this
A writer has some fun
It’s very easy to offend
Which I hope I have not done
For if I have I’m truly sad
And I apologize
And maybe these past memories
Will make you dry your eyes.

So here’s a toast to B.C.S.
With purple, green and gold
If it were still in use today
‘Twould really be quite old
They say that education
Is better now than then
I’m really not so sure of that
(With me) B.C.S. ranked a 10.
-Edwin Hall


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