by John N. Grant
Quarter Castle Publishing
Genre: Nonfiction-History-Nova Scotia-School
Published: September 2018
ISBN (Paperback: 36 pages): 978-1-927625-30-9
Currently available from the author. Contact John N. Grant: email@example.com
School Section #98, Enfield, Nova Scotia
Including an outline of the story of schooling in Goffs, Oldham, Oakfield, and the ‘border district’ of Enfield, NS, from 1820 to 2017
In 1962 the school sections of Goffs (Guysborough Road), Oakfield, Oldham, and Enfield Border were dissolved and Oldfield Consolidated School was built to serve the new school district. School consolidation is never easy. This is the story of the process and the life of the new school.
These communities are near or straddle the borders of Hants County and Halifax County, Nova Scotia.
On Wednesday evening, 1 May 1963, almost 100 people attended the formal opening of the new Oldfield Consolidated School on Hall’s Road, Enfield. The ceremony was chaired by Councillor Mary T. King-Myers, and Lt. Col. Kendrick C. Laurie of nearby Oakfield was the guest speaker. The students of the new six-room school, already in regular use, also participated in the opening by performing “a number of musical selections.” The ceremonial presentation of the school’s keys saw them passed from the school’s builder to the representative of Halifax County and then to the district school board. They were then received by J. Douglas Fleming, the Chair of the local Board of School Trustees, who presented them to the school’s first principal, Mrs. Jean McManaman. The school’s plaque and a Union Jack were also given to the school during the ceremonies which were opened and closed by the prayers of local clergy.
The organizers of the official opening ceremony of Oldfield Consolidated, and no doubt Principal McManaman was involved, demonstrated a delicate hand. The ratepayers of the Oakfield School Section had been the least convinced of the benefit of consolidation and many were actively disappointed when the new school was not built in Grand Lake. It is very likely, therefore, that the ceremony was designed to promote reconciliation. The new school section was designated as number 98, the same as the former Oakfield Section and the selection of Colonel Laurie as the guest speaker was prudent. Laurie, who was a member and former chair of the board of governors of Dalhousie University and a distinguished citizen, was an excellent choice under any circumstances. His intimate identification with Oakfield-Grand Lake made his selection inspired.