Students would fall off stage

From our March 2012 issue

By Margaret (Stonehouse) Gentes – Wetaskiwin, Alta.

I attended Graytown School and one of my fondest memories is of the Christmas concerts. We would start practising right after Halloween.

Some of the dads in the community would come with lumber and construct a stage and we’d use sheets on a rope for stage curtains. Many students would fall off that stage either during practice or at the concert.

We had skits and plays and recitals and lots of carol singing with Aunt Stella Mills accompanying us on the piano. We made fancy dresses for the quadrilles from crepe paper.

The highlight of the evening was Santa Claus running in after the concert with sleigh bells ringing and shouting “Merry Christmas!” Every child would get a brown bag full of wonderful candy.

Neighbours would come from miles around with horses and sleighs. It was the highlight of the year.

The year before I started school at five years old, I took part in the Christmas concert.

I sat on the stage on a piano stool in my flannelette pajamas and recited all of The Night Before Christmas. It was very exciting to take part with the big kids.

The school closed in 1955 and we were all bused to Corning School. A cairn was erected by the community in 1986 dedicated to the pioneers of Graytown District.

It is faithfully maintained by my brother, Borden, and his wife Gladys Stonehouse, who still live on the Stonehouse family farm one half-mile west.

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