My Newton Memories

The following submission appeared in “We Are Newton: A Neighbourhood Anthology.” See here for more information about the project.

By: Eric McKinley

I arrived in Newton as a city slicker, so to speak, in the summer of 1947, having come from the east end of Vancouver. I lived on Nichol Road, and at the advanced age of nine I entered Grade 5 at Newton School.

Water for drinking was pumped out of a well on the southwest side of the school. We were called to class by the clanging of a brass or bronze bell until it gave up the ghost and a chunk of the bell came clattering down the steps!

And to add to the primitive features of School District 36, well-constructed outhouses were to be found on the north side of the school on the other side of the lacrosse box (where bad boys would be caught smoking from time to time). All that was miraculously changed the following year! Bravo! Newton School came of age!

I also attended Queen Elizabeth High School for a while, then Princess Margaret High School when it first opened.

I can vividly recall Teddy and his brother Albert. They always arrived late for Sunday School held in the old Presbyterian Church where the Newton Cultural Centre is now located on 72nd Avenue. (I think it should have been kept as a heritage building as it was used by the earliest pioneers in the area and was constructed of local lumber produced at the King Lumber Mill.)

As all the other children were going out, Teddy and Albert were arriving. They had the most amazing habit of play-fighting all the way from their home on the edge of Bear Creek Park, a distance of two miles from Newton centre. I can still see them in my mind’s eye fighting in the ditches along the road. As you can imagine, they arrived a little dishevelled!

I can also recall the nickel ice cream cone. I bought mine at Lew Jack’s store (when I had a nickel). I can recall an older clerk at that store dishing out double scoops of ice cream for the price of a nickel to the chagrin of the owner of the store. Really, he was a generous Scot!

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