Cartierville School .. yes, very fond memories … NOT!!! Comment from Fred Fohring

Fred Fohring has shared with us a comment at a previous post about Cartierville school.

Fred Fohring commented:

Cartierville School .. yes, very fond memories … NOT!!!

Family moved from Pointe Claire to Roxboro during 1956 and I was bussed to Cartierville. Must have been very dull trips every day as I only recall getting on the bus LOL What I do recall, is in grade 7 (1957-58), the trips on that electric trolly to another school for shop classes .. that may have been the highlight of my time … except around mid May of 1958.

The school had a paved play area to the right, and extending to the back. Right next to that was a chain link fence with a winter outdoor rink on the other side, a row of very large trees ran parallel to that fence. The rink was illuminated by overhead lights suspended by a wire cables and at least two of those wire cables were attached high up on the trees.

No one was allowed to run in the school yard, punishable by death I believe!! I remember Mrs. Findlayson very well LOL

So one bright day during morning recess in May a couple of boys were teasing and ran away, me chasing them. Seems one of those cables had broken maybe and was still attached at the tree and the loose end had been attached to the chain link fence leaving a wire at about chest height or so strung between fence and tree. The boy I was chasing ducked under, I saw it too late and in ducking it hit my neck, the momentum causing my body to end up on my back on the pavement also hitting my left shoulder.

I was taken to the nurse’s office and my neck cleaned as it had been scraped badly .. I was in and out of coma as I recall. After a few hours of this the Principal was going to send me home. Luckily the Janitor on his own took me to Sacré-Coeur Hospital where I was in traction for next 6 weeks as I had one slipped disc, and a few fractured!! I was going to be sent home? That summer my parents sued. Got all of $5000. The school board did pay the hospital bills. The next spring I had my shoulder operated upon as my left arm kept popping out of the socket; damaged from that fall.

Fond memories of Cartierville School.

Started Grade 9 at High School of Montreal Sept. 1958 still wearing a neck brace for a few months. Every day for 2 years on the electric train from Roxboro to Central Station, then the trek up University Avenue with all the distractions along the way LOL LOL but that’s another story.


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I much appreciate you sharing this experience, Fred.

This is a valuable topic – the topic of bad experiences and how they are dealt with.

What is a source of comfort for me, in reading your story, is that some measure of support was available for you, from a wide range of sources including the Janitor who on his own took you to Sacré-Coeur Hospital, and your parents who sued the school board. The role of the Janitor stays in mind very strongly, afer I have read your account. What a difference that made, given the circumstances.

Your story has echoes – at a metaphorical level – with a disability that I experienced throughout my school years, starting at the age of six. I’ve talked about it elsewhere. The help that I received, over the years, that enabled me keep going until I found a way, at age 41, to deal with things, is something that will always stay with me. Sometimes it was some seemingly very small thing, that someone communicated, that lifted my spirits on a bad day, and warmed my heart in a way that would always stay with me.


2 replies
  1. Gary
    Gary says:

    I attended Cartierville Elementary School in 1959. The memories that I have are all good, especially thinking of the janitor whom I used to get along with. Was his name Mr. Lawrence? The only teachers that scared me to death were Mrs. Carpenter, Kindergarten, and Mrs. Staniforth in grade four. She was very strict and tough. The others were great and we had a ball playing on the grass in front and always got into trouble for running in the halls. LOL.

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I attended Grade 4 at Cartierville School. I too remember having a great time playing on the grass in front, and on the snow in front in the winter.

    The only names I remember are Mrs. Shields our Grade 4 teacher and the principle, Mrs. Findlayson.


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