Category Archives: Humberside Collegiate

January 1931, Toronto

Diary 1931

  1. I will try not to use any more slang, or swear.
  2. I will try not to lose my temper when Nora bosses me around and I will try and keep our room tidy and hang up my clothes.
Saturday Jan. 3.
     The Christmas holidays have been terribly dry since there has been little snow.  I’m afraid I have stuck around the house entirely too much but there was nothing to do half the time except skate.  We, Nora, Helen A., Marion and myself were skating on Harveys the other day and in some places we could hear the ice crack so we walked over to Greny (Grenadier Pond in High Park) on our skates.  I fell about 6 times (with no exageration) and when we got there we were all too tired to skate so we took off our skates and came home.
     Margee Haugh had a party the other night and I was quite shocked for it didn’t start till 8o’clock.  I have been doing Christmas cards but I’m not much of an artist although Mother thinks they are very good.
My Report (I am partly pleased with it and partly not.)
Composition    66     History     71
Literature         64
Geography      67
Algebra           82
Art                  58
Botany           70
Latin               92
French            77
P.T or Gym    62
Standing – 7.  % – 71.
     I am not pleased with my standing or my comp & lit marks.  I hope to improve them next time.
     I was down to see “Tom Sawyer” at the Imperial Wednesday and it was a lovely picture.  Coming home some of us got hungry and went into the (illegible word) for something to eat.  There was a man in there who was whistling and smiling at everybody and when Grace had gotten her eats and had gone down to her table he followed and pulled out her chair for her and shoved it in when she sat down.  Then he asked very politely how she was and also that the weather wasn’t very nice and then he said something very impolite and Grace turned her back on him.  When I came down I wondered why she was being so rude to him but Betty (who was sitting across from her) motioned to me to go to another table.  This I did and Betty and Grace soon got up and left him and came and sat down beside me.
     “Don’t you know him?” I asked them.
     “No we don’t” replied Grace “and what’s more if he comes near me again I shall scream.”
     By this time the man had gone up to the counter and put down some money.
     “This is to pay for their food.”
     “There (sic) food has already been paid for” said the waitress.
     “But I was strictly told to pay for it.”
     “There must be some mistake” replied the waitress “they have already paid for it.”
     But he still argued and 3 more waitresses were called out to explain to him and at last he got it into his head and rather angry put on his coat and hat and turned and went out of the door.
     This story I have just written has really happened and now I am going to write another one that has happened but a long time ago when Dorthy (sic) Walker lived on our street.
to be continued….Editor

School Blues

Sunday Feb 9th
I have not written in this for a long time in story or diary form.  I suppose one of the causes is the fact that I have had the flu and have missed 2 weeks of school.  Thus I have had to do a lot of extra homework.
At school, “all’s well” as usual.  I had a detention from Hatch the other night.  He gives me a pain now and seems to delight in making girls cry.  But he won’t make me.
I hate school now and I never want to do my homework or anything.  I doubt if I’ll pass next time.
I went down to Hart House to see the “Gondoliers” yesterday and enjoyed it very much.

Tuesday March 24th
We have all our exams over and are not doing much at school.  My marks are very discusting (sic) and there are only 2 that I am pleased with, art and algebra.
Composition 68
Literature 66
Geography 66
Algebra 90
Art 70
Botany 65
Latin 77
French 66
Gymn 68
History 68
Standing – 9   %70.5

I have decided that I hate Mr. Ford.  Of all the pains I took with my note book and wrote a page on nearly every city and then I only got 12 term marks out of 20 and Helen Abell got 18.  I won’t say that my writing’s better that hers (b I got higher marks on all my other note books but geography than she did.)  I took the trouble to do mine in red ink and all the other teachers gave me higher marks for my writing than they did her and then he went and gave me –illegible words- old pig.  If I get him in third for English I’m done for.  And how!
I’m beginning to steam my hair and its twice as curly although nobody seems to like it much.  At least they don’t say so.

Next week, Bernice, Nora and Helen have an adventures with a strange man on their street… stay tuned.

A Crush, Teachers and The Quire

Sunday April 26, 1931
I have just been to 8 o’clock communion. there were only 12 there amongst whom was my boy friend –G.  Those are his initials.  I won’t write his name.
     I know several things about him although I have never really met him.
1.  He goes to our church & was confirmed same time as I was.
2.  He usually goes to church with a friend of his but the friend was not there this morning.
3.  He goes to Humberside & is in Mr. Devitt’s form.
4.  I think he is very nice.  He is a church goer anyways.
He is terribly handsome escpecially (sic) when he smiles & I think a lot of him getting up so early to go to church escpecially )sic) when he didn’t have any one to go with.  The clock was changed last night so we really got up one hour earlier.

Our Teachers

Miss McCraie -Latin-  I like her awfully well although she is rather sloppy.

Miss MacIntosh -French- I also like her & I think it’s real mean for the boys to make her cry.  She is rather funny though.  One minute she’ll be real mad & the next she’ll be smiling.

Miss McNerre -(I know I’ve spelled it wrong)  She’s nice but I don’t like her much.  She doesn’t even know my name yet.  History.

Miss MacAllister -Gym- I can’t stand her.  I can do everything almost & yet she hardly give me a mark for it. Pig!  She just has a pick on me & anyways her bloomer leg is always showing.  Even in pictures.

Mr. Ford -Geography- I’ve written enough in here about him and nothing is very complimentary either.  He’s another pig.

Mr. Hatch -Art- I like him most of the time but sometimes I don’t.  He’s rather a queer personage.  He’s very strict & yet there is a decided sense of humour about him.  He speaks of things that no other teacher would dare speak of.  He is a fine looking man with an old fashioned moustache.  He is always asking rather funny questions like
-“What is a cow?”
“An animal.”
“Gracious no!  A cow is a cow isn’t it?”

Mr. Kinney -Funny looking.  Quiet.  Nobody will do anything he is saying.  I feel sort of sorry for him.  Algebra

Stuffy (or Mr. McGinnes) He is always yelling at us if we talk.  An old hen but rather nice.

Miss Mitchell (English) She is extremely clever & knows all about words.  I admire her but am not particularly fond of her.

Our Quire
     Anyone reading the following descriptions will certainly end with the opinion that our quire is composed of freaks.  (which they are)  Grace & I often laugh over them & I’m sure if you could see them you would too.
     There is “Beaky” so called because of her long, pointed beak-like nose.  She is to me the most maddening person in the quire.  Every time the quire gets up to sing she faces the congregation.

This Silly Diary 1934

Editor’s Note; At this point in the journals we leap ahead to 1934 where Bernice is still in high school (Humberside Collegiate) and by my estimation she is in grade 11.

January 15 1934

I haven’t written in this silly diary for so long that I feel quite a stranger.  I’ll just state a few facts and maybe someday I shall write an account of camp.

I spent the summer in Seaforth.  Had a swell time and two weeks of camp out at Bayfield at Deer Lodge with Mrs. Chapman as chaperone.  Met Jim.

Joan and I spent most of the time in Seaforth at the tennis court. (Doug and Stan.)

Returned to school in September.  Have Missed the odd day but got along fine.  Put in the same class with all the same teachers.  Which isn’t so good.  Got my exams ok (ex P.T.) Algebra still a big trouble.

Christmas – Aunt Mill came over and Vipper (our new Kitty who was found out in the garage on Sunday morning.  He is a yellow-striped) was with us so it was a very jolly Christmas.  Nora has her graduation pictures and they are beautiful.  I was sick with the flu for most of the holidays but managed to go to the show and see “Little Women”.  A swell picture.  Too bad there aren’t more like it.

New Year’s Eve I expected to spend quietly at home on account of my cold but the gang came in and we had a party.  Everybody was here and it was quite a reunion.  Even Windy managed to get down before before it was over.  George was in from the country to stay (for good.)  Helen A. & Margee weren’t here New Year’s, Bert and Mrs. S. came over.  Went over too (sic) Abell’s at night.

School again! but I didn’t start back till a few days later and my cold came in handy as I got out of my oral but not for good.  Grace & I went and saw “Bombshell” Friday night and on Saturday night Windy and Lloyd wanted me to go to the Parkdale with them but I didn’t go.  Rather nuts I’d say.

Wednesday Jan 17

They were taking moving pictures down at the tank to-day. We went down for swimming period but could only have the shallow end of the tank.  I didn’t go in.  Just as the boys were going in the bell rang.  We thought they’d let us stay and watch them but no such luck.  Mr. Wren showed us the door and gently told us to scram so thinking that we weren’t exactly wanted we rambled up to algebra period.  the old guy popped a test on us and believe it or not I got 20 out of 20.  Still a mystery.  Have been in a very bad temper all day.  Guess I’ll see if can sleep it off.  Oh by the way have joined Young Peoples.  Went last night with Margee.  I don’t like it as well as I did at first.

Isn’t that life for you?

Friday Jan 19th 1934
We had swimming to-day the water was grand.  Don’t feel any bad effects so far but will probably begin feeling to-morrow.  Mrs. Taylor phoned this afternoon and asked me to come in.  I said I would, not having been asked anywhere else.  After that the phone rang three times each time an invite for me to go out and I had told Mrs. Taylor I’d come in there. Isn’t that life for you?  After school Grace and I walked out Runnymede and did some shopping.  She sure can talk.  I can’t get a word in edgewise or any other way for that matter.  I intend to write up “camp” in this diary if I can so to help me I got some old letters from Margee.

Editor’s Note;
She did in fact write up “camp” in this diary.  Sadly, it is written on the pages with the water damage. From the legible bits, it sounds like she had a wonderful time.  Camp, to her meant something quite different than it does now. As near as I can tell, ‘camp’ meant several kids from different families staying together at a place called Deer Lodge in Bayfield.  One or two adults would act as chaperone, and it seems as though the kids were mostly of adolescent age.

Monday January 22nd
Saturday morning I took my lesson (piano). Yesterday Anna and Elizabeth came out for supper.  We had a lot of fun.  I’m going there next Friday.  Was sick in school this afternoon. The usual thing.  Roslyn and I went down to the medical room but Miss Thompson wouldn’t let her stay.  There was another girl down there.  At the end of the second period who should land in but Helen Tenute and Ruth Scott.  It’s a small school after all.  We had a regular reunion.  Helen had a tooth ache and Ruth had cramps or sompin’. (sic) We got a big laugh out of Helen’s story about her mother although it was an awful thing. Mrs. Tenute had a tooth ache so she went to the dentist.  It was before she got married I guess.  Anyways the crazy sap went and pulled every one of her top teeth without gas or freezing. She just about passed out. He was tight. (drunk) She sued but that wouldn’t bring back her teeth.  That struck Ruth and I as funny although it sure wasn’t.  We laughed so hard we thought sure Miss Thompson would come in and send us back to our classrooms.

A Break for Yours Truly


Editor’s Note; So much of Bernice’s journals at this point in her life are about her high school life.  Attached is a photo of Humberside Collegiate, circa 1921.  It probably had not changed very much in 1934.  The architect was James Ellis, famous for his contributions to ‘the Junction’ region of Toronto.

Wednesday Jan 23rd 1934                                                                                                                                                         Jack smashed his toe at work.  Dr. says he can’t go back for a while he doesn’t know whether its broken as he can’t take an x-ray till the swelling goes down.                                                    Is broken.

Monday Jan 29th                                                                                                                                                                Went over to Anna’s and Elizabeth’s apartment Friday after school.  After supper Peggy Reynolds came down. I’ve promised to phone her as she won’t phone me. I stayed all night and came home Saturday morning.  I was very displeased with my dress but Mother fixed it over again and now it looks swell. Elizabeth is going to the Huron Old Boy’s with us.  I went to church yesterday.  Finished “Wuthering Heights” the end was much better than the rest of it.  To-day its just freezing out if it wasn’t for my muff I don’t know what I’d do.  We had a smart aud. (auditorium) this morning (illegible words) in Deutsch test.  I’d better get at my home work now as I have tons of English to do.

Tuesday Jan 30th                                                                                                                                                                   Had to read a part in Caesar to-day.  Started laughing and made a perfect mess of it.  In Algebra period Pills told me if I put the wrong thing down I’d come up after school and write it out 50 times.  Sweet little lad.  I already had the wrong thing down but I got it crossed out before he saw it. What a break for yours truly.  I had a perfectly terrible history test to-day.   He never tells us when there going to come.  Besides that he has the sweetest habit of coming down and standing right beside us.  I guess he think our intentions aren’t altogether honourable.  I worked hours trying to get my English finished up last night. Got it finished too. Mother didn’t get my shoes so I suppose I’ll be able to skip school and go down to-morrow afternoon.  I simply have to get a pair for the Huron Old Boys Dance.

Take it From Me

Wednesday Jan 31st 1934                                                                                                                                                      M      Mother and I went downtown this morning.  Got my shoes also an Alice in Wonderland thing for my hair.  The office phoned up to-day and said all 8th periods were cancelled.  A few minutes afterwards phoned up and told us to be there to-morrow at 8:30 because they’re having moving pictures in the Aud. at three.  Ho Hum!  And it’s so cold.  How shall I ever get up at 7:15.  The wind is roaring around the houses to-night and I’m just about frozen already.  I had to translate “Mailied” in German to-day.  It was rather funny.  Got our history marks back.  He said he’d burned the papers so I immediately began feeling gay thinking that he’d read the first few and then chucked them all in the fire they were so bad. No such luck he just burned them to avoid taking the trouble to give them back.  Lazy creature.  I got 55.  I dunno how.

Saturday February 3rd                                                                                                                                                                                   T    This is the morning after the night before.  I went to the Huron Old Boy’s dance last night.  Had a swell time.  Among those present was Mr. Wren. I wish he’d been dancing then I could have told the kids at school that I had danced with him.  Leonard Brown was there.  I sure wouldn’t know him.  Aunt Jean and Uncle Andy were there also Elizabeth and Anna. Met the Wilson boys.  They are very nice, both of them.

Sunday Feb. 4th                                                                                                                                                                    o       For some unknown reason I’m disgusted with everything to-day.  Blue I guess.  I’ve tried reading a book, listening to the radio and writing a letter.  But I can’t seem to stick at any of them.  Guess I’ll sit down and mope for the rest of the day.

Tuesday Feb 6                                                                                                                                                                        a       Had Mr. Wren in to teach algebra.  I was sent to the board in three periods today. Record breaking.  Mr. Moon phoned Mom up to-day.  He’s going to give a party at his house for the young people of the Huron Old Boys on the 23rd.  Which is a very good idea.  Take it from me.

I Want to Listen to Rudy
Rudy Vallee

Thursday Feb 8 1934

Terribly cold out 20 below.  If it wasn’t for my muff I think I’d just about pass out.  So far however the muff has saved the day.  That certainly was a most good buy. I have to say my oral on Monday.  Some fun eh?  I do dread it because I’m sure to make a fool of myself like I always do.  To-night there is a fire in the grate & the sitting room is very popular.  I want to go down and listen to Rudy but I don’t think even he can get me out of this cozy place.

Friday Feb 9                                                                                                                                                                              .     Still terribly cold.  I took my lunch to school to-day.  First time this year.  I’m glad I took it instead of buyng it.  What a line up.  I think the whole school stayed.  I’m in at Mrs. Taylor’s there’s a nice fire in the grate thank goodness.  Old Tammecock (spelling?) just about took off my head to-day.  Wouldn’t have been much of a loss.   You should see some of the crazy hats the boys are wearing to school. Oh well they serve the purpose.  One kid came with  (she did not finish this sentence)

Monday Feb 12                                                                                                                                                                       .     Last night the family, except the boys went to tea at the Mils.  Met some of my relations I’d never seen before.  I was terribly sick this morning. I just about thought I was going to pass out.  However I’m still here & feeling somewhat better.  Mr. Moon phoned the other day.  They’ve decided to form a Huron Old Boys Young People society.  A smart idea.  We are going to meet at Moon’s a week next Friday.  I was supposed to give my oral to-day & have missed it for the second time.  Is she going to (be) suspicious?  She’d better not take off any marks any ways because I  have been sick both times.

Wednesday Feb 14                                                                                                                                                               .     Valentines day but it doesn’t seem to mean much to me.  I went to school to-day & believe it or not (this one should really be sent to Ripley) Mrs. Lynch had a box of chocolates there & she treated the class to them.  Each had one!  Was I surprised!  & considering that I didn’t have my homework done.  Was my face red!  She’s a Catholic & I guess she doesn’t eat candy in Lent.  It must be something although it was very good of her to give them to us. Speaking of Lent reminds my that I’ve decided to go to church every Sunday in Lent.  I don’t think I’ll give up anything I’ve given up too much already. (please don’t ask me what ) I was informed by most of the class that I have to five my oral “the next time I appear in English class”  sounds as if she’s kind of mad.  Oh well I shall go & do a bit of explaining & everything will be smoothed over — I hope, am hoping & do hope.

I Seem to be Coming up in the World

Thursday February 15th 1934                                                                                                                                                          .     A  belated valentine arrived to-day from Jim. But he still owes me a letter.  Well I gave my oral at last.  all the kids said I wouldn’t  be there to-day but I fooled them.  Outside of the fact that I draped myself over the front desk and fooled with the ink well the whole time & hardly looked at the class at all.  I got through it not too badly. Miss Stock got mad because I was talking and wouldn’t play the gramophone & made us work instead.  Gosh what am I coming to?  Nana and I went down to the Royal York to see the Cambell (sic) Soup broadcast & did we have a time getting there.  (ask Nana for particulars)  It sure is a snooty place down there. I guess I’d better struggle away with algebra now.  I actually got a question right in school to-day.

Wuthering-Heights-Book-CoverFriday February 16                                                                                                                                                                         .      Algebra test to-day!  (I think I’d better leave out particulars)  Betty was supposed to give her oral but absent.  Give the kids something to talk about besides me.  Her second time too.  I’m reading a smart book “Christopher & Columbus” very amusing.  Also have just finished reading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin. Am trying to improve my reading. I mean to read better books. Miss McGonigall read my book review on “Wuthering Heights” and said it was excellent. I seem to be coming up in the world.

Monday Feb.19.                                                                                                                                                                            .     Weekend terribly dry but I got a lot of homework done. Got algebra test back to-day. I got 6 out of 30. Well well! I went down and worked it out on his board after school & I did pretty well too. Baldwin got 8. Imagine him beating me. That’s what hurts.

Sunday Feb 25.                                                                                                                                                                         .      Friday night Morley myself Nora & Mother went up to Moon’s. (in Seaforth) It was Mr. Moon’s idea to form a Huron Old Boy’s Young People Society but Mr. Moon went too far so there was a row about it and it was called off till next fall. We expected when we went to Moon’s that it would be just a party to get acquainted but instead of that he sent all the old people out into the kitchen and started organizing a club which he said wouldn’t have anything to do with the Huron Old Boys just at present but later on they would come to us with open arms. Yeah I see them. Anyway I had a swell time. There were about 25 there. I was very much taken with Kay Campbell. Also I liked Margaret Pringle & Max and Charlie Bennett (Do I like doughnuts dunked? Ask him.) Jack Moon, personally is a pain in the neck. I went to church this morning with Nana.

If She can get him She’s Welcome to Him

Monday Feb. 26 1934                                                                                                                                                          .    Left out 21 lines in memory work this morning.  Just where yours truly gets an invitation to-morrow to “come up & see her sometime.”

 I      I got a letter from Jessie to-day.  She says “Edna Plant was down here a few weeks ago for supper and somehow or other we got talking about Merle Keating.  Edna asked me if she went around with some fellow by the name of Jim Forth when we were in Bayfield.  She said that Merle told her he kind of went around with Bernice but she really thought he liked her.  So you better be careful.”  A bit of a surprise.  I must admit he seems partial to redheads or sumpin‘ (sic) but if she can get him she’s welcome to him.  She also said “I went up to see Eileen a week ago.  She is terribly thin & pale and the doctor says she can’t go back to school till after Easter.  Poor Eileen.  I must write her.  I got a letter from Eileen she says “Joan hasn’t been up to see me I guess she doesn’t realize I exist anymore.  I never even hear anything about her anymore.  The last time I heard her name mentioned the person said she wondered what Mrs. Devereaux was thinking of to let Joan walk the streets the way she does.”  Small town gossip.  So there you are.  I can’t understand Joan after the way she marched around Eileen in the summer & then when Eileen gets sick not to even go near her.  Is she another fair weather friend?Toronto Steetcar

Thursday March 1st                                                                                                                                                                .     Just arrived home from a final hockey game.  Oakwood beat us 4 to 0.  Isn’t that awful? Will I get razed at the next meeting of C.B.C.  We got out at half past twelve.  I think I skipped German period.  Coming home the conductor said we had to get off at Dundas and get onto another car.  So we got off but instead of getting onto another car we walked home and saved three tickets.  Helen S. Margee and I.  It’s about time the T.T.C. got chizzled out of something.  This has been a swell week at school.  A hall on Tuesday, one on Wednesday afternoon for the Sr. oratorical finals, short periods today and believe-it-or-not Miss Lynch has been away and we’ve had the dumbest teacher in her place.  I’m quite sure he doesn’t know any latin.