|reprinted with permission
from Reunion 2000 Souvenir Paper
produced by the Estevan Mercury
Memories of ECI
by Brian McCallum
Student at ECI 1964-65
Now a Resident of Australia
In a distant time, not yet beyond memory, there was a
magical land. A land that could create and shape memories, and make
time stand still.
It’s a land that is now hard to describe. It’s as much
a feeling as a vision. There was a valley, which had seen glaciers come
and go in time long past. There was a community with people and buildings
that still stand out in my mind.
The school, my school, grew as the community grew. It
provided entertainment. It provided learning. It endowed the future.
Many people strode through its doors and tramped its stairs
with a dance full of excitement. Many entered its class rooms and gazed
out its windows. All had had their own thoughts and dreams. Some felt resentment,
others comfort. Some experienced enthusiasm, others anger. Some enjoyed
the safety it provided, others planned for the future.
It was a busy school; it vibrated with life. Its spirit
was fuelled by both students and teachers. The teachers didn’t always smile,
and the students didn’t always obey, yet the hallways echoed with joy,
and the classrooms buzzed with learning.
Sometimes the learning made sense, and was enthralling
to comprehend. Sometimes the learning slipped through our grasp, and we
would dream and gaze out the window.
Yet the students. They learned about words, and chemicals,
and countries, and numbers. They learned about the past and to think about
the future. They learned about fitness, and fair play. They learned about
debating and listening. They learned about patience and frustration. They
learned about people and about themselves. They learned about love and
about loss, about loyalty and about disappointment.
Like the first glow of the summer sun, the school provided
warmth which those within its care could remember long into winter. The
school was often appreciated, but rarely thanked. It was listened to but
never completely understood. Some of the understanding came long after
each student left. Long after each student had forgotten it. Long after
the sounds of the echoes had died down to become vibrations in the memory.
The school nurtured those within its care, generating
growth. It provided a beginning. It welcomed each student who entered
through it doors, cared for each student as best it could, and fare welled
each student as they inevitably left its care.
Some returned to the community from which they came.
Adding their contribution. Others contributed to communities far from the
school. The students dispersed to the four corners of the globe. Providing
a legacy to many who had never known the school.
In my memory, the school will always stand tall. Overlooking the wide
valley. Listening to the echoes of its memories. Saying ‘your welcome’
to those who kept its memory alive. Saying ‘thank you’ to those teachers
and students who filled its corridors.