Alder Point School

 Alder Point School (Before 1948) (Pic by Theresa Dugas MacKay)

Alder Point School

Alder Point School (1948 and after)               (Pic provided by Colin Pearo)


There were a number of school teachers who taught at Alder Point not all of whom I can recall. Here is a selection of them from the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s:

Note: I made several attempts to obtain the names of teachers who taught at Bras d’Or school but to-date have been unsuccessful. If anyone can add to these lists and add teachers who taught at Bras d’Or, Florence, Mill Creek and Point Aconi please send them to me and I will include them in the Blog.

Blowers Gouthro (a bit of a tyrant he was)

Helen Howley (married Buchanan)

Catherine MacKinnon

Deany Chisholm (married Walker)

Peggy Chisholm

Adrian MacNeil

Lois Johnston

Marg LeBlanc (married Barrie)

Margie Cameron

Cynthia MacDonald

Helen Wallace

Catherine MacDonald

Lucy Gillis

Marie Merritt

Dolores (Chuckie) Merritt

Joesy Harriatha (married O’Shea)

Celine MacLellan

Bertha Galley

Betty Doyle

Medie Doyle

Ann McNeil

Marguerite Dugas # (married O’Shea)

Gena Nolan

Margie Broderick

Margie Tompkins

Margaret LeBlanc (she cried while she strapped you)

Kathryn Nicholson (taught 1918 – 1919) (obliged to quite when she married Norman MacIntosh 1920) *

* Teachers were not allowed to marry

# Marguerite’s mother, Theresa Arsenault, taught prior to 1913 at Alder Point School and later became Mrs. Walter Dugas

Note: I am very sorry if I missed anyone who taught during this period and has not been listed.

A Selection of Bras d’Or School Teachers

1940s, 1950s, and 1960s

Grade (1) Gertrude MacIntosh. Daughter or Norman MacIntosh Alder Point Road

 Grade (2) Mrs Katie Howley ,Wife of Milton Howley ,from across the Bras D’or Bridge,

 Grade( 3), Mrs Lehovich,She then Married Harp MacNeil, 

 Grade (4) Helen  (Howley) Buchannan Wife of John Buchannan, Also from across the Bras D’or Bridge,

 Grade( 5) Sylvia (LeBanc) Roper .Daughter of Steve and Dellie Leblanc of Mill Creek.

 Grade (6) Melvin MacNeil, Son of Hedley and Rita Macneil ,Also from Across Bras D’or Bridge

 Grade (7) Lila (Nicholson ) King , from Sydney Mines.

 Grade (8) Viola MacInnis Wife of Joe MacInnis from across Bras D’or Bridge,

 Rosella (Huntley) Mac Donald, Married to Connie MacDonald from Florence

 Music Teacher In Grade VIII was Sister Mary Raffield from  “The  Villa Madonna”  

 Grade (9) (10)(11) was John Y Gillis from Iona,. Boarded at Gordon and Sadie Cantwells In Bras d’Or

 Kid Roach – Principal

 LLoyd Rendell  Mill Creek –  Principal

 Benny MacLean South Side Of Boulandrie , he taught Grades 9, 10 and 11 along with Lloyd Rendell and,

John Y Gillis

 Danny Macdonald taught at Bras d’Or as well

 (Submitted by Dennis Jessome)

Pat MacLean 1964-66

Tommy Gaskell 1964-66

James O’Donnell 1964-66

(contributed by Ed McCready)





Miss Crotchety

Miss Crotchety (note: she is hiding her strap with studs behind her back)

Miss Bliss

     Miss Congeniality (Dont we wish they were all like Miss Congeniality)


                                       Crowded Classroom


Rules of Conduct for School Teachers


  • You will not marry during the term of your contract.


  • You are not to keep company with men.


  • You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.


  • You may not loiter downtown in any of the ice cream stores.


  • You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the school board.


  • You may not ride in any carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.


  • You may not smoke cigarettes, cigars or a pipe or chew tobacco or take snuff.


  • You may not dress in bright colours.


  • You may not, under any circumstance, dye your hair.


  • You must wear at least two petticoats.


  • To keep the schoolroom neat and clean you must: sweep the floor at least once daily; scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water; clean the blackboards at least once a day; start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m..


  • Your dress must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.



(taken from a 1900’s teacher’s magazine)

Can you imagine trying to enforce these rules today? A school board would be annihilated if not castrated.






Capt John 

     Capt John Arsenault, unknown, Fr. Barry Pastor, Fr. MacLellan PP

St. Joseph’s Parish Priests




Pastor Henry D. Barry,                    1913 – 1936    (5th  Pastor)


Assistant Lewis MacLellan,  

Assistant Hugh J. O’Handley,

Assistant Angus J. MacIsaac,

Assistant James F. MacIsaac,

Assistant Flavien J. Samson,

Assistant Raymond T. Campbell,

Assistant John J. McLaughlin,

Pastor Roderick K. MacIntyre,       1936 – 1940    (6th  Pastor)

Assistant Cyril H. Bauer,

Assistant MacAdam,

Assistant  Alexander A. Ross

 Assistant Cyril H. Bauer,

Assistant Alexander S. MacKenzie,

Pastor Alexander S. MacKenzie,      1940 – 1950    (7th Pastor)

Assistant John Hugh MacInnis,

Assistant Francis N. MacIsaac,

Assistant Terence J. Power,

 Assistant T. Reginald Duprey,

 Assistant Bernard R. MacDonald,

Assistant R. Colonel Macleod, Assistant

Pastor John B. Kyte,                                     1950 – 1969    (8th Pastor)

Assistant Pius M. Hawley,

Assistant John J. MacDonald,

Assistant Anthony B. O’Brien,

 Assistant Francis J. Abbass,

Assistant Angus D. Campbell,

Assistant Louis P. Ouellette,

Assistant Peter P. Piva,

Assistant Albert T. Maroun,

Assistant S. Clair Richard,


I have not included any Protestant Clergy here because I didn’t know any during the period that is being discussed. There was no protestant church in Alder Point nor do I ever recall any clergy visiting the Alder Point School. If they did I never knew about it. (Ed.)

  Sister Joan Walker

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Sister Joan Walker our very good friend and school chum upon her declaring her vocation. Joan was one in a family of twenty-one of George and Genevieve Walker from Alder Point. Sister Joan entered the Sisters of St. Martha in February of 1957. She made her first profession in 1959 and took her final vows in 1962. Her vocation has taken her across Canada and overseas. She has always been involved in self improvement in order to better serve Christ. I was back in the late seventies attending a hockey coaching clinic at Waterloo and was in the line up for lunch in the cafeteria with my class of coaches. Unbeknown to me was a group of sisters there also on course and not now in their traditional habits sitting having their lunch. Joan saw me and without a word got up from her meal and walked over to me and gave me a great big hug and kiss to the astonishment of her group as well as my fellow coaches. I was startled but so happy to see her. I immediately introduced her to the coaches and explained she was a nun – all I got was, “oh yeah sure George we know.” Joan herself was athletic and a great sports person. Once we got over the shock of her chosen field of endeavour, we all knew she would make a great nun in the tradition of the ball playing nuns in the Bing Crosby movies.

The year 1963 the Golden Jubilee year of St. Joseph’s Parish , was also one long to be remembered because of the happy circumstance that year when two young men of the parish were ordained to the Holy Priesthood and offered their first Solemn Masses in St. Joseph’s Church. The Rev. Jacob (Father Jake) was ordained at Antigonish on June 8th. Fr. Jake is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Michael Andrea from Mill Creek Road. The Rev. Raymond O’Toole, S.F.M. was ordained August 1lth. Father Ray, is the son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Raymond O’Toole of Alder Point. Fr. Sandy MacNeil, son of the late Jim & Mary MacNeil of Bras d’Or was ordained in 1965. Others ordained in the past 50 years from the Parish were Rev. Michael A. Phalen, ordained in 1919 and Rev. Frances Dolhanty of Florence, ordained in 1948.

Since St. Joseph’s was dedicate November 9, 1913 there have been 10 young women who entered the convent. They were:

Sr. Maria Austin d/o John and Emma MacIntosh of Millville Aug 15, 1916

Sr. Eulaia d/o Edward and Mary Ann Gouthro of Bras d’Or Aug 15, 1916

Sr. Mary Henry (sister of Maria Austin) Sep 1919

Sr. Mary David (David Marie) Reashore d/o James and Margaret Reashore of Bras d’Or Sep 7, 1929

Sr. Mary Beaton, Sr. Elizabeth Beaton Aug 15, 1952, Sr. Sr. Florence Beaton all three the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Neil Beaton of Scotch Lake.

Sr. Bernadine MacIntosh niece of Sisters Mary Henry and Maria Austin was the daughter of George and Kathleen Macintosh of Millville.

Sr. Mildred MacNeil (brother of Fr. James above) d/o James (Jim) and Mary MacNeil of Bras d’Or joined Aug 1961.

(The gist of the foregoing piece about Sister Joan  was taken from a booklet describing St. Joseph’s Parish in Bras d’Or by Dr. Thomas J. Gaskell)

St. Joseph Church, Bras d'Or, N.S. Aerial Photo

                                     St. Joseph’s Parish 

St Anne's

     St. Anne’s Alder Point (Pic provided by Colin Pearo)


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joe A. MacDonald on January 19, 2010 at 00:19

    My mother was a lucy Gillis but you have spelled it wrong, as Lucie.
    She boarded at Jim and Mamie MacNeil’s home with their three children in Br’dore.
    Children were Vince, Fr. Sandy and Sr. Millie


  2. My great grand mother is listed as a grade 2 teacher in Bras D’or, Katie Howley, also a Beaton from Mabou! I love that this is a part of me heritage 🙂


    • Mrs Katie Howley was a school teacher in Little Bras d’or , her son Joseph, is my best friend since childhood ,, Her husband Milton worked in the Toronto mine, with my father Clifton Jessome, she had two sons and 5 daughters in her family , , when i used to pixck up Joe for the evening i used to get hooked fro the rosary , they said the rosary every evening , she was from Mabou i think, spoke fluent Gaelic with her friend Rachel Fraser , Willie R Frasers wife From Church Road in Bras dor , God bless her, she was a fine lady , little cranky, at times but a nice lady ,


  3. Posted by DENNIS JESSOME on October 14, 2013 at 01:19



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