Anne Durling's Memoires

My Reaction to the First Meeting of the Feller Reunion Committee:

Here's some  (food for thought) addressed to the cream of the crop, the top of the heap. It was great reuniting after so many years.  We seem to be a good group who are gung ho to make this event happen and to do it big.
A few of you I did not know, a few I recognized and the others I found you through your smile, voice and eyes and the past came soaring back like a boomerang.  I was shy, scared and excited to meet you.  Happily we all came together as if we were seeing each other on a regular basis.  We bonded together.
After we introduced ourselves, showed pictures and shared memories, I sat at the table studying each person.
There was: Albert with his bright eyes and easy to get along with nature. Nice meeting you.
Arthur seems down to earth and practical. I enjoyed speaking with you.
Brian(Bri)  my good friends for 40 years and a good listener. He was very serious Friday night. I guess he was thinking.
Ian - who can read me like a book and is a good psychologist. He seems to like being the leader and is very opinionated. He has a nice sparkle in his eyes.
Richard - what can I say about Richard. He carries his height very well standing straight and tall. He has a great smile which is very infectious.I didn't recognize you until Ian said look at him on the profile and when you smiled there you were.
Peter is like Dick Clark. He doesn't age and is good looking. What is your secret?
Jean Claude has always been a deep thinker. He is very smart and seems to think faster than he speaks. I think we have a genius here.
Jocelyne - a name I knew who lived off site. We passed each other in school but I never had the privilege of knowing her personally. She seems like a really nice person, very sympathetic. Only after sitting beside her in the meeting that her face finally clicked in my brain.
Michel - still drop dead gorgeous and a true leader. I think you are well educated.
Isabelle - a get down to business gal. I'd like to be your friend. Nice to meet you.

When I look back to that time in our lives (teenage years) each of us had been sent to a private boarding school for various reasons. Job transfers, divorce, death, the rich who didnt want to have their children under foot, the school happened to be down the road, to try to have the school straighten out a child that was a rebel, a delinquent or a child who was running around with the wrong crowd, shyness, etc. etc.
We all came from various backgrounds: rich, poor, protestant, catholic, all colors of skin and speaking various languages and from different parts of the world.
What happened at Feller? It was like going to camp.  We were told what our schedule would be each hour of the day and there were teachers and prefects to make sure we towed the line. It was like boot camp.
We all woke up at the same time and our day started together.
Everyone had a set time to prepare for breakfast, make beds etc. We were made to line up to go to the dining room and we had to take turns waiting on tables.  Everyone had to go to chapel.  No excuses. As our teachers came from various denominations and it was the staff that took turns giving the devotional we heard about every type of religion imaginable. We ate together, took classes together, took siestas at the same time, studied together , excercised together, went to the same store and hung around TOGETHER"
What we were learning without realizing was how to be a team player , how to cut the apron strings, learn to think for ourselves, use our imagination, become independent, mature and that in order to survive we had to find a common thread to hold us together.
We were all brothers and sisters no matter what our race, color creed, language.  We had respect for each other but at our young  ages we were just having fun and lived day by day learning life's lessons without realizing it.
Now 39 years later to find certain individuals is quite a thrill because we basically have the same values and this is the glue that will always keep us together.
We were a mixed bag and we were all thrown into the same pot and simmered together.

I REMEMBER:

My first night at Feller . I arrived in November.  I was pulled aside by Carolyn McDougall and she told me which boys were taken and  were out of bounds.
Segregated classes
Uniforms
Beets which I couldn't stomach and ate for the two years I was there and still eat today.
The salt-peter in the potatoes which was supposed to keep the boys hormones from raging.  I thought that that grey matter was because the potatoes had been boiled too long.
6a.m. exercises. Groan, groan. Who was the bright eyes that thought of that? Murray Wilson perhaps??? Maybe a teacher.It sure woke us up on a chilly day.
Judy Doe was one of my roommates and she would curl my hair each night in a duck sweep which was the hairdo of the day.  It consisted of turning pieces of hair around her finger and securing it with a bobby pin. Since I have fine baby hair I have no idea how she did it.
After eating our fine dining in the dining room we would trek off to the store to buy some real food: a Mae West and a pepsi.
Remember a teacher Mrs. Hoar? She had thick ankles and we nicknamed her (bacon legs).
The only thing worth eating was the cake since I have a sweet tooth. I would sneak down into the kitchen just before bedtime and Mr. Lacome would give me cake with lots of air holes in it.
How about the French choir?? We were pretty good, huh!!! I think we were eight people.  I loved to sing so I joined even though I didn't know a word of French.  I sang my heart out and hoped the others would drown out my words which I couldn't pronounce.  When we went to other churches to sing it was during the evening. After our perormance we were fed lots of goodies.   Soon we got wise because we wanted to taste everything. We would  check out the food and we would decide on which cake we liked best which was usually cut into 8 pieces and we were eight. We would each put a piece on our plate along with cookies, etc
Then we would each hide our pieces of cake, in what I do not remember and when we got back to school we pieced the cake back together. Mrs. Brouillet was always looking at us with a critical eye and if she saw us she never said anything.  Maybe she secretly enjoyed watching our pranks. Too bad she is not around to ask.
Do you remember Olstrom's physics class in the basement of the gym.  Most of the time our class wasn't interested in attending.  We were supposed to go down the respective tubes: the girls down the girls' tube and the boys down the boys'.  When we heard Mr. Olstrom coming down the boys' tube the girls and boys would run up the girls' tube.  Olstrom would only use the boys' tube so he never could catch us. NO WONDER we didn't pass that subject.
It was fun when my father took me to St. Jean on the bus to the restaurant and Reitmans.  As my mother joined my father only one year after I went to Feller he bought me clothes and let me eat things that she would never have approved of.   That was our secret.
Carolyn McDougall helped me fit it.  Since I only owned one long shag skirt (that sure didnt make me look smaller).  She would lend me her mini skirt so I felt part of the gang.
Once I asked Madame Brouillet how long it would take me to learn French.  She told me she had been studying it for 39 years and still had more to learn.  I automatically thought she was French, but she was married to a French man.
Sorry to have been so long winded.  You guys asked for it.

For Anne's Poem - Click Here

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