Benson Public School prepares to go out with class
CARDINAL - Before they fall silent for good, the halls of Benson Public School will echo with the laughter of students one last time. A lot of students.
The Cardinal facility, opened in 1949, will be closing at the end of the current school year. A victim of the Leeds and Grenville School Board's decision to shut down a number of rural schools, Benson will be hosting a 'Celebration of Generations' on June 16-17. Former Benson alumni are being invited to join with present students, facility and community members for a weekend of memories in and around the village.
The festivities kick-off with a meet and greet opportunity hosted at the Cardinal Legion on Saturday, June 16 from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.
"The Legion is generously sponsoring this event and will provide snacks," explains one of the organizers Shannon Earl. "Friday night will be a great time for people to reminisce and share some memories of Benson. We will be set up with souvenir tee-shirts for sale and a photographer will be taking photos for the Alumni page," she says.
The main attraction will take place right at the school on the following day, Saturday, June 17 commencing at 11:00 a.m. with an open house, celebrating the 68 years of education provided to generations of local families. The halls will be opened for tours down memory lane, food will be available, there will be live entertainment on site and souvenirs will be on sale throughout the day.
One of the highlights will be the 1:00 p.m. Celebration Ceremony that will include the opening of a time capsule. Earl says the capsule may provide a number of surprises.
"The time capsule was only installed at the time of the 50th reunion in 1999," she states. "No one seems to have a clear recollection of what it contains...so it will remain a mystery until the grand unveiling!"
The final bell, closing the celebration, rings at 4:00 on Saturday.
Look for more Benson memories in upcoming issues of The Journal.