Mayfield Highlight #1: Ruth Bentley
To debut our blog and Mayfield Highlights we have, Ruth Bentley! Here is what Ruth wrote about the opening of the school.
Mayfield Memorable Moments, 1970
Moving day to the “new” school- Mayfield. The building was freezing cold. Each department moved their own equipment. Workmen were still doing the terrazzo halls so they were awash with water and gravel. Hard-hatted engineers kept appearing and mostly disappearing. The site was littered with building materials. We were rewarded with flat tires for our pains. We slithered in mud into floating halls. Thick construction dust covered everything. So we set to with pails of water to scrub, scoop, or slather the mess about.
The science labs had neither equipment nor stools; the gyms didn’t have floors and furniture was scarce. Students were given one day off so that staff could move and “open” the school.
The press arrived to take pictures of what? - the plants grown to beautify looked ridiculous in the emptiness; bulletin boards were empty if they existed at all. The parking lot didn’t have a drain, so it too was a mud hole. Without landscaping the gray building was said to resemble a [jail]. The arrival of students next day lent life and purpose to our new school. Eventually the halls got heating and rain stopped pouring in through the skylight. The gyms had beautiful floors, the sick bays got beds for our injured football players who soon won a championship. The auditorium sported a purple velveteen curtain and we loved to hear our first band play “hootenanny.”
Written for the 25th reunion, 1994
Where is Ruth now?
Ruth Bentley, 98 on July 10, head of Guidance from 1969 to 1984, the tiger lady of Mayfield, so she was called. On retiring she spent a lot of time at her favourite place in the north, her summer cottage, with her special step niece and nephew. When she was not there she was traveling: to the south to see relatives, to England where her parents originated, and to the east coast. She took her step children to see whale watching from time to time. She loved to lunch at the Old Mill and meet with friends and colleagues from Victoria College where she was involved in many activities. While into her nineties she gave up most of her traveling but still liked to take a taxi every afternoon to the local ice cream parlor.
She is now residing in a retirement home in Mississauga. She recently enjoyed a lovely 98th birthday party, organized by her step niece and nephew.