“Books Donated to Arnold’s Cove School, Evening Telegram” 1893-08-05
Mr. G. H. Emerson, Q.C., Speaker gives a practical illustration of interest he takes in the cause of education.
Note of thanks from teacher Mercer; Editor Evening Telegram.
Please allow me space in your valuable paper to thank the Honourable G.H. Emerson for a parcel of prize books to be distributed among the children of Arnold’s Cove School, he kindly sent to me last month. I can say he is the first member that ever sent a prize to the school. Words fail to express my gratitude to him and if he could see the children with their prizes, I am sure the honourable gentleman would be ample rewarded for his kindness. Please excuse the liberty I have taken.
Meanwhile, I remain respectively yours, M.A. Mercer.
From early church records, it is believed Arnold’s Cove was first settled around 1835. It appears these first inhabitants organized some sort of schooling, for their children. The Patriot and Terra Nova Herald, dated 1845-04-09 provided the “First Report Upon the Inspection of Schools.” In it, Arnold’s Cove is listed has having twelve Protestant students.
This school was one building made up of the church and the school. It was located near the 1st Anglican Cemetery (next to the war memorial).
In 1911, the correspondent to the Diocesan Magazine from Arnold's Cove states the following:
"Some time ago we had a visit from Mr. Blackhall, the school superintendent, who soon afterwards supplied us with a teacher, and advised us to repair or rebuild our school.
We collected some funds from friends in St. John's and elsewhere, for whose help we are most grateful; and since then our Women's Association has succeeded in gaining additional funds by sales and concerts, etc. We have now in hand towards the new school some eighty-three dollars".
It wasn’t until 1912, before a new Church of England school was erected.
Low population numbers in the community meant only a one room school, quite often it was difficult to attract qualified teachers, if , in fact, one could be found at all. Many sent their children to larger centers to finish their high school education.
The class of 1916 shown above represents all the original Arnold's Cove families. This school was located on what is now Lodge Avenue adjacent to the 2nd Anglican Cemetery.
The third school in Arnold's Cove was built in 1949, up on Dog Hill. Originally it had one room, until 1955 when another was added. One classroom housed grades K-6 and the other 7-11, both heated by potbelly stoves which were supplied with splits by the students, daily. Their hardwood floors would shine each September after mothers spent several days scrubbing and waxing them, getting ready for a new school year. The grand finale was the shining stage. All of the smaller youngsters in The Cove would show up with wool socks and pretend skating around the room. If you were lucky you'd get a few swirls along the floor on a blanket pulled by older students or mothers.
Besides two classrooms, the wooden structure had a common porch for both male and female with the washrooms adjacent to it. Originally, an outhouse was built in the same garden but for some reason the doors would not stay on it's hinges. A door in one classroom led into a small library with mostly hardcover books of tiny print, with one exception, a large colourful book containing every species of birds ones' little mind could imagine and more. Needless to say, it was riddled with dog-eared pages and only the fastest had the opportunity to indulge in it's pleasures.
A kitchen was built off the other classroom, a must in any school back in the day. It was used in the preparation and serving of food at times and weddings.
The sudden influx of people during Resettlement in the 1960s necessitated the construction of a new school on the "heights". The old school on "Dog Hill" became a public library
The picture above is the kindergarten class of 1962-63.
During Resettlement, many people moved into Arnold's Cove which resulted in an over capacity of the small two room school on the hill. Children would attend school in shifts with the lower grades attending morning classes and higher grades in the afternoon and evening. It was necessary to build a new school to house all the students now attending classes. A new school was constructed and opened in 1968. This new all grade school had close to 400 students and 11 classrooms. As more and more people moved into the Cove during the late 60's and early 70's, several portable classrooms were also added to accommodate the rising population of students. The student population remained steady until the late 90's when the government decided to close surrounding schools and bus students to one centralized location. St. Michael's School continued to grow until the classroom size proved too small to support the number of students.
In 2000, a centralized school was opened to accommodate 6 communities:
Arnold's Cove Station
Come By Chance
Little Harbour East
Tricentia Academy's population has decreased since opening in 2000. Today, it is attended by 217 students and 26 staff.
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