Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Shame On You!

Posted October 6, 2009 by jim young in Lifestyle

– jim young

The Barrie North Collegiate Reunion: Classes of ’67 and ’68 was a huge success for the reasons I have stated in my previous article. You can read it here: Barrie North Collegiate Reunion

But there were 3 groups that could have done a little more to help out.

Let me preface this by saying these were completely out of the hands of organizer Al Crawford and should in no way be taken as a reflection upon him and his hard work.

Springwater Park, The Simcoe County District School Board and Barrie North Collegiate – Shame on You!

Shame on you all.

I’ll draw my guns on Springwater Park first.

Shame on you Springwater Park!

Admission to the park was $15 per car. (Although the information guides that they are still handing out states $13.85).

I understand the need for admission and the intent to cover costs.

But had Al not arranged this reunion at Springwater Park I dare say the revenues for what started out as a cold, rainy day in October would have been very little, if any at all.

Even with this group, there was no shortage of parking, which presumably is the bulk of the cost involved as admission is based on vehicles entering the park and not people.

So why doesn’t the law of supply and demand come into effect here?

I would think the park would consider seasonal rates at best and in the case of the North Collegiate Reunion, a group rate at least would certainly have been in order.

Especially when considering that Al had already paid full price for the use of the largest pavilion space available!

If I am paying full price that is charged at prime time I should be entitled to full service benefits. So why wasn’t the Park Store open and why were so many parking areas closed off?

There is a reduced rate for seniors, which leads me to question how many seniors would have to be in a car to qualify? But apparently even seniors were having a tough time proving their entitlement.

Janice Laking, former Mayor of Barrie told us the attendant at the gate tried to deny her the senior’s rate. Now don’t get me wrong. I think Janice Laking is one of the youngest people I know when you measure age by heart and energy. But, and please forgive me for this Janice, in chronological years, she’s no spring chicken either.

The attendant apparently reasoned that since Janice was attending the North Collegiate Reunion of ’67 and ’68 – she couldn’t possibly be a senior.

Congratulations to the attendant on her mathematics. (Perhaps she is a North Collegiate graduate.)

But on deductive reasoning, the attendant failed miserably, not taking into consideration that Janice Laking had been a teacher during those years. (I guess the attendant graduated from Central after all.)

So shame on you Springwater Park.

Shame on you Simcoe County Board Of Education!

As part of the reunion events Al Crawford arranged for a tour of Barrie North Collegiate. After over 40 years many former students were interested in revisiting their old school.

Al had first contacted the SCBE almost a year prior to the event. Although Al had been quoted “in the vicinity of $200” at that time, it wasn’t until just 10 days before the reunion, that the SCBE finally sent Al a contract to confirm the booking, along with an invoice for more than double the estimated cost.

With events confirmed to the students, who had paid for their tickets up front in good faith and were looking forward to the school visit as part of their ticket price, The Simcoe County Board of Education was now holding a gun to Al Crawford’s head.

The over $400 charge gave the former Barrie North Collegiate students the right to visit their old cafeteria (closed), gym and 1 classroom. The tour had to be fit into a 3 hour window or overtime charges would be applied.

For that kind of money I was tempted to walk through the muddiest puddle I could find and track mud into the gymnasium in my street shoes to ensure the janitorial staff would be earning their wages that day.

So shame on you Simcoe County Board of Education.

Shame on you Barrie North Collegiate!

My wife does not normally get emotional over nostalgic events, but as we pulled into the parking lot of Barrie North Collegiate, I detected a sense of pride as she pointed to the wing that housed her home room when she attended school there.

By the road near the front entrance a portable sign advertised the schools annual Yearbook blitz. It occurred to me that it might have been nice if Barrie North Collegiate could have taken 15 minutes to change the letters to read “Welcome back Grads of ’67 and ’68”.

Would it really have hurt the Yearbook sales that much?

Inside the halls were empty, as was the cafeteria. Still I could tell that my wife was seeing ghosts from her past; memories that she could not share with me because I hadn’t lived it with her. Down the darkened hall she pointed past the closed doors with the sign that read “No entry past this point” to once again try to show me where her homeroom had been.

We entered the gymnasium, where we were greeted by 92 year old E.C. Brydges (and his wife), who was North’s principal in the 60s, and former teacher Keith Medley. (Others still gathered at Springwater Park would arrive later.)

As my wife joined them in conversation, their voices echoed throughout the empty room and I wondered to myself “Where is the Concert Band?”

Why could Barrie North Collegiate not have taken the time to have the band perform for the former graduates? Did these former students who had traveled from all over the world to be here, not deserve at least that?

And if they had, would there have been an extra cost involved? Or could Barrie North’s Concert Band have considered it a rehearsal for their upcoming Remembrance Day Service?

Of course some class could be having a reunion every year. But for $400 for 3 hours, couldn’t these little “no cost” extras have been included?

At the very least, the time involved to change the sign or have the band perform could have been counted towards the students’ mandatory “Community Involvement” credits.

So shame on you Barrie North Collegiate.

Shame on you All!

What makes the Barrie North Collegiate: Classes of ’67 and ’68 students stand out from the students of any other class of any other year?

What makes the Barrie North Collegiate: Classes of ’67 and ’68 deserve any special treatment or consideration?

The truth is absolutely nothing. This reunion, 41 and 42 years later couldn’t claim a half-century or even a quarter-century designation.

As far as I know, no entertainment celebrities, sports heroes or important politicians ever graduated from these classes.

I’m not suggesting that Springwater Park owed any special consideration to the event just because it was the Barrie North Collegiate: Classes of ’67 and ’68. But their pricing schedules for any similar event needs desperately to be reviewed.

The Simcoe County Board Of Education were well within their rights to limit access to Barrie North Collegiate and charge as they see fit. But it’s just poor business practice and lack of respect to delay confirmation of what they would provide and at what cost for so long.

And I guess a reunion of old classmates is not important to Barrie North Collegiate.

Barrie North Collegiate’s Vision Statement reads – Every student will graduate and be fully prepared to lead a successful life. Maybe they just don’t care to follow up on their success rate of that Vision Statement.

But would it have hurt to change a sign and have the band play a couple of songs?

Congratulations and kudos to Al Crawford for a job well done on organizing the Barrie North Collegiate Reunion: Classes of ’67 and ’68.

For those in charge of Springwater Park, The Simcoe County Board Of Education and Barrie North Collegiate – well – you can go fuck yourselves!

– 30 –



    Watch the Central bashing!


    But it was just so easy.

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