As she nears her 100th birthday, Marion Anderson knows that time is a gift.
In that spirit, Anderson made her own gift of time — a clock — to the Wilson P. Macdonald Memorial School Museum in Selkirk.
In 1944, Anderson, then known as Marion Mackay, arrived in Norfolk County from Kincardine. She came south after she was hired as the new senior teacher and principal at Hartford School.
In an interview at her suite at the Golden Pond Retirement Home in Waterford, Anderson said her move was prompted because she “had no money” at the time.
“I applied for the job in Hartford and they kept calling me to come on down. It wasn’t easy because I couldn’t find Hartford on the map.”
Anderson later taught at the school in Bealton and was the inaugural principal at Boston Public School when it opened in 1960.
“That was the baby boom,” said Anderson’s nephew, Allan Hayes of Waterford, who is also one of her former students. “Hartford and Bealton closed down and all students were bused to Boston.”
As a gift, Anderson received an eight-day pendulum clock that hung on the wall at the Hartford school. She has looked after it all these years and finally parted with it two weeks ago in Selkirk.
Anderson is glad the clock has gone to a museum that celebrates the one-room school houses of the past
The school room in Selkirk, Anderson said, is authentic, if a little more crowded than she would have tolerated.
She said it is good that clock is in Haldimand because many of the 80 students at the two-room school in Hartford, which accommodated Grades 1 through 9, were from there.
“There is no other place for that clock,” she said. “That’s the right place for it.”
As a teacher in the Waterford area, Marion Mackay married farmer Donald Anderson, of Bealton. He was a hard-working fellow who also drove truck for the Villa Nova Dairy.
During her career, Anderson recognized that she was blazing a trail for women in an area long dominated by men.
“When you went to a principals’ meeting, there were almost all guys in the room,” she said. “You’d walk in and say, ‘Hi guys,’ but it didn’t matter to me. I knew who I was.”