Today, we bring you one of Sylvia Henricks’ “Remembrances.” You can read more of Sylvia’s columns weekly in The Franklin Township Informer, or in her book From The Ash Grove.
As Woody Wooden continues his reminiscence of the first Bunker Hill School at the corner of Shelbyville and Southport Roads, he recalls an event when he was in the eighth grade.
“After World War II was over many families in Europe were left with nothing. They wanted to start a new life in America. The U.S. government started the Displaced Person Program, and if families had a sponsor, they could come to America and work for that sponsor. Golden Guernsey Farms, located on the south side of Southport Road on both sides of Emerson Avenue– the current site of Bob Evans, Meijer, and many other businesses—needed farm hands. One of the girls from a displaced family enrolled in our eighth grade class at Bunker Hill. Her family was from Holland as were several of the other families at Golden Guernsey. Can you imagine the transition that girl went through, and ending up at Bunker Hill!?
“As a teenager, before going to work for Ben McFarland, a local farmer, I worked the first year for Harvey McMillan on his dairy farm. He grew hay and silage for his herd of dairy cows. He also needed a hired hand for his farm. His hired hand, ‘Andy,’ was also from Holland. One day Andy told me the brutalities of war.
“The greatest gift to us as students, was our educator, Raymond Giroud. Mr. Giroud was the administrator, principal, teacher, playground supervisor, and soft ball and basketball coach. On Fridays in the eighth grade he would read from the Bible and told us how to apply it to our lives. Needless to say, he made a meaningful, lasting impression on our lives.
“The old Bunker Hill school building is gone, brick and mortar hauled away, but the fond memories will last forever. I hope the current students will have fond memories to share about their Bunker Hill School, as do we, students of an earlier era.”
Next week another Bunker Hill student, Mary Ann Alspaugh Weddle, remembers her activities at the old school on Shelbyville Road.