Exeter Times-Advocate Editorial
It was the end of an era Friday night, but it’s clearly one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Usborne Central School held its official closing ceremonies Friday night with speeches, food, an open house and fun for the kids. It was a time for former students and staff to come together one last time in their school before it closes at the end of the month.
And the school put on an impressive show.
As previously reported, the Avon Maitland District School Board decided last year to close both Usborne Central and Zurich Public at the end of this year. But while their doors will close forever and students from those schools will move on to other schools, it’s clear the memories created will last.
Time is counting down for both schools but the spirit forged by Usborne and Zurich will live on even after the lights go dark for the final time.
Between 400 and 500 people attended Usborne’s closing ceremonies Friday night, an impressive number given the relatively small population of the school and community.
But former students, staff and parents came out to share memories, flip through old photo books and newspaper clippings in the school and savour some of Usborne’s last moments. And there were games for the kids.
Former student Dennis Duncan, who attended Usborne in its first year in 1964, drove all the way from Ottawa with his wife Joan to attend. He told the Times-Advocate it was sad to see the school close and remarked that it was an important part of the community.
It clearly was. Many people during their speeches Friday night mentioned what a big part of the community Usborne was, from its school concerts, Christmas shows and Remembrance Day services, to the lifelong friendships created.
It’s a shame Usborne and Zurich are closing. Those closures will have an impact on their respective communities and we wonder how much the school board really takes that into consideration when deciding to close a school.
But memories live on, and if there was one thing obvious from Friday night’s ceremony at Usborne, it was that students, staff and parents won’t be forgetting their school anytime soon.