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NCL b@ca.on.grey_county.owen_sound.the_sun_times 2006-04-18 published
Colleagues host birthday party for 100-year-old teacher
By Paul AUSTIN, Sun Times Correspondent, Page A3
Kincardine celebrated a special birthday Easter weekend.
Former W.E. Thompson Public School kindergarten teacher Jessie ROBINSON turns 100 years old on April 27. Saturday, her colleagues held a birthday party at the Kincardine Curling Club.
More than 100 former students, fellow teachers and their family members turned out for the event.
A smiling ROBINSON was piped into the facility by Kincardine's Scottish and Penetangore Competition band member Julie FAIR.
ROBINSON shared memories with dozens of well-wishers who stopped by to talk about the old days or reintroduce themselves after, in some cases, 40 years or more of absence.
ROBINSON retired from teaching in 1971 after running the kindergarten classes at W.E. Thompson since 1956. She began her teaching career in 1925 at the Lorne Beach school known as S.S.#8.
ROBINSON estimated she saw some 600 students pass through her kindergarten doors at Thompson school, noting "things got a lot busier when the (Douglas Point) plant took off."
ROBINSON lived in her own home and drove her own car until she was 95, then moved to Malcolm Place in Kincardine after her doctor suggested stairs were no longer a good idea.
The former teacher said the biggest change she has seen in the lives of young people and their educations has been the advent of the personal computer and the internet.
ROBINSON said she never learned to surf the web or send e-mails but added her family "does all that" and said she has been amazed at the research and communication power now afforded youngsters.
At ROBINSON's request, many guests donated to the Children's Wish Foundation in lieu of presents, but some couldn't resist at least a small gift.
Kincardine's THRENDYLE family brought a yellow brick from the W.E. Thompson School, where the north wing has now been demolished to make way for the AMEC NCL Training Centre. Four THRENDYLE brothers are former ROBINSON kindergartners.
Sisters Heather JOLLEY and Lynda THACHER brought their former teacher the one gift so traditional as to be nearly mandatory on such a commemorative occasion: a bright red apple.

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