A Tin Cup Story from Manitoba

During the past few months I’ve given numerous talks around Ontario. While telling Grace’s stories, I usually see smiles and nods. Clearly, memories are being wakened.
In North Bay, Kathleen Dixon Merritt, a retired teacher, shared a story from her first school in rural Manitoba in the 1940s. Since the school had no well on the property, two students had to walk to a farm half a mile away to fill a pail with drinking water. On hot days, other students waited eagerly for their return and then lined up to get a drink. With only one tin cup and thirty children, it took a long time for everyone to get a drink.
Kathleen had an idea for speeding things up. She stopped at the local store, purchased another tin cup for about 25 cents, and charged it to the School Board. A couple of weeks later, the trustees invited her to a meeting and questioned her about her purchase. After lengthy deliberation, they decided the second cup was unnecessary. She had to pay for it herself.
In subsequent schools, Kathleen considered each item very carefully before adding it to a supplies list. Even in very generous schools, she never forgot the importance of thrift.
Millie Morton