Our History

Mr. Earle Greenwood – Early Memories of BV

Buena Vista School Memories

Earle was born in 1915 and moved to the Buena Vista area in 1921 at age 6. He attended B.V. School from Grade 1 through Grade 7, 1921 – 1928 and lived at 1013 Melrose and 309 9th St. during that time. There were very few houses in the neighbourhood at that time. He moved away from Saskatoon for one year in 1927-1928 and attended Grade 8 in Bigger where his father had gotten a job. Earle moved back to the B.V. area after his one year away and attended Nutana for high school, graduating in 1933.
Earle’s one year absence from the B.V. area was disappointing for him as he had qualified for the B.V. Senior Hockey team who played against other schools at the old downtown arena on Spadina and 4th Ave. Earle missed out playing for the team.
Earle’s wife, Leone Hunt also attended B.V. School, and Earle met her through her brothers who were also students at B.V. Earle was one grade ahead of Leone.
Earle’s daughter, Janelle Phillips was a teacher at B.V. School for 23 years, from 1969-1992.

The outdoor skating rink in the schoolyard had no shack and no rinkboards other than a piece of wood to keep the water in while flooding occurred. Many pucks were lost in the deep snow without boards to keep them in the rink. The School maintenance personnel flooded the rink and maintained it. Earle recalls the principal of the school, Mr. Holliston who was very strict and many stories of students being disciplined circulated. He would not tolerate boys fighting in the schoolyard. Holliston was also a talented artist who had studied art in Oakland, California. He instituted an art program for all students. He also introduced the “print” style of writing in place of the “cursive” style. Holliston School is named after him. It is believed that Holliston chose the school colours, green and white. Later in life Earle’s family ended up living at 424 8th St. two doors away from Bill Holliston. Earle recalls that Holliston was a wonderful gardener and his yard was a show-place.
There was a small grocery store located directly across from the School on Lorne Avenue. The store was known as the “Little Gem.” In the 1920s three candy kisses could be purchased for a penny and a whole chocolate bar for a nickel. The caretaker of the school, Mr. Lightbody, lived in an apartment created in the attic of the school with his family. When the school needed to expand due to the growing student population, Lightbody moved out of the school to a house on Lorne Avenue. The school was growing crowded in the 1920s and there were two classrooms for each grade. In 1927 the decision was made to separate the boys and girls into different classrooms. Girls and boys had always used separate entrances to the school, boys at the north end and girls at the south end. A handbell was used to signal the start and finish of recess. A piano was played while students came back in from recess, lined up, and marched back to their classrooms. The students were very regimented during class and recess time. Earle recalls several of his teachers: Miss Grant, Mrs. McInnis, Miss Breans, Miss McNabb and Miss Robb.

Buena Vista Area Memories

Earle recalls the Street Cars being used in the 1920s, with a line through the Nutana area where tracks ran down 9th st. Short cars or “puddle jumpers” were used as opposed to the larger cars used downtown and on the west side. Around 1925 there was a terrible street car accident when a car crashed in dense fog at the spur or turn-around in the Nutana area, one street car worker was killed. The CNR main line from Winnipeg to Melville and on to Edmonton ran through Saskatoon and through the Buena Vista, Exhibition area to the station which was located downtown where the Midtown Plaza is today. Thornton School opened in 1926 to help take the large student population strain off of Buena Vista School. Many B.V. kids transferred to Thornton after it opened. Earle is an avid lawn bowler and was President of the Nutana Lawn Bowling Club from 1989-1990.

*The information contained in these notes was obtained during a meeting between Sean Sass, BVCA and Mr. Earle Greenwood May 14, 2010 at the Nutana Lawn Bowling Clubhouse.*