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Thursday 22 January 2015

Report Card

Delicate with age, yellowed, the single page report card is almost one hundred years old. 

        Grade 2 Report

It belonged to Richard (Dick) Edgar Mercer, my husband's grandfather, for Grade 2 in Harbour Breton, Newfoundland. Dick's father, Richard F. Mercer was a Church of England clergyman. His mother was Clarinda Moulton from Burgeo, where the couple met.

   Richard and Clarinda

One of their postings as a young couple was in Harbour Breton where they had seven of their nine children. 

The report card has subjects and grades written in pencil, in what looks like a child's printing, in a more mature script than a Grade two would have. There is a comment, handwritten and signed with an adult's hand. It looks as if one of the older students in the school printed out the report card and the teacher filled in the marks and signed it. Dick placed fourth in a class of twelve. He achieved the following:  

Writing        95
Printing       80
Arithmetic   70
Spelling       56
Geography  73
Reading      80
Drawing      65
Health       100

The teacher wrote

Dick is a good pupil in every way and does excellent work.

The teacher's name is difficult to read but looks like E Lex.

When Dick finished school he took a job at the Bank of Montreal in Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. While he worked there, Dick met Classie Lawrence. They married and had three children, Richard (Dick), Sylvia and Carl. 

                  Dick Mercer

Prior to his marriage in Port aux Basques, Dick did a correspondence program from Shaw Schools Limited, Toronto, Canada. 

He did courses in English Composition and Correspondence, Commercial Geography, and Arithmetic. 

There may have been other courses as well, but these are the books that we still have. The books were published in 1924 and 1927. 

Eventually he became a book keeper, working for Emanuel Pike in Port aux Basques and later for Bowater's Pulp and Paper in Corner Brook.

It was fortunate that Dick did further his education because physical labour became impossible for him. He contracted tuberculosis after the family moved to Corner Brook. Dick spent time in the sanitorium and lived the rest of his life with only a part of one lung functioning properly.

Dick was the only one of all of the ancestors among the Prettys and the Smiths who contracted tuberculosis and survived. We lost so many to the dreadful disease. Dick was a very fortunate man in many ways.

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