By Richard Bell
On June 22, several hundred people gathered in Tangier to bid farewell after 65 years to Lakefront Consolidated Elementary School (which began in 1954 as Central Consolidated High School). Inside the school, the multi-generational crowd poured over displays of class photos over the years, yearbooks, and other memorabilia, with the occasional burst of delight at meeting a classmate from long ago in the crowd.
In a quiet but moving afternoon ceremony in a large, windblown tent on the soccer field behind the school, speakers reviewed their experiences there, as students, teachers, and administrators. They heard from the first two graduates in 1954; Duncan Kennedy spoke, and Nick MacDonald read a message from his aunt, Connie Hawes (Owen). MacDonald also spoke eloquently of starting his teaching career at the school, where his two daughters were now enrolled.
Other speakers included Jean Webb, long-time bus driver Norma Kennedy, and Jim King, principal from 1993-1997. King, who just retired after 33 years in education, said his fondest memories were from his days at Lakefront. Principal Carole DesBarres closed the ceremony, and her 11 years as principal at Lakefront, with a deep appreciation for the communities that had supported the school through the decades.
[Photo: Students in the last classes at Lakefront sing The Tangier Song at the closing ceremony.]