Living Healing Quilt Project
Promoting Healing – One Stitch at a Time
Mrs. Marion McGregor ~ Whitefish River First Nation, Birch Island, ON
Attended St. Joseph’s Girls Residential School, Spanish, ON for ten years from 1948 to 1958. Residential School #108.
Maiden Name: Marion Beaucage ~ Wikwemikongsing, Wikwemikong, ON
During my stay at the residential school, domestic chores were performed on a daily basis which ere scheduled by the month. The schedule was posted every month with the student’s name beside the description. Each girl rotated chores in different areas of the residence (e.g., kitchen, laundry, fining room, etc.). Washing, waxing and polishing hardwood floors were a weekly Saturday chore. It was a task for the younger children. Cleaning the floor was done silently and in unison which required team work. Getting on their hands and knees two girls were partnered together sharing a pail between them. A straight row of little girls was formed across the floor moving backward after each wash till the whole floor was completed. The next step was the wax application. This procedure was the same as washing. A nun would oversee the work to make sure the floor was done properly. The final stage to complete the cleaning was polishing the floor. Dust rags were tired to the girls’ stocking feet to serve as polishers. This activity required sliding the feet along the floor like a skater’s stride. This was the fun part of the chore because talking and playing tag in a quiet manner were allowed.
Some of the work ethics that I acquired upon leaving the residential school were responsibility, following directions, working and playing as a team, punctuality, good work habits and staying on task. I was able to practice these values in my adult years which supported me to become self-sufficient in my endeavours.