© Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
Mayor Richard Collins, left, joins resident Jim Watson to say farewell to the last standing wall of the old Montague regional high school this week. Watson is holding a graduation photo of his late son Steven who was the 1981 valedictorian.
MONTAGUE — Jim Watson watches the old regional high school being torn down with a shiver of memories.
The building has been part of the history of the town here for 50 years and the heavy machinery tearing into the walls and ceilings over the past few weeks has made steady work of the demolition.
“Watching it being torn down stirs up memories of how much this educational institution has meant to me and my family and this community,” said Watson, now retired. “My wife and I have always placed a high value on the importance of an education.”
His five children are all graduates and son, Steven, later killed in a car accident, was the valedictorian of the 1981 class.
“Here we are on the verge of Thanksgiving and I just want to say thanks to the educational system and all the teachers who taught my children and so many others in this old building,” he said.
Montague High opened in 1963, went through an addition and was finally decommissioned in 2010 and replaced with a new regional school.
Watson’s four daughters, Janet, Pamela, Joan and Karen, also graduated from 1978 to 1985 and pursued professional careers in teaching, occupational therapy and nursing.
Watson moved to P.E.I. from New Brunswick in 1969 when he became general manager for the Langley Frozen Food Plant (Mariner Seafoods) and his late wife Norma took a position in administration at the Kings County Memorial hospital. The couple operated the Kingsway Motel (now Red’s Corner) for 12 years at Poole’s Corner until 1987.