Well, here we all are. Nothing much is happening on this summer's day. We are sitting around, waiting for our Biology teacher.
A biology class, indeed!
Examination of the original scan of the image of the chart on the stand at the left front shows what appears to be drawings of plant parts. It looks something like a coconut. The angle is too oblique and the printing too small to be able to make out text.
To enter the school's darkroom, one goes through the door at the front of the class room, standing open as we look at it now, and then makes a right turn inside the store room. The dark room is behind the black boards we see behind the girls' heads at the right.
(Sigh!) Things have changed in Mr. Child's room. The desks now face west, the tables at the back of the old room are gone to be replaced by these islands along the east side. The doorway at the front of the room is still there but the dark room within is gone. The partition which formed it has been torn out to make the entire space behind the boards into an expanded storage room. The coup de grace of the old order is the invasion of the space by a terminal. See the c.r.t. there?
On the occasion of the alleged smoking in the dark room, one of the occupants, the suspected smoker, became aware of a teacher outside. The alleged physical evidence was dealt with, there was a sink with running water and a drain to the sewer. An attempt was made to alter the smell of the already foul, chemical laden and supposedly smoky air in the dark room. Sodium thiosulphate ("hypo") proved ineffective so we moved on to spreading acetic acid around. That did make a change in the atmosphere! Regrettably, however, it did not seem to affect the smell of the supposed smoke. Breathing was then most unpleasant, the measures taken had set the eyes and noses of the occupants draining. Remaining those last few minutes in the dark room, in hopes that the smell would decrease before the door was opened, was a character builder!
There was no physical evidence to be found. The alleged smell was evanescent. The suspect had nothing to say. A futile attempt was made to interrogate the purported witness to provide evidence. Within school, discussing such matters with "authority" would have violated the ethic of a gentleman. The case failed!
There the mystery will sit and for eternity. What really went on in that dark room will be forever locked in the minds of two alumni.
When more space becomes available, a photograph of three of the four pillars of the loosely organized photography club, taken by the fourth, will be put up. That picture includes Dave Young, one of the very first fellows in Victoria to obtain Japanese film, a roll of which he gave to the author. It is now an antique.