School desk finally reveals secret

Pericles Anetos

A LETTER hidden in a desk nearly four decades ago shows to what extent children would go to avoid a beating in those times. The note, dated 1974, was discovered by Grade 4 Westering Primary School pupil Allen Balie, 9.

After finishing his exam, Allen starting fidgeting in the crevice of his desk’s seating. He found crumpled in the metal tube of his desk a letter from “J Saunders” informing Barbara Hobday she had “full permission” to hit Saunders’s son, Mark, as long as it was not on his head.

Allen said finding the letter was very exciting.

“I was just pressing my finger into the hole and I felt something and I pulled it out . . . and I found this very ancient letter,” he said.

He handed the letter over to his teacher, Margot Campbell, who was shocked at the find.

“He came over to me and said, ‘ma’am look at what I found’ and I was like ‘ what, no way’. You don’t expect to find something from 1974,” she said.


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