By Dianne Cornish, REVIEW STAFF
Sometimes, it takes a while to acknowledge a gift, but it’s never too late to give recognition for a good deed. Those are the sentiments of Art and Sonja Adams, residents of Short Road in Greensville, who recently set out to publicly recognize a pioneer resident of the village for his unique gift to the children in the area.
About 150 years ago, Andrew Surerus (1847-1926) gave the land now covered by Short Road to the children of Bullocks Corners to use as a shortcut to school. The road, then little more than a pathway across his 200-acre property, made the walk to the Greensville School considerably shorter for the students who lived near present-day Highway 8 in Greensville. Had it not been for Surerus’s kind gesture, the children would have had no choice but to walk down Brock Road to reach the Harvest Road school, rather than take the bridge across Spencer Creek and then the short pathway to their destination.
Some children follow the route to this day and were present last month at a dedication ceremony, specially arranged to celebrae the pioneer resident’s gift. The service, conducted by Rev. Barry Randle of Christ Church Anglican in Greensville, was held on the Adams’s property, which once belonged to Surerus and is also his final resting place.
About a year ago, Adams decided to buy a granite stone to be placed near the gravesite; on it, he had inscribed, “Andrew Surerus gave Short Road to the children of Bullocks Corners early 1800’s.” After sharing his story with staff at the nearby school, it was agreed that a small ceremony of thanks would be fitting and some students from Bullocks Corners should attend.
Eleven students living on or near Short Road took part in the dedication ceremony, listening intently as local historian Jim Green of Ancaster related the story of Surerus’s gift and the reason why the road bears its current name. One of the children read a short poem of thanks and all joined in a brief sing-along of celebration. They later enjoyed an outdoor reception, where they were served snacks, courtesy of the Adams’s.
Accompanying the schoolchildren were principal Kate Fischer, teacher Bob Carle and retired teacher Susan Hill. While the shortcut makes the distance to school quite a bit shorter, it’s a moot point now as most children from Bullocks Corners and the Highway 8 area are bused to school, Fischer explained. But even so, students continue to appreciate the generosity behind Surerus’s gift, she added.
Adams said he felt the pioneer resident’s act of kindness deserved recognition, so he bought the stone and had it inscribed. “You can’t let history disappear,” he explained.