LETTERS: Journey students learn value of history

Weekly letters to the editor from within the Sooke community.

I am a member of the Victoria Old Cemeteries Society and you can imagine my surprise when I found 25 children from Sooke’s Journey Middle School gathered around the gravesite of Nellie Cashman, “The Miners Angel,” at Ross Bay Cemetery on May 27.

Teachers had organized a visit to a number of prominent gravesites in the cemetery and two children were selected to give a presentation to the rest of the class regarding each grave visited.

I listened to a very informed presentation on Nellie Cashman, the lady who rescued a large number of miners who were trapped in winter snows near Dease Lake in 1875.

I visited a number of other gravesites with the children, including Billy Barker and Peter Leech, the man who found the gold that led to Leechtown.

I would like to take this opportunity to give credit and applause to the two teachers who took the time to organize the tour and who helped to motivate the students to write such good reports on each individual gravesite.

Nellie Cashman is the subject of 10 books and is on an American postage stamp called Legend of the West. She has also been selected to be placed on a prominent area of the Ireland Canada Monument that is planned for Vancouver.

Congratulations to the school teachers who arranged this tour: Michelle Kiefert and Cherise Bouvier.

In this day of computers and smartphones it is wonderful to see teachers taking the trouble to give such a joyful hands-on experience.

Kudos to Journey Middle School.

Patrick Perry Lydon

Victoria