Custodian Mr. Peters cutting wood to stoke the Milne’s Landing High School furnance.

SOOKE HISTORY: Milne’s Landing High School 1946

A crosscut saw being welded on the grounds of the high school today would probably be unbelievable, but in 1946, it was normal

The idea of a crosscut saw being wielded on the grounds of the high school today would probably be unbelievable, but this photo illustrates the actual activity in 1946.

The school’s custodian, Mr. Peters, is using the crosscut saw to cut sections of the trees that had been felled on the grounds into lengths that would fit into the school’s furnace.

The army huts that classes were held in during those first years were often chilly enough that we wore our coats and poor Mr. Peters was kept busy trying to keep the furnace fed.

Over his shoulder in the photo you can just make out a gravel roadway leading up the hill towards what was then the Canadian National Railway track.

I don’t know what happened to that hill, because it’s not there today. In the late 1940s it was the escape route for us kids in the winter when we played hooky from classes.

We’d gather up our skates and head towards the pond that provided us with a skating rink surrounded by woods between Kirby Road, the track, and Sooke River Road.

It’s a good illustration of how climate change is affecting us as there is no way one could skate on a pond off Sooke River Road today.

Memories of the early days of Milne’s Landing High School were exchanged last Thursday evening as alumni gathered to celebrate the school’s 70th year.

Today the high tech classrooms of Edward Milne Community School are a far cry from the days 70 years ago when we took courses such as typing and French by correspondence courses.

One of the people I was particularly pleased to see was Terry Sankey, a member of Sooke’s pioneer Helgesen family, who’d been principal here in the 1970s. He had come from his home near Kelowna to renew old acquaintances.

Five students, Audrey Sullivan (later Wilson), Gwen Jenner (later Farmer), Merle Forrest (later Proteau), Joan Rumsby (later Zipp), and the lone male, Laurie Wilson were the members of the historic first class to graduate west of Victoria, in 1947.

Even though the school was housed in the former Milne’s Landing army training camp, there was a lot of community pride.  I noticed the same pride in the students today, though the graduating class in June 2016 had risen to 144.

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum

 

Just Posted

Victoria police warn against Canada Revenue scam as tax season nears

Fraudsters have elicited $25,000 in 2018 alone in telephone racket

VIDEO: Protesters chain doors shut at DFO office in Saanich

Fish farm protesters removed from Commerce Circle for a second time

Public hearing set for Jordan River land

B.C. Hydro seeks CRD rezoning to sell the land

Group seeks to build honorary RCMP sculpture in Sooke

Sooke RCMP officers work long hours protecting the community, and a local… Continue reading

Sooke high school welcomes new principal

Laura Fulton was formerly vice principal at Belmont High and Spencer Middle schools

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Late charge in Portland sees Victoria collect third straight WHL win

Matthew Phillips leads the way with three-point night in 4-2 win, Giants up next

UPDATE: Hold-and-secure lifted after Nanaimo RCMP locate student who threatened self-harm

Eight schools were under hold-and-secure orders after possible threat Thursday, Jan. 18

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Comox cannabis lab takes step forward towards reality

A former Comox Valley resident and current adjunct botany professor at UBC… Continue reading

Carpet bowlers have been excluded from BC 55+ Games and Canada 55+ Games

Gold medal carpet bowling winners not able to defend their titles in 2018

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

UPDATE: Police release new footage, launch website in hunt for 13-year-old’s killer

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

Rural B.C. students score visit with Canadiens netminder Carey Price

Two students from the Chilcotin can hardly wait to meet hometown hero Carey Price in Montreal.

Most Read