One hundred years of education

The old schoolhouse at Heritage Acres is celebrating its 100th birthday in style this weekend

Gaby Taschereau

The old schoolhouse at Heritage Acres is celebrating its 100th birthday in style this weekend.

Around 60 past students of the school will gather on Sunday, Aug. 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. to celebrate the centennial birthday of the schoolhouse which used to be located on Mount Newton X Road.

“It’s going to be a fun day,” said Saanich Historial Artifacts Society (SHAS) volunteer, Gaby Taschereau.

“We will gather in the schoolhouse to hear stories from the past students and to look at old artifacts and photos from the school.

“There will also be refreshments served outside and other fun things going on.”

The school used to stand in the same spot that the Individual Learning Centre now stands (formally Saanichton Elementary School) and was originally built by Thomas Tubman who completed it in 1913. The public school operated until 1978 when it was closed.

“Normally in those days the school district would burn down buildings like that — that they no longer wanted to use,” explained Taschereau, adding the school was saved from such a fate by one of the founders of SHAS, Maurice Michell.

In 1980 with a grant from B.C. Heritage Trust to the tune of $17,000, the schoolhouse was moved to Heritage Acres and stored on temporary timber footings. In 1996 as funds were raised for the project ($80,000 in total) it was moved to a permanent foundation and restored.

“They really did a beautiful job on the restoration,” said Taschereau.

“It’s wonderful for people who went there as children to be able to come back and see it now.”

Along with the displays of historical photos and memorabilia on the big day there will be a special commemorative plaque presentation. The model trains will also be running before and after the celebration.

For more information visit www.shas.ca.