Lifestyle

Park Avenue school prepares to mark 50 years

Park Avenue School is looking for a piece of history – and time is running out to add your memories to the 50-year birthday celebration.

The school hosts its  golden anniversary Oct. 26-27 with a reunion, photographic displays, and the publication of a book that includes a history of the school as well as individual memories.

A committee for the celebration, led by former student Marina Taylor, plans to combine the step down memory lane with educational opportunities for current students.

“We’ll have displays in five classrooms, each marking a specific decade. The children will be helping with the project by creating exhibits, conducting interviews and organizing a multi-media presentation of albums, scrapbooks and video,” Taylor said. “Plus we’re getting old textbooks and material from the B.C. education archives.”

Helping out is author and historian, Brian Pettit, past principal of the school from 1988-1997.

Pettit, who has a passion for historical tidbits, recently discovered that a one-room schoolhouse originally sat on the site in the 1920s and even managed to hunt down a living attendee of the school currently living in Edmonton.

“He’s 90-plus years old, but still remembers the little red schoolhouse,” Pettit said.

The existing school has seen a total of eight additions and was originally built in 1962.

“Over the years, we served a multicultural population, but parent, teacher and community involvement was always a priority,” said Pettit.

Taylor agreed.

“The school had a huge impact on my life,” she said. “Families, teachers and students from my years attending have stayed in touch because there was a strong community feel.”

It’s that involvement and dedication to building community that is the driving force behind this reunion.

The committee meets once a month and is seeking more volunteers to help with the planning and organizing. Members want to make this an event that continues the spirit of community the school started 50 years ago.

To participate in the monthly committee meetings or to share your memories of the school’s history, please contact Marina Taylor at 250-741-8150.

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