B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon presents a commemorative plaque to 150 Mile House Grade 3 student Skye Spence, during a recent visit to the small heritage schoolhouse.

Lieutenant Governor visits 150 Mile historic schoolhouse

Her Honour Judith Guichon visits the past with students from 150 Mile House Elementary School

LeRae Haynes

Special to the Tribune Advisor

Students in Grade 3 at 150 Mile School recently shared a classroom experience with Judith Guichon, the 29th and current Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Sitting alongside Her Honour, the students learned proper handkerchief etiquette in 1896, underwent a cleanliness inspection of their hands and nails, and practiced answering questions in complete sentences.

Retired teachers with School District 27, Audrey Dye and Chris Donaldson, put on historic enactments at the little school house at 150 Mile House during the school year.

The school house has been furnished to replicate a classroom in 1896, and local elementary classes visit to experience what life for students and life for the community was like at that time.

This is the second time this year Her Honour visited the little schoolhouse.

She was here in May on her tour of the province visiting 150 schools during the year of Canada’s 150th birthday, according to Audrey Dye, who said the Lieutenant Governor chose to return to the 150 Mile House little schoolhouse for her 150th school visit.

“I appreciate how the heritage school gives students an opportunity to learn about history in a unique way, and to gain a closer understanding of what life in our province was like in the past,” Guichon explained.

During her previous visit to 150 Mile, Guichon practiced writing on slates with the young students, and during this visit she tried her hand at proper handkerchief etiquette with Wendy Bernier’s Grade 3 class from 150 Mile Elementary School.

For more than 20 years, teachers, principals and volunteers have worked to offer enactment sessions in the little schoolhouse for students.

Students learn things such as manners and etiquette, how to stand to the left of your desk when answering a question in class and how to respond to your teacher using complete sentences.

They learned about classroom chores in 1896 – when the boys would haul firewood and water and the girls would help with things like sweeping and straightening. They do art projects, learn to write on slates and participate in oral mathematics, write in cursive and more.

On Guichon’s recent visit, Dye explained that in 1896 there were no Kleenex or facial tissues, so every student had to carry a hanky to school, know how to fold it properly and store it on their person.

“For boys, it was kept in a dungaree pocket, or in a vest pocket, and for the girls, it was tucked into a pinafore pocket, or neatly into a sleeve,” she explained.

Seated in the small wooded desks in the historic classroom, Her Honour folded and tucked the handkerchief, as did her entourage and the young students, and demonstrated the proper use of the hanky, should a sneeze overtake you during class.

Dye also conducted a health check, scrutinizing the hands and fingernails of everyone in the classroom, for cleanliness and neatness.

The Lieutenant Governor presented the class with a plaque and a beautiful cake, and in turn was presented with a photograph, by Theresa Tanner, of one of the classroom desks with a slate on it, to commemorate her visit.

 

Teacher Audrey Dye, assisted by Grade 3 student Reid Coombs, presented Her Honour, Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon with a framed photo by Theresa Turner.

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