Old School House grads remember

Before it was Qualicum Beach’s art centre, TOSH was an actual school house

Al Pletz

The Old School House arts centre (TOSH) in Qualicum Beach has a long and varied past and some of its rich history was shared during the 100th anniversary celebration on Saturday, July 28.

Before TOSH became an arts centre, the building was used as a school after opening its doors on August 24, 1912.

Ninety-one year old Don McMillan who graduated in 1937 shared some of his memories as a student at TOSH.

It has been 75 years since McMillan sat in a classroom at TOSH but despite the many years that have gone by, his recollection of how things were is as sharp as ever.

He told the crowd, gathered for the birthday festivities on Saturday afternoon that the building is much more pleasant now.

“It was cold in the winter and there was just a wood stove to heat the school.  In the summer time the water was dis-

 

 

gusting because the dam on Whiskey Creek would go down,” he recalled.

McMillan said he would ride his bike to school from the Dashwood area because back in the day there were no buses.

“I came to school by bicycle from Texada Road.  Even in the winter … snow…rain or shine … I don’t think I missed a day,” he admitted.

McMillan said in the winter he had to use special shoes with spikes in them so he could get up the hill.

“I had to walk up the road from Memorial.  I had to wear cork shoes so I wouldn’t slip on the icy pavement,” he recalled.

McMillan who still lives in the area said he was one of the lucky one’s who got to graduate from Grade 12.

“Up until 1930 you had to pay for admission to high school, so many of the kids didn’t make it past Grade 9.”

After graduating McMillan went on to work in the logging industry and eventually went into business for himself including producing utility poles.

As for the progress that has occurred in Qualicum Beach over the years, McMillan agreed most of it is good.

“They argue and fight making it (progress) but I haven’t seen many bad decisions.  It feels like we are making progress and I am happy with the progress,” he declared.

McMillan said he is thrilled that his old school is an art centre and particularly enjoys going to Music on Sunday.

Hundreds of people were on hand to help TOSH celebrate 100 years on the weekend and McMillan said he was thrilled to see so many people enjoying the event.

“This is what makes a community,” he agreed.

 

Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Kwalikum Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Nanoose Bay Catspan receives BC SPCA funding

Spay/neuter grant to address overpopulation

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

B.C. to spent $181M to create 200 general practitioner jobs

Jobs will go to new medical school graduates

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Most Read