February 1, 2012
The Old Schoolhouse in Pritchard on Duck Range Road was torn down last summer. It was in a farmer’s field–a farmer who’d gone to it as a child–and though he wanted to see it restored and taken over by the community, no one stepped forward to do so.
For years his horses used the school yard as their private pasture. Rain or shine–snow or sleet–anyone driving by would see them, the pair of steeds only momentarily looking up before resuming their grazing.
Finally, after numerous appeals to various groups to assume responsibility for the Old School, the farmer reluctantly went about making sure it didn’t collapse and possibly cause an accident. Someone told me it only took a couple of hours for it to be reduced to a pile of boards and beams. If one drives by now, the only thing left standing are the horses.
January 21, 2012
My mother taught one room school in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, in the ’30s. There was such an age difference between herself and her sister that my Aunt ended up being her student. When my mother had no choice but to keep her after school for talking back, that was the beginning of a lifelong distance between them. They got along–don’t get me wrong–but they weren’t ever the best of friends.
The notion of a one room school has always been appealing to me, personally. I would have bloomed in such a setting, and benefited from having both older and younger learning their lessons in the same room at the same time–(though probably not if the teacher had been my mother).
This painting, entitled ‘Schoolhouse Memories’ is based on a dream I had not long ago, of heading towards a building like this, in a setting like this, on a warm day at dawn, yet never reaching the front door.
It was in the Federation of Canadian Artists’ Open Show in April of 2010.
January 3, 2012
Not far from Kamloops is the lovely rural town of Pritchard. On Duck Range Road was an old one room schoolhouse that was ‘adopted’ by a local farmer who had attended it as a boy and hoped some community-minded group would see to its preservation and restoration.
Unfortunately, that never happened and in the summer of 2011, it was finally knocked down. Although this painting takes some liberties over the school’s original setting, the rendering of the building itself is true to the way it looked. It was hung in The Federation of Canadian Artist’s Open Show in The Old Kamloops Courthouse, and was a favourite in a fund-raising draw for The Federation.