Ruby McBeth: Historic finds on Sunday drives

Lorne and I have been missing our summer trips. Every year we would go to Vernon for the Piping Hot Summer Drummer program at Silver Star Mountain and about every third weekend we would attend an archery tournament. This year, I did the drum training week on Zoom, which was great as far as the lessons went, and Lorne has an archery course on our farm, which he shoots most days. But something was missing. 

Rather than just bemoan the lack of events to get us away from home, we have created our own little touring project. We have been driving once a week across the Peace River to investigate early schools of the South Peace. Details about their locations are in the book Books, Bells, and Bachelors. As Lorne attended school in Arras, Progress, and the dorm in Dawson Creek, he knows many of the teachers and students mentioned in the book.

Armed with the book and maps of the area, we head out. We have been out three times now and have found many locations, several old school buildings and two schools which were kept in good shape by being converted to community halls.

And by the way, the book tells us that the Coleman Creek school east of Rolla was moved to Taylor in 1961 to be used as a garage. If anyone knows where that building is in Taylor, please let me know.

Remembering Joan Clarke

The Peace River area lost a lovely lady when Joan Clarke passed away July 13. I first met Joan when she worked at RuCel’s, a quality lady’s wear shop in Dawson Creek. Later, I came to know her as the president of the Peace River District Women’s Institute.

Joan came from Australia as a young adult. She had fallen in love with a Peace Country farmer when she was on a holiday in New York. Joan raised the happiness level of any meeting just by being herself. It is a privilege to have known her.  

Slug stuff

I was advised by my friends Norma Currie and Jill Sutton of the spinners and weavers’ group that fleece would deter slugs. I didn’t think too much about it until the slugs moved onto my cauliflower plants. Now my cauliflowers have fleece hats on them. Four days slug free and counting!

Quote of the week

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” - Joseph F. Newton

Ruby McBeth is a community columnist and lives in Baldonnel. 

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