Linda Dickson teaches her last kindergarten class at Mount Begbie Elementary. She was also part of the first grade four class at the school when it opened in 1967.

The final day of Mount Begbie Elementary

Kindergarten teacher Linda Dickson shares memories of the opening day at Mount Begbie Elementary – on the school's closing day.



Forty-five years ago, Linda Dickson was part of the first grade four class at the brand-new Mt. Begbie Elementary School.

Last Thursday, she taught her final kindergarten class at the school, which is closing as the school district gets ready to open up the brand new Begbie View Elementary in September.

Dickson told her story of attending school in 1967. The opening of MBE meant she didn’t have to walk all the way to Mountain View Elementary for grade four. The new school was only a block away.

Her teacher that year was Brigitte Saunders, who was treated like a movie star and all the students – boys and girls – tried to impress.

MBE was built in 1967 as a response to Revelstoke’s exploding population and over-crowding at existing schools, said museum curator Cathy English, who gave a talk on the history of MBE. At the time, some students were being taught in temporary, portable classrooms at the old Selkirk Elementary school.

Construction on the school started in April 1967 and continued through the summer. It wasn’t finished in time for the school year so the students had an extended summer vacation.

When it did open, there was no gym, said English, so students crowded into the activity room for assemblies – 200 kids in a tiny space.

Harry Sayers was the principal the first year but he was replaced by John Opra the following year.

The school was located in the heart of Revelstoke’s Little Italy neighbourhood. Mauro Morrone, now a school board trustee, attended MBE in the 1970s. He remembers how many students spoke English as a second language. The school gave the neighbourhood its own identity.

In 1993, Dickson was hired as a teacher librarian at MBE, bringing her life full-circle. She is now a kindergaten teacher, getting ready to transition into the new school, along with all the other students.

Closing day last Thurday, June 29, featured a pancake breakfast, barbecue lunch, year-end assembly, open house and more. There were historical displays set up througout the gym. The books in the library were in boxes and the musical instruments loaded into a van for the move. Students were running about cleaning up their classrooms, excited for summer vacation and the last day of school ever at Mount Begbie Elementary.

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke golfer heading to 55+ Summer Games

At 90 Audrey Lally does it for the exercise

Finding a career and finding family

When Marie-Pier Rodrigue-Jacques moved to Revelstoke in October 2015 she couldn’t find… Continue reading

Revelstoke artist paints mural at Free Spirit Sports

Free Spirit Sports has come a long way since the days of… Continue reading

Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke May 25

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near Canyon Hot Springs due… Continue reading

Revelstoke Maternity Project survey available now

Researchers want to know about the Revelstoke maternity experience

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Neighbours help save Okanagan garage fire from spreading

Neighbours knock down fire enough before BX-Swan Lake firefighters arrive to fully extinguish

UBC researchers want to hear from rural residents on health care

Once completed, the project will inform health care planning and policy decisions

Kamloops RCMP investigate violent home invasion

Police believe the incident was targeted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Most Read