There were nine pupils enrolled at High Ridge in 1933 plus Glen Wade, a Grade 11 student enrolled in the correspondence school and Donnie Wallis who was only five years old. Glen and Donnie attended school to keep the enrollment up. In those days there had to be 10 pupils to warrant opening a school and the school had to maintain an average daily attendance of eight in order to stay open.
The school enrolled mainly children from the Heinrick, Merrick, Cade and Wallis families in 1933-34. In 1934-35 Arthur Christian and Rex Holmes were added. I seem to recall that a third boy, whose name I can’t remember, attended for part of that year before his family moved out of the district.
In those days every school was its own school district, each with its own three-man school board. Jack Merrick (I boarded with the Merrick family) was chairman of the board and Harry Maddock, whose homestead lay across the road from the school, was secretary. A very old man, “Dad” Freeman, who lived on the highway on the other side of a canyon, which separated the school from the highway, was the school janitor.
In 1934-35 all of the small school districts south of the Peace River were consolidated into the large Peace River Consolidated Rural School District. William Plenderleith was sent into the area by the Department of Education to effect the consolidation.
In January 1935 Mr. Plenderleith arranged my transfer to the three-room Superior School in Pouce Coupe. By law a superior school enrolled pupils from Grades 1-10 inclusive. As I recall at Pouce Coupe we had a few students in Grade 11, stretching the regulations somewhat because there was no secondary school closer than Dawson Creek. There was no free bus transport in those days.
Pat Gwyer was the Principal at Pouce Coupe at the time of my transfer. Also on staff in the primary division was Adele Coady-Johnson. I succeeded Miss Gwyer as principal in 1935-36. Miss Gwyer resigned to take a job, as I recall, in Victoria. I, in turn, resigned from Pouce Coupe in June of 1936 to go to North Vancouver.
May 9, 1973