Back to School

If you’re a parent, those words may mean you have a little more time on your hand, so sit back and enjoy a few snippets related to education in Lethbridge and elsewhere.

In April 1894, the Lethbridge News announced that a K. W. McKenzie was coming to Lethbridge to teach at the High School. Kenneth W. McKenzie, a graduate of Toronto University, spent a year as principal before moving to Edmonton, where he again took up teaching and also operated a bookstore. But politics was calling his name and in 1898, he was elected to Edmonton Town Council and served as Edmonton mayor.

When the Alberta School Trustees’ Association was founded in Edmonton in 1907, the acting president was J. H. Fleetwood of Lethbridge. Fleetwood is remembered today as the Fleetwood portion of Fleetwood-Bawden School.

Remember when teachers (and parents) said it was all fun and games until someone lost an eye? Perhaps they knew of this following story. In 1922, a young boy in Cardston had an arrow pierce his eye while playing with friends. The school nurse thought he would lose the use of the eye. Strangely, the young boy was named for someone who had also had an almost identical accident as the young boy, and lost his eye on the same side. As an adult, Ronald Folsom, a teacher at Warner, had a glass eye and feared his namesake would have the same.

In 1943, Lethbridge and the province of Alberta experienced the longest summer break in its history. There was no school from the end of June to October 10. This wasn’t intended as a holiday for students. Students were needed as farm and other labour during the Second World War and were sent back to school when harvest was completed.

Who knows what stories and memories will come from this school year. Whatever they are, hopefully they’ll at some point be donated to the Galt Archives and become part of the historic record.