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entertainment. In the evening the young people, who had finished school and were working at home, had their own softball league and played against the same communities.
During the winters in the late 1930's Lakelet started having whist drives. As many as forty people would gather in somebody's home and everyone played, regardless of age. The hostess provided the coffee, and everyone brought some contribution to the lunch. The results were impressive; plates of sandwiches, a variety of tarts and cookies, deep chocolate cakes with thick icing. They were tremendous lunches, we were just the fellows to eat them. All of us worked outside all day, everyday, and it didn't occur to any of us that we would ever have to worry about our weight.
World War II changed our lives somewhat. A number of us joined the armed services, while those who were left behind were busy and short handed, working hard to get the crops in and harvested. The Canadian Red Cross became the focal point of community effort. The war was not without its tragedies; Arthur Joslund died in Italy, and Cecelia's husband, Bill Dunwoodie bailed out over Europe and spent much of the war in a P.O.W. camp in Germany. Most of us returned safely and took up life where we left off. Lakelet community Club was organized, and for a few years we enjoyed a thriving social life, centered around the schoolhouse. We married and had families, and in due time another generation started to school.
There were not so many of them however, and the enrollment decreased steadily. By the 1960's we were struggling to keep the school open with about nine pupils and by 1968, Rolling River School Division had taken over, and Lakelet, Hilltop, Crocus Hill and all the other small schools were no more. They remain in our memory as a symbol of our youth, and a reminder of how for tunate we are today. Today's young people ride the big yellow buses to opportunities which we never had, but they lack the sense of belonging to that small tightly knit group that characterized the farm communities a generation ago, and which is probably gone forever.
SCANDINA VIA SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 567
Scandinavia School was the beginning and the end of the one room rural school in the R.M. of Clanwilliam as it was the first district to be organized and the last one to close. It was also the only one that was a genuine "Little Red Schoolhouse", a name that was synonymous with rural education across Canada in the early days of colonization. Painted red with fresh white trim it was a picturesque sight as it stood on a little knoll against its background of evergreens.
In December, 1888, a meeting was called to discuss the formation of a school district. One month later, on January 8, 1889, the Scandinavia School District No. 567 was formed by a By-law of the R.M. of Clanwilliam. On February 6, 1889, it was officially approved by the Department of Education. The first trustees were Peter Christopherson, Secretary Treasurer, John Asselund and
The site chosen was on N.E. 6-18-17W, and the name was the same as that of the colony. Ratepayers were each to bring one round of logs (four) to the building site. A story is told that one farmer thought the location was too far north so drew the logs to what he thought was a better site. Other residents were just as sure their choice was right and more central so hauled them back again. One wonders if such controversies were the reason for it being five years before the school was completed and func tioning.
The building was 18 ft. by 24 ft., two windows in each of the side walls, an enclosed porch and door to the south. It was heated by a box stove placed along the south wall. School opened on June 4, 1894 with nineteen pupils registered that first day and Mr. D. Matheson as the teacher. He had six weeks of training and his salary was $45.00 per month. School closed on December 1. A total of thirty-one children were registered that first year but only sixteen of these were residents of the district. Children from outlying areas would stay with various families to attend school until more districts were for med. At one time the board decided a charge of .75 per month per child be levied for non-resident children but that was several years later. Although the term was usually to be six months, April to October, this was often shortened because teachers left to resume studies in college or university. A week of holidays was given about the end of July. In the summer of 1900 a diphtheria epidemic closed the school for a time. This was in ac cordance with provisions of the Public Health Act. There were twelve deaths entered in the Lutheran Church records that year, many because of this disease. Mr. Matheson taught the first two years. In 1910 he returned for a visit to Danvers and Scandinavia to renew acquaintances made in these districts where he had begun the education of the children. He had by this time been ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church.
One wonders if the first desks were homemade benches and tops as a financial statement given in 1909 states the purchase of six double desks, No.2 size, with divided seats at $5.50 each, six each of Nos. 3 and 4, at $5.25 each and one teacher's chair, No.2, at $2.50. Apparently these were from Christie School Supplies as a note asks Mr. Christie if he would accept two notes from the school district; one payable January 15, 1910, the other on January 15,1911. This would be better for the district as then they would not need to raise the special tax too much in one year. Interest on the note was 8%, the bill, $102.00. One year the secretary-treasurer paid the retiring teacher of his own money until arrangements could be made to borrow from the Bank to pay him back. When a new flag was purchased in 1910 for $3.50 it was stipulated that it be woollen goods and well made or it would not be accepted. Finances must have improved as in 1913 an organ was purchased from Eaton's for $60.00 and a stool for $2.00. In 1918, $20.00 was donated to the Boys' and Girls' Club and in 1919 when Mabel Christopherson, a former pupil, was the teacher, the Books of Knowledge were added to an already quite fine library. Two other teachers, Edith and Cecelia Johnson, had also been early pupils.