History of Patricia Elementary School


The first Patricia School was opened in 1891 near the corner of 264 and 8 Avenues on the northeast side. The official name was listed as "Aldergrove South" in the 1891-2 BC Annual Report of Public Schools. It was 20 x 34 feet, located on one acre with a land value of $25. The value of the building was $700. The first teacher was Christina Shortreed, followed by Mr. A. J. Gordon. The children of the area had a long walk over the rough trails of Jackman and County Line Roads. Warner Avenue (8) did not go through in the early years. 

The school was renamed "Patricia" in 1912 after the youngest daughter of the Duke of Connaught who became Governor General in 1911. The school became the focal point for the community, which used the building for concerts, meetings, dances, etc., before Patricia Hall was built. 

In 1962, South Otter School was moved from 248 and joined with Patricia to make a two-room school. Washrooms and an office were added in 1963, and a covered play area in 1965. 

Originally, the school included all the grades, but in the 1940s, the students in the senior grades were sent to Aldergrove Elementary, and Patricia included only grades 1-4. Later students went to Shortreed and Parkside for grades 5-7. 

Mrs. Leona Fritzke, who taught at Patricia for 17 years until it closed, remembers some of the highlights of the school programs. From 1966-8, Patricia and South Otter combined their Sports Days, but later went on their own. Mrs. Fritzke remembers when the school was given a large fish by the Iversons (a family who lived just east of the school). They wrapped the fish, cooked it, and the whole school dined on salmon. In 1982, Anne MacDonald, a librarian who visited once a week, organized the Patricia Elementary cookbook. The whole school went swimming at Spencer's Pool and Rippin's Pool, nearby properties that were offered for community use. The school Christmas concerts were popular events held in the Patricia Hall next to the school and attended by the community. Other field trips that the entire school enjoyed included a trip on the Royal Hudson train in 1983, a trip to Carolyn Mines in 1980, and trips to White Rock and Derby. 

Other teachers who worked at Patricia included Betty Lou Chell, Nancy McLeod (Pardoe), and Merv Grigg. 

Patricia School was closed in 1983 and is now a dwelling.

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