Grade 8s Dive Into Shawnigan's Past

Grade 8 students had an eye-opening opportunity to connect with Shawnigan’s history last week when they took a guided tour of the School museum with curator Ms. Rosemary Dolman.
Located downstairs in Marion Hall, the museum charts the evolution of Shawnigan, beginning with its founding by C.W. Lonsdale in 1916. Opened in 2005, it contains more than 3,200 items, including Shawnigan memorabilia and other period-appropriate pieces collected over the years. The museum includes recreations of several specific School spaces, including C.W. Lonsdale’s office, classrooms from the 1910s and 1940s, and a dorm room from the 1970s.
“The School’s history is so incredibly deep in how far it goes back,” student Quinn M. extolled. “It’s just super inspiring with all the cool stuff that’s here: how the rooms used to look, how the kitchen used to operate. How the whole School used to operate is incredible.”
The Grade 8 group this year was particularly engrossed in the tour, teacher Mrs. Lynne Grass said.
“They were enthusiastic and interested and asked lots of good questions,” she said. “That is probably because they are especially curious in general. They asked if they could go back for another class! I also think they feel a part of the history as the pioneers of Samuel House.”
Head of Social Studies Mr. Paul Klassen talked about how the museum puts a face on the history of the School, and on history as a whole.
“A student today who walks through the World War II exhibit will undoubtedly be drawn to the faces and the stories of those Shawnigan alumni staring back at them, and those same alum who lived and boarded at Shawnigan, just like they do. That’s what makes this museum so important.”
Ms. Dolman reflected on the value the museum has for the current students and what they can get from learning Shawnigan’s history.
“I think it’s really important they know where this school came from, and the history,” she explained. “If you don’t know where you came from, it’s difficult to know where you might be going.”
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.