French Creek School Quilt
Many thanks to all the community members who took the time to share their memories of French Creek School for its 100th Anniversary in 2012. From the vision of a Heritage Quilt to the unveiling of this finished project this has been a rewarding experience. We received a wide variety of quilt squares along with their precious memories. This attests to the strong connection we all have with the community of Coombs and with the French Creek School in particular. Participants ranged from students to seniors, many representing local pioneer families. We are thrilled with the quilt and know you will be too.
Happy 100th Anniversary to the Little School with the Big Heart!
Colleen Lucas, Diane Duncan and Deidre Bjornson
Big and Little Rooms
Maxine (Cox) Heppell
John and Jessie Cox had a small dairy farm in Coombs and all six of us children (Beryl, Maxine, Weston, Sharon, Norma and Donna) went to French Creek School. Mom and Dad were involved in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) so we knew we had to be on good behaviour at the school. The first four kids had Mrs. Armstrong (who had a dog named Bowser) to start us on the road to our education. She was the kind and loving primary teacher in the Little Room who made our first few years of school so welcoming and enjoyable. Then for our junior years we went to the Big Room with Mrs. Reddyhoff, the principal, being our teacher. She was a starchy, stern and very strict educator who was now preparing us for the real world. We were ...
Marian (Tudge) Korman
One of my favourite memories of French Creek Elementary School was when Mrs. King would visit the school. She was a member of the community who would come to the school, usually in the afternoon, and entertain the students with her lively harmonica music. We would sit around her on the gym floor and all clap along. She wore ...
In 1992 Mr. Lenard Pera’s wife contacted French Creek School. She was looking for school pictures of her husband who moved to Coombs in 1941 and attended FCS for two years. There was one binder of old pictures (from Norma Antrim’s collection) and Lenard’s class photo was not in the binder. Along with long-time resident Sharon Cox Gustavson I began collecting Coombs historical photos. We spent the better ...
The Red Ensign Flag flew over French Creek School before 1965. A big thank you to the women of the F.C. Heritage Quilt project! It was a joy and privilege to meet you and to participate in the making of one quilt square. I look forward to seeing the finished quilt! Brilliant endeavour girls!
I always loved working with individual students and my class to present choral and musical numbers. Whether it was student led assemblies, choral presentations such as the Cremation of Sam McGee, Christmas concerts, or the end of school Grade Five graduations, the sound of children singing or speaking confidently in front of an audience always filled my heart...
The River Runs Through It
French Creek plays a big part in the lives of the some of the students who attend FCCS. I call my square the River Runs Through It. Thirty Years ago my son walked, biked and even skied to school from our home on the creek. Five years ago my grandson was running to the bus to school in Coombs ...
4 Generations of the Neden Family
Daniel Neden’s grade 4 class – as a mother helper we built 28 gingerbread houses. The students enjoyed it so much, it was a special craft and was done for many years in Mrs. Williams’ class. French Creek Elementary School was a special environment to be creative, inspired, grow and explore. Four generations of the Neden family have gone to French Creek Elementary School and with pride. Grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins all shared in Teddy Bear picnics, school camping ...
Beavers and Raccoons
Teresa Dutton (Korman)
In the 1981-’82 school year French Creek School had two T-ball teams. They were called the Beavers and the Raccoons. Our uniforms were t-shirts with a design of the individual animals. It was so much fun. Our coach asked us: “Do you know why I’m coaching T-ball to you guys?” “No,” we said. “It’s because you are the only ones I can beat running from third base to home!”
Christmas for My Family
We were able to attend numerous Christmas concerts at French Creek School. There were those with “First Noel” and “Joy to the World.” There were those with Santa, reindeer and “Frosty the Snowman.” “Charlie Brown” was staged one night and there was a great production of “Polar Express.” I could go on and on. There was no favourite concert. The magic ...
First nations Education Department
The First Nations Program has always been active at French Creek School. The Program has offered many services over the years. The program includes academic support, cultural and traditional history and teachings of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.
Joys of Childhood
When I think of school I think of the fun and laughter on the playground as children ran and played. Hop scotch, teeter-totter, ball toss and tag were just some of the games we played. My square shows the thrill one received when, with the help of a friend, the swing quickly got higher and higher almost reaching the sky. Oh, the simple joys of childhood!
The Cox Family
Beryl (Cox) Barnes
Six Cox children: Beryl, Maxine, Weston, Sharon, Norma and Donna started our education at this school on the banks of French Creek in Coombs. The younger children enjoyed the sand box under the fir trees and swings located on the “little room” side of the school. The older girls played hopscotch and long line skipping in the front of the school and the back field was busy with the rest of the students playing softball. All students would run to line up at the big stairs when the old hand bell was clanged. Many fond memories our close-knit Cox family shares and many good classmate friendships endure for each of us. Those were ...
The Maple Trees
There used to be three maple trees in front of the school. Recently they have been cut down. This square remembers the trees and the seasons they marked during the school year. Acer macrophylium is the largest maple – the big leaf maple. I know they turn yellow and brown in the fall but I’ve chosen colours to match our Canadian flag.
Coombs Fall Fair
Aldene McFeely and daughter Heather Morris
I lived in Parksville and from about eight years old my friends and I would ride our bikes out to the Coombs Fair. I don’t think we ever missed. My grand-daughter was in Kindergarten at FCCS and loved the school. I wish there were more schools like this.
Four Girls from FCCS
Kristie Spence (Korman)
I attended French Creek School in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. I have such fond memories of those years. The best thing, however, is I got to relive those days three more times because I was able to send my three daughters to this school. We’re just two generations in French Creek that has four generations in attendance. What a living history! Happy 100th.
Gerry the Dear
Julie Austin for Bert Topliffe, the oldest man in Coombs and last remining member of the Coombs Salvation Army Colony
In the mid 1920’s a fawn lived at the West’s place across the creek, where the market is today. When the fawn heard the children at the school out for recess or lunch hour he would bound across the bridge to be with the kids ...
The Big Oil Drum Stove
After trudging through the snow for two and half miles (when you were in grade one, three and five arriving soaking wet at school) what a joy to be able to put your coat, mitts, scarf and boots beside the big oil drum stove in your classroom at French Creek School. There was always room for our things and we came the longest distance. I must admit (and do remember those student) those ...
The First Racer
It was sunny and warm at the end of May. Everyone was excited because it was Sports Day! The whole school had been divided into 4 houses. We lined up behind the flag bearers for our houses, marched onto the field and stood at attention. Before the principal could announce the beginning of the races, a black bear, who just couldn’t wait, charged across the field ...
The Union Jack
The Union Jack Flag of Great Britain came with the early Salvation Army settlers to the Coombs colony in 1910. I grew up with four of my siblings (Beryl, Maxine, Weston and Norma) attending the Coombs Undenominational Church’s Sunday School, Daily Vacation Bible School and Youth Group. This church was on the old Qualicum cut-off ...
Young Bear's Journey
Several times over the years a young bear journeyed across the back of the school playing field. Each year was a different bear for sure as they all were about 2 year old size. It never seemed to matter whether there was activity outside or not, it was just their path of travel, usually in the springtime.