Jessie McCormack, (from left) Anne Pinkney and Darlene ‘Dar’ Hastings are the last three members of the first graduating class from 100 Mile House Junior Secondary School left in the community. The three ladies remain friends to this day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

School demolition brings up memories

Darlene ‘Dar’ Hastings couldn’t wait to attend the new 100 Mile High when it opened in 1960.

Darlene ‘Dar’ Hastings couldn’t wait to attend the new 100 Mile High when it opened in 1960.

She and her 10 classmates – the first graduating class at the new school – were so excited because the had spent the past few years in a one-room schoolhouse on the grounds of 100 Mile Elementary, due to lack of space. The old schoolhouse was heated by a wood furnace that the male students had to stoke to keep it going during the cold winter.

“Then when we got up there the first thing we noticed sitting on the lawn was that thing,” Hastings said, pointing at an old picture of the one-room schoolhouse. “Because they were still working on (the school).”

The upcoming demolition of the high school, which initially opened as a secondary school for the then-still growing town before becoming 100 Mile Junior, has triggered old memories and new emotions for Hastings and her friends Anne Pinkney and Jessie McCormack.

Hastings added another reason they were happy about the new school was that up until that point, students entering Grade 9 had to go to Williams Lake for school. Amongst these carloads of kids who’d drive up and stay in dorms for the school week were “boys that we really liked” she observed, which got a snicker from Pinkney and McCormack.

They all recalled that near the school there used to be a nice sandy swimming hole they would use in the summer, though Pinkney recalled a snake scaring her once or twice. McCormack observed that while the swim was refreshing, the incline you’d have to climb to get home would make you all sweaty and in need of a bath.

READ MORE: 100 Mile Junior Secondary School slated for demolition

When the Noranda Mine came to 100 Mile House, the community really exploded in size and a dorm was built onto the school grounds for students to stay in. The school ended up being a blessing for the town, Hastings said, with students attending from 100 Mile House, Lone Butte and Forest Grove.

The three were disappointed and a bit sad that the school is slated for demolition, saying something should have been done after it was closed nearly 10 years ago and before it fell into disrepair. Pinkney would have liked to have seen the dorm building converted into a trades school, while Hastings said she’d hoped they’d move the elementary school into that building and build a seniors centre where 100 Mile Elementary School now stands.

“Stuff goes on but we don’t know why and nobody tells us,” said McCormack, who has lived here since 1956.

Still, they have their memories. Hastings, who has lived in 100 Mile since 1955, said even when they completed the gymnasium, they didn’t get much of a chance to use it and were instead really good at playing games outside. When she and Pinkney went to Clinton once to play basketball, Hastings added, they kept getting the whistle blown on them because that gym actually had the lines of a basketball court when theirs didn’t.

The old school also had a shooting range in the basement, Hastings said, and when McCormack’s son attended the school he was a member of the shooting club. At some point, however, McCormack said that somebody shot through the ceiling into the main school and that was the end of the shooting club.

After school, when not working at their after school jobs, the ladies recalled going to Pinkney’s house to dance in her dining room. McCormack mentioned that they used to go to the Shell Station where locals would perform live music and they’d dance at night. Back when the community hall was first built by their fathers, Hastings said they used to rollerskate and play tennis in it, while McCormack added they used to watch movies from benches with no backs.

“We had an outdoor skating rink, where the parking lot of Save On is now, and if you wanted to go skating you had to shovel the snow, otherwise you were in the snowbank,” McCormack said.

Pinkney, who has lived in 100 Mile since 1952, said while she and her husband have considered moving to the Okanagan once or twice, she’s very happy to be living in the community with their family and close friends nearby. She currently lives at the 108 Mile where she enjoys golfing.

“Our memories may not be a 100 percent active but we’re still here, aren’t we, and we’re enjoying the community,” Pinkney said.

McCormack echoed this sentiment saying there’s something about 100 Mile House that just “draws you in.”

“I would never move from here,” Hastings said. “I find this place like home and you can tell when you walk down the street when you nod at somebody and say hello you don’t know who they are but you know who they are. We can always tell when new people come here because they look away which is ok.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Jessie McCormack, (from left) Anne Pinkney and Darlene ‘Dar’ Hastings are the last three members of the first graduating class from 100 Mile House Junior Secondary School left in the community. The three ladies remain friends to this day. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

The cover of The Hundred Mile Herald celebrating the graduation of the first class of 100 Mile House Junior Secondary School. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Just Posted

Fraser-Nicola BC NDP candidate Aaron Sumexheltza (third from l) with members of the Ashcroft Slough Society, Sept. 9, 2020. After the initial count, the first-time provincial candidate is trailing incumbent Jackie Tegart of the BC Liberal Party. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Liberal incumbent Jackie Tegart holds narrow lead over Aaron Sumexheltza of NDP

Initial count is complete, and mail-in ballots will determine who wins in Fraser-Nicola

Up to 10 centimetres of snow were expected on Highway 97 from Clinton to Begbie Summit and in 100 Mile House on Oct.24. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press)
More sand, plow trucks coming to region

More plows and brine trucks will be operating on the Highway 97 corridor this winter.

(from l) Fraser-Nicola candidates Jonah Timms (BC Green Party), Jackie Tegart (BC Liberal Party), and Aaron Sumexheltza (BC NDP). The polls have now closed and the counting has started. (Photo credit: Submitted)
Results awaited in Fraser-Nicola as polls have now closed

Counting of advance and election day votes has begun; mail-in votes to be counted starting Nov. 6

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read