Former students reminisce about time at Stuart Wood

By Chad Klassen
June 3, 2016 - 10:37am Updated: June 3, 2016 - 1:07pm

KAMLOOPS — Stuart Wood Elementary has stood in downtown Kamloops since 1907, but in a month's time when the kids go home for the summer, it'll close its doors. 

Thursday was an evening of celebration. Former students and teachers coming back to the old school to reminisce and say goodbye. 

WATCH: Full report by Chad Klassen

"I'm really sorry they've had to close it down," says former student Pat Haggard.

Haggard went to Stuart Wood from 1941 to 1945, during most of World War Two. 

"I do remember in Grade 3, I made friends. I had an Italian girl, a Japanese girl, a little German boy that people seemed to shun," she notes. "It wasn't until I grew up that I realized it was probably because of the war, people weren't thinking kindly on the Japanese and German people. The Italian girl, she was fine, except she ate so much garlic that the kids wouldn't sit near her."

Roger Parkes went to Stuart Wood as a student from 1948 to 1952. 

"We just came over from England in 1947 after the war. We moved to within one block of the school at 144 Battle Street. We came to Stuart Wood, and I can remember rolling down that hill just over at the cenotaph," remembers Parkes.

Parkes then came back as a teacher in the 1970s. 

"I had a Grade 3/4 split and it was very interesting," he says. "One of the students I had was Peter Milobar."

Allan Thompson, who went to the school as a student and later an administrator, says he'll missing the old-style building. 

"It's sad in a sense because I really love the old building, the architecture here is fantastic," says Thompson. "But there comes a time when you have to be realistic."

Many of the former students and teachers say they'd like to see the building used for further education. 

RIH Clinical Services building closing in on completion