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Hume School Elementary celebrates 100 Years in June

By Contributor
April 25th, 2023

Above the front entrance to Hume Elementary School the year “1923” is emblazoned in concrete along with the school’s name.

This year marks the hundredth anniversary since the building was first opened and students filed into classrooms to learn to read, write, and do arithmetic at their wooden desks. On June 1, students will join teachers, staff, families, and the entire school community to celebrate Hume Elementary, its history and its future. 

“Hume School has been such an important part of the Fairview neighbourhood and Nelson community for more than 100 years,” said Principal Sacha Kalabis.

“Knowing that this is the site of so many foundational educational experiences for children in Nelson and for their teachers and the staff who support them makes me proud as an educator and as a school principal. Our staff and students can’t wait to celebrate with everyone in Nelson and beyond who feels a connection with Hume Elementary.”

Teachers and support staff at the school have been preparing for the event by learning the history of Hume with support from the Nelson Museum, Archives and Gallery. Students plan to present a multitude of learning projects about the school’s history and the museum has agreed to provide an archival display.

Celebrations will begin with an assembly for parents, staff, students, district staff, board trustees, and alumni to honour the school’s history, and include several speakers, dignitaries, historical displays, and acknowledgments.  

The current brick building is the third incarnation of Hume School. The school was first constructed on the corner of View and High streets in Nelson and was open from 1900 to 1906.

The second school was constructed on Hume’s current site at the corner of Nelson Avenue in 1906 on land donated by a group of citizens including local MLA and hotelier John Fred Hume for whom the school was named. 

A wooden two-room school was added in 1915 followed by a wood and brick two story addition known as the “Piano Box” which caught fire after being struck by lightning in 1923.

Over time, the Piano Box was integrated into the current brick building and subsequent renovations and new construction eventually led to the school and gymnasium that are still in use today.

Multiple generations of families in Nelson have attended Hume and former students have become staff members.  

“Hume Elementary School is a great example of the important role schools play in our lives over time,” said Superintendent Trish Smillie.

” I also know that the Hume building is much more than a structure to every student, educator, support staff member and family member who has passed through its doors. I am really looking forward to celebrating Hume in June and learning more about the memories and history of this incredible landmark in the Nelson Family of Schools.”

SD8 students and staff; the Board of Education; the Hume Elementary Parent Advisory Council; the Nelson Museum, Archives and Gallery; school alumni; and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 51 (Nelson) are working together to make the June 1 celebration a success. More information about the school and the centenary celebration will be shared in the coming weeks. 

Photo Caption: Hume School as it looked in 1947 (photo courtesy of the Nelson Museum, Archives and Gallery). SD8 will join Hume staff in celebrating the school’s centenary on June 1.


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