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Kootenay Lake School Board to Celebrate Hume School’s Storied Past

Hume School as it looked circa 1935 (Nelson Museum, Archives and Gallery photo). SD8 and our Hume Elementary school staff, students, families and school community will celebrate the school’s centenary on June 1.

Preparations for Hume Elementary’s centennial celebration on June 1 are well underway.

Staff and students at Hume are working with the Nelson Museum, Archives and Gallery on historical presentations and an archival display including tales of teaching, learning and extraordinary events at the school over the past 100 years.

One event that stands out is a fire in 1923 that burned the brick and wooden school addition called, “the piano box,” located where the school’s gymnasium is now.

Lightning struck the top floor of the school with such force that it lifted and shifted the roof by six inches. Lath and plaster fell from the ceilings and walls into the upper story classrooms, the windows blew out and the iron and wooden desks showed signs of the blast. Across Third Street, a neighbour was hit by lightning and a car driving along Nelson Avenue past the school was jolted to the other side of the street.

All of this happened in the evening when no students or staff were present.

An earlier event in 1906 at the first Hume School located on the corner of View and High streets also resulted in human drama, but this time gravity, darkness, drink and a somewhat more cavalier approach to municipal public safety led to some very close calls.

Nelson citizens met in the evening to decide where to house Hume students because the existing schoolhouse was run-down, inadequate to meet student needs and needed replacing. As reported in the former Nelson Daily News at the time:

Hume Addition people know how to hold meetings and last night the trustees provided plenty of ice cream and cooling drinks [emphasis added] after the work of the meeting was over. It is rather dark in the suburb after the sun goes down and the sidewalk and paths are not easy to navigate. Two of the rate payers in going home after the gathering was over came to grief in the darkness, one falling down a bank seven or eight feet high and another falling off a sidewalk where the railing was missing, a similar distance but no bones were broken or serious harm done. (excerpt courtesy of the Nelson Museum, Archives and Gallery)

In a show of civic responsibility, at least no “cooling drinks” had been served until after the resolution to relocate students to the current Hume School site had been passed by meeting participants. 

Non-alcoholic drinks will be available at our Hume celebrations, and everyone is invited to join School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake), our Nelson Family of Schools and Hume Elementary School to learn more about this remarkable building, its history, and its prominent role in the community for the last century.

100th Year Celebration Event Details

Event 1: 

  • 100th year Assembly – Formal Celebration of Hume Elementary School
  • Date: June. 1st, 2023
  • Time: 9-10 a.m. (doors will open at 8:30 a.m.)
  • Location: Hume Elementary Gymnasium
  • Guests: Students, staff, alumni, school district staff

Event 2: 

  • Tour of School, Student Learning Fair, Timeline, Archival displays, and Cake Cutting
  • Date: June 1st
  • Time: 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Location: Hume Elementary Studio
  • Details: All guests to the assembly are invited to gather in the school studio to walk through the student learning fair, view the school history timeline, archival displays and be a part of a Cake cutting in celebration of Hume Elementary’s 100th year.  There will also be an opportunity for guests to take a walk through the beautiful halls of the school. 

Event 3: 

  • Hume Elementary School – Ice Cream Social Event
  • Date: June 1st
  • Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Hume School
  • Guests: School community

Details: A less formal celebration to mark Hume’s 100th year anniversary.  An evening of food, friends, games, and prizes.  An event to celebrate the school, build community, and fundraise for the school’s vision of an outdoor classroom.

Event 4: Guided Building Tours 

  • Date/Time: June 2, 3-7 p.m.
  • Date/Time: June 3, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • Hume history fair guided tours. Please meet at the Studio school doors.

SD8 thanks the Nelson Museum, Gallery and Archives for their expertise, archival resources and support leading up to the centennial celebration. Thank you to Janene Stein, former principal and alumna for her support in planning and organizing logistics for the events.

A thank you to Mary Defeo - Hume alumna, current Hume educational assistant, and passionate Hume historian - as a pivotal person helping to bring all events to fruition.

Finally, a thank you to all participants and contributors in the events, including Hume staff, students, alumni, past administrators, district staff and our Board of Education.