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Kelowna's Central School turns 100

Kelowna’s Central School celebrated its centennial Saturday among students young and old, former and current.

Local politicians, school district employees and former students shared the importance of this iconic school on Kelowna’s history.

“When you think about it, you think of a school that has stood the test of time, a school that the civic leaders of our community have attended, that the prominent families from this community and this area have made this their educational home,” shared Central Okanagan School District Superintendant Hugh Gloster, who was decked out in era appropriate 1914 attire.

The gymnasium was packed with students of every decade since the inception in 1914, including current Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray who attended the school in the 1940’s.

“I remember Ms. Brown if she is here today, I remember her she was one of the teachers at the time,” reminisced Gray, who was then pointed out to Ms. Brown sitting in the front row.

“It’s a beautiful old building, it really works well and continues to evolve. It has taken on a new form in terms of education in recent years. The work done inside these walls is state of the art,” added Gray.

Local MLA Steve Thomson and MP Ron Cannan also spoke at the event.

“If you look at all the names that are listed through the decades and you have to look down that list of names to recognize some of the great family names of Okanagan, so you know this school has made a tremendous contribution to the education of this community because it is a school that has developed the leadership that has helped move Kelowna forward,” shared Thomson.

“It’s more than bricks and mortar,” said Cannan. “It is still the most impressive school in the district from an aesthetic perspective but also the partnership it has developed that shows the strength of the education system.”

As part of the birthday celebration a time capsule was opened that was buried in 1989.

At that time the capsule was commemorating the 75th birthday of the school and contained artifacts from 1914 up to 1989.

First out of the capsule was a somewhat dated VHS that they were able to play on a VCR they pulled out of a dusty closet.

Several hundred people attended the event and took time to tour the school, go through the packages of letters, pictures, articles and more from the time capsule as well as visit the vintage classroom that still resembles the first 1914 classroom at the school.

Send us your historical Central School photos to [email protected]  

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