Sunnyside celebrates a piece of yesterday

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Don Chapman speaks to Sunnyside students as David and Elfrieda Dick look on.

By Les Greeno, Principal
Sunnyside School

On Friday, October 25, 2013, we were privileged to have two wonderful visitors from Sunnyside’s past, Mr. and Mrs. Dick (David and Elfrieda) from Calgary, Alberta. Mr. Dick was a teacher here from 1953-1957 and his wife came in 1956-1957 (a music teacher). Mr. Dick stayed at the Chapman’s farm (Don Chapman’s parents’ place) in a beet worker’s house in the farmyard and walked a mile and a half to the school each day. Don Chapman was in grade three at the time and remembers him fondly.

A timeline was displayed by Mr. Dick for the children to show how long 60 years ago was, then he shared of his many experiences as the grade 5/6 teacher here from discipline in the “good ol’ days” to what it is like today. He relayed a story of administrative staff getting upset and mixing up words, providing a good laugh for his class. He shared of students walking home, new immigrants squeezing into an already filled classroom, and helpful students assisting the weaker ones. He would go on to become a vice principal and then a superintendent, completing a 40 year educational career.

At one point, Mr. Dick called out student surnames that he recalled. Many students were surprised to hear names mentioned of students still in the school--names such as Chapman, Vucurevich, Pavan and more. Students descended from those called out stood up as others applauded.

Mrs. Dick shared a song called “Come Little Leaves” that she was taught by her teacher at Crystal Lake School. She played the piano while Mr. Dick demonstrated how the dance part went so that the younger students could follow along. It was an enlightening and fascinating experience to hear two educators from our past share their personal stories with us at Sunnyside. They still had lots of life, love and passion in them.

I am grateful to Mr. Don Chapman for suggesting that they come visit us at the school while on a family visit. I was particularly moved by the fact that they knew of my deceased parents, Allen and Katie Greeno. It’s a small world (and a wonderful world when you make meaningful connections).