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Stories of Summerhill

Many of our parents and parishioners are aware that our Grade 7’s are involved in several interesting projects throughout the year. While the projects that receive the greatest attention are those with an accompanying evening event, many other projects have equally valid learning experiences for our Grade 7’s. As principal, I am particularly proud of this first major project of the year because it presented an opportunity for our students to connect with the community and learn a bit about history. A few years ago, our Grade 7 teacher Mr. Dotto approached the director of the Summerhill Senior’s Residence to ask about a ‘Grade 7 – Senior’ Buddy activity. We had already established a relationship with the Summerhill Seniors residence through our annual Christmas Choir performances. The director readily agreed, and Mr. Dotto conceived the ‘The Biography Project’. This project involves two Grade 7 students being paired with a Summerhill resident to learn about this resident’s life. These students are assigned to ‘tell their story’. Over the years, there have been some very interesting stories coming out of ‘The Biography Project’. Following is the story of a young (at heart) woman named Anne Fidler, by Saketh Poori. Enjoy!

Anne Fiddler
Anne was born somewhere in the 1930s, in Vancouver, BC, right before World War II. Her father and grandfather were born in Victoria, BC. She went to 3 elementary public schools, Lord Roberts, General Gordon, and Model school. Anne was married 60 years ago, in 1955. Her husband was born in Saskatchewan. Anne has 4 sons and a daughter, 10 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren, (Lark and Arlo). Anne’s father died of lung cancer. She lived in Vancouver since 2002. Her husband died 12 years ago, in 2003. Her happiest moments in her life were when the war ended (August 14, 1945) and when she got married (in Vancouver, 1955).

Anne had 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a guinea pig. She is allergic to coconuts. Anne is short-sighted, which means that she can’t see things that are far away. Her hobbies are reading (mystery books, romance books, and biographies). She also likes to sing. She has travelled to many places, some of them are: Las Vegas, California, England, Scotland, Paris, Hawaii, Malawi, Arizona, Alaska, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

Back then, if you wanted to watch a favourite episode you had to listen on the radio (but not long afterward LG was made in 1938). They also had home phones, but had a different way of putting in the numbers. They were also too heavy to carry around (cell phones that were invented around that time were like as big as bricks). Nowadays, there are flatscreen Televisions that are skinnier than your arm. Home phones are easy to carry around. Cell phones are also easy to carry, and can fit in your pocket (some are so skinny that sometimes it can slip out of your hands).

Costs of Living
Around 60 years ago, a normal house in North Vancouver cost around $6,000, now it costs $700,000. A fancy house in the olden days, cost around $11,000, but today a fancy house costs somewhere above a million. To live in an average apartment back then cost only $35 a month, today it costs around $1,200. In the olden days an average car cost about $200, but today an average car cost about $18,000. A load of bread would cost a dime.

Elementary schools had no kindergarten, but had grades 1-8. Extra curricular activities in school were things like book clubs (just reading books and telling what was in the story). Choir was another one – it was basically reciting songs, and then doing a singing performance in school, church, etc. For lunch, most kids would come home, eat their lunch and go back to school. At school there was a rule for what you could wear at school. Anne volunteered in libraries and banks.

Today, you would see tons of cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and taxis out on the street. In the olden days, you see some streetcars as well. Aeroplanes were invented, but not jets. Trains were also invented. Before Lionsgate Bridge was built (in 1937), ferries that travelled from North Vancouver to Vancouver used to carry cars.

Anne, Alyssa, Christopher, and me had a lot of fun, at Summerhill. She told us a bunch of stuff about the olden days. She gave us a tour around the residence, even her room! It was really fun, and we all got flashlights, juice, and cookies! Anne had a great life. The world was so different back then.