VIDEO: Schoolmarm gives tour of Langley’s Lochiel classroom circa 1924

VIDEO: Schoolmarm gives tour of Langley’s Lochiel classroom circa 1924

Centennial Museum producing educational videos, the first of which stars local actress Diane Gendron

If anyone has ever wanted to time travel and see Langley in the 1920s, Centennial Museum is offering the next best thing to get a glimpse of the past.

The museum is producing educational videos in order to showcase certain aspects of Langley life – beginning with Lochiel schoolhouse in 1924.

Local actress and theatre producer Diane Gendron stars as a schoolmarm who takes the audience on a tour of the one-room class and how students would have gone about their daily lives.

“I started as one of the schoolmarms at Lochiel in December 2016. The program – a re-enactment of a 1924 school experience – has been offered by the Township of Langley through the Centennial Museum for many years,” Gendron recalled.

Gendron and Centennial staff member Shannon Macelli prepared the script – a shortened version of what is performed live during the annual re-enactment.

“Shannon set up the angles and filmed everything on her phone set on a tripod. We were filming for about four hours then Shannon went back to work and put it altogether,” Gendron explained.

Through the regular Lochiel program, children are given a glimpse of what school was like in the early 1900s. Gendron shared a few fun facts about the school, explaining children from Grades one to six would learn all subjects with one teacher.

READ MORE: Langley in the roaring 20s

“You would walk to school two, three, or four miles in all kinds of weather and you would walk home again in the pouring rain, freezing snow and in the blazing sun,” she added. “One of the first schools in this area was built in 1889 and it was called Bigger Prairie School. That school burned down and in 1924 this school, Lochiel School, was built to replace it.”

The Lochiel building was used for about 50 years in Langley until it was closed and it fell into disrepair. In 1988, the Langley Heritage Society decided they wanted to restore this building to the way it was when it was first built in 1924.

The building was put on flatbed truck and drove to Campbell Valley Park where it was restored to its original style – albeit several miles from its original location.

John Aldag, cultural services manager at the Langley Centennial Museum, said arts, culture and heritage sector has been front and centre over the past few weeks as Canadians and those around the world have found themselves in social isolation.

“Our museum team are playing one small part in helping our residents adjust to the new normal in which we can’t interact with each other the way we did even two months ago,” Aldag said. “While we hope to welcome guests back to the museum in the coming weeks, our team is learning to broaden our programs beyond the physical walls of the museum, which I expect will become part of our ongoing operating practices into the future.”

“The video was created at this time because children are at home and parents are looking for things to do with their children,” Gendron said. “This video gives them the opportunity to begin a discussion about school, learning, manners, rules, obedience, rural living, teachers, and how we live in our communities.”

This is the only video Gendron said she will be involved with, but shared that the museum staff are making videos of some of their other programs and they will be available soon.

“When school is back in session we will be delighted to, once again, offer the Lochiel Classroom Experience to school children from Langley and throughout the Lower Mainland,” Gendron said, adding that seniors – many that actually lived a similar experience to Lochiel – also come to experience the tour.

The video was shared on the Langley Township Youtube page, where more videos are expected to be uploaded.


Is there more to this story?


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


LangleyLangley in history

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Brookswood Starbucks manager Sonja Olsen posed for a photo on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 at the store located at 40th Avenue and 200 Street with some of the many cards for seniors her customers have filled out (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Christmas cards for seniors idea by Brookswood Starbucks takes off

Idea is to make the holidays a little less lonely for older people in care homes during pandemic

Readers enjoy the letters to Santa from local children. Here’s one from a previous Christmas. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley’s community newspaper wants local kids letters to Santa

Children’s letters to the St. Nick could be featured in our annual special Christmas section

At least one person received life-threatening injuries when a car collided with a semi truck in South Surrey on Friday morning. (Brenda Anderson photo)
VIDEO: South Surrey crash sends one to hospital in critical condition

Road closures in effect after collison between car and semi-truck

Bad weather this year could catch Langley’s homeless without enough shelter space due to COVID-19 concerns. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley needs new site for Emergency Weather Response shelter

COVID distancing concerns have maxed out existing shelter spaces

Township of Langley firefighters were called to a crash Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 where the lone driver of a pickup truck damaged a water main leaving Trinity Western University without water. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Pickup severs pipe in Langley, leaves TWU without water

Incident involved a single vehicle, driver treated for minor injuries

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of paymens for household incomes up to $175,000

KIJHL games have been postponed through Dec. 31. (File photo)
KIJHL postpones all games through end of 2020

Due to provincial health orders, games up to Dec. 31 have been pushed back

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Former Kelowna social worker arrested for allegedly stealing from foster kids

Robert Riley Saunders was arrested in Alberta and will be brought back to B.C. to face charges

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Joe Fast of Abbotsford is on dialysis four days a week and has issued a public plea for a kidney donor. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford man with 5% kidney function is desperately in need of a live donor

Joe Fast has a rare blood type and hasn’t yet been able to find a transplant match

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Most Read