School enrolment higher than expected — Chronicles From The Past

Ed Nicholson of the Ladysmith Historical Society shares the news from September 1912, 1937 and 1962.

September 1912

The Chronicle reported that enrolment for the new school term in Ladysmith was higher than expected at both the elementary and high school levels. The high school class opened with a class of 30 students, and the beginner class welcomed 45 new students.

However, at least one teacher did not receive the traditional welcoming gift in the first week of school.

Four Ladysmith boys were fined $5 plus costs ($11.75 each) for stealing apples from a local orchard.

The Provincial Government of B.C. announced that it had received a new apparatus for the taking of fingerprints to identify criminals. All convicted felons would now become part of a provincial registry, which would be made available to local police in every B.C. municipality.

“Such a record, it is claimed, suffices to identify a man at any stage of his life, as the skin never changes. Even if the skin of the fingertip is removed, it will grow back identically in the same pattern.”

September 1937

Sat., Sept. 11 marked the opening of the 1937-38 hunting season on Vancouver Island, and in the first week alone, there were three incidents involving the accidental discharge of a firearm. The first occurred near Duncan when a hunter was proceeding through the woods using his rifle as a walking stick, the second by a Victoria man jumping over a log with his finger on the trigger, and the third by a young man following his father through the woods while dragging a .22-calibre rifle behind him by the barrel.

Although none of the resulting injuries were fatal, one hunter has suffered a temporary loss of the use of his right hand and a second is still explaining why he narrowly missed shooting his companion in the back. It has also been reported that as a result of the third mishap, neither the young hunter nor his father will be sitting down for a while.

Saltair farmer William Hutchinson had a successful week at the Provincial Exhibition in Victoria. His five entries of Buff Orpington chickens won five first prizes. In spuds, he competed in 10 classes and received six firsts and four seconds. At 6 p.m. on the last day of the show, there were a number of people waiting to purchase his produce and his seed exhibits, and he booked many orders.

September 1962

Bill Davidson of Ladysmith became the latest member of the Turtle Club, a select club of individuals whose lives have been saved by a hard hat. Davidson escaped death or serious injury when a blasting charge sent a six-pound rock through a crummy roof and glanced off his hard hat, cracking it in the process. The award was presented by Axel Anderson, Comox Logging and Railway safety officer.

Local merchants reported that the cheaper Canadian dollar had done little for local tourism in the summer. Knight’s, Gourlay’s and the Wigwam all indicated little change in business — either in the amount purchased or the number of customers. Local Chamber of Commerce president Stan Heys commented that “ The ‘Diefendollar’ had definitely not helped to increase the number of American tourists in Ladysmith.”

Compiled by Ed Nicholson, Ladysmith Historical Society