Class Photos Project
The Class Photos Project is one of the Sea Island Heritage Society's earliest projects. The Society has been collecting all school class photos for the first Sea Island School, along with photos from the second Sea Island School also referred to as the Japanese School, Sea Island Elementary School, Duncan McDonald Elementary School, and the RCAF Annex.
Many of the members of the Society attended Sea Island Elementary and saw the class photos adorning the hallways. The bulk of these photographs were deposited in the City of Richmond Archives, but there were still lots of gaps.
The Sea Island Heritage Society is interested in completing the Collection, along with identifying all the children in each class, and if you have any class photos from the first Sea Island School, the Japanese School, Sea Island Elementary and Duncan McDonald Elementary, or the RCAF Annex that you no longer want or are willing to share with the Society, you can scan them and send them via email, or donate the actual photos to us. We would be very happy to add them to our Collection.
Contact Eunice Robinson at email@example.com for any assistance.
List of Class Photos in the Collection
The Society has created lists of the teachers who taught at the different Sea Island schools, obtained class photos, and identified a large number of the students in each photograph. This includes:
- A list of teachers who taught at the first Sea Island School from 1890 to 1909. The Society only has a few class photos of that era. The first Sea Island School (1890-1914) was first known as the North Arm School and was located on the Point Grey side, then moved to the Town Hall at Cambie and River Road in Richmond. It later opened on the corner of Grauer and McDonald Road on Sea Island, and is believed to have been donated by Duncan McDonald.
- A list of the teachers who taught at the second Sea Island School, also referred to as the Japanese School (1920-1942). The Society only has one or two class photos from the Japanese School. In 1920, the Japanese School was opened following a meeting between a delegation of the Japanese Association and the Richmond School Board where it was agreed that the Japanese Association would provide a schoolroom, equipment and supplies, and the Board would hire and pay the teacher's salary.
- An extensive list of teachers who taught at the Sea Island Elementary School (1946-2020) on Miller Road and the RCAF Annex, except for the 1993 time-period where our information is sparse. In the late 1940s to early 1950, a barrack on RCAF Sea Island Station was converted into a four-room school referred to as the RCAF Annex. The Sea Island Elementary School officially opened in October 1947.
- An extensive list of teachers who taught at the Duncan McDonald Elementary School from 1962 to 1974. Duncan McDonald Elementary was built to serve the needs of the children from the Cora Brown subdivision.
Excerpts of Class Photos from Sea Island
Here are excerpts from a few class photos from the Sea Island Heritage Society Collection.
Japanese School Division 2 Class Photo (1929)
Japanese School Division 2, 1929 (City of Richmond Archives 1985 39 65)
The teacher in the Japanese School Division 2 class photo of 1929 was Miss Mary Leona Thompson.
Sea Island Elementary Grade 1 Class Photo (1947-1948)
Sea Island Elementary Grade 1, 1947-48 (Sharon Bordeleau née McDonald and David Upper)
The Sea Island Elementary Grade 1 class photo of 1947-1948 is part of the Society's Collection. The teacher was Miss Elinor J. Daly.
Sea Island Elementary Grade 6-7 Class Photo (1947-1948)
Sea Island Elementary Grade 6-7, 1947-48 (Muriel Gustavson, Les Inglis and Mr. George Clements, teacher)
The Sea Island Elementary Grade 6-7 class photo of 1947-1948 was the first photo the Society obtained for its Collection, and one of the few where we were able to identify all the children in the photo. The teacher was Mr. Andrew S.G. Scott.
Acknowledgements and References
- City of Richmond Archives, Interview of Mrs. Mary Paxton on March 12, 1975 titled Teaching. Retrieved on December 5, 2022.
- City of Richmond Archives, Oral interview of Bill Purver, Short history on the Richmond School Boards and schools on Sea Island. Notes by Maureen Ross, 2015.
- Mary Keen’s history of Sea Island A Bridge to the World (Sea Island School on pp. 19-20 and pp. 35-36), available online as a PDF. Retrieved on December 5, 2022.
- Mary Keen’s history of Sea Island A Bridge to the World (Sea Island School also referred to as the Japanese School on p. 27), available online as a PDF. Retrieved on December 5, 2022.
- City of Richmond Archives, Richmond School Board Trustees minutes (1916-1924, 1926, 1927, 1944), Beginning of the Japanese School, 2015.
Tell Us About It
If you have something you would like to provide to the society, please let us know.
We would love to hear from you.