"We encourage you to check this site often. New information will be added monthly"

Current News

Welcome to our website!

news The Friends of the Schoolhouse web site will keep you informed about The Old Britannia Schoolhouse and the activities and events planned by the Friends' organization. We encourage you to check this site often. New information will be added monthly.

COVID 19 Information

All Friends of the Schoolhouse activities are cancelled until further notice. There will be no Open Sundays until September. Watch the Current News page for information in the coming months. The Friends wish everyone good health in these difficult days and weeks We look forward to seeing you at the schoolhouse in the future.

The Remembrance Day Poppy

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian Medical Officer from Guelph, Ontario, wrote the poem In Flander’s Fields May 3, 1915 following the death of a fellow soldier. It was published in Punch Magazine December 8, 1915. The association of Flanders poppies and war goes back many years. During the nineteenth century Napoleonic wars in France, the area around Flanders was devastated with bombing and the ground laid bare. Poppies had never grown there, but the rubble from the bombing added lime to the chalky soil and when war ended poppies began to grow and bloom.

After World War I Anna Guerin of France, inspired by McCrae’s poem, wanted to restore areas of France destroyed by the war. She founded a charity and made cloth poppies to symbolize the regrowth and raise funds. She proposed the idea of wearing the poppy to the allies of France. The Great War Veterans Association in Canada (now the Canadian Legion) considered the idea at a meeting in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) and it was adopted on July 6, 1921. Since then, Canadians have remembered the sacrifice of so many military men and women by wearing a poppy on the days prior to November 11.

Remembrance Day ceremonies at cenotaphs across Canada mark the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month when the First World War ended. At the end of the Remembrance Day service at the cenotaph in Ottawa, everyone attending leaves their poppies at the cenotaph.

Christmases Past

November is the month when we begin to get into the Christmas spirit. As soon as the “spirits” of Hallowe’en have departed, we think of getting gifts, baking and decorating. Usually the schoolhouse begins planning for the holiday. The Friends of the Schoolhouse have always held a Christmas Open House and Sale in late November or early December. While enjoying hot cider, coffee, tea and home made cookies, visitors shop for last minute gifts and “stocking stuffers”. Again this year, because of COVID the schoolhouse will be closed and there will be no Christmas festivities. Here are some reminders of Christmases Past.

Make An Ornament

We always have hand made ornaments on our tree at the schoolhouse. In the Fun and Games section of the website you will find directions for making the Drum, the Victorian fan and the Christmas Crackers. Get creative and have fun!

Coming Events

No events are planned during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Time to Renew Your Membership

Our membership year runs from January to December. Membership forms for renewal or new membership are on this website. Click here to get the form. Please note that because of the COVID19 pandemic, we are suspending the payment of membership fees for 2021. Our newsletters and website will continue to be available to members. Donations to support the schoolhouse and its programs are always welcome and appreciated.

Echoes of the Past

This book, written and published by Friends of the Schoolhouse, documents the history of all of the rural one room schools that existed in Peel County.
Full colour, 208 pages, $30
It is available at all our events or from any member of the Friends of the Schoolhouse Executive.
There is a $10 charge for mailing.

Book Talks

Since the book, Echoes of The Past, was published in May 2016, the writers have been giving illustrated talks to historical societies and other interested groups. We talk about the book and tailor each presentation to suit the audience and the one room schools that were in their local area.
If your group would be interested in having a presentation, please contact Jean (905 826 3475) jkrob@rogers.com for further information.

Membership Drive

If you haven't already renewed your membership in the Friends of the Schoolhouse, it's time to do so. Our membership year runs from January to December. We welcome new members. Membership forms can be downloaded and printed using this link. Members play a vital part in preserving the schoolhouse and maintaining and expanding the programs for children who spend a day experiencing school life of long ago. Members receive four newsletters a year, additional notices of events, and are invited to an appreciation "Lemonade on the Lawn" event in July. In addition there are opportunities to volunteer on committees and at events.

Come and Join Us

If you have a couple of hours a month or only a few hours once or twice a year you could help us support the schoolhouse and its programs. The executive committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month from September to June to conduct the business of the Friends of the Schoolhouse and to plan programs and events. Our meetings are from 4 to 6 in the afternoon at the schoolhouse. Volunteers help on an occasional basis with our events and in the gardens. Not only do we support a worthwhile cause, we have a lot of fun doing it. Email our Executive Director Shirley Hoad at shoad@bell.net, if you have a few hours to spare and an interest in helping preserve a community treasure for future generations of children.

Open Sundays 2020-2021
Something new every month from September to June.

For more information about our Open Sunday programs go to the Events page.

Mark Your Calendar

To see a list of our year's events go to the Events page.

Researching our Roots

There is still much more to discover about the Old Britannia Schoolhouse and other early one room schools. Read below for a wish list of "Wanted" items that will help us learn more about our historic schoolhouse.

WANTED

For use in a book on one-room schools in Peel County:
  • Minute Books
  • Cash Books
  • Class Photos
  • Report Cards
  • Prize Ribbons
  • Medals
  • Certificates
  • Shields
  • Contracts
  • Trustee Memorabilia
  • Teacher Memorabilia
  • Newspaper Clippings
  • School Registers

Your contribution will be acknowledged. Materials supplied will either be returned to you or donated to the Peel County Archives on your behalf.

SLATE Group

SLATE stands for So Let's All Talk Education (in a one room school), or as one witty person suggested, being truly Canadian, So Let's All Talk Eh! Each year for a day in the spring people involved in working or volunteering in living history one room schoolhouses get together to exchange ideas and learn from each other. We meet at a different schoolhouse location each year which gives everyone the opportunity to experience how living history is presented in a setting different from their own.

If you are a staff member or volunteer in a living history one room schoolhouse and would like more information about SLATE, contact:

Christine Chapel
The Old Britannia Schoolhouse
5576 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON
L5R 1B3
905-890-1010 ext 2911