"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.

Celebrate May Day

The first day of May has long been a special day. Ancient astronomers recognized that this day marked the midpoint between the Spring Equinoc and the Summer Solstice. May first marked the first day of Spring. For many people in Europe it was a day to enjoy new growth and the beauty of wildflowers blooming after a long, dull winter. It was also a time to look ahead to planting crops and gardens.

On May first it was a tradition to gather wildflowers and decorate the house. Often flower baskets were made and given away to friends. Flower wreaths were also popular. People also celebrated at community gatherings and the Maypole Danee was the main attraction. It was a time to relax and have fun before the work of farming began. Today, few of those traditions have survived. May 1 has become just another day on the calendar. People begin thinking of buying seeds and plants and the garden centres are already open.

In many parts of Canada, the May celebration is on Victoria Day. Traditionally it was May 24, the birthdate of Queen Victoria. Now it is on the Monday that falls between the 18th and 24th of the month of May. Much like the old May Day celebrations, we welcome the start of spring and look forward to summer. Gardens have already started to bloom and the farm crops are planted. It's a long weekend to enjoy getting together with family and friends, open a cottage if you have one or find a tranquil picnic spot to enjoy a meal by a lake or river.

Whether it's a May Day or a Victoria Day celebration, enjoy time to welcome warmer weather and look forward to a long summer.

How to Celebrate May Day

Bring in the flowers

Cut some branches from flowering shrubs like forsythia and dogwood or from ornamental fruit trees like crab apple. Put them in a pretty jug of water and enjoy a springtime treat.

Make a wreath

Cut a few spring flowers and some branches of greenery like juniper or yew. Attach to a straw wreath form with pins or glue. Hang on the front door.

Make a flower basket for a friend

Form a heavy sheet of paper into a cone shape and tape it securely. Attach a colourful loop of ribbon as a hanger. Fill the cone with spring flowers.

If you have a small wicker basket, fill it with flowers;

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.

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 Daryl Cook dlcook@rogers.com for further information.

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.

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