The Lake Trail neighbourhood is rich with a secret history of pioneers, immigrants, and homesteaders.
You’re welcome to be at Lake Trail Middle School on Thursday, April 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. for a new series of “living history” videos that celebrate a year with the Lake Trail Living History Project.
Bubbly drinks, yummy appetizers from Zocalo, and the Con Brio String Trio will be on offer — plus the world video premiere and launch of the project’s new interactive website.
To document our area’s living pioneers for the public record, Grade 10 students took to the reins as community journalists, and were coached on how to conduct the challenging two-hour interviews in the intimacy of people’s homes.
The spirit, good humour and vitality of these elders shines through in the videos, featuring such luminaries as 95-year-old radical Ruth Masters, keen historian Lawrence Burns, and fourth-generation resident Maureen Glowasky.
Maureen’s story is especially poignant for Lake Trail students: Her family grew up farming on the 160-acre homestead where the school now stands, with the remaining lands becoming Roy Morrison Nature Park.
She gives a vivid glimpse into an age without streetlights, when a “sea of stumps stretched all the way to Powerhouse Road” and horses, pigs, and peacocks roamed the property.
The video shows the original layout and traces the path of the old mill flume — a four-mile watercourse dug by earnest volunteers in the early 20th century.
Produced by Lake Trail Neighbourhood Connections, the project engaged seniors through a revival of heritage skills and community history, with funding from New Horizons for Seniors.
“Old and young today have few opportunities for sharing together,” says project organizer Dan Vie, “and these skills and memories are endangered — we want to preserve their stories as a living body of knowledge for future generations.”
A discussion with the Living History Project’s participants follows this free video screening Thursday in the drama room.
If you can’t make it to this daytime event, as of mid-April see all the videos, read transcripts, and contribute your own stories to www.laketrailstories.ca.
— Lake Trail Living History Project