If you want to know what Gary Lowe spent the summer of 2018 doing – it is now hanging in the Cutbank Community Hall.
Lowe put the finishing touches on an acrylic work depicting the Sunny Brook School recently at the Dawson Creek Farmer’s Market. The painting depicts students at recess in 1931.
“The frame is wood from the hall as well,” Lowe notes.
“Carl Wolff attended the school and thought a painting was needed to remember the school,” adds Lowe.
Former student at the school Ken Munro says Lowe captured the spirit of the school in the art.
The South Peace Historical Society notes that in January 1931, logging bees begin to work a timber berth about six miles from the proposed school site. Men turned into expert loggers; storekeepers, proficient axe-men and farmers turned into finishing carpenters.
“Others who had little or no proficiency supplied the bull labor in handling the big logs that went into the building. The logs were hued on the inside and the corners dovetailed and a cement mix was used to chink between the logs.”
The building, large enough to accommodate all community activities, meetings, dances, church services, drama and, of course, its original planned use, was completed by the middle of March, 1931. Furniture supplied by the Education Department was installed and the school was opened on April 1st with 15 pupils.
Lowe says there are not many photos left of the school to work from.
“Check out the lattice on the roof. We wonder what that’s all about.”
The school closed in June 1964 – as bus routes to Devereaux and Dawson Creek began.
“Many kids road horses to the school all winter until then. A hitching rail is in the foreground and there was a barn out back behind the school,” adds Lowe.