Director Stephen Sliwa, far left, and Chair Jeff McMillan, centre left, are pictured with students from Westminster Public School and Pleasant Corners Public School planting a tree outside of the Brockville Board office to mark Canada’s 150th birthday. – Submitted Photo
Board Staff and Students Also Plant White Pine Donated by Pleasant Corners Public School
Brockville – The Upper Canada District School Board marked the nation’s Sesquicentennial Monday by planting a red maple outside the Brockville administrative centre.
Representatives from the Board of Trustees, central board staff, as well as student representatives from Westminister Public School and Pleasant Corners Public School gathered on the front lawn of the Central Avenue building to plant a tree in honour of Canada’s 150th. A small plaque will be installed at a later date to mark the occasion.
“The maple leaf is one of the most recognizable symbols of our great nation. It is our hope that when our students, staff and visitors to the Board Office see this beautiful tree, they will remember Canada’s 150th and cherish all the wonderful things we’re blessed with as a nation,” said Director Stephen Sliwa.
Chair Jeff McMillan reflected on warm memories from his days as a student in Brockville, when his own school celebrated Canada’s Centennial in 1967. He hoped that when our students today see the tree during Canada’s bicentennial 50 years from now, they will experience the same joy.
Staff also planted a small white pine seedling that was a gift to the school board from the Grade 8 students from Pleasant Corners Public School in Vankleek Hill, presented to Director Sliwa during that school’s Canada 150 celebration last week. The white pine is a traditional symbol of Ontario.
The Board Office ceremony was inspired by the focus of “150 Days of Canada” held in all schools throughout the Upper Canada District Board during this school year. These events and celebrations were closely linked to the provincial school curriculum about active citizenship and our national history, resulting in experiences such as: school community pancake breakfasts that raised funds for local food banks; music and dramatizations that honoured the history of the Canadian nation; art exhibits where students furthered their understanding about Indigenous art forms and traditional stories of the First Peoples of Canada; a focus on Character Education and charitable acts to assist others; a visit to Rideau Hall to meet His Excellency, the Governor General of Canada, and a visit by the Lt. Governor of Ontario earlier this month to Queen Elizabeth Elementary School in Perth.