Article by Christopher Byrd, Winter 2001/2002......
Now that the body has been resurrected, the building needs its soul restored and it's the spirit of the community alone that will complete the vision. As one person said, already you can see a smile on its face. It is up to all of us to keep it smiling.
During the restoration work it became clear that, either from personal experience or from sentiments passed on by forbears, many Peachland residents hold fond memories attached to the 1898 Schoolhouse and to the Church it subsequently became in 1908.
The Society hopes that these citizens particularly will seize the opportunity to hold private parties, reunions and weddings at their Schoolhouse. One booking already was for a private group of seniors wishing to party away the winter blahs.
The Schoolhouse invites local businesses to hold their meetings in the hall and perhaps take advantage of the servery and terrace catered to by a choice of local restaurants. Yoga classes have taken full advantage of the spacious and restful ambience of the premises.
The hall has also been booked at generous rates by a couple of organizations for their meetings. With its raised corner stage and acoustics the hall is excellent for readings, lectures, and intimate musical evenings.
The natural lighting from six large windows together with track lighting is remarkable -- a splendid place for artisans to work, demonstrate, and exhibit their crafts. This Spring the Arts Council will be incorporating the Schoolhouse as another venue for their art exhibition. An ambition is to see St. Margaret's Gardens (in cooperation with St. Margaret's Church next door) landscaped into a flower garden and shady nook ideal for wedding photographs and outdoor exhibitions.
Summer weekends are reserved for craft workshops and displays, with our schoolmarm reading charming stories to children. Once again the walls may echo with the sounds of children's voices as our elementary school choir performs for seniors at Easter or Christmas.
Throughout the summer, at the ringing of the school bell, plans are for an hour or two of morning and afternoon teas (hosted by our seniors) to be served on the terrace. A specialty might be English cream tea and scones, an attraction for seniors and tourists alike. Local potters may be asked to mould ceramic models of the Schoolhouse for sale to tourists on the premises and at other shops in town.
The opportunities are boundless. All it requires is vision, keen volunteering, and the cooperation of an enthusiastic citizenship.