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Out of the Vault: Archives

Certificate of Military Instruction

1911 Gwendolen Harrison Teaching Certificate

Miss Gwendolen Harrison of Southampton, Nova Scotia would later become Mrs. John Alexander McIver of Maple Ridge. This training certificate was among the archives donated by her grand-daughter to the museum.

Gwen was born in 1894 and was just 17 when she left her tiny home community of Southampton, Nova Scotia for the big city of Pictou, Nova Scotia.  While there, perhaps while attending school or working, she obtained this certificate as a physical training instructor.

Prior to WWI, physical training methods and exercises were the province of military organizations who were preparing troops for the hardships of war.  When Canadians were routinely refused by the Boer War recruiters due to their lack of fitness, it was decided that this physical training had to be brought into the school system where exercise and drills would prepare the population for military service. That appears to have been far more a concern than overall health.

After qualifying as an instructor by doing this six week course in 1911, the next we see of Gwen, she has registered for Normal School in Vancouver in 1914 and is clearly on her way to being a school teacher. In 1921 she was teaching at a school in Maple Ridge where it seems most likely she met her future husband, John A. McIver.  They were married on October 23 of 1923, while he was Reeve of Maple Ridge.

Album cover of autograph book – The album was autographed with little rhymes by Gwen’s friends as she left Southampton for Pictou, Nova Scotia.

Gwen Harrison Goodbye Album 01

 

Mr. and Mrs. John A. McIver in what could be a wedding picture in 1923.

P01676

 

Lougheed Telegram
Lougheed Telegram
Certificate of Military Instruction
Certificate of Military Instruction
Thomas Haney’s Deed
Thomas Haney’s Deed
Board of Trade
Board of Trade
Port Hammond Progressive
Port Hammond Progressive
Lougheed Discharge
Lougheed Discharge
Hammond Letter
Hammond Letter
Farmers’ Institute Meeting Notice
Farmers’ Institute Meeting Notice
McIver High School Certificate
McIver High School Certificate
Birch Bark Scrolls
Archives
Birch Bark Scrolls