Chief Matthews School celebrates 10th anniversary

  • Oct. 13, 2004 5:00 a.m.

Chief Matthews School in Old Massett celebrated its tenth anniversary last Friday with the opening of a new computer lab, Heidi Bevington writes.
Students, staff and guests gathered in the school library in the afternoon to remember the achievements of the last ten years.
Principal Leslie Bellis welcomed everyone and then invited some descendents of Chief Matthews to stand up in front of the assembly. Danny Matthews spoke to the students briefly about his grandfather, Chief Matthews, who served on the Old Massett council for 49 years as a hereditary chief. Chief Matthews thought school was tremendously important to make a strong community and a good life, and in honour of his work and commitment, the school was named for him, said Mr. Matthews.
Reverend Lily Bell led the students in a prayer and song to bless the school. “I can’t believe it’s been 10 years,” said Rev. Bell who blessed the school when it opened. “Just imagine the learning that has happened in this place,” she said.
Following Rev. Bell, Grade 3/4 teacher Shannon Shields said a few words before the grand opening of the computer lab. In six years of teaching, Ms Shields said she has never seen such dedicated fund raising by a school community. Eight months of hard work raised $8,000, which the Gwaii Trust matched to buy the new lab. The lab officially opened when student computer assistant Devon Markham cut a cedar rope.
Before the celebration, the students wrote a page of information about themselves for a time capsule. The teachers read out what the students wanted to be when they grew up and then called them forward to put their work in the capsule, which will be opened in ten years.
The ceremony ended with a slide show of the school from ground breaking, through the construction phase to the present day. The students had lots of fun calling out the names of former students they recognized in the photos. Then time for cake and goodies