FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – School District 60 has resolved to name the new Elementary school to be built in the Sunset Ridge neighbourhood after a reknowned Fort St. John figure.
At a regular board meeting last night, Trustees for the Peace River North School District voted to name the new school after Alaska Highway News founder and longtime Fort St. John resident Margaret “Ma” Murray. Originally from Kansas, Murray moved with her husband Geroge to Fort St. John in the 1940’s along with many others in the wake of the construction of the Alaska Highway. Having previously founded the Bridge River-Lillooet News, Murray used that experience to start the aforementioned newspaper which remains in circulation to this day. Murray was also an Officer of the Order of Canada.
The school’s new Gathering Place, a key part of the new school’s layout, was also voted to be named the Bella Yahey Gathering Place after one of the Beaver First Nations leaders that signed Treaty 8 back in 1900, and was reportedly one of the oldest living people in the world when she passed away in 1976 at the age of 118.
The decision to use the “Community School” nomenclature instead of “Elementary School” was supported by most of the school board, with only Trustees Darrell Pasichnyk and Bill Snow not voting in favour.