Deseronto Public School

Some of the entries in the contest

The response from the students of Deseronto Public School to our Family/Heritage Day competition has been, well, ‘awesome’ as the children themselves would put it. It took the judges three hours to choose the winning entries. The winners will be announced on Monday, February 15th, at the Deseronto Community Centre, as part of a range of events that will be going on there that day.

The judges had a very hard job deciding on the winners: the quality of the entries was excellent. Some focused on the history of our town, while others looked at their family’s history. The range of backgrounds of the people of the town became apparent as we went through the entries: there are descendants of people from Denmark, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Great Britain and Italy represented among the children of the school. A number of students mentioned their Mohawk ancestry.

The Grade 2 class that visited the Archives two weeks ago had created haikus on the topic of their family or local heritage. As a recently-landed immigrant from England myself, this entry made me smile (and made me hungry!):

The Smell of England

Many of the entries are now on display in Deseronto Public Library and the winning six will be shown at the Community Centre on Monday, February 15, when the prizes will be awarded at 4.00pm. Please do stop by the library, if you are able to, to admire the tremendous amount of work that has gone into this contest.


In conjunction with the Family/Heritage Day competition, the Archives hosted a visit from a group of Grade 2 students from Deseronto Public School today. These children have visited the Library before, but this was the first time that a school group has visited the Archives.

I told them a little bit about writing through the ages and what an archivist does to take care of the things that people have recorded. They enjoyed looking at the Library’s 1920s borrowers’ register and the 1894 signature quilt from the Archives. I was wearing cotton gloves and explaining how precious these things were, but am not sure the message got through: one of the boys asked if he could slam the book shut and see whether a cloud of dust escaped. I said “Definitely not!”.

Matching captions to images

After that, we set them going on a matching exercise with a set of 25 Deseronto images which had lost their captions. I wasn’t quite sure how well this would work with this age group, but they seemed to have fun and several asked if they could take their particular picture home with them.

There was another activity set up with colouring materials to make an illuminated initial, but by the end of the matching exercise the children were more interested in choosing new library books to take home with them. Three or four girls came and looked at the print-outs of illuminated initials with me (I found the UK National Archives’ Flickr account a useful source of these) and took them home with them: perhaps this was too ambitious an activity for this age group.

It was a fun morning, if a little noisy and manic at times!

DESCHS-06-19 Unidentified Deseronto family

The Deseronto Archives Board is sponsoring a contest for the children of Deseronto Public School in time for the Family Day holiday on February 15.

Entrants are being invited to produce a piece of work on their family history or on the history of their community, in any format. Judging will take place in Deseronto Public Library and competition entries will be put on display in the Library from February 10th to 19th.

Prizes for the winners will be:

First: $50

Second: $25

Third: $15

Two consolation prizes: $5

The announcement of the prize winners (and a display of the winning entries) will be made at the Deseronto Community Recreation Centre on February 15 at 4pm. This will round off a whole day of family activities in the town.

Good luck to all entrants!

Deseronto Public School pupils, 1957We’ll be posting information, images and stories from the Deseronto Archives on this site as a way of sharing the activities of the Archives beyond the confines of the Archives Room.

Back at the end of September the Archives was involved in putting together a small display in the Deseronto Public Library as part of the Town’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Deseronto Public School. Many visitors enjoyed finding photographs of themselves, their friends and siblings in the display. We are always pleased to find more class photos of Deseronto school in years gone by, so if you have any, please consider getting in touch with the archives so that we can keep a copy for posterity!

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