The Elementary Agricultural Education Branch was established in 1915 to promote nature study and rural science in the public schools of British Columbia. The director of the branch was John Wesley Gibson (1874-1954) who, with a team of district supervisors, established one of the most successful school gardening programmes in the country. As well as developing school gardens, the branch was also involved with patriotic fund raising projects, home garden clubs and agricultural fairs.
The series consists of records created by the branch between 1916 and 1929. It includes correspondence and reports from District Supervisors of Agricultural Instruction, submitted to Superintendent of Elementary Agricultural Education, J.W. Gibson. Included with the correspondence are the supervisors' monthly reports, giving the names of schools inspected, comments on school projects and details of events pertaining to horticulture and agriculture. It also includes memoranda and letters from applicants seeking positions as instructors. The correspondence was filed alphabetically under the names of the school district supervisors.
During the period 1916-1929 the branch supervisors and districts were as follows:
W.J. Austin, Kelowna/Vernon
J.E. Britton, Armstrong/Kelowna
W.M. Fleming, Duncan and Cowichan
W.H. Grant, Salmon Arm
H.A. Hallwright, Victoria and Saanich
S.H. Hopkins, Courtenay-Comox
T.H. Jones, Armstrong and Enderby, Penticton
A.M. McDermott, New Westminster
J.B. Munro, Armstrong/Enderby
J.C. Ready, Chilliwack
V.B. Robinson, Vernon/Penticton/Summerland
J.M. Shales, Murrayville [Langley area]
E.L. Small, Cloverdale [Langley and Surrey]
G.V. Van Talisk, Penticton
F.J. Welland, Cloverdale
Researchers should also consult the branch reports which were published annually in the Public Schools Reports.
British Columbia. Dept. of Education