After a trip to Vimy Ridge in 2012

Course to tell of Rupert’s role in war

Dianne Rabel is designing a new course that will give students an in-depth look of World War I and II and how they affected Prince Rupert.

Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) teacher Dianne Rabel is designing a new course that will give students an in-depth look of World War I and II and how they affected Prince Rupert.

Rabel decided to put together “Prince Rupert and the Conflicts of the 20th Century” for Grade 12 students, feeling there was more students could learn about the world wars.

“I have a passion for our military history … one of the things I feel is missing in the curriculum that I love to teach is our military past, particular when you connect it to what happened locally,” she said.

“We’ll follow soldiers into battles and see how it affected the people back at home.”

The course will cover the creation of Prince Rupert and its railroad, Prince Rupert’s role in major conflicts, and how military contact affected aboriginal people of the area.

“I think a lot of people have no clue what went on here, particularly in the first war. Prince Rupert was absolutely booming,” said Rabel.

“The Second World War was fascinating again because thousands of people came here because there were American and Canada troops being stationed here.”

Rabel has investigated Prince Rupert’s military history for years starting off by researching the names of the men listed on the cenotaph in front of the courthouse. Over the years Rabel has found information on many men from the area who fought in world wars and aren’t listed on the cenotaph.

“A lot of people were missed for whatever reason,” she said, adding a lot of First Nations people went overseas for conflict.

“We’ll be chasing some of their stories as well. I want to make the course as personal as I can in that way.”

Rabel took a group of students on a field trip overseas for a battlefields tour in 2012, including a visit to Vimy Ridge on the 95th anniversary of Canada’s famous victory. Rabel said she did what she could to prepare students for the trip, but believes “Prince Rupert and the Conflicts of the 20th Century” would give learners a better understanding of what they see on a similar field trip she hopes to

organize.