All our students were waiting in anticipation for the arrival of a very special guest for Remembrance Day. Mr. William Lauder Hatch is not only our very own veteran, he is the grandson of Fred and Beatrice Hatch who once owned and lived in our school building and gave this prestigious name, well-known in Whitby and in Whitby’s history, to our school.
William Hatch is part of our school’s history as he also lived in the building with his grandparents for a few years during his childhood. He shared fond memories as he walked through the classrooms and the halls touching the walls and dark wood trim, gazing at the stained-glass windows with the crest of his family, remembering his past.
To commemorate this, Hatch House Montessori School sponsored a veteran banner for Mr. Hatch, participating in the city’s efforts to honour the women and men who served during the war, through their veteran banner program. Mr. Hatch’s banner was hung in front of FreshCo. on Brock Street, the place where the Hatch family’s famous “Buckle Factory was once located.
Mr. Hatch celebrated his 91st birthday on the day of his visit. Though generations apart, the love and warmth glowing from his eyes and the connection with the children was undeniable. He was in absolute awe as the children, young and old, greeted him with flowers and their birthday wishes.
Our Elementary students were treated with a “history lesson to remember”. Mr. Hatch came prepared with a “show and share” presentation, with old photographs, artifacts and stories from his first-hand experiences serving in World War I and World War II during his young years. He was only 15 when he joined the army and he was 19 years old when the war ended.
The presence of William Hatch and listening to his memories have given the students a very deep and very real understanding of Remembrance Day. Talking to Mr. Hatch, a man who is a living part of history, unlocked a whole new dimension of learning for our Elementary children. It sparked their curiosity toward history and politics, and opened a new door to satisfy their hunger to learn.
It was truly a very special Remembrance Day for everyone at Hatch House!