Who Was Colonel Sanders?
Gilbert Edward Sanders was born on Christmas Day 1863 at Fort Yale, B.C. His boyhood chums were First Nations children at the Fort. He received his education in England, returning to the Royal Military College, Kingston, in 1880. In 1884, he began a very colourful and exciting career with the North West Mounted Police. Poor sight in his right eye should have disqualified him from joining the Force; however, he was able to keep this defect from the authorities until later when he started using his famous monocle. His life with the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) was as exciting as a modern TV western. He saw service during the Riel Rebellion, led in the capture of Charcoal, helped with the Sioux Rebellion in the United States, and on and on. Not only did he lead in battle, he led the way in peace. He was a friend of the First Nations and was included in many signings of peace treaties. He served his country in the Boer War and was a Commanding Officer in the First World War. In 1919, he returned to his position of Police Magistrate in Calgary, a position he held until retirement in 1932. Of himself at this time, he said, "I have tried not to differentiate between the poor and the obscure on the one hand and the rich and the influential on the other, but I have tried to serve without fear, favour, or affection, throughout my years of service."
Colonel Sanders continued to live in our city until his death on April 19, 1955. On Sep. 4, 1956, the Public School Board opened an elementary school in northwest Calgary to honour this colourful, worthwhile pioneer in our city and country. His outstanding life and ideas of service to his country and his fellow men are examples worth following.
In 2001 Colonel Sanders School was selected as the site for the first Traditional Learning Centre (TLC) program. Due to parent demand, the Traditional Learning Centre has expanded to other CBE sites. The name was chosen to reflect the mandate of the school: providing a traditional education with a focus on character education as a program of choice for parents within the Calgary Board of Education. It opened its doors in Sept. 2002.