When Gerald and Daisy (Jeffery) Frostad enroled in Briercrest High School 68 years ago, they thought they were just getting a good education. They had no idea they were beginning a legacy.
Little did they know that they would eventually marry one another and that each of their eight children would follow in their footsteps to attend Caronport High School or Briercrest College and Seminary.
“We were just two young teenagers going to high school,” Gerald said as he looked at the old photo taken of them in the spring of 1945 when they were just 18.
At that time Briercrest Bible Institute (BBI) was in the village of Briercrest, Sask. Because of the war, the local high school needed students and BBI had dormitory space. BBI offered to feed and house students from the surrounding area who wanted to attend high school in Briercrest.
“All it cost was room and board – 15 dollars a month!” Gerald said. “In 1943 – that’s when they opened it up – Daisy and a fellow by the name of Sam Smith were the first high school students to board and room at Briercrest. Then the next year there were 16. My brother and I were among the 16.”
Briercrest High School was a natural option for Daisy.
“Our farm was 11 miles south and west of the village of Briercrest,” she said. “My parents became very interested in (BBI) about 1933 when they had revival meetings before the school started.”
For Gerald, who grew up in Kincaid, Sask., Briercrest was further from his hometown.
“My parents were interested in our spiritual livelihood,” he explained. “They figured the experience of Briercrest High School would be better than the school in Kincaid, so my brother and I were sent for one year.”
After high school graduation, Gerald and Daisy were apart for a time following different career paths. Daisy went through nurse’s training in Moose Jaw and Gerald got his journeyman’s license in autobody repair and began working at his dad’s garage in Kincaid.
After working for a year in Estevan and Montreal, Daisy came back to BBI, which was now in Caronport, and served as the school nurse while she attended Bible school.
“I delivered papers in Kincaid – I sold them on the streets for five cents,” Gerald said. “Over the course of the years, I had enough money to buy my wife her engagement ring.”
The two were married 59 years ago and soon began raising a family in Kincaid. They continued to visit Caronport for conferences and band concerts. When their oldest child David finished high school, he wanted to go to Bible college.
“I suppose it was sort of an expectation that we go to Bible school,” David remarked. “At that time Dad was on the board at Millar. The choices were basically Millar or Briercrest. Being who I was and what I was, (Briercrest) seemed more exciting – from the Youth Quakes and the retreats and stuff.”
David’s younger brother Carl, who was entering Grade 12 also ended up coming to Caronport to attend Caronport High School.
“Carl came home after Grade 11 and said he wanted to go to Caronport for Grade 12,” Daisy recalled. “I said, ‘We’re having a hard enough time putting bread on the table and you want us to help you go to high school?’”
“I got a phone call from the hospital staff wanting me to come to work full time,” she said. “So that was quite a decision.”
Gerald and Daisy now had the means to financially help their children in their education.
“It just kind of followed right along,” Gerald said. “When each got to Grade 12 they went to (CHS). Naturally, if they wanted to go to Bible school, it was easy to transition right in.”
“I don’t think any of them can say that Mom and Dad stuffed it down their throat,” Daisy chimed in. “It was their choice. We made it available to them.”
As it turned out, all of their children – except for David – went at least one year to CHS. But in the end, David would spend more time at CHS than any of his siblings. After he finished his college education, he returned to CHS and served as an administrator as well as the high school choir director for 30 years.
David values the sacrifice his parents made in helping him and his siblings go to school in Caronport.
“I counted up one time and I think it was 28 years of education here they had funded in total,” he said.
He recently established a scholarship fund in honour of his parents that he hopes will help future family members in the cost of their education at Briercrest.
Meeka Klassen, granddaughter to Gerald and Daisy, is beginning college at Briercrest this year.
“It’s great coming to a school that other family members have gone to because it puts me in their shoes for a while,” she said. “They were once my age, walking down the same halls and possibly going through the same sort of things that I am. Seeing where they are now is inspiring and encouraging to both me and other people. My grandparents have served a very important role by encouraging me in my faith and serving others with joy.”
Gerald and Daisy have relocated from Kincaid to Caronport, so they are closer to their family members in and around the area.
“Mom and Dad have thoroughly enjoyed being here,” David said. “It was a hard move for Dad especially. He’d lived in the same place for 80 years. Roots go down deep in 80 years, so it was hard to pull up those roots. Once he got settled in here, he has not regretted it one bit.”
Daisy sums the move up in a few words.
“I felt like I was coming home.”