In the 1980's, the old Cozy Corner location was owned by a Russian family. The Gorelkins operated the Volga restaurant, serving Russian food. They also had a church of sorts, which I think may have been a bit manipulative or controlling with some of the members.
Blanche Besse played the organ at Hope Lutheran Church for years.
I remember when Rand Flem-Ath published his Atlantis book, but I didn't know that Rose Flem-Ath shared his interest. From reading Ann Cameron's books it was apparent that she knew a great deal about FN culture, but I didn't realize that there was that kind of connection. There was one book of hers that captured part of the culture of Nanaimo so clearly that it probably should be designated as "Nanaimo's Official Civic Book." Unfortunately, I can't remember the title. City council probably wouldn't go for it, 'tho, because it shone a light on some of our local problems, poverty and specifically children living in poverty.
Originally Posted by BCBorn
An schoolfriend of mine from NDSS, Susan Ketchen, has also written her first novel. She now lives in the Comox Valley.
That's fantastic, and I'm glad to hear about this and went to the web page, altho she was at NDSS before my time.
Originally Posted by AllieG
It's really too bad that there's no way that anyone keeps track of some of the people who graduated from ND and went on to greater glory than being the all-time champ of the cafeteria poker games or a high scorer on the Islanders' basketball team of 1965. Not to take anything away from the jocks. But there are so many people who graduated from NDSS and went on to some really great achievements that never got recognized.
For example, there's a guy who graduated in the sixties who went on to become a world-known plasma physicist. (Don't ask me what that is, I have no clue, but he married another ND grad.)
And no recognition, either, for people who stayed in Nanaimo and helped to build this city bigger and better.
Remember when NDSS was an 11 - 12 school only, and it seemed more like a college than a high school? Only problem was those marathon grad ceremonies. I remember getting up out of my chair at Frank Crane Arena to make sure my "kids" were still all lined up correctly to go get their diplomas, and being afraid that I was going to hit the floor because my legs were numb from sitting so long.
And was there really a time that students were growing MJ in those big cement planters at the back of the school where the old smoke pit was? I kept on getting told about the plants, but I never found them.
Last edited by Nostradama; 08-24-2009 at 09:39 AM.
Keep It Going
What a great thread!
Having been a transplant to Nanaimo 30 some odd years ago and not having attended high school here I find the history of the people of Nanaimo intriguing.
Wait until the real oldtime Nanaimoites and the "bad boys back in the day" get here. Then you'll really hear some stories. Until some time in the late '80s, NDSS was the only Grade 11 and 12 school in town. All of the others were Grades 8 to 10, and then everyone went to NDSS together. It was fantastic. No really silly school rules, because at that age, everyone was pretty mature. And the older students didn't have little Grade 8s running around the hallways at about the older students' kneecap height. I think the rules we did have boiled down to "Behave like a decent adult" and that was about it. Seemed to work very well--at least I thought so. It was paradise to teach there because everyone basically was an adult so we treated each other with respect and as adults. Not too many students ever got out of line, and most of the teachers were pretty decent to the students, too, as far as I knew. Of course, just like any other group of people, there were a few jerks around. But not many.
Originally Posted by yorway
I wish we could go back to that system, but we can't. Too many Grade 11s and 12s now to put them all in one school, because the city has grown so much. And if only one school offered Grades 11 and 12, the teachers in the other schools would be pretty angry, because among teachers, there was a lot of status in teaching in an 11 and 12 school. That meant, among other things, that you were considered good enough to get students ready to face the provincial finals, so you were usually at the top of your game. Not to say that there weren't a lot of good teachers in the 8 to 10 schools, because there were, but it was considered an honour for a teacher to be at NDSS.
I think I was the last graduating class of the old NDSS under the 11/12 regime and I was, and still am, very much against the idea. I think the concentration of students allowed for more 'honours' type classes as well as, as you said, allowed them to behave like adults rather than having to follow the same rules as the Grade 8 kids. I also think it is disadvantageous for those coming from the poorer parts of town as the north end was always going to end up with the newest and most expensive schools and thus better resources; packing them all in one place levelled the playing field.
I don't suppose a graduating class handed you marbles upon shaking your hand at the grad ceremonies, did they, Nostradama?
HaHaHa! Nope, no marbles for me! But don't forget--"Shake with the right, take with the left." Did you know that the teachers called Peter McIntyre, the principal, the "grey ghost" because of his grey hair and the way he had of sneaking up on you quietly when you were doing about the last thing you wanted the principal to see you doing? Like taking extra ballpoint pens and other stuff out of the office supply cupboard, which you could only do if the secretaries in the office liked you, and a few students didn't have pens, and didn't have much money to buy school supplies, so we'd snitch them for kids. And the year that the skater boy (I remember his name, but I'm not mentioning it) crossed the stage with his skateboard under his arm? I can't remember whether he skated part of the way, because by then I was probably a nervous wreck. "What if someone tells me they need to go to the bathroom? What if somebody passes out from sitting here so long? What if somebody gets out of order?" Remember how they used to tell us NOT to get out of alphabetical order before the students crossed the stage to get their piece of paper? At least they were always saying that to teachers before the ceremony started. If you think you got the "grad ceremony rules" pounded into your heads, we got it worse. We were nervous wrecks by the end of the ceremony. They should have had a private bar for the teachers to have a drink after, because we were coming down off of a lot of stress if someone in our grad group screwed up, and we got it in the neck.
Originally Posted by Bathtub in Bohemia
Remember Jenny Haines's big comfy couch in her room, and that she always wore those pale grey jumper/tunic kind of things, a white blouse, and black stockings? Did you know that she knitted some of those stockings herself? She used to sit at teachers union meetings knitting them. The first time I saw that I couldn't believe it, but she did. And if you took Spanish (or maybe French) from Mel Blackman, that strange ergonomic chair he bought himself, that he kind of kneeled on, because he had a bad back? It was Mel who clued me in that Peter McIntyre liked for all the window blinds on the front windows of the school facing Wakesiah to be a certain length at the end of the day, so they they looked neat to people driving by. I wonder if they still do that? Probably not. Norm Currier, who always wore great suits and greater ties? Tommy Hutton and his big smile? And Sandra ("Ma") Brown? Played killer baseball into her fifties, and didn't even live long enough to retire. She was teaching at Woodlands when she got sick and died, as I remember it. She was good people. And I think she might have been an NDSS grad herself.
And the great nights in the gym, when Rick Paquette was coach of the boys' basketball team, and people used to go around the neighbourhood stealing the lids off of garbage cans (they were still made out of metal in the day) and then beating on them during the games? They'd make announcements the day of the game not to do it, but people still did.
I remember when the first Grade 8s arrived at NDSS, and they all looked so young in comparison to the adults we'd been teaching that they really looked like they shouldn't be out without their mommies. Honestly. We were used to dealing with people who were adults, as tall as we were, not these little kids who ran in the hallways. Big adjustment for us.
I am just sick every time I hear that a school isn't offering Physics 12 or Lit 12 or something like that, because only five kids want to take it. At the old NDSS, there would have been at least two classes full of students. Remember Western Civ? No one teaches that any more, anywhere.
And another good thing about NDSS as a Grade 11 - 12 school was that after graduating, a lot of Nanaimo people had got to know people that they would never meet now, because they'd all attended school together, no matter what neighbourhood they came from. I think the community as a whole lost a lot when we lost the 11s and 12s all graduating together. Maybe we wouldn't have some of the problems we have now, because at one time everyone in Nanaimo had gone to school together, at least for two years.
And it's certainly true, I don't care what they say, that some schools are "more equal than others."
I sometimes used to start the day in the smoke pit at the back of the school, with a cup of coffee, talking to people, and nobody thought it was strange. They were my friends just as much as the people in the staffroom.
Those were the days.
Last edited by Nostradama; 08-26-2009 at 07:19 AM.
Reason: protecting the innocent, typos
Wait until the real oldtime Nanaimoites and the "bad boys back in the day" get here"
I'm here!!!!! Where is everyone? Stan? Daryl, Shane, Mark, where are you??