Western Civilisation was probably my favourite course in Grade 12 at NDSS. My only disappoinment was that I didn't have Mr. Bradley teaching it. Mr. Bradley was amazinly intelligent & whitty. I was lucky to have him teach French 11.
I had 2 great English teachers: Ian Graham for English 11, and Rod Brown for English 12. Mr. Grahham was a theatre guy, great bow-tie and suspenders look, and very much into the subject. Mr. Brown was tough, but I learned an awful lot about literature.
Mr. Shore was a great PE teacher, so laid back and funny.
Mrs. Rogers taught me Algebra 11; very nice very good.
Mr. Stovell was a talented musician and teacher. He was going through a rough time in his life during my time at NDSS, but his talent was still quite visible.
Mr. Ivor Kool taught me typing; a skill I'm still using (using it right now, ha ha). He was a really nice teacher.
Mr. Golob taught me accounting in Grades 11 & 12. 23 years later, I'm still using the skills that he taught me.
ps: my era at NDSS was 1984-1986.
Ahh, the many memories of NDSS and the teachers, staff and students. Oh what a tangled web we weaved. I had a great time at NDSS and I am sure that some of the staff remember some of them quite vividly. Civilization with Mr. Bradley was an awesome course and I also really enjoyed the law course offered by Larry Miller. Theater with Laura Johnson was interesting as well as her teachings of English Lit. Les Dickinson (sp?) as a counselor did an amazing job and with his assistance I was able to complete more courses then I otherwise would have. Pinhead was my drafting teacher and although he is getting up there in age, I saw him and had a good chat with him a few weeks ago. Don Shore was also a phys-ed teacher and a Mr. Mountain seems to pop into my memory although he could have been at another school ( I did attend about 14 different schools in my career due to moving a lot). The other teachers at NDSS while their names don't jump right to the front of my memory, the memories of them are still alive. I only had one bad teacher and we will just skip that part of the discussion. Bob Honeyman who had the food machine business there continued to be a friend and acquaintance for many years after I left NDSS as well as many of the teachers and even some of their spouses or equivalents.
I was one of the lucky ones having attended Barsby and Woodlands and lived in the Wellington area before reaching Grade 11, so when I got there I knew all the kids from the anchor schools with the exception of a few Ladysmith kids and the odd Cedar ones.
We need to remember that all of them were only trying to do the best they could and we as students were not always the best material they had to work with .
There were not many kids running down the halls but do you remember the Austin mini driving down the hallway? Could have been slightly before your time?1974-5?
I think Jack Litch was probably still principal when you were there, but I couldn't say for sure because I don't remember when he retired. Peter was probably a vice-principal then, and retired in June, 1987, I think. I remember him bringing his silver grey Toyota (or something) station wagon up to the front steps of the building to load the last of his stuff from his office into his car. And I remember that I was the only one there to shake his hand as he took his last steps as principal, down to his car. I don't remember Peter having a daughter who taught there, but I'm trying to remember. Jack Litch had a daughter who was a teacher, but she didn't teach at NDSS. (On second thought, he had two daughters, so maybe the one I didn't know taught there, but I don't remember her. Brain fart.) The Litches lived on Beach (Drive? Avenue?) overlooking the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal right next to Frank Ney, and the stories that his daughter told me about the fun and games at the Ney house while she was growing up were quite something to hear, especially since the Neys had so many kids.
Originally Posted by BigMac
I'm trying to think of the English teacher, and it isn't coming to me. Miss Johnston? Another brain fart. Was Bill Boyd in the library when you were there? Again, dates get hazy. Roundish kind of guy, looked friendly, had a great smile, but oh Lord, try to get away with anything in the library and he could scorch the paint behind you, but really helpful to students trying to find material. He's still there and not showing any signs of retiring, they tell me. He could go on forever, because this district doesn't have mandatory retirement at 65, although I have no idea at all how old he is. He never seems to get any older, looks the same as he did twenty-five years ago.
Mel and I were pretty good buddies, and I remember introducing him to someone we ran into in the bookstore that used to be at Port Place once, and the person I was introducing him to got kind of that funny look on their face, you know, because, of course, Mel was a black man. Not to say that the person was racist, because they certainly weren't, but it was a little funny, and I remember Mel making a joke about it. He told me later he'd had that reaction before.
I ran into Andy Bohay a few months ago at Costco with his wife (an absolute knock-out back in the day, and still is) and he's really aged. But he was probably still at Ladysmith when you were at NDSS. He ended up as principal of Wellington and retired from there, after it was an 8 to 12 school. Thank God that after he went to Wellington he got rid of that rolling wreck of a car that he had, one of the models with the vinyl covered roof (remember them?) and Andy drove his long after the vinyl had started to peel.
I know what's going to happen--I'm going to wake up in the middle of the night, remembering three or four names from the past.
Might as well add some more memories, as a student from 69 to 71. Construction strike in the summer of 69 left Cedar not built and Barsby overcrowded. They sent people within walking distance of ND there for grade 10. Some memorable teachers, Jim Swan as principal, Frank Sloat was vice principal. Mr H Smith(Chrome Dome) English. Miss Byrne(biology) Mr. DeBuscherre(sp) PE Mr Leslie (Law) Mr Fluter (Social Studies) Mr Golob (typing) and I'm sure more will come to mind. We had a reunion after 18 years, so that would be 89. A grad named Steve Miller, who grew up on Strathmore St. was announced, as probably being the most succesful, as he was at that time a doctor at the Mayo clinic. He could have been the plasma physicist previously mentioned. Keep this thread moving, brings back a lot of memories
I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this but Ian Graham (who expanded his wardrobe to include colourful custom-made vests, and a lot of them) died about ten years ago. He was on extended sick leave when he died, and it was all just awful (cancer.) Rod Brown's retired, and I've lost touch with him and have no idea where he is.
Originally Posted by Flugel Horn
More bad news: Ivor Kool has died, too. He retired early and healthy, ran into Si (the accountant-type lady in the office) one day at the gas station (Payless? Petrocan?) at the corner of Hammond Bay and the Highway and said to her, very casually (typical of him), "I'm dying, Si." She came to school the next day and told us, and although we certainly believed her, we couldn't believe it was happening. All of us were totally shocked and very, very upset. A wonderful guy. And he died about a month later. (Total coincidence--I went to school with his wife back in the fifties in the interior.)
Bob Golob was very active in the teachers' union and I first got to know him there. A killer sense of humour, but boy, when he got tough with the school board, he got tough. We used to joke in the union about the "Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse"--at least that's what the school board thought of them--Bob Golob, Gordon Sanborn, and Glen Plueckhahn, who all taught at NDSS. And they were backed up by Mel Blackman and Norm Currier. Bob retired years ago, and I haven't seen him for over ten years or more, when he was working part-time as a commissionaire at the Nanaimo airport. He was a Texas boy originally, came from El Paso. You had to have been in the military to get into the commissionaires so I'm guessing he served time in the American military.
I remember Brian Stovell's rough times. We've known each other since 1974 and mostly taught together, by coincidence, so there wasn't too much about each other that we didn't know.
I never saw much of Don Shore, but taught his daughter early on, and actually saw more of him at "meet the creature (teacher)" nights, because later on he was always in the gym. Other teachers hardly ever see the PE teachers, they're always in the gym, supervising at lunch time, running practices after school. Very busy people.
Good Lord, I'd forgotten all about Jim Swan and Frank Sloat. By the time I came on the scene, Frank had been kicked upstairs to the board office, and Jim Swan had retired. Frank Sloat was the guy who I've quoted here before, talking about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach, administrate." I liked Frank. He was a widower when I first met him, and later married a really great lady whom I taught with. The last time I saw Jim Swan, years ago, he was grocery shopping at Thrifty's at Harbour Park/Port Place, and there must have been people there who remembered him, because he was getting customer service like you wouldn't believe. Nice to see.
Originally Posted by Spence
Bob deBuscherre (again, spelling, 'cos I'm not sure either) went on to greater glory, I think, as a coach at a university, but I may be wrong.
At one point we lived not far from the Fluters, and they had a teen son who was having a wonderful time in life. We came home late one night to discover our route blocked by the RCMP. Cops everywhere. Sonny boy was having a bush party in his Dad's field. Once the RCMP verified that, yes, we really did live on the road, they let us through, but it was just blind luck that one of the beer bottles that got chucked didn't hit the truck. Sometimes teachers have problem kids, have you ever noticed that? I sure have. It's like preachers' kids.
No, the plasma physicist worked for the Canadian government in Ontario. I really don't have a clue what it was that he did (retired now) but I always got the impression that if he told me, he was going to have to kill me. But I know for sure he's same age as Brian Stovell, because they were buddies as teens. Brian's Mom and Dad lived in Parksville, so I'm not clear on how they knew each other.
Les Dickason was, in my opinion, one of the greatest people ever in education. He went from NDSS to Wellington as a vice-principal, and then went to Malaspina/VIU to teach teachers-to-be. But Les had that something special that can't be taught. People are either born with it, or they're not. Les and his wife were fantastic gourmet cooks, and I can remember when Les used to write a restaurant review and cooking type column for one of the two freebie papers in town. And he made the first quiche I ever ate and, wow, did I feel sophisticated! None of us, honestly, had ever even heard of quiche before, hicks that we were, compared with Les.
Originally Posted by Smokey©
Larry Miller is an all-round good guy. Taught with him in two different schools.
I remember Norm Jones, too, who taught electronics at NDSS back in the glory days when it was an 11 - 12 school. Norm had been in broadcasting back in its golden days. He retired, his wife died, and he just never seemed to recover from it. He died a year after she did. Back in the day there were kids who were making fibreglass boats in shop classes. Girls who made their own prom dresses in what was called "sewing" then. It's probably called something like "textile technology" now. And kids coming out of the commerce/business ed program with people like Ivor Kool and Bob Golob and Allison Ring were job-ready to a level that now takes two years at VIU. I don't care how much they blather on now about technical education in public schools, what they had then wasn't broken, so why fix it? It was far superior to what kids are getting now.
Don't get me going.
Last edited by Nostradama; 08-27-2009 at 12:01 AM.
I second the motion regarding Mr. Les Dickason being a super super guy. I was lucky to have him as principal at Cedar, for his 1 and only year as principal at CJSS. He was a very hands-on principal, getting to know the various students.
I had Glen Plueckhahn at NDSS for Chemistry. I remember his Aussie accent, his quiet humour (which we found a bit peculiar, at the time).
Jim Swan was principal when I was there in 70-72. I remember when we got to grade 12 we were allowed to choose which courses/teachers we could have - a great prep for university. In grade 11 I had Mr Spearing for math; he was quite elderly I seem to recall, very 'old school' (no pun intended) and quite harsh. I think this was because most kids hated math or struggled to understand and so didn't had a great attitude in class. I was one of those that also struggled but was determined to be 'recommended' (remember that phrase?) so I didn't have to sit final exams. I asked Mr Spearing for help and he couldn't have been more charming. Once someone (and it wasn't just me) had shown an interest in 'his' subject he would pull out all stops to help. I chose him as my teacher in Grade 12 (I think he retired the next year) because he was by far the best math teacher I'd ever had, just grossly misunderstood. In the end I did get 'recommended' (only just) and I will remember Mr Spearing forever!
Mr. Spearing and "recommendations"
I wonder if the Spearing who is or was an architect in Nanaimo is this Mr. Spearing the math teacher's son? One of my teacher friends taught math, and I think it's pretty safe to say that math is tough, both for students and for teachers, because so many people have trouble with it, so students kind of take it out on the teachers. The way you've described Mr. Spearing the math teacher is pretty well the way ex-students would probably describe my friend, also a math teacher. I had a terrible time with math in Grade 10, because I skipped Grade 9, and Grade 9 was the grade when we all began algebra and geometry, back about the day after the dinosaurs died. So I got thrown into second year algebra and geometry with no help and no first year of it. It's been a problem for me ever since. We had to take math up to Grade 11, and looking back, my Math 11 teacher was probably the teacher I had who cared the least. I realize now that the poor guy was probably just burned out.
Originally Posted by AllieG
I wish they would bring back recommendations. I only wrote one final exam ever (we had them every year.) People used to say "If they don't write finals they won't know how to do it when they get to university" but that wasn't a problem for me when I got to university. And, of course, the only final I ever wrote was in math. Finals are basically a waste of time, IMHO. Everyone knows who's going to pass and who isn't, so why waste all the time and money writing them, for most people? But now, as I understand it, kids write provincial finals in some subjects in Grade 10 and then again in Grade 12. And finals do cost money--paper, labour costs in printing them all up, money for the people who make them up, and, at least in the past, a lot of money because teachers used to get hired to go to Victoria to mark them, and the teachers came from all over the province. All their transportation costs were paid, their living costs while in Victoria, money for the time they spent marking the finals. For the exams that most students write, what's the point? I'd like to see the provincial finals totally gone. Pointless.