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This WebSite is courtesy of the GRAD CLASS 1950

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A letter from our Chairman

What a delight it was to visit Miss Sadie Boyles on February 12,2001. Miss Boyles graduated from South Van High in 1922, the first year the school was on E 43rd Ave near Fraser Street after moving from the location at 49th and Knight Road (General Gordon School which went to Grade 11). She won the Governor-General's Award that year for the highest marks in the province. She taught at King Ed for several years before moving on to UBC where she retired as Professor Emeritus. She was also on the Board of Governors, UBC for many years. She was a very good friend of Walter Gage, brilliant mathematician and teacher, outstanding UBC personality, and former President, UBC. Walter Gage was a year ahead of Sadie Boyle.

Sadie Boyle still has a very good memory of South Van High and the community. She can still imitate some of her teachers, including the long-time v.p. and antagonist of the Principal,J.T.E. Palmer, Jesse J. McKenzie. Sadie told several stories about JTE, the man who built South Van's/ Jayo's great reputation by winning the Governor-Genera'sl Award almost every year in the 1920's and also the yearly inter-high track meets. One of the stories related Mr. Palmer's extreme disappointment over Sadie being denied 100% on the provincial geometry examination because Sadie had omitted what was a self-explanatory statement.

According to Mary Campbell (girls' PE, John Oliver, 1938 - 1961), Sadie was "The authority on teaching French in BC" for many years. We recently celebrated Mary's 90th birthday at the school along with Muriel Harvie's (married Ledingham) 90th. Muriel taught PE in the old "barn" or horticultural building, 1932-1938, and graduated from South Van High in 1926. Mr. Palmer introduced himself to Muriel's mother as "the best-hated man in South Vancouver." Muriel found Mr. Palmer a bit of softy when next to his wife at a class birthday party, a fact verified by Mr. Palmer's daughter Hope, who is 87, still drives, and lives in White Rock. Hope Palmer Harvey said that her father's tough exterior which drove some of his female math student's to tears was a bit of a shell.

JTE did a lot to build the staff and reputation of South Van/ John Oliver. He administered before political correctness was a fashion, and modern coaches would frown on JTE's practise of offering to pay the carfare of track stars from other schools if they would attend South Van High. Mr. Palmer also went out of his way to help keep good students in school when financial times were tough.

Sadie Boyle brought alive this era which appeared to have been lost. She also recalled David Warden, the South Van student who won the Governor-General's Award in 1923. David was a very handsome, popular lad who died in a fall at the waterfall at Indian Arm a short time after graduation. Sadie also recalled some mischievous incidents in school, the parade after winning the track meet one year—she played grass hockey and ran on the girls' relay team, and several other memorable moments.

I took a picture of Sadie with her Governor-General's award. She is most touched by students who remember her. Incidentally, she was guest speaker at our graduation in 1962, Eric Kelly's first year as principal. Thanks also to Norm Ellis (Grad of '33), formerly head of teacher records for many years at the Vancouver School Board, for referring me to Sadie Boyle. Thanks also to Bill Griffiths, Grad of '50 for setting up this website and to the class of 1950 for funding it. Goldie Howard, former John Oliver student and long-time secretary at John Oliver recently died as did Maurie McPhee, former counsellor and head of special program at John Oliver.

Wally Alexander, track sensation of the late 40's who was 1 tenth of a second from tying the legendary Percy Williams' record in the 100 metres in 1948 has recently had angioplasty surgery which unfortunately has to be redone. Senator Ray Perrault, Grad of '43, has just retired as Liberal Senator from BC. His brother Ernie, Grad of '39, is still going strong. The Perrault boys were both editors of the Pepmaster during their grad years and were also very active in track and field and other sports.

Do you know anything/whereabouts? of Maurice Pearson, Grad of '50, who sang on the Lawrence Welk program for many years. Please add any stories or memories that you might have. Also, please forward names and addresses, etc. of prospective former students to contact or interview.