timeline

100 Years of School History

Did you know… during his tour of Canada in 1919, His Royal Highness, Edward, The Prince of Wales, laid the foundation stone for the school that would bear his name for its first forty years.  Throughout the course of his Canadian visit, His Royal Highness shook so many hands that doctors insisted he discontinue the use of his right hand in order prevent permanent damage. The Prince continued to shake hands with his left hand instead of his right.

Yes, he’s that Prince of Wales. His Royal Highness, Edward, Prince of Wales, who laid our foundation stone, became Edward VIII in 1936, but abdicated the English throne in order to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson in 1937.

The original school building opened to students in September, 1920, without the east and west wings. Those wings were completed and opened to students in September, 1922.

Boys and girls used to enter from separate sides of the building. Boys entered from doors on the eastern side, while girls entered from doors on the west side. This practice continued into the 1980s. One plaque remains denoting a girls entrance: it it above the south west exterior door to Room 005.

Not only were boys and girls separated by entrances, but we were also separated by indoor play spaces. Before the earthquake remediation in the 1990s, the basement was mostly an open space with four corner classrooms and a small, central multipurpose room. Boys played (and had a washroom) on the east side of the basement; girls played (and had a washroom) on the west side. This indoor play space separation persisted through the 1980s, and was patrolled and strictly enforced by supervision aides.

John Matthews, senior student, composes the School Song in 1934.

Former student Charles Merritt is awarded the first Victoria Cross of World War II for exemplary service in Dieppe, France, in 1942.

Prince of Wales Elementary and High School students, staff, and parents finally realize their thirty-year dream of a school gymnasium. After decades of lobbying School Board officials, the gymnasium was built in 1950. General public opinion at the time was that the affluent community didn’t deserve to have the facility funded publicly. Media outlets became involved, and students and families mounted fundraising at the school level with newspaper and wire coat hanger recycling programs to help fund the project. Eventually, the gym we continue to enjoy today was opened in November, 1950.

Vancouver’s 36th mayor, Philip Owen, graduated from Prince of Wales in 1951. He was mayor from 1993 to 2002, making him one of Vancouver’s longest-serving mayors.

Rafe Mair, Vancouver radio personality, political commentator, lawyer, and politician, is a graduate of Prince of Wales.

In 1956 a group of male students decided to break dress code rules and arrive at school in Bermuda shorts. They were met on the steps by Principal Meek and turned away. The students, who anticipated this reaction to their casual attire, repaired to the gymnasium where their trousers awaited. They returned to classes in appropriate attire, and issued a formal apology to Mr. Meek, staff, parents, and the student body the following day.

In September, 1969, for the first time in school history, the entire staff, including both men and women, are able to eat together and meet informally in a unified staffroom.

Girls were permitted to wear pants to school beginning in 1970.

Girls were welcomed to School Patrol for the first time in September, 1970.

Timeline

Prince of Wales Elementary and High School to Shaughnessy Elementary School

September 22, 1919 to Present

September 22, 1919

Foundation Stone laid by HRH the Prince of Wales.

September 15, 1920

Prince of Wales Elementary and High School is officially opened by the Honourable John Oliver, Premier of British Columbia.

September, 1923

Prince of Wales School Annex is formed in a building at the corner of King Edward Avenue and Oak Street, where 94 primary students are taught by three teachers.

1929

Prince of Wales Elementary and High School becomes part of the Vancouver school system.

January 21, 1935

School is closed due to the ‘great snow’. Vancouver receives 43cm (17 inches) of snow, with gale-force winds and a temperature of minus 26 degrees celsius. This weather event set a 24-hour record for snowfall in the City of Vancouver. That record that still stands today.

June 14, 1941

Vancouver School Board attempts to close the school due to chronic declining enrolment. Students petition, lobby media, and speak at public hearings. The school is saved!

September 17, 1948

Inauguration ceremonies held for a Prince of Wales School Boy Patrol at the new pedestrian-controlled traffic light at West 27th Avenue and Granville Street.

November 21, 1950

After years of lobbying, the new gymnasium is officially opened by George T. Cunningham. The gym includes spectator stands, change rooms, showers, offices and kitchen.

1958

The decision is made to separate the elementary and high schools. The Prince of Wales name remains with the high school (the first instance of this in Vancouver School Board history), while the elementary school is renamed Shaughnessy Elementary School.

September, 1960

Classes open to students at both Shaughnessy Elementary School, which expanded but remained in its original, iconic brick building located at 4250 Marguerite Street, and the new Prince of Wales High School, built on the old Quilchena Golf Course property at 2250 Eddington Drive.

September 11, 1961

First sale of the new felt Shaughnessy Crests.

April 26, 1965

Shaughnessy Elementary School celebrates the new Canadian flag with an official flag-raising ceremony.

May 4, 1967

BC Centennial medals are distributed to all students.

1968/69

Enrolment hits a high of 626 students.

September, 1969

The auditorium is equipped with new lighting and some shelving. The library is then moved to the new ‘Resource Centre’, and Room 14 becomes the Science Room. During this school year, school assemblies and PTA meetings are moved to the gymnasium as the Resource Centre increasingly becomes the centre of school activity.

January 23 to 30, 1970

School is not in session due to an engineers strike. Teachers remain on duty.

September 8, 1970

School Patrol is moved from Nanton Avenue and Granville Street to West King Edward Avenue and Marguerite Street. Girls are welcomed to Patrol for the first time.

1972/73

The new library and ‘Open Area’ are opened, and the new Adventure Playground is completed. The playground proves so popular that different days of the week are assigned to primary and intermediate students so that everyone can enjoy the outdoor play space. Stand-out features include a geodesic dome climbing structure, a zipline, and a swinging log.

Fall, 1984

Apple computers arrive at Shaughnessy on loan. Students and staff enjoy them so much, a decision is made to fundraise to purchase a set of 16 Apple II E computers for the school. The cost will be $23,000.

November, 1984

The Apple II E computers are installed in the new computer lab. Teachers familiarize themselves with the lab in anticipation of introducing computer curriculum to students in January, 1985.

April 30 and May 1, 1986

Student and staff present “Bridges” a musical fantasy of Vancouver. “Bridges’ was written by John Stark, Principal of Quilchena Elementary School, and his wife. Jenette as a Vancouver Centennial project. The story focuses on the bridges of Vancouver in the past 100 years (1886-1986) and the trolls who are connected to them. It is a light-hearted fantasy meant to be enjoyable for performers and audiences of school-age children. Tickets are sold for $3 each and proceeds go to production cost-recovery.

February 15, 1996

Vancouver School Board commences renovations for earthquake remediation to improve the safety of the school for staff and students, the first of its kind in the District. Students are temporarily relocated to 21 portable classrooms installed on the South field. The entire school was moved in 5 days, including a weekend.

Spring 2016

Shaughnessy Garden – Phase One

In the spring of 2016, with generous support from the Shaughnessy PAC, we installed 7 large garden boxes on the south-east side of the school grounds, taking advantage of the warm location, and began a school-wide food gardening program.  In addition to the garden boxes, we were able to bring a water supply to the garden area, via an underground pipe from the gym kitchen.

Fall 2016 – Phase Two – The garden program proved to be very popular. Again with PAC support, we expanded the garden with another 9 boxes and a teaching area comprised of two wood and concrete picnic tables. The Shaughnessy School Garden is now a vibrant year-round teaching and learning space. In addition to class projects, each week “Earthbites,” a non-profit community program run by a professional gardener and certified nutritionist, introduce all the students to sustainable, organic gardening and healthy eating.

.

September 7, 1920

Central school unit opens for classes with some scaffold still standing. 269 students are welcomed through the doors by Principal E.A. Munro.

September, 1922

New east and west wings open for classes.

School enrolment increases to 437 students; 3 classes are accommodated in a small wooden building on school grounds.

September, 1925

Prince of Wales School Annex is made part of what is now Emily Carr Elementary School.

1934

John Matthews, senior student, composes the School Song.

1930-1940

Student enrolment declines steadily.

1946

Student enrolment increases to 231

September 13, 1949

A tape recorder is purchased for the school by the current Parent-Teacher Association.

February 6 and February 15, 1952

Prince of Wales Elementary and High School is closed in observation of the death and funeral of King George VI.

Summer 1960

Changes are made to Shaughnessy Elementary School to prepare the building for its new role. With the increased space created by the recently vacated high school, long-standing plans for expansion are finally implemented. New administration offices, a new library, a larger staffroom, more storage, and lunchroom facilities are added.

September, 1961

A room on the lower floor is renovated and equipped with dedicated in-class washroom facilities to accommodate kindergarten for the first time. Separate morning and afternoon classes serve 63 students.

Grade seven classes are also offered for the first time, welcoming 55 students and increasing overall enrolment to 513 students.

June, 1961

Mr. E.S. Meek, longtime teacher and principal of Prince of Wales Elementary and High School, retires. Mr. Meek began as a teacher at PW in 1922, and served as vice-principal and principal of both the elementary and high schools. He was known throughout the student body for his strict demeanour, and was referred to as ‘iron jaw’ by students. The moniker wasn’t only a reflection of his stern countenance: it was rumoured that Mr. Meek had a metal plate inserted into his jaw following a war-related injury.

June 1, 1966

Shaughnessy Elementary School celebrates British Columbia’s Centennial with an assembly. A Douglas Fir seedling is presented to principal G.E. Glass by the BC Government, with plans to plant it on school property at an appropriate time.

March 7, 1968

Shaughnessy Elementary School celebrates ‘Nancy Greene Day’ with a half-day holiday (afternoon closure) in recognition of Ms. Greene’s gold medal race at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.

Summer, 1969

A new staff lunchroom is constructed from two separate north-facing rooms on the top floor. Part of the hallway is incorporated into this room. For the first time in school history, the entire staff, including both men and women, are able to eat together and meet informally.

September 2, 1969

School re-opens with a 6-day timetable.

1970/71

Granville School, located at the corner of Nanton Avenue and Granville Street is attached to Shaughnessy Elementary School for administrative purposes. It is staffed by two teachers, with a main objective of the rehabilitation of emotionally disturbed children.

November 9, 1970

Shaughnessy Elementary School purchases its first copy machine – a ‘3M Copy Mite’.

1973/74

French is incorporated into the curriculum from its previous iteration as an after-hours club at the school. Oral French is taught 20 minutes per day by three teachers to grades one, two, six, and seven.

Spring, 1984

The Shaughnessy PTA, staff and students mount ‘Circus Circus’ a carnival fundraiser. Over the course of a weekend, staff and students present a circus-style show with each division performing one dance/production number set to popular music, while parent volunteers run carnival games in the school basement and on the basketball court. A highlight for all is Shaughnessy Elementary School principal Mr. MacLennan in the dunk tank, dressed in a turn-of-the-century bathing costume.

Circus Circus raises $11,500 nearly half the funds to purchase 16 Apple II E computers to start Shaughnessy Elementary School’s first computer lab. Telephone donations are solicited from school families, and by the time the computer lab opens, Shaughnessy family donations total $27,231. 

.

January, 1986

As a Centennial Project, parent volunteers create “The SHY Chef”, a cookbook compiled of over 450 signature recipes from SHY families that celebrate the many cultures at Shaughnessy Elementary School. Cookbooks are sold as a fundraiser for $10 each, with proceeds going to new playground equipment.

December 9-10, 1987

Shaughnessy Elementary School staff and students from kindergarten to grade seven present the school musical “Sky Happy”.

May 10, 1997

Renovations for earthquake remediation are completed and students move back into the school building. Changes include new classrooms, and new footprints for existing classrooms, ’pods’ outside many classrooms for students to work in small groups or on computer, a new computer lab equipped with 15 AST computers with voice-recording technology, a new sound system for music and speaking presentations in the gymnasium, a multipurpose room with full kitchen (most often used for hotdog day prep), outdoor amphitheatres flanking the multipurpose room for students to enjoy lunch outside, and re-exposed windows in the library.

To celebrate the re-opening of the school, parent volunteers organize an open house in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Prince of Wales.

Spring, 2018

Outdoor Classroom

In the spring of 2018, we saw the opening of our Outdoor Classroom, the culmination of a year-long dream. We decided as a school community to create an outdoor classroom to complement our school garden and to provide a dedicated space to integrate learning with the natural environment.  The combined commitment from our PAC, our parent community and our students, allowed us to make a plan to turn our vision into reality.  VSB Grounds crew members were also integral members of the project and showed both dedication and passion as they transformed the entrance to our school. This space is now enjoyed as a meeting place before and after school, and an outside picnic area on warm days in addition to being an outdoor classroom with two distinct teaching spaces.

September 22, 1919

Foundation Stone laid by HRH the Prince of Wales.

September 7, 1920

Central school unit opens for classes with some scaffold still standing. 269 students are welcomed through the doors by Principal E.A. Munro.

September 15, 1920

Prince of Wales Elementary and High School is officially opened by the Honourable John Oliver, Premier of British Columbia.

September, 1922

New east and west wings open for classes.

School enrolment increases to 437 students; 3 classes are accommodated in a small wooden building on school grounds.

September, 1923

Prince of Wales School Annex is formed in a building at the corner of King Edward Avenue and Oak Street, where 94 primary students are taught by three teachers.

September, 1925

Prince of Wales School Annex is made part of what is now Emily Carr Elementary School.

1929

Prince of Wales Elementary and High School becomes part of the Vancouver school system.

1934

John Matthews, senior student, composes the School Song.

January 21, 1935

School is closed due to the ‘great snow’. Vancouver receives 43cm (17 inches) of snow, with gale-force winds and a temperature of minus 26 degrees celsius. This weather event set a 24-hour record for snowfall in the City of Vancouver. That record that still stands today.

1930-1940

Student enrolment declines steadily.

June 14, 1941

Vancouver School Board attempts to close the school due to chronic declining enrolment. Students petition, lobby media, and speak at public hearings. The school is saved!

1946

Student enrolment increases to 231

September 17, 1948

Inauguration ceremonies held for a Prince of Wales School Boy Patrol at the new pedestrian-controlled traffic light at West 27th Avenue and Granville Street.

September 13, 1949

A tape recorder is purchased for the school by the current Parent-Teacher Association.

November 21, 1950

After years of lobbying, the new gymnasium is officially opened by George T. Cunningham. The gym includes spectator stands, change rooms, showers, offices and kitchen.

February 6 and February 15, 1952

Prince of Wales Elementary and High School is closed in observation of the death and funeral of King George VI.

1958

The decision is made to separate the elementary and high schools. The Prince of Wales name remains with the high school (the first instance of this in Vancouver School Board history), while the elementary school is renamed Shaughnessy Elementary School.

Summer 1960

Changes are made to Shaughnessy Elementary School to prepare the building for its new role. With the increased space created by the recently vacated high school, long-standing plans for expansion are finally implemented. New administration offices, a new library, a larger staffroom, more storage, and lunchroom facilities are added.

September, 1960

Classes open to students at both Shaughnessy Elementary School, which expanded but remained in its original, iconic brick building located at 4250 Marguerite Street, and the new Prince of Wales High School, built on the old Quilchena Golf Course property at 2250 Eddington Drive.

September, 1961

A room on the lower floor is renovated and equipped with dedicated in-class washroom facilities to accommodate kindergarten for the first time. Separate morning and afternoon classes serve 63 students.

Grade seven classes are also offered for the first time, welcoming 55 students and increasing overall enrolment to 513 students.

September 11, 1961

First sale of the new felt Shaughnessy Crests.

June, 1961

Mr. E.S. Meek, longtime teacher and principal of Prince of Wales Elementary and High School, retires. Mr. Meek began as a teacher at PW in 1922, and served as vice-principal and principal of both the elementary and high schools. He was known throughout the student body for his strict demeanour, and was referred to as ‘iron jaw’ by students. The moniker wasn’t only a reflection of his stern countenance: it was rumoured that Mr. Meek had a metal plate inserted into his jaw following a war-related injury.

April 26, 1965

Shaughnessy Elementary School celebrates the new Canadian flag with an official flag-raising ceremony.

June 1, 1966

Shaughnessy Elementary School celebrates British Columbia’s Centennial with an assembly. A Douglas Fir seedling is presented to principal G.E. Glass by the BC Government, with plans to plant it on school property at an appropriate time.

May 4, 1967

BC Centennial medals are distributed to all students.

March 7, 1968

Shaughnessy Elementary School celebrates ‘Nancy Greene Day’ with a half-day holiday (afternoon closure) in recognition of Ms. Greene’s gold medal race at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France.

1968/69

Enrolment hits a high of 626 students.

Summer, 1969

A new staff lunchroom is constructed from two separate north-facing rooms on the top floor. Part of the hallway is incorporated into this room. For the first time in school history, the entire staff, including both men and women, are able to eat together and meet informally.

September, 1969

The auditorium is equipped with new lighting and some shelving. The library is then moved to the new ‘Resource Centre’, and Room 14 becomes the Science Room. During this school year, school assemblies and PTA meetings are moved to the gymnasium as the Resource Centre increasingly becomes the centre of school activity.

September 2, 1969

School re-opens with a 6-day timetable.

January 23 to 30, 1970

School is not in session due to an engineers strike. Teachers remain on duty.

1970/71

Granville School, located at the corner of Nanton Avenue and Granville Street is attached to Shaughnessy Elementary School for administrative purposes. It is staffed by two teachers, with a main objective of the rehabilitation of emotionally disturbed children.

September 8, 1970

School Patrol is moved from Nanton Avenue and Granville Street to West King Edward Avenue and Marguerite Street. Girls are welcomed to Patrol for the first time.

November 9, 1970

Shaughnessy Elementary School purchases its first copy machine – a ‘3M Copy Mite’.

1972/73

The new library and ‘Open Area’ are opened, and the new Adventure Playground is completed. The playground proves so popular that different days of the week are assigned to primary and intermediate students so that everyone can enjoy the outdoor play space. Stand-out features include a geodesic dome climbing structure, a zipline, and a swinging log.

1973/74

French is incorporated into the curriculum from its previous iteration as an after-hours club at the school. Oral French is taught 20 minutes per day by three teachers to grades one, two, six, and seven.

Fall, 1984

Apple computers arrive at Shaughnessy on loan. Students and staff enjoy them so much, a decision is made to fundraise to purchase a set of 16 Apple II E computers for the school. The cost will be $23,000.

Spring, 1984

The Shaughnessy PTA, staff and students mount ‘Circus Circus’ a carnival fundraiser. Over the course of a weekend, staff and students present a circus-style show with each division performing one dance/production number set to popular music, while parent volunteers run carnival games in the school basement and on the basketball court. A highlight for all is Shaughnessy Elementary School principal Mr. MacLennan in the dunk tank, dressed in a turn-of-the-century bathing costume.

Circus Circus raises $11,500 nearly half the funds to purchase 16 Apple II E computers to start Shaughnessy Elementary School’s first computer lab. Telephone donations are solicited from school families, and by the time the computer lab opens, Shaughnessy family donations total $27,231. 

November, 1984

The Apple II E computers are installed in the new computer lab. Teachers familiarize themselves with the lab in anticipation of introducing computer curriculum to students in January, 1985.

January, 1986

As a Centennial Project, parent volunteers create “The SHY Chef”, a cookbook compiled of over 450 signature recipes from SHY families that celebrate the many cultures at Shaughnessy Elementary School. Cookbooks are sold as a fundraiser for $10 each, with proceeds going to new playground equipment.

April 30 and May 1, 1986

Student and staff present “Bridges” a musical fantasy of Vancouver. “Bridges’ was written by John Stark, Principal of Quilchena Elementary School, and his wife. Jenette as a Vancouver Centennial project. The story focuses on the bridges of Vancouver in the past 100 years (1886-1986) and the trolls who are connected to them. It is a light-hearted fantasy meant to be enjoyable for performers and audiences of school-age children. Tickets are sold for $3 each and proceeds go to production cost-recovery.

December 9-10, 1987

Shaughnessy Elementary School staff and students from kindergarten to grade seven present the school musical “Sky Happy”.

February 15, 1996

Vancouver School Board commences renovations for earthquake remediation to improve the safety of the school for staff and students, the first of its kind in the District. Students are temporarily relocated to 21 portable classrooms installed on the South field. The entire school was moved in 5 days, including a weekend.

May 10, 1997

Renovations for earthquake remediation are completed and students move back into the school building. Changes include new classrooms, and new footprints for existing classrooms, ’pods’ outside many classrooms for students to work in small groups or on computer, a new computer lab equipped with 15 AST computers with voice-recording technology, a new sound system for music and speaking presentations in the gymnasium, a multipurpose room with full kitchen (most often used for hotdog day prep), outdoor amphitheatres flanking the multipurpose room for students to enjoy lunch outside, and re-exposed windows in the library.

To celebrate the re-opening of the school, parent volunteers organize an open house in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Prince of Wales.

Spring 2016

Shaughnessy Garden – Phase One

In the spring of 2016, with generous support from the Shaughnessy PAC, we installed 7 large garden boxes on the south-east side of the school grounds, taking advantage of the warm location, and began a school-wide food gardening program.  In addition to the garden boxes, we were able to bring a water supply to the garden area, via an underground pipe from the gym kitchen.

Fall 2016 – Phase Two – The garden program proved to be very popular. Again with PAC support, we expanded the garden with another 9 boxes and a teaching area comprised of two wood and concrete picnic tables. The Shaughnessy School Garden is now a vibrant year-round teaching and learning space. In addition to class projects, each week “Earthbites,” a non-profit community program run by a professional gardener and certified nutritionist, introduce all the students to sustainable, organic gardening and healthy eating.

Spring, 2018

Outdoor Classroom

In the spring of 2018, we saw the opening of our Outdoor Classroom, the culmination of a year-long dream. We decided as a school community to create an outdoor classroom to complement our school garden and to provide a dedicated space to integrate learning with the natural environment.  The combined commitment from our PAC, our parent community and our students, allowed us to make a plan to turn our vision into reality.  VSB Grounds crew members were also integral members of the project and showed both dedication and passion as they transformed the entrance to our school. This space is now enjoyed as a meeting place before and after school, and an outside picnic area on warm days in addition to being an outdoor classroom with two distinct teaching spaces.

Celebrating

our long-term staff!

January, 1987 – Mrs. E. O’Malley (nee Cox) begins teaching at Shaughnessy Elementary School

September, 1992 – Mrs. S. Yeomans begins teaching at Shaughnessy Elementary School

September 1994 – Ms. L. Marsh begins teaching at Shaughnessy Elementary School

September, 2002 – Ms. C. Pace begins teaching at Shaughnessy Elementary School

September, 2002 – Ms. J. Calouri begins teaching at Shaughnessy Elementary School

September, 2004 – Mrs. N. Waltham begins teaching at Shaughnessy Elementary School

……And guys – they’re ALL still here! Come back for the 100th and say hello!