June makes us think of graduation, and this year’s class of grads at Edward Milne numbers 114. An unimaginable figure back in the days when the first high school west of Victoria opened in 1946, graduating its first class in 1947! During the first years, the students were taught in converted army huts, left onsite from the days of Milne’s Landing Army Training Camp during World War II.
Sixty-three years have passed since this historic photo was taken. The students pictured are in grades 11 and 12, with their teacher/principal, John B. Wilkinson.
Shared by each generation of grads is excitement and wonder as they embark on their futures. For the students pictured, there have been 63 years of carrying out their roles in the world around them!
While we are not up to date on each student, we can offer some snippets of information. Back row, left: the late Nelson Cook, longtime Otter Point family who spent his working life in the forest industry, mostly up-island. Second, the late Bob Lajeunesse who followed his dad in the forest industry, was a longtime employee of CPS/Western Forest Products in Jordan River. Third, Elaine Sheilds, daughter of the blacksmith, who went on to college in the U.S., marrying and raising a large family there. Next is Bernice Emery, we think.
The late Marilyn Jackman is next; she took teacher training and became the first teacher at Bear Creek School during the heyday of BC Forest Products. Next to Marilyn is her future husband, the late Pete Hansen, member of another well-known family of fallers. Bill Emerson of Jordan River is seen next to J. B. Wilkinson.
Seated left is the late Daphne Lavender who became Mrs. Bud Hay and lived out her life in Saseenos. The late Norah Wadams, daughter of the Wadams farming family became Mrs. Cook and lived in Sidney. Next is Dorothy Brown of Jordan River, we think. Holding the slate is Jessie Carlow, a Charters family descendant who married an airman, David Anderson and lives in Cobble Hill.
The late Phyllis MacMillan, whose parents ran a store, is next; she became a nurse and married in the U.S. Ruth Banner, another well-known Shirley family member, married John Poschner and lives in the Interior. Seated at far right is Doreen Gallia of Jordan River, and we’re not sure where her career took her. (We sincerely apologize if there have been any errors here.)
Sooke Region Museum