Queen Elizabeth Secondary celebrates 75th anniversary

Special event planned for Oct. 15 at school on King George Blvd.

Queen Elizabeth Secondary’s 75th-anniversary celebration

NORTH SURREY — Queen Elizabeth Secondary is 75 years old this year, but that doesn’t mean the school’s storage rooms and display cases are filled with memorabilia dating back to the Second World War – quite the opposite, in fact.

A massive fire destroyed the original school building in 1967, leaving much of its history in ashes.

Accordingly, a search is on by planners of an event celebrating the school’s anniversary.

“One thing we need is older items from the school, because a lot of things were burned in the fire and then all the other old stuff is gone — you know, banners, sweaters, shirts and things like that,” said Don Cosens, who is planning the celebration event with the help of fellow teachers.

“Someone here found an old grad dress, and the old mascot from who knows when,” he added. “We have some old photos but almost no old artifacts and memorabilia, so we’re hoping someone out there has stuff they either want to donate or loan to us, to display. We’ll make sure it’s taken care of, behind locked glass.”

Months of planning by a committee of teachers will come to fruition at the anniversary celebration, set for next Thursday (Oct. 15) from 3:30 to 8 p.m. All former and current students, staff and friends of QE are welcome to attend the event; tickets are now $8 in advance (online orders), or $10 at the door.

The celebration will include music, dance, a theatre performance, the unveiling of a new art mural with a “Decades” theme, a basketball contest and more.

“We’ll have ‘Decades’ rooms, with different rooms for different decades that people can walk through on the lower level of the school and have their photos taken,” Cosens explained.

The hope is that up to 500 attendees will mingle and reminisce with others who went to school, which was built in 1940 in the 9400-block of the then-new King George Highway, as the boulevard was originally known.

The school was opened three years after the 1937 completion of the Pattullo Bridge, which brought more and more people to the North Surrey area. The original QE building contained 14 classrooms and was built on the same set of plans as Semiahmoo, its sister high school to the south.

“After the original school burned down, it got rebuilt and there have been several rebuilds here, and renovations, over the years,” said teacher Sharon Gunter. “There’s been tons of changes here.”

(Click here to see photos of the fire.)

Gunter, Cosens and 10 other QE teachers are on the committee tasked with planning the anniversary event at the school, where 1,209 students currently attend classes.

“It’s a real team effort, and we meet here and also we’ll talk while passing each other in the hall, share little updates and information, and we’ll send emails, too,” Cosens said.

“We have no budget,” he added. “We tried the city, the school district, and there’s no money to be had for something like this, and after we were told why, I understand. There are a lot of schools in the district.”

During the event, longtime Newton resident George Zaklan will speak about the school’s history.

“He said he could go on for hours about the area,” Cosens said. “We’re hoping more people like George will want to share stories, photos and even videos if they exist. It’s all still coming together, and we’ll make it happen. We’re teachers, we’re all good at making things happen.”

The alcohol-free event at the school will be immediately followed by an “after party” at Central City Brew Pub.

For event details, click here: Facebook.com/events/1032164183466383. The school’s phone number is 604-588-1258.

Click here for more school history.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

This Crescent Beach home, located at 12505 22 Ave., was subject of a police search warrant June 18. (Google image)
Civil Forfeiture Office alleges Crescent Beach home used to launder money

Court documents request the home, and $85,000 to be turned over to the government

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read