1965 – School teachers for Lake Cowichan Elementary School and Bridge School (primary) in 1965. Back row from left: Brahm Sahadeo

1965 – School teachers for Lake Cowichan Elementary School and Bridge School (primary) in 1965. Back row from left: Brahm Sahadeo

Recalling former teachers

Principal Plater was a force to be reckoned with in the school setting

Loretta Warren and John Clark — two of the teachers shown in the photograph — went on to spend the remainder of their teaching careers here in Lake Cowichan, where they both still reside.

Loretta spent years teaching kindergarten at A. B. Greenwell School. John Clark taught at several of the area schools including Honeymoon Bay, and was principal of A. B. Greenwell and of Lake Cowichan Secondary School.

Louis Bizco was a popular music and band teacher at LCSS for manyyears. Amato Fantillo also spent many years teaching in local schools. Long-time Lake Cowichan teacher Barbara Speer (the late) passed away several years ago.

The elementary school principal Len Plater (sitting in middle of picture) and his family spent close to 20 years in Lake Cowichan. He, his wife Mary and newborn son Teddy, arrived at the Lake in 1949 after Len accepted the elementary principal position, which was offered to him by high school principal, John Saywell.

An article in Family Trees by the Plater family says that upon their arrival the family took up residence in a  “near-new bungalow in the 100 Houses”, which they later bought. After the birth of two more children, Marion and Roy, the family purchased a bigger home on the river near the Duck Pond.

Principal Plater was a force to be reckoned with in the school setting, he being of a generation where the “old school” model of disciplinary measures was expected. He was known for running a very tight ship (school) and under his management school rules were strictly enforced. While some students had a difficult time with this, others did not since society as a whole followed a stricter standard of conduct back then.

After nearly 20 years at Lake Cowichan the family moved on with Len taking a teaching position at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. At that time, one of their children moved to Victoria, another entered the University of Victoria with the youngest attending high school in Burnaby — where they lived for one year.

Upon leaving Burnaby, Plater’s education career took him to Fort St. John with the position of Supervisor of Schools. He went on to five years as Supervisor for the Lillooet School District. Upon retirement in 1976 Len took on a change of career direction becoming a mortgage broker. He also worked real estate management and general insurance.

Born on December 8, 1915 in Lloydminster, Alberta, Leonard J. Plater passed away in Richmond, B.C. on October 6, 2003; two years after his wife Mary.


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