Letters to the Editor

Memories of Steveston High shared

Standing outside the old Steveston High building—now shuttered—are Ralph Turner, Fred Hilderman, Neil Halpenny and Tom Murao. - Matthew Hoekstra photo
Standing outside the old Steveston High building—now shuttered—are Ralph Turner, Fred Hilderman, Neil Halpenny and Tom Murao.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra photo


During a family Thanksgiving dinner last year my nephew, a graduate of Steveston High now teaching at Steveston London Secondary, told me that all the old Steveston High composite grad pictures had been moved from the old school and are now hanging on the walls at Steveston-London.

A few days later I went over to see Jim Allison, principal of Steveston-London, to see if I could document those grad pictures for the Steveston Alumni by photographing them and putting them on a CD.

He was very supportive of what appeared to be a simple project, so I went over with my camera the next day and took a few pictures as they hung on the wall.

Not being happy with the results, I contacted Tom Murao and Ralph Turner, Steveston alumni I had worked with on several reunion committees, to see if they knew of someone who could do the photographing.

As it turned out, another Steveston grad, Neil Halpenny, did photography as a hobby, so he asked if he would help and he did an excellent job. Eventually nine Steveston grads from the classes of 1961 to 1968 came forward to assist with the archival project.

It was a much bigger task than I had first anticipated.

Almost 50 large, heavy grad pictures had to be carefully lifted off the walls and carried to a room with proper lighting. In the process we discovered that some of them needed to have broken glass replaced. The $600 cost for this was paid for by reunion funds from the 1961/62/63 grad glasses. In some of them individual photos needed to be re-glued onto the composites.

All the refurbished grad pictures from 1961 to 2007 are proudly back on the walls but will stay there only as long as there is space. After that, they will be moved to the City of Richmond Archives.

The high-quality digital photos are on a completed CD along with the pictures from 2008, 2009 and 2010 classes—the last ones to start at Steveston High.

The last of the Steveston Packers team pictures are also hanging on the walls at Steveston-London and are included on the CD, as well as Packer logos and other memorabilia of the former Steveston High School.

If you want a great souvenir of a great school, you can get one of these CDs by donating a small amount to the Steveston Alumni Association.

Contact Fred by phone at 604-271-0504 or by e-mail at hilderman@telus.net.

Fred Hilderman

Retired Steveston High School teacher

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