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Homes and Properties for Sale on MLS in Esaquimalt High School Area

Mount Douglas Secondary School

A Short History of Esquimalt High School 

Esquimalt High School, nestled in the picturesque town of Esquimalt, west of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, has a rich and storied past that spans over a century. Let’s embark on a journey through time to explore the fascinating history of this educational institution.

The Early Years (1915-1926)

In the late summer of 1915, the doors of Esquimalt High School swung open for the first time. Under the watchful eye of Principal Mr. T. Patterson and his assistant, Miss Robb, 25 eager pupils stepped onto a designated floor at Lampson Street Elementary School. The promise of education and opportunity beckoned, and Esquimalt parents rejoiced, knowing that their teens would receive the same advantages as their counterparts in the bustling city of Victoria. The curriculum mirrored that of Victoria High School, setting the stage for a friendly yet spirited sports rivalry between Esquimalt’s Dockers and Vic High’s Totems. Oh, the thrill of victory and the sting of defeat—etched into the memories of those early athletes.

A Journey of Relocations (1926-1960)

The school’s physical journey mirrored its academic one. In 1918, Esquimalt High School moved into a remodelled building on Esquimalt Road, affectionately known as the Old Island Weavers Building. Six years later, students temporarily returned to Lampson Street while awaiting the completion of a new three-room school on nearby Head Street in 1926. But the most remarkable twist came in the form of leadership. In a groundbreaking move, the Esquimalt School Board appointed Gwendolyn Nora Hewlings as principal—a trailblazer and the first woman to hold such a position in a B.C. high school. Her Latin class bestowed upon the school its motto: “Esse Quam Videri”—meaning “It is better to be, rather than to seem.” Hewlings eventually stepped back into the classroom, and Clive Kelly assumed the principalship in 1940. The district politics surrounding a woman principal remained a topic of conjecture, but Hewlings maintained her silence. Kelly, equally beloved, guided the school through its transition into the newly formed Greater Victoria School District.

The Forgotten Class (1959-1960)

The 1959-60 school year was a whirlwind. Students shuffled between classes at the Head Street location until January 1960, when senior students moved to a brand-new building on Colville Road. The junior students remained behind, creating what Sherri Robinson, a member of the graduating class, affectionately dubbed “the forgotten class.” And so, Esquimalt High School continued to evolve, leaving its indelible mark on generations of students. From the echoes of basketball victories to the wisdom imparted by pioneering leaders, this institution stands tall—its legacy woven into the very fabric of Esquimalt’s community. Today, as it celebrates its centenary, Esquimalt High School remains a beacon of learning, resilience, and camaraderie. The Dockers still clash with the Totems, and the halls echo with the laughter and dreams of countless students who have passed through its doors. For more information, you can visit the official Esquimalt High School Website.