Last month, a legendary Surrey teacher passed away. Fred John was an educational institution unto himself. He started teaching in 1965 at Princess Margaret Secondary. He retired as a full-time classroom teacher in 1998 but continued working as a TTOC until just prior to Covid. All together, that means Fred taught in our district for (what must be) an unprecedented 6 decades!  

Fred started his career teaching Math and eventually settled as the school’s main Art teacher.  Fred served as a mentor to countless numbers of new and aspiring teachers, most of who are still teaching in our district. Outside the classroom, Fred was very involved in extra-curricular activities, including coaching badminton and organizing graduation ceremonies. Further to that, Fred’s legacy at Princess Margaret lives on also because of the tireless work he did restoring graduation class photos that now cover the walls of our school.  

Outside of school, Fred enjoyed listening to rock & roll, travelling with his family, drawing, painting, reading, writing about sports history and his memories of Chinatown, and collecting stamps and baseball cards. He also volunteered at the Gateway Theatre in Richmond, the Train Station, and as a Green Coat at the airport. He will be remembered by his many friends as the organizer of many get togethers and special occasions.  Additionally, his legacy will also live on through the compilation of memories he wrote, titled, “I Remember . . . Apple Tarts” and in his many pictures that he gave away to family, and friends, and donated to fundraisers. In the past 6 years, Fred spent a lot of time with his grandson, playing with him, and driving him to and from school. 

A Celebration of Fred’s Life will be held on Feb. 11th at 11:00 am at the Steveston Buddhist Temple at 4360 Garry St. Donations may be made to a charity of your choice.  

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