Eric Forster

Eric.Forster9kMr. Forster graduated in 1925 from the old UBC Fairview Buildings and in 1926 completed his first year in education from the present UBC campus under Dr. G.M. Weir. This was an era when the Weir-Putman Report gave a “new look” to education by the establishment of Junior High Schools and the introduction of objective standards applied to testing in education. He divided his first year of teaching between Fernie and Vancouver, then returned to UBC for postgraduate work in education. During the years of 1928-31 he taught with Eric Dunn at Port Alberni High School. In 1931 he was appointed Principal of the North Saanich High and Elementary Schools. During this period he took an active interest in sports while attending the University of Washington in the summer months. In 1935 he was appointed as Supervising Principal of the consolidated area of Sidney, Deep Cove and North Saanich. In 1939 Mr. Forster was appointed Principal at Mount Douglas when it was a 5 room school enrolling 140 students grades 9-12 with a staff of 5. During the war years the enrolment at Mount Douglas dropped to a minimum 89. In 1946 the Greater Victoria School Board was formed and for the next 23 years Mr. Forster guided the educational interests of Mount Douglas. In 1969, there was a staff of 32 and an enrolment of 673.

Mr. Forster’s teaching career ended, to quote him “at a most auspicious time” since another “new look” was being taken at the whole educational process. He feels great satisfaction that in the years prior to his retirement he was able to help organize a school with a climate prepared to meet changing conditions.

Though Mr. Forster has devoted most of his life to education he has also worked in a bank, operated a soda fountain establishment (now occupied by a Federal Building on Granville Street in Vancouver), and holds a certificate for deep-seamanship. In his high school days he held both the Junior and Intermediary Inter-Track Championships of the Greater Vancouver schools. He also coached a girl’s basketball team which won a B.C. championship and a softball team which won the Island Championship. In other fields, Mr. Forster is a collector of Canadiana (he has an extensive library). His hope for retirement was to spend some time in travel with his wife, Betty. He has a son, Michael, who took Electrical Engineering at UBC. When he was asked, “Do you intend to put out a book like Judy LaMarsh?” he responded that it could be “most interesting”. Later he said “I shall leave with many fond memories of Mount Doug.”