Memories From 1972

Michael Heinekey, Harry Mueller, Bill Johnston: Grads of 1972

The School

Mike: “I graduated in 1972. My class was in the somewhat unique position of attending junior high and then high school in the same building. Prior to the 1970-71 school year, Mount Doug was in the building on Cedar Hill Road now occupied by the junior high school. Anyway, the high school moved to the current site I think because it was a newer building with more and better facilities. So up to that time, the current building housed Gordon Head Junior High. The building has been added onto several times. The improvements to the gym etc. occurred after my time there. The area surrounding the school was much less built up then. The field to the north of the building was obtained by the school for use a playing field. The rowhouses to the northwest of the school were built about 1970 on what was previously a very marshy area, which I used to have to walk across to get to school (my family lived on Blair Avenue).”

Harry: “Until June 1970 the building where you are was Gordon Head Junior Secondary. Gordon Head was split into Arbutus Junior Secondary and Cedar Hill Junior Secondary. The original Mt. Doug was where Cedar Hill Junior Secondary is. Mount Doug made the move to the current building during the summer of 1970 and opened in September of the that year. The library and band room were added on in 1968 (I think) while it was still Gordon Head. I do remember that when the library made the move during the summer from what is now (or at least what was then) the staff room, all the books were arranged on the shelves backwards. That is, you had to look for books using the Dewey Decimal System from right to left instead of the normal left to right. That took some getting used to even for a left-hander.

Actually the change of venue for Mt. Doug annoyed me at the time. I used to live five doors south of the old Mt. Doug and went to Gordon Head, over a mile away (I never measured it). I looked forward to the day I could dash out the front door five minutes before homeroom and be able to go home for lunch. It never happened, the schools changed the year I was supposed to change so I went attended five years at the same building.”

Bill: “Nothing “big” happened while I was there. Unless you count the fact that what is now Mt Doug School was the former Gordon Head Junior High. Mt. Doug was the big pink school on Cedar Hill. My first year at Mt. Doug was the first year at it’s current location. At the time (1970/71) it was very modern, albeit small. The front entrance was just two boring old doors, not like the nice foyer there today. And the entrance was directly at the end of the sidewalk, not cornered.

The downside to Mt. Doug was the ongoing struggle of the fine/performing arts vs. athletics. In 1972 Mt. Doug represented Victoria in the BC finals of the Drama Festival. Our production of “Riders To The Sea” was very well received and Maura Hall took home Best Actress. Unfortunately, we got very little recognition. I know that in the past couple of years, Mt. Doug has produced some very good productions, so it’s nice so see things have improved.”

The Teachers

Mike: “The principal when I was a student was Mr. Lowther, who I recall being an egotistical jerk, but I felt that way about a lot of grownups at the time. I had a very good physics class from Mr. Baldwin and an excellent English Lit class from Mrs. Aggellou. Both were youngsters at the time and may still be around. ”

Bill: “JJ Lowther was our much loved, much respected Principal. Everyone knew him as “JJ”. I don’t think we called him that to his face. Although, it was the time when some teachers (such as Drama teacher Mike Stephens and Art teacher Monte Fulton) wanted to be known by their first names. Prior to this, I don’t think it happened. Maybe it was just the tail end of the 60’s.

Good Memories

Bill: “There was no student parking lot. In those days, most students did not have access to cars. There were no rear portables, just the two out front. I remember our school being toilet papered by Oak Bay. The students thought it was funny, the administration did not. I can’t remember what we did in retaliation – I know there was talk of stealing Oak Bay’s mascot.”