More than 70 years and an estimated 50,000 students later, it’s the end of a memorable era for the old New Westminster Secondary School.
Alumni, friends, past staff and community members are being given a chance to walk through the old N Dub one final time – virtually.
When the COVID-19 pandemic made an in-person gathering impossible, a group volunteers from the community got together to put together a video tribute to the old school instead.
The commemorative video – a collaboration of current and former students and staff with New West.TV – is now available for viewing, along with a slideshow and a video walk-through of the school.
The feature-length documentary video is hosted by Traci Cave, a 1987 grad and current teacher, and narrated by 1974 grad Otis Jiry.
It pays tribute to the building, the events, the people and the memories that shaped the lives of the thousands of students who attended New Westminster’s only high school.
The old Vincent Massey Junior High school was first erected in 1949 at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Eighth Street, followed shortly by Lester Pearson High in 1955.
The two schools were eventually joined with an overpass and became New Westminster Secondary, at one time the largest high school in Western Canada – and still one of the largest in British Columbia.
“Join us for a 90-minute journey into the past, to relive the experience through a narrative of interesting facts, archived photos, and personal interviews with alumni and staff. Together, we can remember key historical moments, reminisce, share experiences, and recognize the influence of the building that shaped a community,” the NWSS farewell committee says in a media release.
Alumni and others connected to the school are invited to view the video and pass along to others with connections to the old N Dub.
The new New Westminster Secondary School, located on the Sixth Street site of the high school property – next to the old building – has been open to students since January 2021.
Plans are in the works for the decommissioning and demolition of the old building, a process that is expected to take about nine months.