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Who Was George Pringle?
George Pringle was born on November 30th, 1913 in South Vancouver. He was born into a highly respected family and he had one sister. George graduated from Magee High School in Vancouver. He attended the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Union College where he became an ordained minister. At UBC, George was one of the best basketball stars of the 1930's, leading the Thunderbirds to the championship in 1937. George Pringle was named a three-time All-Star and he was the first person to be selected to win the prestigious bobby Gaul Award; UBC's top athletic award for males. George Pringle was described as "the perfect team player. He is recognized as one of the cleanest performers to ever step on the court."
George Pringle had a girlfriend, Myrne Burdet Nevison but they never had a chance to marry. Myrne remained loyal to George her entire life by never marrying. Mayrne also excelled academically and athletically. She went on to become a professor and department head at UBC. Myrne lobbied successfully to have our school named after him. She died in December 2006.
George Pringle was the minister of the United Churches of Peachland and Westbank from July 1940 to June 1941. In the time he was there, the people loved him for his spirituality and for being such an inspirational role model to everyone young and old. Although only there a short time, George made a lasting impression on the people in our community.
At the age of 28, George joined the army. He had a strong sense of duty and at that time, he felt the need to join all the other men and women who were fighting to preserve our way of life. George served as a flight officer in the army for many years. He flew as an observer with 58 Squadron, Royal Air Force in Coastal Command that took the air war to sea. He hunted down enemy ships and submarines, patrolling and helping to rescue men and sailors. He flew in the Armstrong Whitworth Bomber and in the Handley - Page. George survived a ditching in a Whitworth plane. He was killed in a Handley Page in a flight accident shortly after taking off from Holmsley South Airfield along with 7 other men. George died on January 24th, 1943 and he is buried in the war graves section of a cemetery in Bransgore, England right next to Bransgore Primary School.
George Pringle was described as "a scholarship student, a truly great athlete, an excellent minster and as we are able to judge, here on earth, the perfect man." I cannot think of a better honour than to have our school named after him. We hope that the students of George Pringle Elementary will be able to live up to the standards set by George Pringle. We should be honoured to attend his school.
Compiled and written by Mme Dickie's Enrichment Group
Brief History of the George Pringle School Building
On Thursday, December 5, 1949, the official opening of the George Pringle High School took place at Westbank. When the school first opened in 1949, it consisted of a two-storey building for classes, with a small wooden addition used as a small gymnasium. The student population was under 100. When the old Westbank Elementary wood building nearby was vacated, it became a shop for industrial classes. By 1960, the student population had grown to 230 and surpassed the 700 mark by 1976.
As the years went by, the school had additions of many more classrooms, a second larger gym in 1977, shops linking the old and newer sections into one complex, and in the 1980’s an influx of students necessitating the addition of numerous portables. The population was so large in the early 1970’s that a "shift" program was implemented for 7 years until the Mount Boucherie site was built in 1975.
In the late 1990’s the school property was again full of portables as the new Glenrosa Middle School used the site as their building was being completed.
The Secondary students last attended George Pringle until the end of June in 2002. The former grade 10 and 11 students from George Pringle were transfered to Mount Boucherie Secondary School. The building remained empty for one school year as it was transformed from a Senior Secondary School to an Elementary School.
Currently, George Pringle is a multi-use facility. It is home to the Westside Education Support Services Team (Specialty teachers for the Westside) and George Pringle Elementary School / École Élémentaire George Pringle. At the Grand Opening on October 17, 2003 a total of 476 students attended the school. The school features a dual track French Immersion and English program and currently has 189 students enrolled in English and 241 students enrolled in French Immersion.
The new Elementary school had a nickname contest and chose the name PRIDE. In the school’s case, Pride means two things. First, at George Pringle, the community is very proud of our school. Our school community has a great sense of PRIDE in our building and each other. The building is a wonderful elementary facility with the best elementary gym, theatre, music room and art room in the district. Our primary classrooms are the envy of everyone. Pride also is a family of Lions. To the credit of the students, staff and parents, a feeling of family already exists between the former Lakeview Elementary and Westbank Elementary Schools.