Surrey History

The Development of Schools in Surrey
1901 to 1939

(Reminder! If you wish to use information on this page to post or publish to your own page (i.e., Facebook group, etc), please refer to TERMS OF USE at the bottom of this page)

Strawberry Hill Barnston Island Johnston Road Surrey School District #36 Hjorth Road Cloverdale Surrey High School White Rock First Crescent Crescent Newton South Westminster Colebrook Elgin Grandview Heights Port Mann Woodward's Hill Green Timbers Simon Cunningham Scott Road Public School Bose Road

The opening of the New Westminster Rail and Road Bridge in 1904, the subsequent rapid expansion of railways, and the development of urban centers around the stations, all influenced the significant increase in settlement after the turn of the century. The need and demand for new schools grew throughout Surrey.


Strawberry Hill 1901: Scott Road and 75A, and 1983: 7633 124th Street

The first one-room school was opened in 1901. This school was located on the corner of 75A and Scott Road. The first class consisted of eleven students, ages 6 to 16. As the population grew a two–room school was opened in 1912. Since this school was located in a prime commercial area, and an area of high traffic flow the decision was made to relocate.


With the opening of the new school the old school was made available as a Montessori School.

A new school was opened in 1983 at 7633 124th Street. The old school was sold for commercial property at that time. Since its opening in 1983, the school has undergone four renovations with the most recent one completed in April 2002.


Mieke Bray describes the origins of the Montessori program at what became known as Strawberry Hill Annex.

I attended Strawberry Hill Annex from 1983–1987, so it wasn't sold for mall quite at 1983. My family was part of a group of families that lobbied the school board in 1980 to open a publicly funded Montessori school. The Surrey Montessori Society was founded and after much campaigning we were given the opportunity to run a single portable classroom behind Dawn School in South Surrey. After two years the demand was far out pacing room and we went in search of a permanent home. Many schools were considered and Elgin Park was favoured by the mostly south surrey residents but eventually Strawberry Hill was offered and the school was moved there. The families got a school bus run to pick up children and run them to and from Scott Road. The bus ride was almost two hours long! Soon the Strawberry Hill neighbourhood heard of this new type of school and in one year the program went from 1 to 4 classes. I also remember walking to the main school on Friday mornings to have gym at the main school. I'm not sure how long after I left the school was sold for development and the Montessori program moved and expanded to Mountain View. This was a significant school as it was home to the second publicly funded Montessori school in BC. Now Montessori schools are found in many school districts and have very significant wait lists (over 400 applied in Vancouver for Tyee Montessori for 16 spots last year). I just thought I'd give you what info I have about a school I loved Strawberry Hill Annex! Mieke Bray
Strawberry Hill Strawberry Hill 2004

The original 1912 Strawberry Hill and the present Strawberry Hill.

Strawberry Hill gr 1&2 1951

This photo is the Grade 1–2 class from Strawberry Hill in 1951

Strawberry Hill Grade 2 1952

This photo is the Grade 2 class from Strawberry Hill in 1952

Strawberry Hill Grade 3 1953

This photo is the Grade 3 class from Strawberry Hill in 1953


Barnston Island 1903 to 1946

Barnston Island School

The original little school house was built bordering the dyke to accommodate a small number of students. Later a larger school was built in the centre of the island to meet local student needs. The official name of the school was Margaret V. McKee School and operated from 1903 to about 1957. Student numbers remained small and the school was closed.

Margaret V McKee school

Photo courtesy of Surrey Archives

Eleanor Driscoll commented: I moved to BC from Manitoba in 1955, and attended that school until about 1956. I believe it remained open for at least another year. The children went to Anniedale School.

Students were accommodated at Anniedale School. There is nothing left of the old school now but a bit of chimney. Surrey School District still owns two acres in the middle of the island.


Johnston Road School 1906–1950, Sullivan 1952: 6816 152nd Street

With the rapid growth of the Sullivan Community, the decision was made to build a school on the west side of Johnston Road north of Burquhart Road (152nd Street and 68th Ave). The land was donated by John Lewis and the area cleared with oxen owned by Mr. Johnston. The lumber was supplied by the Government. The one-room school was built by the local fathers, Will Johnston, John Johnston, Henry Sullivan, and Tom Sullivan. The first teacher was Miss Hearty and the second was Miss Annie E. Venita, followed by Miss Hardy, and later Mr. Cochrane.

Johnston Road School
After the 1950 fire

To meet the needs of a growing community a two room elementary school was built in 1912 on the original location and was named the Johnston Road School. By 1950 it accommodated 81 students. This building was destroyed by fire on January 13, 1950. On Friday afternoon January 13, 1950, in the middle of a blizzard, fire started where the chimney went through the roof. The building was entirely gutted. The 45 pupils were led to safely. The school was replaced later that year with a new facility which was located further south than the old school.

Sullivan Elementary 2004

This is the present Sullivan Elementary at 60th Avenue and 152nd Street. The new school opened in 1951 and took care of students from the old Woodward Hill School that had been closed as well as the Johnston Road School. The name was changed from Johnston Road to Sullivan Elementary in 1975.


Surrey School District 1906

Each school constituted its own School District until 1906. Surrey School District was established March 14, 1906. All the local districts were amalgamated under the Surrey District. Government records show that in 1906 there were 11 schools, 11 teachers, 300 students and five school trustees. The first board of school trustees for Surrey was elected April 9, 1906. These were E.T. Wilshire, E.M. Murphy, William McBride, George H. Atchison and John Keery. The Surrey School Board #36 as it is presently constituted was established in 1946. The School Board was located in the Municipal Hall in Cloverdale until 1949. At that time a new school was opened at Surrey Centre and when the school moved to a new 1949 building, the old school became the school board administration office and the gym a maintenance work shop. The Administration Office moved to its present location in the City Administration complex in the mid 1960s. The old complex was used by maintenance until the Thomas G. Ellis Facilities Centre at 6700 – 144th Street was opened in 1991. The old agricultural building that had been converted into the 1939-40 Surrey Centre School was demolished at that time.


Hjorth Road 1909: 14781 104th Avenue

Surrey Council, after incorporation, was interested in development. Around 1885, a number of fishermen who lived in shacks by the Fraser River were persuaded by Council to take up land on what is now 104th Avenue. As an inducement, Surrey promised to name the road after the first purchaser, and the honour went to Hans Christian Hjorth. Hjorth did not stay long, and returned to his native Norway. He was never heard from again, but his name lingers on.


With the opening of the New Westminster Rail and Road Bridge settlement in the uplands of north Surrey proceeded slowly. In 1909 there were enough children to warrant a two-room school which opened on Hjorth Road. An addition was added in 1935.

Hjorth Road Elementary 2004

In December 1975, Hjorth Road School, had a fire. The main part of the school was burned but the gym was untouched and was where grades 4–7 were taught the remainder of the school year. Grades 1 and 2 were still taught in the annex and in those days we never had kindergarten. Grade 3 was in a portable. (The school never closed) The school was rebuilt on the site and opened in 1971.

The upper floors were still strong enough to hold staff, when they went to see what could be saved from their classrooms. The staircase on the North side of the school is the same staircase although it use to be open to the elements and was covered during reno's. Originally like most schools of its time, the office was upstairs. It was to the south of the main stairway. At the time of the reno's, is when the office was relocated to the lower floor. Courtesy of Darleen Blaocklock

Cloverdale Public School 1912, Surrey High School 1922,


Cloverdale Elementary: 17857 56th Avenue

Looking east to Cloverdale Schools

This picture is taken looking east along New McLellan Road (Highway #10). East of the two residences are the 1906 Cloverdale Annex and beyond it is the five room Cloverdale Public School opened in 1912.


After Pioneer children graduated from Elementary School in the 1890's and early 1900's there was no High School in Surrey. Students could attend high school in New Westminster, in Langley, or in Blaine. It was not until 1912 that Cloverdale Public School first enrolled high school students, and 1921 before Surrey High School was built in Cloverdale.


Surrey High School 1922: 17857 56th Avenue

In 1912 the five–room Cloverdale Public School opened, and one room contained a class of first year high school. Miss McDougall was the teacher–principal at the high school when it began operation. This situation continued for some years, with up to three grades in one room.

SHS Grads of 1919

In 1917 Cloverdale's Public School's name changed to Cloverdale Superior School as the first student graduated that year. In 1919 the school was renamed Surrey High School, and Cloverdale Superior School became Cloverdale Elementary School. In 1919 these six students graduated from the newly named Surrey High School. The three young ladies are Louise Girling, Alice Telfer and Anna Heppell.

First year class 1921

In 1921, with a new school to be built, the first year class is pictured at the corner of the Cloverdale Public School. The class consisted of 16 members drawn from throughout Surrey District. Caps worn by the boys seemed to be the style in head gear.

Graduates of 1921

This is the 1921 Junior Matric class. They are the graduates of Surrey High School in 1921.

Surrey High School 1923

In 1921 a school referendum was successfully passed by Surrey voters. The next year, on January 3rd, 1922 the new Surrey High School was formally opened just to the east of the elementary school on New McLellan Road (Hwy #10). This is the current Cloverdale Traditional School. This picture is part of the school population in 1923.

Surrey High School Staff 1926

This picture is of the Surrey High School Staff from January-September 1926. From the left is Mr. Clark, Miss Swenersky, Miss Wall, Mr. Jones. The two young ladies are not much older than the students they taught.


Surrey High School was the only secondary school in Surrey and students came in by bus, train or boarded in Cloverdale. The old Cloverdale Annex was used for manual training when that was added to the course of study in 1923-24. A gymnasium was added in the 1920s.


School buses were very important and students were bussed in from Crescent, White Rock and Hazelmere and others from Clayton, Port Kells, Anniedale, and Tynehead.

Port Kells School Bus

This picture is of the touring car which served as a bus to bring students in from Clayton, Port Kells, Barnston Island, and Tynehead. Students pictured are Laura-Mae Fry, Dorothy Astin, Nan Curror, Annie Paterson, Eillen Whelpton, Hazel Smart, Arthur Welch, Archie Nesbitt, George Smart, and driver Sonny Coulthard.

SHS staff 1939–40 SHS staff 1939–40

This was staff of Surrey High School in Cloverdale for the 1939–1940 school year. The next year this staff would be broken up as some members went to the new schools – Semiahmoo and Queen Elizabeth. The next year Surrey High School would be renamed Lord Tweedsmuir.


The availability of a high school in Surrey resulted in the rapid rise of secondary school population from 1923–24 until 1937–38. With over 430 students Surrey High School was bursting at the seams. By 1939–40 students were being housed in New Westminster's Sir Richard McBride Junior High School and in halls around the District such as the Old Campbell River Mill Office on Campbell River Road in White Rock.

Surrey High School 1937

In 1940 Semiahmoo and Queen Elizabeth High Schools were opened, and Surrey High School could no longer retain her old name. In the fall of that year the name Central Junior Senior High School was adopted. Earlier in 1940, John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir of Elsfield, had died, and Central High honoured him by adopting his name.

SHS staff 1946

Surrey High School Staff 1946

Lord Tweedsmuir Grade 9 1952–53

Lord Tweedsmuir High School Grade 9 1952–53

Lord Tweedsmuir grade 10

Lord Tweedsmuir High School grade 10 Grade 10 1953–54

Lord Tweedsuir Grade 11 1954–55

Lord Tweedsuir High School Grade 11 1954–55

Lord Tweedsmuir Grads 1955

Lord Tweedsmuir High School Grads 1955

Lord Tweedsmuir Grads 1956

Lord Tweedsmuir High School Grads 1956 Tara Supper Club
Photos courtesy of Ernie Seaquist


LTHS Graduation Photo (1956) – Tara Supper Club

Back Row Charlie Hoffman, Ralph Gabara, Wayne Armstrong, David Gibson, Ernie Seaquist, Arnold Honey, Dick Calkins, Ralph Hayward.
Second Row Rae Brisbin, Marie L'Hirondelle, Eldon Dainard, Ernie Pare, Wilfred Moffatt, Gordon Witchen, Sidney White, Frank Aikenhead, Ronald Heppell, Joe Mcgregor, Kay Heppell, Louise Affleck, Dorothy Wills.
Front Row Dolores Ingram, Rose Garbiar, Merle Hystad, Beverly Main, Isabel Holmes,Julia Wilkins, Georgina Halls, Sandra Nelson, Jeanette Cardno Pat Stewart.

Lord Tweedsmuir 1957

The post–war baby boom led to increased secondary school population pressure. In 1957, Lord Tweedsmuir High School moved into a newly constructed building on 180th Street (Pratt Road), and officially opened November 1st, 1957. Grades 7 and 8 were left in the old school which became Cloverdale Junior High School. In the early 1960's, after the Chant Commission, grade 7 was moved to the elementary school, the junior high enrolled grades 8, 9, and 10. Lord Tweedsmuir became a Senior High enrolling grades 10–12. These changes were complete by 1961.

1965 grads

Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School 1965 Graduating Class

Back row: L to R
Gerry Lunn, Jim Pescott, Mike Spence, Dave Campbell, Rene Conte, Jim Frances, Derek hall, John Walsh, Larry Murphy, Bob Salter, Bill Bereziuk, Rick Pearce, Gordon Christensen, Gary M., Jon Jensen, Gary Billings.
Second row from back: L to R
Terry Budlong, Norm Necemer, Dave Warhurst, John Welte, Al Kersey, Dennis Connolly, Lee Finlay, Gary Hockridge, Dave Asher, Marinus Elyzen, Jim Whitehead, John Thorpe, Dennis Nicholson, Glenn Hansen, Mr Sihota, Mr Derpak.
Third row from back: L to R
Anne Gerow, Patt Gilbert, Kathy Japp, Lynn Currie, Shirley Geering, Carolyn Graham, Kathy Nyberg, Joyce Leippi, Heather Bonnett, Eve Hodgins, Theresa Geddert, Pam Livingstone, Donna Watson, Karen Jones, Shirley Alexander, Mr Lakiotis.
Second row from front: L to R
Dave Curson, Barb Lozinsky, Linda Wrayton, Eileen Tillapaugh, Margaret Kennedy, Donna McKenzie, Kathleen Amendt, Laurie Davidson, Shirly Scrimshaw, Chris Poder, Gail Hickey, Sharon Sims, Jane Pichette, Audrey Compagnon, Maureen Cogger, Laurel Douglas, Dave Ealy.
Front row: L to R
Mary Lou Jackson, Lisa Gardiner, Gail Bowden, Susan Turner, Marybeth Edmunston, Diane MacKay, Sharlene Monkman, Cheryl Bigmore, Bev Cowan, Christine Krebs, Linda Smith, Lorna Spencer, Gail Hyndman, Karen Baher.

On June 14th 1963 a new Cloverdale Junior High opened on 184th Street (Halls Prairie Road). The old school on Highway #10 became Cloverdale Elementary; and the original 1912 Cloverdale Public School was torn down within a few years. In 1968-69 Lord Tweedsmuir High School was changed to Lord Tweedsmuir Senior Secondary and by 1970 the school enrolled grades 11 and 12 only. In the late 1970's the grades 10's were split between Lord Tweedsmuir and Cloverdale Junior High.

Cloverdale Junior Secondary
Ecole Martha Currie

These pictures show Cloverdale Junior Secondary and Ecole Martha Currie. Cloverdale Junior occupied this building from 1963 to 1993 – 30 years. In 1993 it was converted to an Elementary School and became a French Immersion School.


In 1993 Lord Tweedsmuir Senior Secondary and Cloverdale Junior Secondary united as Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary. A new school was built just north of the old school and officially opened Nov. 16th 1994. The old Lord Tweedsmuir was demolished, and Cloverdale Junior Secondary became Martha Currie Elementary a French Immersion School. By 1999 the student population at Lord Tweedsmuir had reached 2200. The student body was split into Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School and Clayton Heights Secondary School. Clayton Heights opened in September 1999. Additional neighbouring schools opened that helped to reduce Lord Tweedsmuir's burgeoning population: Fleetwood Park 1994, Fraser Heights 1999, Sullivan Heights Oct. 2001.

Lord Tweedsmuir 2004
Clayton Heights

These pictures show Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary and Clayton Heights Secondary in 2004.


White Rock 1911–1914: 1273 Fir Street

First White Rock School 1911

In 1910 a one–room building at the foot of Buena Vista Avenue (14857 Buena Vista Avenue) opened as White Rock's first school with the minimum number of students. The land and building was leased from pioneer Henry T. Thrift. Mr. Philp, Mr. Thrift and Mr. John Roper built the one-room school. Miss Elsie Chester from Gibson's Landing was the first teacher and she stayed until January 1911. She was followed by Miss A.B. Mitchell who served through 1912 and Mrs. S.E. Parton in 1913.

White Rock Elementary 1914
Opening White Rock Elementary 1914

The new four–room White Rock Public School in 1914. The opening day crowd in front of the new White Rock School.


The opening of the Campbell River Saw Mill in East White Rock in 1914, along with the White Rock Tie and Lumber Company in 1917, near today's Dupray Street, brought an influx of school age children into White Rock. As a result, White Rock's new two–room school on Johnston Road opened September 9, 1914 for 35 pupils. It was built on the hilltop on five acres of land purchased from the Roper Family. The school was build on the north–west corner of the property which bordered Johnston Road between Roper and Buena Vista Avenues.


The school population continued to grow, and by 1915, 73 students attended with two teachers. By 1919 there were 87 pupils and three teachers. A room in the basement was opened as a classroom, but the Medical Health Officer Dr. F.D. Sinclair reported the room as thoroughly unsuitable. As a result in 1920 the old 1911 school house was pressed into service. In 1921 two additional rooms were added to the rear of the school. In August 1922 it became necessary to provide still another room, and an annex was built next to the school. As a temporary measure a classroom was arranged for in the basement of the Methodist Church on Columbia Avenue. In 1925 another room was added to the main building. The closing of the Campbell River Saw Mill in 1927 reduced student population. Growth was slow during the 1930s but rapid growth occurred in the late 1940s forcing the school to operate on double shift for a time, as well as bussing students to Hall's Prairie (beginning in 1945). Double shifting the senior students (grades 5 and 6) began in 1946 and continued with some variation until 1954. Each class held as many as 60 students per class. In November 1955, a six room addition to the White Rock Elementary School complex was opened. Still this did not solve the overcrowding and in 1956 three new classrooms were constructed to relieve the shift system. This was the last addition to the White Rock Elementary School as further additions were avoided by building other schools in the surrounding areas.

Grade one 1944-45

In 1944–45 White Rock Elementary was bursting at the seams with the influx of students due to the war-time housing shortages in Vancouver and the available, affordable housing in White Rock. This is Miss Carder's grade 1 class that was held in the Annex. Many of these students would continue in White Rock area schools to graduate from Semiahmoo in 1955 and 1956.

White Rock Fine Arts 2004

White Rock Elementary became one of Surrey's first French immersion schools, and more recently it was declared a Fine Arts School.


The site of the former Semiahmoo High School, immediately east of White Rock Elementary, was not part of the original White Rock Elementary site. Allan Anthony had bought 10 acres from the Ropers, but when his children approached high school age, he wanted them to be able to go to high school in White Rock. He sold 4.27 acres of his property, which bordered on the original school site to the west, Fir Street to the east and Buena Vista Avenue to the south, to the Board. Semiahmoo was built on the site and opened in 1940. (See: Schools 1940 to 1950) When Semiahmoo moved to its present site on 148th Street, the old building became part of White Rock Elementary with its expanded French Immersion, and Fine Arts Program. The old Semiahmoo building was demolished in 2004. A new White Rock Elementary opened in 2006.


First Crescent School 1913–1918

First Crescent School 1913–18

The first Crescent School was a small one room school located on the South East corner of Tullock Road and Old Crescent Roads (the present 28th Ave., and 126th Street).


The seasonal nature of the population at Crescent was a problem. Even the Crescent Beach Hotel was closed every winter, with 1919–20 being the first winter it was kept open. However, a large enough permanent population existed to warrant the opening of a school in 1913. The land was donated by Captain Watkin Williams who owned the Crescent Hotel. The first teacher was Miss Annie Harrison and there were nine pupils. This school closed when the new one opened.


Crescent 1918: 2378 124th Street

In 1918 Crescent School was opened. This was a larger one-room, two-story building on Ocean Park Road on land donated by the well-known local pioneer Ben Stevenson. (See the Stevenson Family) This is the current Crescent Annex at 124th and 24th. The school remains largely the same but central heating replaced the old coal stove in 1946 and indoor washrooms were provided. The school was closed in June 1994 but reopened September 1996 and operates as a grades 1 to 3 classroom.

I attended the Crescent Annex in 1952 to about 1954 or 1955. When I was there we were still using the outhouses (though as infrequently as possible). They were out back in some bushes near "the kissing rock" which was a place we younger students were told to avoid by our older peers. There were three grades in the school and our teacher was Miss Stock. Another teacher was Mr. Cole who brought snakes to school and fascinated us by putting them down the neck of his shirt and having them come out at the end of his sleeve. He also used to disappear at regular intervals, he never said why but we knew it was to have a smoke in the cloakroom. I remember for music classes we listened to a radio program for school children. There was no running water, we got our drinks from a small porcelain barrel. I remember one day we found a rat in the barrel, and that ended my drinking water at school. My brother told me recently that when he was there one of his friends put a bat in the barrel. The old furnace was still in the middle of the room surrounded by an iron railing that we hung our mitts on in winter. The woodshed was still there but it was not in use. I also remember the old basement where we played on wet days. When Queen Elizabeth was crowned in June 1952 we were all given a big commemorative "penny". One day my days at the annex ended when we all took our school supplies and walked up to the "big" school to start our careers there.
One of my friends had three generations of her family at that school. Her father, Reece Temblett is in the 1929 picture, and Faron Gallaher went there with me in the 1950's and her children, Devon and TJ Gallaher, attended in the 1980's.
Memories - Cary O'Malley

Crescent School Class of 1929
This is the Crescent School Class of 1929. The Teacher is Miss Girling.
1st Row (front, left to right)
Alfred Davis, Leslie Wade, ____, Robert Broatch, Dale Lawrence, Dennis Love, Harry Laronde.
2nd Row (left to right) Myrtle Ringstad, Mary Dobson, Jean Patterson, _____,_____, Evelyn Christopherson, Dolly Davis, Kathleen Christopherson, Alice Ringstad.
3rd Row (left to right) Teacher Miss Girling, Gordon Broatch,____, Florence Ringstad, Marie Lawrence, Carolyn Christopherson, Winnifred Davis, Ernest Williams, Ralph Laronde.
4th Row (back, left to right)Charles Smith, Earl Williams, Frank Laronde, Arthur Rice, Reece Temblett, James Lawrence, Chris Sigurdson, Jack Berry.

Crescent School
Crescent Park Annex 2004

The increased in population during World War II and the post war period saw Crescent School heavily over crowded. Students from Crescent and Ocean Park were bused to Hall's Prairie Elementary where space was available and until Crescent Park opened in the September of 1948. The picture above shows the bus and the students in June of 1946. Frank Gardiner, a long time South Surrey School bus driver, said he never drove this bus but he knew that type of bus had a concrete floor. The tallest person in the picture is Miss Werk who taught Music to the older kids and also taught grade 3.

Crescent Ocean Park bus
Front Row: George Loeck, Peter Allanson, Jack Campbell, xxx, Anne Hebert, Toddy Bernard??, Vera Carlson, Charlotte Cheverie, Diana Scott(large coat), Donna Manten, XXX,(girl olding coat)XXX, Connie Hebert.
Second Row: Joey McWilliams or Leo??, Alan Kissack, Marvin Gould, XXX(boy with hat),XXX, XXX, (half face)??, Bernadette Marquis (black hair), Beth Stewart.
Third Row: Charlie Carr, (half)??, David Stewart(vest), Alfred Carr, Don Welch, Betty-Lou Gregor, XXX(white collar), Les Fowler(under "Y"), Raymond Johanson??(white hat), Ed Hulks, XXX(against door), Bill Smiley(ball cap).
Back Row: Edith Miller, Miss Werk(music teacher), Patsy McKay, Eileen Baker, Lawrence Marquis, Doug Campbell, Gary(Reid)Dunbar, Gretta Shannon, Marjory Campbell??, XXX.

Crescent Park 1947–48

Courtesy of Ed Fader


Newton 1914: King George Highway and Newton Road, and Newton 1968: 13359 81st Avenue.

The original Newton, opened in 1914, was located on the north–west corner of Newton Road and King George Highway (72nd Ave and 136th Street). It was originally a four room school with a full basement. It looked very much like the existing East Kensington School. The basement areas were divided into the boys' and girls' areas. Students were allowed to play inside on rainy days. In the late 1940s a one–room addition was added on the south–east corner parallel to the highway and it was used for the primary grades.

Newton Elementary 1942

This photo is a class from Newton Elementary in 1942

Newton Elementary 1945

This photo is a class from Newton Elementary in 1945

Newton Elementary 1947

This photo is a class from Newton Elementary in 1947

Mr. Headland with his class of grade 5s

This photo from 1951 shows George Headland, Principal with his class of 44, Grade 5s. Ellen Tompson who provided this pictures is sitting in front of Mr. Headland at the end of the second row.

Grade 5 Newton Elementaary 1952

This is a grade five class taken in front of Newton Elementary in 1952. The teacher is Mr. Kennedy.


In the early 1950's a matching addition was added to the south-west side. It provided an activity room with a small kitchen and a washroom. The area between the two additions was paved and covered to give some covered outdoor space for students.

Newton Elementary empty

Being in the heart of Newton the school was a very busy traffic location. It was closed as an elementary school and eventually a new Newton Elementary opened in 1968. This picture was taken after the school had been closed. Ellen Edwards provided this picture. Her father, John Tompson, is up by the door to his classroom. He had attended Newton in the 1920s.

Newton Elementary from King George
Newton from the west

Newton Elementary on its last day as viewed from King George Highway. Newton from the west side.


The original school was used for a number of years as a technical school for the Kwantlen Campus. It was sold in November of 1965 as a commercial location. The new Newton Elementary was opened in 1968 at 13359 81st Avenue.

Newton Elementary 2004

Newton Elementary 2004


South Westminster 1914 to 2004: 12469 104th Avenue

South Westminster 1914
South Westminster

In 1914 a two room school was opened. It was built on the hill over looking the district known as South Westminster. As population grew the school was expanded to four rooms. In addition a one-room annex and a two-room annex were constructed to house pupils; South Westminster Annex 1924, and South Westminster Annex 1930.

South Westminster 2004

South Westminster was closed in June of 1982 due to declining enrollment. In 1988 it reopened as the South Westminster Learning Centre. The Learning Centre closed in the Spring of 2000. The South Westminster School and property was sold in December 2004.


Colebrook 1919: 5405 125A Street

Colebrook was built in 1919 as a one room school. It was located, up the hill from the farm land, on Station Road. It serviced the children from the farming district west of King George Highway and north of the Serpentine River.

Colebrook Elementary 2004

Colebrook Elementary 2004


Elgin 1921–1984: 3530 144th Street

On April 30, 1921 money was set aside to build a new school at Elgin. Mr. Edward Irwin was awarded the contract for the building for $1530. Elgin School opened on October 1st, 1921. The teacher, Miss Christine McIvor had taught at Mud Bay for a month before moving to the new school. Mud Bay School was finally closed.

Elgin Centre 2004

Elgin operated as a one room school but in more recent years as a 1–room 1–3 school. Mrs. Alice Sears taught at Elgin from 1965 to 1984 and when the school closed that year she retired. It has been retained as a heritage site and a Surrey Recreation Pre-School center.

Alice Sears

The photo is of teacher Alice Sears gathering her pupils around her for a story. The occasion was Mrs. Sears retirement after 35 years as a teacher and the closing of Elgin Elementary. "The little green school house on 144th Street was built in 1921, but it has been deemed on longer cost effective with only 13 kids in Grade 1 and 2 this last term. Mrs. Sears, Elgin's only teacher for 19 years, was a loving touching person who knows when a child need a hug. She always gave her pupils a good start by stressing values and the three R's and teaching them to help one another." The Province, June 11, 1984. Clipping provided by Nancy Dawson, niece of Alice Sears.


This account is taken from an anonymous, unpublished, hand written account that might have been written in 1961. The manuscript was provided courtesy of Terry Simpson, the son of Miss Myrtle Irwin (one of the early teachers), later Mrs. Myrtle (Pete) Simpson.


Elgin School 1921–1961

The history of Elgin school began one evening forty years ago when a meeting was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Loney. The subject to be discussed was whether the old red school house on the old Mud Bay Road (now King George Highway) should be moved over to the hill or a new school be built. The old school was always flooded in the winter and spring and the children had to build rafts to get to and from the outhouses. Also there were more children living in the hillside areas. After much arguing for and against, it was finally decided to build a new school, the site to be on the corner of the Semiahmoo Trail and the Archibald Road. This piece of land was purchased from Mrs. Alex Lamb. Mr. Edward Irwin was given the contract build the school. The lumber was hauled with team and wagons by a Mr. Jones. He was the son of an old timer from Hazelmere known as Waterwitch Jones.
It is said that for a short time before the new building was completed classes were held in a tent. Miss Laufey Bjornson was hired as a temporary teacher and this brought complaints from some of the parents because they felt she was not a qualified teacher. After an investigation of her qualifications by the school board the case was dropped. Miss Bjornson is now Mrs. G. Runacres of Glendale, California. The shrubs and trees were planted around the school grounds by Mr. E.L. Small, who was Supervisor of Agriculture. The chestnut trees are still standing, but the other shrubbery has been gone for some time.
The first teacher at the opening of the school, October 1, 1921, was Miss Christine McIvor. She is now Mrs. Charles Stokes and lives on Roebuck Road in North Surrey. When Miss McIvor was teaching she boarded at the home of Mrs. Stuart Stevenson for a year and for two years at the home of Mrs. Tillotson. Among the first pupils to attend was the family of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Loney; Ivy, Ward, Stan and Vick. Also attending were the Bjornson family; Laufey, Liniek, Steve and Bill. Then there were Lloyd and Joyce McCallum, Alice and June Gerow, Muriel and Ken Stewart, Irwin and Olive Loney, Myrtle Dick, Don Weaver, Dolly Dunn, children of the Christophersons; Tillorfson, Allanson, and Anderson. The Dinsmore families and the children of Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Hadden were also in attendance.
The teachers who taught during the first few years were Miss McCulcheon, Miss Ella Dinsmore, Miss Hicks and Miss Graham, then, in 1933, Miss Myrtle Irwin. She was the daughter of Mr. Irwin, who built the school. She is known to us as Mrs. Pete Simpson and has lived here at Elgin for a number of years. During 1933 Miss Irwin had thirty pupils from grade 1 to 8. The next teachers were Miss Isdal, Miss Greenaway and Miss Nicholson.
During those years it is not believed there was a P.T.A. At that time the ladies of the community worked together in helping with school activities. To raise funds for the Christmas concert a door to door collection was taken and the proceeds bought a gift and a bag of candy for each child. The concerts were eagerly looked forward to by the young and old alike. It meant many hours of practice for the children and a lot of hard work for the teacher.
Another event was the annual school and community picnic. On one occasion every one was taken on the BCE Tram to Stanley Park. Senator Reid accompanied the group and it is remembered he played the bag pipes as the children marched from the station to the park. On another occasion the picnic was held at Birch Bay and the children were taken there in a truck owned by E. Preece of Crescent Beach.
Dr. F.D. Sinclair was the Medical Inspector from 1921 until 1949. He was always accompanied on this round by Mrs. Sinclair who was the nurse. There have been several janitors at the school. R. Bjornson for eight years, then Mr. Isdal and our present janitor Mrs. Iris Hayes who has been there now for seventeen years.
In 1942 the little school was closed because there were too few children. Those who did live here were sent to Halls Prairie School. The next year it reopened with sixteen pupils in attendance.
A P.T.A. was then formed with Mrs. Lloyd Cosens as president and Mrs. E. Ward as secretary. This is believed to have been the first one but could not definitely be determined as the earlier records were lost. Several years passed by with teachers and pupils coming and going. Some of the boys and girls now attending were children of the generation before.

In 1954 a piano was purchased for the school by the P.T.A. The sum of one hundred and fifty dollars was raised by holding two Spring Teas and the sale of home cooking. A Harvest Bazaar was also held and everything from homemade root beer to garden produce was sold.


In 1956 when Mrs. A. Rawlins was teacher the old school was given a face lift. An oil heater replaced the old coal and wood stove. Modern washrooms were built, the floor was covered with inlaid linoleum, and fluorescent lights were installed, along with a telephone. The interior was redecorated and stucco replaced the old siding. The school now looked quite modern.

Mrs. Easton was the teacher in 1958 and 1959 and our present teacher is Mrs. T. O'Leswick. There are twenty–four pupils in attendance from grades 1 to 3. The little school holds many memories for the children who have passed through its doors in days gone by and it is hoped it will remain open to teach children for many years to come.

In 1993 a new Secondary School was opened 13484 – 24th Avenue. It assumed the name "Elgin Park". The name Elgin continues as part of Surrey's History.


Grandview Heights 1922: 17561 20th Avenue

In 1922 Surrey School Board agreed to buy a lot on the north–east corner of Stokes Road and Clover Valley Road, (20th Ave. and 176th Street). In addition the Board would provide building materials, and one boss carpenter. The fathers cleared off the second growth, pulled the roots, and leveled the ground with a team of horses and a hand-held scraper. They erected a one-room school, a wood shed and two outhouses. The project was completed in May 1922. School began May 25, 1922. The first teacher was Mrs. Delta Hugh, wife of Fabian Hugh of Hugh and McKinnon. For about 10 years the school had no lights because electricity was not available. In 1946, Grandview was one of the schools to have central heating replace the old wood stove.


Grandview Heights was named at the time the school was being built. As Alex McBeth was helping to shingle the roof he could see Semiahmoo Bay, Blaine and all the country side around. He said, "What a grand view!", and someone suggested that as the name of the school Grandview Heights. Betty Huff was a student when the school opened in 1922, and a teacher at the school beginning in March 1936. This was her first permanent appointment. She went on to become the Elementary Supervisor for Surrey District. Even as the school has been enlarged, the original 1922 building has been kept in use as an annex. Today it is used as a music room.

Grandview Elementary 2004
Grandview Annex 2004

Grandview Heights in 2004 and the original Grandview Height School, now the annex, which is used as a music room.


Grandview Heights and Kensington Prairie closed at the end of June 2006. Students from both schools joined each other in a new school, named Pacific Heights, at 17148 26th Avenue. Both schools were aging, had declining enrollments, had little or no room to expand, and had heavy traffic volumes on surrounding roads.


Port Mann 1922: 14590 116A Avenue

The Port Mann Community was originally a post office, a CNR Station, and a ferry dock. There were many small houses of railway workers. The school was named after the community. The school opened in 1922 as a 2–room elementary. The school was typical 1930s style, with the peaked roof, two upper classrooms with boys' and girls' basements beneath. It serviced the pupils of the growing community built around the CNR rail yard and dock facilities. As the shipping industry changed and the area became more industrial the school was used as a private school and eventually closed.

Port Mann Elementary class
Port Mann Elementary class

These pictures were taken sometime after 1935. The school was a two room one and attendance varied. The grades in these pictures were from grade 5 to grade 8. The teacher was Margaret Smith and she was also the principal. She was from New Westminster and in later years commuted by car, 1930 Model A Ford, something of a first of that time. She really was a jewel. I am in the front row in both pictures- second from right in one and third from left in the other. Our family lived in the bush (literally) about halfway to Whalley. Which was called Whalley's corner then. We took a trail to school for many years as there was no road. We were extremely poor. We lived on relief all the time we were there – but that is another story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. The Port Mann experience has certainly had an effect on my life! Thank god things are different now! Earl

Porth Mann grade 3-4 1962

This is Mrs. Ellen Olson's grade 3 and 4 class in 1961–62. This was Mrs. Olson's second year of teaching. Bill McIntyre was the Principal of Port Mann along with Riverdale School.

Ellen Edward's classroom

This picture, taken in 1995, was provided by Ellen Edwards. She began teaching at Port Mann in 1960. She is pointing to the class room in the "new" classroom block that she taught in.

Ellen Edwards began teaching at Port Mann Elementary. She recalls: "Port Mann was my first school as a teacher in 1960, having taken Grade 13, and a year of teacher training at UBC. There were 38 children crammed into that room I point to, and it was somewhat smaller than regulation size, adapted from an inside play room. There were some behaviour challenges in that Grade 3/4 class, as well as some who needed enrichment. I tried my best. It was a lot of responsibility for a girl of 19 (Miss Tompson)! The principal at the start was Miss Utendale, and the next year, Bill McIntyre included Port Mann along with his other schools and responsibilities. Mr. McIntyre had been my own grade four teacher at Newton School. We got along just fine! I was going to summer school each year after the heavy year of teaching, got married the day after exams in 1961 and became Mrs. Olsen. I finally earned my degree after the summer of 1965."

Woodward's Hill: 1924 to 1951

Woodward Hill School
Woodward Hill School

With the closing of Mud Bay School in 1921 and the opening of Elgin, the students along Panorama Ridge had the options of going to Elgin, Colebrook, or Johnston Road Schools. All three were considerable distances to walk. As a result in 1924, Harry Woodward and his neighbour, Mr. Twist, donated an acre each to the Surrey School District. Woodward Hill School, a one room school, was built on those two acres on the south side of McLellan Road at Goldstone Road (Highway #10 and 146th Street). This school always had one teacher and enrolled grades one to eight. The school operated from 1924 to 1951 when it was closed. This school closed, at the time Johnston Road (Sullivan) Elementary was being rebuilt after a devastating fire, as the new school had room to accommodate the students. The original Woodward School building was moved to 6945 – 134th Street and used as Unwin Hall at Unwin Park in Newton and is used as a facility for different occasions. The building was torn down in approximately 2002.



September 27, 1954

Mr. J.K. Woodward was present requesting permission to purchase approximately two acres known as the Old Woodwards Hill School property. He stated that the assessed value of the property was $800 and he wished to purchase the full 2 acres. The property is part of the original homestead of Mr. Woodward's great grandfather, and this particular property was given by his father as a school site in 1924. Mr. Woodward wishes to build his home upon it and return to Surrey to live. Moved, seconded and carried that the matter be referred to the Lands Committee for report and price, and clarification as to whether the School Board will require it in future or not.
Courtesy of Surrey Archives, and volunteer researcher, Diane Johnson.

October 13, 1954 minutes:

The Land and Insurance Committee reported that the School Board no longer required the old Woodward Hill school site, and recommended that the price be set at $2,500. It was moved, seconded and carried that the two acres be offered for sale to Mr. J.K. Woodward, son of the prior owner, for the sum of $2,500.
Courtesy of Surrey Archives, and volunteer researcher, Diane Johnson.

Mr. Woodward bought the property and built his family home on the acre of property that Mr. Twist had donated. The acre that Woodward Hill school occupied remained vacant. Mr. Woodward currently lives on Salt Spring Island.

Woodward Hill students 1925

This is a photo of Woodward's Hill School about 1925. This would have been the spring of the year it opened.


Names left to right
Back Row: Eric Hepper, Wilfred Goldstone, Dick Ash, Lesley Wade, Vernon Askew.
Third Row: Teacher, Blanche Parsons, Doris Smith, Barbara Thompson, Lottie Jones, Hazel Lowe, Hazel Smith
2nd Row: Viola Askew, Betty Elliot, Rita Lowe, Margaret White, Winona Wickberg, Dorothy Ash, Mavis Smith, Norma Dadson.
Front Row: Jimmy White, Frank Jones, Neil Smith, Tommy Dadson, Jack Grey.
The teacher is Grace Selina (Lougheed) Keery and her class in Woodward Hill School 1925 or 1926.
These names were given to Tom Woodward by Dorothy (Ash) Stenvold in Princeton April 9, 1989. Dorothy is the sister to Gwendelyn Ruth (Ash) Woodward, Tom's Grandmother. Dorothy Ash, who provided the names of the students in the picture, is 3rd from the right in the second row.


Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary

On the morning of April 29th 2010 the Staff and students moved to the new $10.2 million school in Newton amid great fanfare. Led by a Surrey fire truck, students and teachers left their old school, McLeod Road Elementary and walked with parade banners up a steep hill to the new school, Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary, a few blocks away. Ecole Woodward Hill is a dual–track French immersion and English school.

Ecole Woodward Hill School

Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary was officially opened on September 29th 2010. The school is currently home to 350 students but has the capacity for 530 students. The school is located atop historic Woodward's Hill, a name give to the area by the Woodward Family.

Gifts for the new school

At opening night eight members of the Woodward Family were in attendance. The family donated a framed picture of the original Woodward Hill School and a 1925 picture of the first class. In addition two original report cards that were donated by Dorothy (Ash) Stenvold, who is in the original class picture and whose sister Gwendolin Ruth Ash was married to Harry Woodward.

The Woodward Family

Eight members of the Woodward Family attended on opening night.
From left to right the family members are:
Kyoko (Sakamoto) Woodward
W. Thomas (Tom) Woodward
Jacqueline (Smith) Woodward
W. Raymond Woodward
Cynthia (Woodward) McGarva
K. James Woodward
R. Steven Woodward
Gant McGarva.


Green Timbers 1930: 8824 144th Street

After Green Timbers Forest was logged in the late 1920's, the land was acquired and divided into 20 acre blocks by the Soldier's Settlement Board and the land sold. The resulting growth of population resulted in the need for a local school. Green Timbers opened in 1930 as a one–room elementary after the Plecas family moved into the area. They had several children all needing a school, and added to the few other children in the area, this met the requirements for a school.

Green Timbers School

This is the original Green Timbers School, just before it was moved away. The person in front is Ellen Edwards (nee Tompson). The picture was taken in 1958 and Ellen was in grade 12 at Princess Margaret High School at the time.


Green Timbers was replaced in 1955 with a new school built on the original location. It was named for the magnificent stand of timbers located on both sides of the early Pacific Highway, now Fraser Highway.

Ellen Tompson (Edwards) started school at Green Timbers in 1947. She recalled: "One spring day in 1949, the Green Timbers school pupils (Grades one to three) walked through the woods on a trail to Fleetwood School, for our field trip. (88th Avenue didn't go through, until the 1950s. Now it's such a busy four lane thoroughfare)! When we got there, we sat beside students in a classroom, and we were treated with dixie cups! Little paper cups of ice cream with tiny wood spoons. There must have been some education activity that day, but all I can remember were those fantastic dixie cups!
Green Timbers 2004

Green Timbers 2005


Simon Cunningham 1933: 9772 136th Street, new Simon Cunningham: 9380 140th Street

Simon Cunningham was opened in 1933 on Bergstrom Road, which later became King George Highway, and Townline (136th Street and 96th Avenue). The school was named after Simon Cunningham, who was secretary-treasure of the School Board at one time. It began as a four–room school, but with a rapidly growing local population it had additions to it in 1934, 1936, and 1947. It was located in a commercial area and an area with high traffic volumes. It was replaced in 1969 with a new school located south–east of the old location.


The original Simon Cunningham lived on until the mid 1980s as the Queen Elizabeth Annex, and was used as a school for special needs children. When the school closed down, the "new" Simon Cunningham took the younger students and Frank Hurt Secondary took the older ones.

Simon Cunningham 2004

Simon Cunningham Elementary 2004


Scott Road Public School

Scott Road Public School was located on Bose Road at Scott Road. The school building was a shack that was converted into a school. It was a modern building for its day, but had outside plumbing. Students washed their hands and faces in ditch water.


Robert McKee Allen and George Albion Allen went to this school. Robert started school there on September 3, 1910. His teacher was Ethel A MacBubbin and there were 20 students in the class.


The school was closed down in 1914 due to the shortage of pupils. This might have been the year that Bose Road Elementary opened and pupils were accommodated there.


Bose Road Elementary

Bose Road Elementary was located at Bose Road and Roebuck Road (64th Avenue and 132th Street). It opened as a four-room school that could accommodate 160 Students. It was named after the road on which it was located and the Bose Family that homesteaded the land on the eastern portion of the Serpentine Valley around Bose Road (64th Avenue). (see Bose Farm)

Bose Road School 1951

This is a grade three/four class at Bose Road Elementary in 1951. The teacher is Miss Lloyst. The class is standing in front of the front entry to the school.

Grade 5 Bose Road Elementary

This is a grade five class at Bose Road Elementary in 1955. The school was on shift and this is the afternoon shift class. Photo courtesy of Meri Larson.


In 1949 Princess Margaret High School was built just east of the Elementary School site. In 1961 Princess Margaret became Newton Junior High School. When Bose Road Elementary was replaced with Henry Bose Elementary, the old building was demolished and the property incorporated into the Newton Junior Secondary Site.


Henry Bose 1965: 6550 134th Street

This school officially opened in 1965 to replace Bose Road Elementary. It was named after Henry Bose, one of Surrey's early settlers, a Magistrate in Surrey, as well as Reeve of the Municipality from 1905 to 1909.

Henry Bose Elementary 2004

Henry Bose Elementary 2004



Along the Way..., Margaret Lang Hastings, 1981
Years of Promise: White Rock 1858 – 1958 Lorraine Ellenwood
Surrey Archives

The history of Schools in Surrey has been difficult to trace. Students, Staff and Administration change and while most remember their particular years, few know the history of their school. If you have recollections of the history of any of the above schools that you would like to share, please e-mail the author at:

Next Page: Schools 1940 to 1950

Return to Surrey's History INDEX

View My Stats