Princess Margaret Senior Secondary School, Surrey, BC

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Princess Margaret Senior Secondary School - Surrey, BC

1950 - 1999

This Web site has been created by Murray Lundberg.

    Princess Margaret High School was initially built in 1949-50 on Bose Road, beside Bose Road Elementary School (13220 - 64th Avenue). The school was named after H.R.H. Princess Margaret, second daughter of Queen Elizabeth and King George VI, and opened on December 4th, 1950.

    In September 1961, Princess Margaret Senior High School moved into what had been the Newton Junior High School, at 12870 72nd Avenue. It initially was grades 11 and 12, while grades 10s could be in either Princess Margaret or Newton Junior.

    In 1999, a new Princess Margaret Senior Secondary School was built on what had been the running track, and the site of the old school became the parking lot for the new one.

    For photos and more information about the changes in both Princess Margaret and Newton Junior in those days, see Jack Brown's Surrey History site.


March 14, 1951, The Chilliwack Progress, Page 3: "Chilliwack High School Frontiersmen couldn't hit the basket from out front and the Duke of Connaught defence wouldn't let them in close. Net result was a 46-22 setback Thursday for the Frontiersmen in the second round of B.C.'s high school basketball tournament. The loss pushed the CHS crew into the consolation round against Princess Margaret of Surrey, a new tournament team which had knocked out Penticton and then came close to upsetting Trapp Tech in the second round." Another article on Page 2 of the same newspaper was very complimentary about the Princess Margaret team - see the article here.

May 1955: the Fraser Valley track and field championships, dominated by Chilliwack for the previous 3 years, were split into eastern and western divisions, with Semiahmoo, Delta, Princess Margaret (and others?) holding their contest in New Westmister this year (The Chilliwack Progress, May 26).

1957: "The Fraser Valley inter-high basketball tournament wil be held at Princess Margaret this year. From this tournament, representative teams from the valley are entered in the B.C. tourney at UBC's Memorial gymnasium. The event runs for nearly a week in March. (The Chilliwack Progress, Feb. 13).

July 1958: Princess Margaret visited the Fraser Valley during her tour of British Columbia, but I haven't found any mention of her visiting the school that was named in her honour. On July 23rd, she attended the official opening of newly-restored Fort Langley.

November 19, 1958: "An invitational road race will be held [in Chilliwack] November 19 with the main opposition expected to come from Princess Margaret high in Surrey. Princess Margaret however will be without their star runner John Bent who led them to the Fraser Valley championship last year. Bent is attending an American University on a track scholarship." (The Chilliwack Progress, Nov. 19).

Thursday, November 27, 1958: the Fraser Valley Championship Cross Country Meet was held at Princess Margaret High School.

October 1959: Runners from Princess Margaret High School won the junior event at the 2nd Annual Chilliwack High School Cross-Country Run.

October 1960: Sandy Watt from Princess Margaret High School placed third out of 37 runners in the senior event at the 3rd Annual Chilliwack High School Cross-Country Run.

Easter 1961: The annual BC PTA convention was held at Princess Margaret High School.

Princess Margaret High School in the mid-1960s

July 1967: a massive fire destroyed much of Queen Elizabeth High School. Reconstruction of Queen Elizabeth began immediately, but took 2 years to complete. Enough of the school survived that, with some portable classrooms brought onto the property, some students were able to attend classes there when the 1967-68 school year began 2 months after the fire, but most students had to be bussed to either North Surrey or Princess Margaret High Schools, which went on shifts. See photos and more information here.

November 26, 1967: "Surrey senior education was hit a second blow on Sunday, November 26, 1967 when fire gutted a portion of Princess Margaret Senior Secondary School at Newton. Students from Queen Elizabeth High, which was heavily damaged by fire last July, are attending Princess Margaret. The administration offices and one classroom were gutted by fire, with heavy smoke damage to a number of other classrooms. Smoke poured from the windows, many of which blew out from the pressure of the hot gases. Records were badly charred, as the fire had started in the office."

In the 1968 Lion's Den annual, the Principal's Message hints at the result of the two fires:

    In the Surrey School District, 1967 will be remembered as the year of the disastrous fires. While hundreds of families have been affected by these conflagrations, we who are in the school have felt the greatest consequence.
    I feel that all of you are completing what will probably be the most difficult year in your school careers. Not only have you had your instructional time and privileges in the school reduced, but also you have lost your opportunities for part time employment and student activities. In spite of these conditions, you have made the best of a poor situation. You and your teachers deserve a great deal of praise for your mature approach to the many problems you have had to face.
    I find that "the shift" has reduced my opportunity of meeting each of the graduating students. I regret that I have not been able to get to know you better.
    To these people I would say that although we cannot prepare you for specific jobs, we hope that your encounters with your teachers and your fellow students have helped to prepare you for the challenges that will face you. We hope you will have developed attitudes and philosophies that will be of value to you in the years that lie ahead.
    May your future years be both purposeful and rewarding.
                W. D. Derpak, Principal

October 29, 1969: runners from Princess Margaret placed second overall in the Fraser Valley Cross-Country Championships in Coquitlam.

November 22-23, 1969: the first annual Princess Margaret High School basketball tournament was held. Eight teams competed, with Windsor High School placing first.

November 14-15, 1970: the second annual Princess Margaret High School basketball tournament was held. Eight teams competed, with Windsor High School again placing first.

1971: the name "Princess Margaret Secondary School" is first seen in news reports.

May 1973: "Surrey school board turned thumbs down on a request by Princess Margaret Senior Secondary School students for liquor to be served at a graduation dance, writes the Surrey Leader. A student delegation explained that the principal had requested them to contact the board before applying to Burnaby RCMP for a liquor license. There were about 20 students over the age of 19 out of a class of 400, it was stated. Trustee Betty McClurg, who moved rejection of the plea, said it would be too difficult to police the liquor with so many students under 19." (Valley Magazine, May 30)

December 16-17 1977: Dan Marten of Princess Margaret was among the Honorable Mentions for All-Star during an 8-team basketball tournament held in Chilliwack.

March 1978: the badminton team from Princess Margaret Secondary won the Lower Fraser Valley championships, then in May went on to win the Fraser Valley championships.

October 1986: BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm addressed a Social Credit party rally held at Princess Margaret Senior Secondary School during the final stages of the provincial election campaign.

January 1990: at the Coca Cola Classic 1990 Basketball Tournament held in Chilliwack, Jeff Hepting from Princess Margaret won a spot on the second all-star team, and the Princess Margaret team won the Most Sportsmanlike trophy.

June 1991: "Reunion Planned. Princess Margaret High School in Surrey has a 40-year reunion planned for next year. The reunion has been set for May 15-17, 1992 and the Reunion Committee is seeking former students and staff of the school. Those able to help are asked to call the school or John Grant at home at 581-1605."

Princess Margaret Senior Secondary, 1960s - this group at Facebook was created in November 2016 to help former students connect.

Lion's Den 1966 annual, Princess Margaret Senior Secondary School, Surrey A high-resolution scan of the Lion's Den 1966 annual can be viewed and downloaded at my Dropbox page (102 pages, 51MB).

Lion's Den 1966 annual, Princess Margaret Senior Secondary School, Surrey A high-resolution scan of the Lion's Den 1968 annual can be viewed and downloaded at my Dropbox page (104 pages, 49MB).

Princess Margaret Senior Secondary 1974 to 1977 - this group at Facebook was created in 2008 to help former students connect.

Princess Margaret Senior Secondary 1968 Grads 20th Reunion - an 18-page booklet with updates on the grads who attended the reunion in 1988.

Princess Margaret Senior Secondary now - the current official school Web site.