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School History

By name, King George is the oldest secondary school in Vancouver. The original building opened in 1915. 

Written by Emma Hughson, 1974-75; Revised by William Davison, 1990

Final revision by Chris Lee, 2011

 Although the first school in the community which was to become Vancouver was a private school built by the Hastings Sawmill in 1872, the first public school was not opened until 1888, two years after the city’s incorporation. By this time the wooden city had been destroyed by fire and the first transcontinental train had arrived a year earlier.

The WestEnd had become a social and economic district of a city of 5,000 and an elementary school which became overcrowded very quickly, was built at the corner of Burrard and Barclay Streets. When Sir William Dawson school was constructed on Nelson Street in 1892 to meet the demands of a growing student population, the school board was criticized for building a school too far into the woods. The student demands on this building, however, necessitated the addition of another wing the following     year.

On August 24, 1914, this building was turned into a much needed high school and renamed King George High School after King George V. The school enrolled 196 pupils its first year. Thirty-two of these pupils along with one teacher were to lose their lives in World War I.

From the beginning, the school stressed scholarship, but during these troubled years the staff and students were also involved in many worthy projects such as the sale of Victory Bonds, aid to Belgium and relief for the school children displaced by the Halifax Explosion. During these early years, King George was also very successful in the sporting arena, in particular track and field, rugby and ice hockey, winning many prestigious awards.

During the 1930s, the school population increased to 525 students taught by a staff of 18 teachers. In 1939, the social hall and the library were opened. During the Second World War, King George was alive with activities which reflected this state of affairs. The fields became drill grounds and parade squares and the attic became a rifle range. Small portable units were added to accommodate soldiers in training. The school even owned a small plane donated by a West End man.

In the 1950′s an Official King George Song was produced that came from the tune Anchors Aweigh.

Check out the past principals of KG!

Mr. Johnston  1917-1937

Mr. Wood 1937-1941

Mr. Corkum 1941-1949

Mr. Mercer 1949-1952

Mr. Alsbury  1952-1953

Mr. Wiedrick  1953-1954 

Mr. Thomas 1954-1955

Mr. Cameron  1955-1962

Mr. Brown  1962-1968

Mr. Blake 1968-1972 

Mr. Dawding 1972-1974

Mr. Duncan  1974-1982

Mr. Lafavor  1982-1988

Mr. Lyster 1988-1990

Mr. Mcintyre  1990-1992

Mrs. Wareing 1992-1996

Mr. Gregory  1996-2000

Mrs. Jones  2000-2002

Mr. Howe 2002-2009

Mr. Moro  2009-2013

Mr. Wiebe  2013-2016

Mr. Lauzon  2016-2019

Mr. Taylor  2020-2021   

 Mr. Evans  2021-


Article from KG Archives : Jesse Coomes & Jim Bradbury

To tell the story of King George High School we have to go back the beginning of the Vancouver School Board, which was formed just after the fire of 1886 and the building of some of Vancouver’s first schools.  

In 1888 a four-room building was built at Burrard and Barclay streets which would become the “West End’s“ first school and was called West School.  

In 1889 a larger brick building was built at Pender and Cambie streets that would be known as  Central school and because the Vancouver public schools had passed the requisite number of pupils to entitle the city to a High School, one room in the new building would be utilized for High School purposes.

In 1890 Vancouver’s first permanent high school was built at Pender and Cambie. The eight room structure would be called “Vancouver High School” This is where the “West End “ students would go for the senior classes. Back in the “West End”, West School is overcrowded and in 1892 a new eight room brick building is constructed at Burrard and Nelson streets.

The following year they added another eight rooms due to rapidly increasing student population. In 1900 they changed the name of the school to Sir William Dawson.

In 1901 Lord Roberts School in the “West End” was opened and in 1905 Vancouver High

School was moved to its new building at 12th Ave. and Oak St.

In 1909 it would be renamed to King Edward High school. Now “West End” students have a lot further to travel for their senior classes.

In 1908 Aberdeen school was built on the old West School site at Burrard and Barclay streets.  About this time, it was felt that the school building (Dawson) was rapidly becoming obsolete.  Therefore in 1913, a modern eighteen room building was constructed on the corner of Burrard and Helmcken streets and in January, 1914 became the new home of Dawson school.

In 1909 it would be renamed to King Edward High school. Now “West End” students have a lot further to travel for their senior classes.

Needless to say, the residents of the “West End” have all along been lobbying for a High School closer to their three elementary schools. To this end when Dawson moved into their new building, the school board made a few alterations to the old building and in August 1914 it became the new King George High school.  The “West End” now had a new high school, an old 16 room building with no auditorium, no gymnasium, no lunch room and a gravel playing field , but it would go on to produce some incredible top students both in the academic and athletic fields.
Despite the lack of athletic facilities at the school, the students quickly adapted using other fields and gyms in the West End to compete in inter-high school competitions, starting with rugby.

1915 Rugby Team

K.G.’s first teachers:

Mrs. F.A. Coombs B.A.
Miss Gerry
Mr. S. Northrop
Mr. T.H. Roberts
Miss Stirrett
Miss C.L. Thompson

1916 Girls Grass Hockey

1916 K.G.’s First Graduating Class

1917 – Inter-high school track – K.G. Girls relay team were the best
winning the Hudson’s Bay Shield


The 1916/17 junior rugby boys were champions winning the Bluntish Shield and then
in 1917/18 as Seniors won the Thompson Cup as Coast High School Champions.

In April of 1918 the girls of King George High School invaded Victoria on a Saturday evening and captured the Thompson Basketball Cup

To finish the decade and it’s first 5 years as a High School KG won the Inter-high schooltrack and field championship with Lee Cowan as the Senior boy’s champion, Garrett Livingston as the Intermediate champion and Eric Forster as the Junior champion.


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