Gerald Lecovin: High Schools in Vancouver
Date:Monday, February 21, 2011
ID:Digital audio recording #: 20.11-02
GL: …So she [Gerald Lecovin’s mother] came out in ‘47 and we lived on Angus Drive, 5975 Angus Drive, which is 43rd and Angus. We lived next door to—what’s the name of the guy, what’s the name of the bridge that goes across the water in Richmond, not the Oak Street Bridge, the other one?
JM: Arthur Laing?
GL: Arthur Laing. We lived next door to Arthur Laing. [Laughs]. And he was our next door neighbour and at that time was head of the BC Liberal Party although at that time he never, they were never in power while he was alive. And I went to Magee High School. I started in grade—you too? Oh, great—I started in, I guess it was Grade 10 and at the time because of one machination and another I was about two years younger than everyone else. So I was a little past 13 when I went to Magee and I was very short and in fact when they, when my mother took me to register me at Magee, they said, “No madam, you have the wrong school, you want the school kitty corner,” which of course was Maple Grove, which was a public school. I was more that size. But I was duly registered, and the principal, having a great sense of humour, decided he would marry me up with someone who’d take me around and show me the ropes and things like that ‘cause, you know, I was an out-of-towner and everything. And he brought in a fellow called Jack Nelson, and Jack Nelson was six foot five, and we built up a friendship and thereafter were known as Mutt and Jeff, and I don’t know if you remember the old comics of the ‘30s and ‘40s, but there was this couple Mutt and Jeff, he was very tall and the other guy was very short. And we eventually became, they decided to open up a tuck shop at Magee, to sell pop and things like that, and we took it over, and so we were a well known couple at the school. The Jewish community then was essentially divided between, I think the divisional line was perhaps either Oak Street or Cambie. The ‘haves,’ the people who had, the upper middle class, lived on this side, and the lower middle class lived on the other side. Most of the kids my age who were Jewish went to Magee, a few went to Prince of Wales, maybe the odd one went to the other schools, depending on where the parents lived, but those were the big enclaves, and on the eastern side most of the Jewish kids went to King Ed. And, so that was sort of, a kind of a division. The Jewish kids pretty well, I would say, they kept to themselves, where we were, they associated with themselves most of the time, although they were active in sports and other things.