Education was important

I remember, I wanted to be a nurse. I applied to VGH. My mom didn’t say anything then. But Mr George, the principal, called me in and said: “Nursing is three years. It takes three years to be a nurse. This is the last year they are going to offer one year teacher training. Why don’t you go to Victoria to be a teacher because it’s only one year?” He knew how poor we were. Maybe he thought I would be a poor nurse, I don’t know. But anyways, he said: “Apply.” I was late applying, but I got accepted, so I went. I worked for my room and board because I didn’t have money. I had to go to summer school and night school to get my degree in education.

I enjoyed teaching. When my mom was in the hospital, I saw the nurses running around. I thought maybe it was a good thing I didn’t become a nurse. It’s a hard job.

When I got my teaching certificate, I taught in a place called Midway, which is just 15 minutes away from Greenwood. It was a mill town. That’s where the men worked. A lot of the people worked in the sawmills.

[Then] I taught in Greenwood for about four more years before I came to Vancouver. My whole family moved back to Vancouver because my mom and dad said that Vince, my brother, would be going to university. And it’s important for us to be there. So, we moved.

Christine was working in Vancouver at a bank anyway. I came for an interview, and then I got a [teaching] job in Vancouver. I taught at a school called Grandview. At that time, your cousin Timmy was there. I didn’t have him. There was a Nishi family and a family with three boys: Takemori. Then I transferred to Mackenzie School.

The family moved to Vancouver for my brother’s education and Margaret’s. Margaret completed high school here. They both went to Gladstone.

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