St. George's School

St. George's School for boys is one of the largest and most respected independent schools in Canada. Located on West 29th Avenue in Vancouver, the school was founded by a flamboyant English gentleman, Captain F. J. Danby Hunter, in 1931.

Despite the economic depression, Hunter managed to attract investors and incorporate his school as a private company. More important, he was able to attract twenty-five boys by the time the school opened on 7 January 1931. Hunter was, however, an indifferent teacher and a poor financial manager. Relations with his staff and his Board of Governors soured and in March 1933 he resigned and returned to England. He was succeeded by John Harker (1896-1975), a former Rugbeian who had been hired as the school bursar in 1932.

Harker put the school on a firm footing, restored the confidence of investors and parents, and increased enrollment. Harker also imbued the school with the spirit or ethos that characterized Rugby, one of the oldest and most famous "public schools" in England. "When I took over here," he said afterwards, "I automatically tried in a modest way to inculcate something of the fundamental quality of Rugby in St. George's." Harker served as St. George's headmaster until his retirement in 1962.

Soon after Harker became headmaster the school was re-incorporated as St. George's School 1934 Ltd. The new organization established a Board of Governors, to approve appointments and curricula, and a Board of Directors, to look after financial matters. The company was voluntarily wound up in 1948, at which time the school was registered as a non-profit society, a status it retains to this day.

John Harker was succeeded by his brother, Douglas Harker, who served as headmaster from January 1963 to June 1971. During Douglas Harker's tenure a new senior school was built in 1965. St. George's continued to expand under Alan Brown, a former Old Boy who was appointed headmaster in July 1971. The school's notable expansion occurred when it acquired the former Convent of the Sacred Heart School for Girls in 1979. This large, stone structure, built in 1912, now houses St. George's Junior School.

Presently, over eight hundred students (day boys and boarders) are enrolled at St. George's. The school recently redesigned its web site.

The archival records of St. George's were entrusted to the British Columbia Archives in 1986 and are catalogued there as Add. MSS. 2210. The records include minutes of governors' and directors' meetings (1934 - 1981), programmes of athletic events (1933 - 1951), and scrapbooks containing photographs, circulars, and newscuttings. The collection also includes copies of the school yearbook, The Georgian, from 1933 onwards, and copies of The Dragon (1975 onwards), a newsletter published by the St. George's Old Boys' Association.