Philip J. Kitley

1908 - 1998

A popular teacher and innovative administrator, Kitley was Director of School Broadcasts from 1944 to 1956.

Philip Joseph Kitley was born on 10 September 1908 in Bath, Somerset, England. His family emigrated to Canada in 1913 and settled in Victoria, British Columbia. After graduating from Victoria High School, Kitley attended Victoria Normal School and qualified as a teacher in 1927. At the age of nineteen, he began his teaching career at Sointulla, site of the Finnish utopian community on Malcolm Island. In 1930, he moved to Kelowna where he taught grades 5 to 13. He was a member of the Okanagan Valley Teachers' Association and an associate of Kenneth Caple, a pioneer in the field of school radio broadcasts.

With Caple, Kitley helped to organize on of the province's first school radio programmes in Kelowna in 1936. The Department of Education subsequently established a Radio School, directed by Caple, in Vancouver in 1940. Kitley succeeded Caple as Director of School Broadcasts in 1944. Under Kitley's leadership, an extensive range of radio programmes, for grades 1 to 12, was made available to over one thousand schools in the province. Later, he took on additional duties as Director of Guidance Services in the Department of Education.

In 1956 Kitley took a leave of absence from the Department to undertake an assignment to UNESCO in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon), teaching education broadcasting operations. In 1959 he became Coordinator of Teacher Recruitment and Guidance Services for Schools in British Columbia. His other responsibilities during this time were Director of Youth Travel Programmes, which included providing opportunites for physically-handicapped students for inter-provincial travel.

He retired in 1974, but was asked by the Department of Education to organize a programme known as LEARN (Laboratory for Educational Advancement Resources and Needs) at the University of Victoria. He was also active in the Victoria Arts Council, in the Greater Victoria Music Festival and with Phi Delta Kappa. He was closely involved with St. Philips Anglican Church and sang in the church choir.

Kitley died in Victoria on 18 July 1998. His obituary noted that he was survived by three children, seven grandchildren, along with great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, and that he had touched "a multitude of friends all over the world."

Globe and Mail (25 July 1998); Victoria Times-Colonist (25 July 1998).