Lawrie Wallace

Committed to Vic High and its future, no matter what senior responsibilities he assumed in the province, Lawrie Wallace always had time for his school. He was the chairman of the Vic High Centennial Celebrations Committee and helped found the Alumni Association. Lawrie has been recognized by the school through naming the auditorium in his honour.

WALLACE, Lawrence James Passed away peacefully in Victoria on January 12, 2006. He is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Lois, after 63 years of marriage, and is lovingly remembered by his three adoring daughters, Marilyn, Jill and Wendy, his son-in-law, Jack MacDonald, his treasured grandchildren, Alison Noordmans (Craig), Matthew McCurrach, Andrew and Geoffrey MacDonald and Lindsay Nielsen, many nieces and nephews and their families. He will be fondly remembered by many former students and colleagues. Lawrie was born on April 24, 1913 at William Head, the youngest of four children of Mary (Parker), a member of a pioneer family in Metchosin, and John Wallace. The family moved into Victoria in 1916, and the four children took turns supporting each other, to ensure that they all completed university. All four went on to become respected educators and outstanding members of their communities. Lawrie was predeceased by his brothers, Bob and Jack, and his sister Mary (Mamie) Gray. Lawrie’s teaching career began in Alberni and Duncan, and was interrupted by his Navy service in the North Atlantic and Caribbean during World War II. After the war, he completed his M.Ed. from the University of Washington and joined the staff at Victoria High School, where he taught mathematics, was a counselor and coached basketball. He always cherished this time in his career and made many lifelong friends amongst his colleagues and students. In 1953, Lawrie joined the provincial government, serving as Deputy Provincial Secretary from 1959 to 1977. Between 1969 and 1977, he also served as Deputy Minister to the Premier. From 1977 until 1980, Lawrie was British Columbia’s Agent General for the United Kingdom and Europe, returning from London to serve once again as Deputy Minister to the Premier. Both before and after retirement, Lawrie dedicated countless hours to community service, and involved himself deeply with many local and provincial organizations. During his public service career, he became known as “Mr. Centennial” for his leadership of four centennial celebrations, in 1958, 1966, 1967 and 1971. Throughout his life he was an elder and trustee of First United Church, now First Metropolitan United Church. He was particularly proud of being a charter member of the Camosun Gyro Club and his role in creating the Victoria High School Alumni Association. In recognition of his devoted service, Lawrie was made an honourary life member of many of the organizations in which he was involved. Among many other honours and awards, Lawrie was named to the Order of Canada in 1971 and the Order of British Columbia in 1990. He was awarded honourary degrees by the University of British Columbia in 1978 and by Royal Roads Military College in 1994. Lawrie dedicated his life to serving his community, province and country. He valued his students, friends and colleagues, and relished every phase of his working career and volunteer activities, especially when confronted with challenges. Notwithstanding his busy life, his family was always the centre of his existence. He was devoted to us, our home and his beautiful garden. His love, good nature, support, tolerance, guidance, integrity and sense of humour will be deeply missed by all of us, but we know he will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Victoria High School Endowment Fund, c/o Victoria High School, 1260 Grant Street, Victoria, B.C. V8T 1A8

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