Queen Elizabeth Secondary’s 75th Anniversary

Comments 1 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Queen Elizabeth Secondary (“QE”) in Surrey is celebrating its 75th anniversary this month and if you attended, between 1940 and 2015, you’re invited to the party!

Photo courtesy of Donald Cosens

Queen Elizabeth Secondary’s 75th Anniversary

  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Secondary (9457 King George Blvd. in Surrey)
  • When: Thursday, October 15, 2015
    4:00pm to 6:00pm – Activities/Performances/Showcases of current QE Students
    3:30pm to 6:00pm – Meeting and Photos with people from your decade
    6:30pm to 8:00pm – Official Ceremony
    8:30pm to 11:30pm – After-event party at Central City Brew Pub and Restaurant
  • Tickets: Available online for $8, and will be available at the door for $10.

School History

QE opened as a full secondary school in 1940 and was named after the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who accompanied King George VI on his royal visit to Canada in 1939.

1960s – View of the school from King George Hwy. Image courtesy of the City of Surrey Archives. Reference code: F44-0-10-0-0-0-0-56.

In the 1950s it became a senior high school (grades 11-12) and in 1967 it suffered a fire, losing records and graduation photos in the process.

1967 – School fire. Image courtesy of the City of Surrey Archives. Reference code: F44-0-10-0-0-0-0-65.

The school was rebuilt in 1969 and my mother, whose family moved to Canada from Germany, attended during that time. In 1999, the year after I graduated from QE, it amalgamated with William Beagle Junior Secondary to become a grade 8-12 school.

About the Anniversary

All of this history and more will be celebrated at the anniversary event. Donald Cosens, Chair of the Celebration Committee says that they are expecting about 500 attendees and have pre-sold over 200 tickets already. To prepare for the event, and promoting it through a Facebook page, he has been sourcing old yearbooks and any other ephemeral pieces of nostalgia since much of the school’s archive was lost in the fire in 1967.

Cosens says that there will be a lot of current student involvement including the Royal Players (drama), a poetry showcase, a dance team performance, a 3-point competition, Rock Band, Decades Art, Social Studies projects, and more. “This is more of a celebration of the school. It’s more ceremonial in nature [than a reunion].” There will be dignitaries in attendance as well and you can hopefully expect to see others from your grad class at the event.

What Makes QE Special

Up until the late 1990s it was also a magical place where junior high kids from LA Matheson, West Whalley, and William Beagle all came together and got along for their last two years of school.

For me, QE will always be special as it’s where I graduated high school — and how my rugby team went to the provincial championships, twice!

I’m really not attached to the building per se, as during my time there it was a portable city, with classrooms all held within a network of temporary buildings with the exception of one wing of the school and one gymnasium. It was the people, the classes, and the teachers that made it special to me.

“I have learned a lot as a teacher here both professionally and personally. I think the fact that so many people care for each other and for the students makes it special,” Cosens told me. “I have been a teacher here for 8 years. It holds a special place for me already.”


If you know of any current or former Royals who are not involved, be sure to spread the word and get your tickets today. Join the event on Facebook for more information. As the event is at the school, no alcohol will be served but feel free to attend the after party at Central City from 8:30pm onward.

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1 Comment  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Anita TeljeurFriday, October 2nd, 2015 — 8:12pm PDT

    Very disappointed that you neglected to include Len Shepherd Jr. Sec. which also saw its students complete their last 2 years at Q.E.

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