An education in Whistler 

Bob Daly
  • Bob Daly

Principal Bob Daly about to retire after three tours of duty at Myrtle Philip school

Children weave and dodge to catch his attention in the hall.

He knows all their names and answers their questions, fired from every direction, without breaking his step.

It’s just another day for Myrtle Philip principal Bob Daly.

But everyday is one to be cherished as Daly, after 32 years as a teacher and principal, gets set to retire this July.

"I have been so, so lucky," said Daly of his career.

Myrtle Philip was Daly’s first principalship and he has always held a soft spot for the school and the community.

"Really working here has been as close to perfection as a principal could get," he said.

Daly first came to the school as principal in 1981. Back then there were only 96 students in the whole school , which was located where the Cascade Lodge now sits.

"It was like a little family in the school," he said.

"We worked to maintain that and I think even today when you see people in the halls there is that comfortable sense here."

He also recalls feeling pretty nervous about being principal and in a town whose future was uncertain.

Daly had some experience with the town as he had built a house here in 1976 to enjoy winter sports.

But he had little experience as an administrator. Before becoming principal of Myrtle Philip he had been head of science at a large elementary school in Surrey.

But, he said, the teachers at Myrtle Philip offered advice and support and it is a risk he’s glad he took.

He fondly remembers spending time with Myrtle Philip, sharing tea and her famous rum cake as she regaled them with stories of her life as a pioneer.

Those tea parties inspired Daly and Molly Boyd to write a musical called Christmas at Rainbow Lodge, which was performed at the school.

"We took those stories and with a lot of artistic license created a scenario about all the people they had met over the years and how they repaid them for their kindness," recalled Daly.

"It was fun.

"Knowing Myrtle was really a pleasure and she enjoyed the kids. All of our children would have a chance to meet her.

"We would have an assembly in the fall and Myrtle would be there and we would hold all of the children that were new to the school back and introduce her to everyone of them so they would know the school’s name sake.

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