Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mr. Prince Remembered

Marty, the announcement of the passing of Mr. Prince is a sad reminder of a very pleasant time in my life. He was one of those people who not too frequently comes into your life and has a profound impact. He was my gym teacher for only two years and I envy those who had him for up to four years. He was in every sense of the word a teacher. He was a leader, a mentor, a tutor and a counselor, the epitome of what we expected in a teacher.
He was also my coach for the senior basketball and volleyball teams and while he was a very competitive person, he also imparted his values and morals and principles as well and the following two pieces of prose/poetry more than anything , I think, summed up his approach " when the one great scorer comes at last, to mark against your name; he cares not if you won or lost ,but how you played the game" and " if you lose say little , if you win say less.

Mr. Prince also felt that the only way that players and teams could improve themselves was to test yourself against better competition and so as a relatively small basketball team, I, at 5' 11" was the tallest player, and despite the fact that we only had 1 spare on our bench he lined up exhibition games against some of the biggies in Mtl. namely Westmount, Mount Royal Outremount and Rosemount high schools. We lost all four of those games but I know that none of us ever thought of quitting and I feel very strongly that we came out the other end better athletes than we were going in.

A couple of years after graduating I joined a bowling league which Mr. Prince was a member of and when I saw him ,shook his hand and said hello Mr. Prince, he said ,"you're out of school now ,call me John". Reluctantly I did so, but in my mind he was still Mr. Prince, he of the thick lips, wavy hair ,white t-shirt, grey slacks with a black ribbon down the side , the press sewn into the pants so they never appeared creased , white sneakers and a soft jump shot.

Sleep well Mr. Prince and thank you.

George Hollingdrake is missing from the attached team photo

Thanks John McC.

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