What can I say about Jim Bo?
So many things to say, and so many fond memories! I first met Jim in the hallway of North Van High, both of our inaugural years of high school- his as a teacher, mine as a student. Jim made it his business to get to know “everybody”, so I was no different from the rest of the students wondering who this teacher was and why he was so curious. Somehow, he made each one of us feel special by seeking out who we really were in all that teen-age angst. By doing so he showed each of us that we counted – and that was Jim’s gift.
The first thing he found in his inquiry was that I was the fourth of five kids- four of us were currently invading North Van High- and I loved to play sports. Its not like I had a lot of options, having three older brothers, and given we were only a year apart, I could see Jim scheming up some sort “team”. I quickly adopted to the gym and to wearing sweats much to my mothers chagrin, but it worked for shooting hoops at recess and lunch.
Meanwhile, Jim found some commonality in hanging out with my large family which reminded him of his own roots. The chaos was certainly familiar. Needless to say Jim was “adopted” as we did not live more than a block from where he grew up and coincidently, very close to where he was living at the time. Jim was loved by my whole family and there isn’t one of us who doesn’t have a “Jim-Bo” story or two to tell.
Jim had a huge influence in my life that went beyond those five years in high school. There are times when I look back at some of the hard times we went through as teenagers and a family, and ask what made the difference? What helped us get through the mire? Certainly my family was and is no different than others at that time or today. Jim had a way of making us forget those troubles, bringing us into the present moment to be the best we could be, not only for ourselves, but for the world. His positive attitude shaped the lens in which I experienced my post secondary education and athletics, guided me through the trials and tribulations of raising my own family and was central in the creation of my work environment. It was in his way of upholding another which was his greatest gift and he shared this wisdom freely.
The other gift that Jim had was his sense of humour and levity. He made the bumpy journey of learning and growing fun.The stories of near misses, could have beens and wow-we did it, are endless. Jim lived life fully in every moment, and was always finding a creative way to have an adventure or two. Going with the flow was his motto, and a necessary quality if you were going to keep pace with the many crazy ideas and schemes that he came up with. No matter what, there was always laughter involved, and these endeavors were usually in the aid of helping others.
It is our hope that by creating this website and the Jim Martin Memorial Society that those of you that have some stories to tell will do so, so please consider this invitation as a means of remembering Jim well. Although I give much credit to Jim for his unwavering support for his students,friends and family, there were other teachers and administrators that in their way, did the same. Some of those teachers still volunteer today, even though they have long retired. They, like Jim, believe in our youth, and give freely of their time and talent even though they could be playing golf or writing another physics text book. Lets recognize and continue to recognize that it takes a village to raise our children, and support this community effort to give back to the North Shore through its athletic programs and the bursary that has been created in loving memory of Jim Martin.
Lauren ( aka Laurie) Evanow