I was a member Class of ’83. Hard to believe 33 years since I roamed the halls of Carlton. Before I go on to where I’ve come to, I’d like to reminisce a little. I remember when Carlton was Prince Albert Technical HS and the massive addition which is now Carlton was under construction. that would have been around 1976-77. Me and my best friends Greg Bell and David Engen use to sneak into the construction site at night and play cat and mouse with the on-site security guard. We thought it was so cool, felt like being in a action movie.
Back then a lot of kids quit school after Jr. High, I decided I would at least finish HS. I really enjoyed Carlton. I fondly remember my favorite teacher, Mr. (Dick) Spencer, who eventually went on to become mayor of Prince Albert. Students either loved him or hated him. I do remember that he really made an effort to connect with us. He had a profound influence on the course of my life. Ms. Kuhn, and Mrs. St Amand taught me a love of literature. There were many great teachers back then, unfortunately I forget most of their names.
When I graduated in 1983, Canada was in the midst of an economic recession and being that I chose the technical route through school rather than the academic, there were few options available for me. I stuck around PA for another year or so, doing whatever work I could find. Realizing that my life was either going to lead me to jail or worse I decide it was time for a change. So I enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces. Figured I spend 3-yrs there see a little of the world and then come back to PA and settle down. After about 6 months into my basic training I came to realize there is a whole vast world to be explored. In the end I spent 20-yrs in the military. I had many adventures and seen a lot of the world. I was posted in Germany for 3 yrs, spent about a year in the Middle East, worked in nearly every province and territory in Canada. The Forces were really good to me.
I have been out of the military for nearly 11 years. Had a couple of careers in construction and the Public Service. If you would have told me when I graduated from Carlton that I would end up living on Vancouver Island, working as a barber I would have laughed at you. But there is where I am today. I occasionally keep in touch with my friends from Carlton, but life has a way of always changing and the things that meant the world to you in HS seem trivial when looking back 30 + years.
I don’t regret where my life has taken me, I have had some bad times, many good times. If I could say anything to those who are graduating Carlton today, it would be, “Don’t put yourself in a box, you are just beginning your life. Do what you’ve dreamed of. Live the life you have always wanted. If you desire it enough, refuse to give up and work hard enough you can achieve anything”