January 3, 1929 – June 7, 2016
at the age of 87 years
Harry Higgins died Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at Bastion Place, Salmon Arm at the age of 87 years.
Harry was born at The Hague, Netherlands in 1929 to an American mother and an Australian father, a petroleum engineer. Harry’s young life was spent near oil fields in Venezuela, New Guinea, California and Borneo. He graduated from Geelong Grammar School in Australia and then from Jesus College, Cambridge University in England.
Harry worked for Shell Oil Company in the Philippines where he met his wife, Lois. After their marriage they moved to Canada and spent some time in Ocean Falls, BC. He then attended U.B.C. where he did a teacher training course and eventually received a M. Ed. Degree. He taught in Squamish and Ocean Falls before coming to the Shuswap. Harry held a variety of administrative jobs in this area, including 13 years as Principal of J.L. Jackson Jr. Secondary School.
Harry was professionally active in the Shuswap Teachers Association and Principals and Vice-Principals Association as well as in the Okanagan Valley Teachers Association and several committees of the B.C. Teachers Association.
His activities in Salmon Arm included working on the Drug and Alcohol Committee, SABNES, the Community Alternative Measures Program (a diversion program for young offenders), and was an active member of the Naturalist Club, Shuswap Outdoors and the Salmon River Roundtable. After retirement, Harry spent six years on the B.C. Government Environmental Appeal Board.
Canoeing was a great passion for Harry. He shared dozens of canoe trips with family and friends. He loved hiking and skiing and had a particular interest in studying reptiles. He worked with Biology graduate students from the University of Victoria to mark and monitor 1,500 rattlesnakes in the Vernon area.
A retirement project was to learn to type. After he accomplished this, Harry wrote four books (which he didn’t want published) about his early life in New Guinea, Borneo and the Philippines.
Harry passed on his great love of adventure and nature to his three children, Robin (Wayne) Lundeberg, David (Naseem Janmohamed) and Bill (Brenda). His grandchildren Faelan, Freya, Shiraz, Rehan, Sophia, Jamie, Jory and Travis have all enjoyed his wit and wacky humor.
Donations in Harry’s memory can be made to the Higgins Family Endowment at the Shuswap Community Foundation, Box 624, Salmon Arm, BC, V1E 4N7.
A memorial celebration will be held at a later date.
I was at JL Jackson for two years and you were a wonderful man and the best teacher anyone could ask for.
God love you Mr. Higgins.
I remember Harry fondly. Many interesting Unitarian discussions in Lois and Harry’s home, and in others. Always kind and generous of heart.
Mr. Higgins was principal when I first came to J. L. Jackson. I remember him as a man of kindness and good humour. Rest easy, sir.
My late parents became close friends with Lois and Harry in the 1960’s. He was a true gentleman full of wonderful stories and a wicked wit, we always enjoyed his company. My sincere condolences to his family, you have big shoes to fill.
My Name is Larry Johnny; I would like to say my condolences to Robin; your dad was an awesome principal at J.L. Jackson; he encouraged many First Nations students to go on in their education.