Michael Ontkean


Canadian actor Michael Ontkean was born on this day in 1946 in Vancouver. Ontkean played hockey player Ned Braden in the 1977 cult classic, “Slapshot.” He is also well known for his role as Harry S. Truman on the television show “Twin Peaks,” which, like Slap Shot, has a devoted cult following.

Michael Ontkean as Ned Braden (r), with Paul Newman as Reggie Dunlop in “Slap Shot.” (source)
Ontkean as Harry S. Truman in “Twin Peaks.” (source)

Canadians love the movie “Slap Shot” because it is the greatest hockey movie ever made. Come down to the school library to check out our display of all things hockey, as we celebrate our great game.

I Have a Dream


Monday was MLK Day in the United States, a wonderful opportunity for people around the world to remember Dr. King and what he stood and fought for. The “I Have a Dream Speech,” delivered at the “March on Washington” in 1963, is one of the most important speeches ever made, and just one of the many incredible achievements of Dr. King. Here is a video of that speech.


A few highlights of the speech by Martin Luther King Jr:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brother- hood.”

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream.”

“I have a dream that… one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

“When we allow freedom to ring — when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, Free at last, Great God almighty, We are free at last.”

MLK Day


Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the 3rd Monday of January as a Federal Holiday in the United States. The day is observed in celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, January 15, 1929. In 2022 the date of MLK Day is January 17.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s in the USA. In life Dr. King was at the forefront of the fight against segregation, discrimination and other forms of racism, especially as entrenched in state and federal law. Tragically assassinated in 1967, the legacy of King has continued to inspire those who fight against racism and other forms of social injustice.

Martin Luther King Jr. was committed to the principles of non-violence. King was convinced that the only way to fight against the hate and violence and injustice of racsim was to counter it with peaceful resistance and non-violent protest. Perhaps more than anything else, this is why Dr. King is a hero to millions of people in the US, in Canada, and around the world.


Covid-19, Omicron, and More


source: WHO

Find out the latest information about the Covid19 pandemic:

Surrey Schools

City of Surrey

Fraser Health

BC Centre for Disease Control

Province of British Columbia

Public Health Agency of Canada

Government of Canada

CDC: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (USA)

World Medical Association

United Nations

World Health Organization


Back to School SAFETY


It’s a week later than we expected, but welcome back to school in 2022! Here are some reminders, and some new information, about some of the safety guidelines in our school as we continue to battle the Covid pandemic.
(source: surreyschools.ca)


Find out more:

Enhanced safety measures: What you need to know as students return to school Jan. 10
source: surreyschools.ca

Winter Solstice

Why are there so many Holidays and Holy Days at this time of year? Why do so many of them, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, seem to emphasize light, especially light in contrast to the darkness? Likely this is because of the Winter Solstice.

Stonehenge, a Celtic monument built for the Solstices, perhaps as much as 5000 years ago.
source: wikimedia commons/Mark Grant/(CC BY 2.5)

The longest night of the year. The shortest day. The Winter Solstice occurs on December 21 (in some years December 22) as the North Pole reaches its maximum tilt away from the sun. The North Pole will experience continuous darkness, the Polar region near total darkness, and the northern hemisphere its shortest day and longest night. Winter begins. Most populations will experience the darkest and coldest time of year.

It is a time where people crave light and warmth, and so it seems natural that the feasts and festivals of December emphasize those things. Moreover, at the darkest moment, hope is renewed, as after the solstice the days will get longer. This is hope for more light, more warmth. Spring will come eventually. New birth. New life.

And so many different observances, feasts, and festivals emereged at this time of the year, many on the day of the Solstice, and others near to it on the calendar.

  • Yule: Celtic Europe, Scandinavia and Germanic peoples.
  • Alban Arthan: Wales
  • Modranhit: Anglo-Saxon Europe
  • Korochun: Slavic Eastern Europe
  • Shalako, Soyal :Native American peoples
  • Yalda: Iran/Persians
  • Dongzhi: China & East Asia
  • Lohri & Maghi: India, especially the Punjab
  • Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Brumalia & Saturnalia: Ancient Rome

Of course, we have spent the last few weeks observing the many holidays and holy days of this time of year. It is not a coincidence that celebrations such as Christmas and New Year have grown to be huge events in the western world, and by extension other cultures, as the west has extended its influence around the globe. In places where modern conveniences such as lighting and heating offset the effect of the cold and dark of December, we might overlook how important it was for our ancestors to hope for the seeming death of one year to turn into the life of a new year, and to celebrate such rebirth.

Find out more:



The Holiday Season


It goes by many different names. The Holidays. The Festive Season. Yuletide. Winter Holidays. The Christmas Season. Advent. The Holiday Season. While there is no official start or end, in North America it is generally considered to run from American Thanksgiving, through December, and into the New Year.

Traditionally this season of the year was dominated by observances based on the Winter Solstice. Many cultures around the northern hemisphere developed celebrations that emphasize the contrast of the cold and darkness of winter with the promise of new light and life in the coming year.

These themes are central to the holy days and festivals of many faiths today.

In North America and Europe during the Christian Era, the season focused on holy days and the rituals around the Nativity of Christ. Often the traditional winter solstice festivals of the Celts, Saxons, Vikings and others were taken over by these Christmas celebrations.

For some, the season is secular in nature, without religious emphasis. The Holiday Season is a time for celebrating with family and friends, giving gifts, reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new.

For many the Holiday Season can be about all of the above, as we combine a variety of traditions and new practices from the delightful mix of cultures and peoples from around the world.

There many different and wonderful Holidays and Holy Days in the coming weeks. Christmas tends to dominate, but it is imporant to learn about other observances and festivals, such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Rohatsu and many more.

Join us in the School Library as we celebrate this “most wonderful time of the year.” Look for displays and other opportunities for learning about this season of “Holidays and Holy Days.”

Enjoy all that you and your family have brought to this holiday season. Perhaps in learning about other traditions and practices, you might find something new for you to enjoy at this time of year.

Songs of Peace: Imagine


Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

John Lennon

We previously featured “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon on a Songs of Peace post. “Imagine” is arguably his greatest song with or without the Beatles, and certainly one of the most loved and most played songs of the 20th Century.

source: YouTube / John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band