I heard that Mr. Hugh Power passed away on June 10. He was my favourite teacher. I  credit him for making me the writer I am today. He taught me how to type on the oldest machine in class, and challenged me to use the craft as an art form.

“Write something.”

“Eh? What do you mean by that?”

He sighed. “Write something. A story. A letter. A poem. Get the feel of the typewriter. WRITE something.”

His encouraging words arrived with a glare, a growl, a head shake. They were carried out with his stomp —  back straight, leaning slightly forward — he marched steadfastly around the room.

Each word our pal Mr. Hugh Power uttered, each movement and gesture he made towards teaching typing to us little PITAs* at Skeena Secondary in beautiful Terrace, BC, was likely the best instruction we ever got in high school.

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Thanks, Mr. Hugh Power. Thanks, our former Home Ec. teacher, Mrs. Olga Power. We were glad both of you found love, and we all knew that you two were meant to be together. Olga, you made Hugh rounded and grounded. It was your love for him that created a better place in his classrooms, and his heart.

Your support of us ‘kids’ was admirable. Your caring, even though we didn’t know it at the time, meant and means so much to us, your students of Skeena Secondary High School, in beautiful Terrace, British Columbia. Eh. 

So long, Mr. Hugh Power. And guess what? I typed this entire piece without looking at the keys.

 

*PITAs: pains in the a–es

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