LBPSB Physical Education Community Honours Former Colleague Peter Gilson
by Julie Liebman
On May 9th and 10th, the LBPSB held the Peter Gilson Junior Cross Country Run which took place at Dorset Elementary School. Although the Junior Cross Country Run has been a beloved annual event for many years, this is the first year with its new name.
Mr. Gilson, who passed away in January, was a very special member of the LBPSB family and worked in education for four decades, retiring as a pedagogical consultant.
After his passing, the Physical Education Steering Committee came together and were committed to find a way to honour his memory.
“Peter was instrumental in getting the Junior Cross Country Run deployed across the school board many years ago,” recalls Scott Taylor, a phys. ed consultant. “This event originally had only one school taking part and today, there are more than 20 schools and 3000 students who are involved. This truly is Peter’s legacy and this is why we decided to name it after him.”
Scott also worked with Mr. Gilson in the early 2000s and recalls navigating through curriculum reform with him, training sessions, and organizing board-wide events. “Even during retirement, Peter continued substituting for LBPSB. He was a fun-loving happy person and was a ray of sunshine for his colleagues and the students,” says Scott.
Peter’s nephew, Andrew Gilson was also touched by the naming of the cross country run.
“This event is a great way to honour my uncle’s memory as well as the hard work that he put in during his 40+ year career at the school board. My uncle Peter was also my godfather, and he was an incredible role model and inspiration for many people. He stood by our side during every bump in the road and he was always there to pick us up. Seeing the hundreds of students at the cross-country run would have made him so happy. He adored being surrounded by children,” said Andrew.
“The bottom line for Peter was, if it’s good for the kids then it’s worth doing,” says former colleague Barry Hannah. “He would make a point of checking-in on students when he would visit schools and at the end of the day, dedicated his career to all those kids”.
Although our future students will never have the pleasure of meeting Peter, his legacy will live on for many years to come, as we honour his memory during a fun-filled outdoor activity where everyone is smiling, just as Peter always did.