The name L.V. Rogers is well known in the community: it’s the name of the local high school but not many people know much about the man himself.
Patricia and Robert Malcolmson, social historians, are sharing his story at the Nelson Public Library on Wednesday with the launch of their book L.V. Rogers: The Man Behind the Name.
Their book tells the story of Rogers’ life, how he came to Canada on his own at five –years old, graduated from Queens University and why his impact was significant enough to name Nelson’s high school after him.
Patricia Malcolmson says Rogers’ teaching style was beyond his years as an educator in the mid-1900’s.
“He was well beyond his time as an educator. He was a great teacher, he was witty, he was a good speaker, he seemed to get on with almost everybody and the school was generally thought to be one of the best in the interior during his 25 years as principal.”
She says that before Rogers took over as principal for Nelson’s High School in 1922, the school board considered it to be failing.
“Inspectors at the time saw the school as a failure. When he took over, within the first year inspectors were shocked by how he made order out of chaos.”
She said his ways of teaching were appreciated by his colleagues, students and most people in the community at the time.
“He was a very much an empathetic man. Students and parents loved him, other teachers did too. He had weekly meetings with his teachers and his presence was understood and known throughout the school and supported,” she said.
“To have that balanced by such a positive reaction on the part of students and their parents in the community was really amazing at that time.”
During their investigation into Rogers’ life, Robert Malcolmson found it extremely interesting how little negative record of Rogers exists.
“It’s remarkable to find a man whose public record has almost no criticism. It’s striking how almost everything that we found in the public record was positive.” he says. “His story is remarkable. He had a very rocky start to life. You wouldn’t have expected how he would become so prominent.”
He says his impact in the community was groundbreaking, which is why they hope to maintain his memory with their book.
The Malcolmsons are inviting the public to learn more about L.V.R on May 31 at 7:30 p.m. at The Nelson Public Library.