School district #83 has lost a man well known as a dedicated principal, educator and basketball referee.
Barry Dearing, former principal of South Broadview Elementary, died to cancer Thursday, Jan. 17, in the company of family and friends.
“We will miss his humour, his love of athletics (tennis, golf, track and field and basketball) and his compassionate and caring attitude toward children,” writes his friend and fellow educator Carl Cooper.
Dearing, 57, spent 50 years in the school district, starting school at South Broadview in 1962, then Shuswap Junior and Salmon Arm Secondary, graduating in 1974. He went to UVIC to get his teaching degree, but came back each summer, ultimately spending 35 of those 50 years as an educator.
Although he retired last year, Dearing was still president of the local basketball referees association, having been involved with them for more than 20 years. He was also on the executive of the provincial British Columbia Basketball Officials Association – as well as on the executive of the Shuswap Children’s Association and the Salmon Arm Golf Club.
He will receive a fitting tribute tomorrow, Jan. 23, in the gym of the Sullivan campus of Salmon Arm Secondary. Fellow basketball referee Bruce Weicker explains that “in a small way, we would like to recognize Barry for his outstanding contributions to basketball in Salmon Arm.”
Between the senior Jewels game at 5 p.m. and the Golds game at 6:45, a moment of silence will be held about 6:40 p.m. to honour Dearing. All present and former basketball referees, in their stripes, and coaches are invited to gather at 6:30 p.m. in the gym, in preparation for the moment of silence on the court.
At Dearing’s request, a memorial service will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26 at South Broadview Elementary at 2 p.m., “so as not to interfere with basketball games.”
Barry’s spouse Nadina and his son Kyle have set up the Barry Dearing Family Foundation through the Shuswap Community Foundation to honour Barry. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the foundation, which is being established to provide funding to disadvantaged elementary-aged children in the Shuswap who could benefit from financial support in their athletic or artistic endeavours.
“That was a passion of his,” says Cooper. “He coached every sport imaginable.”