Lyn McLaren: How He Affected My Life

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Lyn McLaren: How He Affected My Life

Postby Petitbois » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:59 am

i just posted this on FB, and thought it should also go here.

CBC radio yesterday encouraged people to speak about someone who had a big impact on their life.

As a teenager, entering Georgetown High School, I quickly came to admire and respect a man who was responsible for me choosing my vocation as a teacher.
Lyn McLaren was my hero.
And I know he had a huge influence on all of my peers.
It didn't matter if you were a top athlete, an average joe, or were physically uncoordinated. I watched him carefully as he dealt with his phys.ed students, and the teams he coached.

Patient. Knowledgeable. Encouraging. Supportive. Consistent. Modest. Humble. Low-key. Disciplined. Always positive.
Open. Friendly without being familiar. A great smile....I never saw him angry.
He had a knack for making you feel like he had a sincere interest in you as a person.

By the time I was in grade 10, I wanted to be like him.
To BE impossible dream....
I wanted him to be my favourite uncle, my older brother. I sometimes wished I was his son.
His example made me start working out, lifting weights, participating more, becoming more confident.

I remember the easy style and grace he showed when he demonstrated on the trampoline. I remember conversations about his experience as a goalie, of working in a mine, his definition of "strength", his respect for a student who was a 'troublemaker'- how he saw the person more than the behaviour. His easy laugh. His approachability.

I vividly remember the respect the whole school had for him when, several times, at a whole-school morning assembly, he was called on to make the phys.ed announcements, and spontaneously we all stood and cheered and clapped and roared our love and respect for him as he stood red-faced at the microphone, embarrassed by the adoration, trying to shush us as the ovation went on for unbroken minutes.

I never told him what an impact he had on me. That when I went into teaching, my strong desire was to emulate him, to earn the respect we all felt for him, to somehow be like him. It stayed with me my whole career.

And one summer day I learned that he had died several weeks before, and I was so sad that I hadn't had the opportunity to attend his memorial service, to share my admiration for him with his family.

However, once, during a phone call to Western's registration office, or the Dean's office......I was transferred to a lady for further information and in the conversation learned that I was speaking to his daughter. I briefly shared how much her father had affected my life, my thinking, my career choice for 33 years.
I am so thankful that he was in my life.

Lyn McLaren.
He was a role model.
He was a friend.
He was a god!
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Re: Lyn McLaren: How He Affected My Life

Postby John_Bailey » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:45 pm

I only had the opportunity to meet him a couple of times, it didn't take long to know he was one of the good ones. 55 years later you don't remember many but him I won't forget.
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