The Garibaldi School Community has a rich and diverse history.
Our school is located on the shared traditional and unceded territories of Katzie First Nation and Kwantlen First Nation. Our immediate catchment included a cemetery with graves connected to First Nations, traditional Kanaka, and early east Maple Ridge pioneers.
Garibaldi Secondary was named for the Garibaldi Park which included Mount Garibaldi, a part of which is now Golden Ears Provincial Park.
Mount Garibaldi was named in 1860, by HMS Plumper, Captain George Henry Richards. Captain Richards, and his officers, named the mountain after the Italian military and political leader Giuseppe Garibaldi, who that year had succeeded in unifying Italy by patriating Sicily and Naples. Garibaldi never came to Canada.
East Maple Ridge is broken in to many communities, often named for pioneer families or First Nations communities. The communities of East Haney, Ruskin, Whonnock, Webster’s Corners, Thornhill, and Allco each have a unique story. These stories included significant influences from Polynesian, Chinese, Japanese, Finnish, British and Dutch settlers. The Maple Ridge Museum supports outstanding resources about these community and their unique cultural history. Please enjoy their website at: https://mapleridgemuseum.org
Some of the early Maple Ridge farms and homesteads are still visible and separate from the urban growth that occupies much of our growing community. Information on these homes is hosted in the Maple Ridge Community Heritage Inventroy: https://www.mapleridge.ca/DocumentCenter/View/20422/Heritage-Resources-of-Maple-Ridge-2018
Our school opened as a Jr. High in 1959. The first principal was Mr. Eric Langton, a Maple Ridge born and raised, UBC trained physicist. School District 42 named an Elementary school after Mr. Langton.
In 1965 GSS had its first graduating class of 12 Students. Since 1965 our school size has reflected the growth in our community, peaking over 1300 students. Today, we are in a time of renewed growth, despite the addition of our neighbouring school Samuel Robertson Technical. Our school population included a diverse student population including international students from many countries.
Notable Graduates include:
Debbie Brill – World Champion, World Record Holder, High Jumper
Phillip Borsos – Genie Award Winning Director, Academy Award Nominee
Cindy Devine – Canadian National and World Downhill Champion – Inducted into World Mountain Bike Hall of Fame World Champion. She was the FIRST female World Champion in 1990.
Kim Eagles – Olympic and and Commonwealth Games Athlete – pistol shooting
Gary Folka – Award winning actor
Greg Hart – World record holder in tree climbing
Stirling Hart – Canadian record holder and a World record holder in tree climbing and Springboard chop
Brian Malfesi – National Canoe / Kayak Team. Multiple National Championship. Represented Canada at the Senior World Cup Events and Olympic Games Tokyo 2021
Tyler O’Neill – Canadian National Baseball team, and Major League Baseball (St Louis Cardinals)
Jonathan Poh – Author 2020 CBC Nonfiction Award Winner