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Time Traveller: This janitor kept schools shining for more than 30 years

Cecil Dench kept things clean at North Vancouver's North Star School, which later became École André-Piolat

Pictured here is Cecil Dench, janitor of North Star School, along with two schoolboy helpers ca. 1940s, cleaning up after school.

Dench was born in Nova Scotia but moved with his family to settle on Queens Road East when his father, William, took a job as first mate on the North Vancouver ferry. He worked as a janitor for the North Van School District for more than 30 years.

North Star School opened in 1912 as a two-room schoolhouse and operated until 1982 when it closed due to declining enrolment. It later reopened in 1990 as École André-Piolat.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver, at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open by appointment only. Contact: [email protected]

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.