About Mollie Nye

FLORENCE MARY “MOLLIE” NYE

SEPT. 23, 1913 – SEPT. 10, 1997

Growing up in a pioneer family influenced Mollie Nye throughout her childhood.  She spent the years after World War I living and learning with her teacher mother Olive and younger sister Joyce.  Post-war hardship brought its challenges and Mollie watched her mother cope with them and successfully teach under difficult and impoverished circumstances.  Her father must also be mentioned since he and his parents played important parts in the development of North Vancouver, raising her awareness of  community involvement. Mollie’s grandparents on her father’s side emigrated from Brighton, England, to Vancouver in the 1890’s.  Her grandfather served the community as a constable, a councillor, and a Justice of the Peace.

Mollie’s father, Jack, like his father before him, was very involved in the community.  Over the years, he served as a fireman, guided groups of hikers up Grouse Mountain for the Vancouver Tourist Bureau, and served on the executives of the Lynn Valley Ratepayers Association, Lynn Valley Legion, Lynn Valley Conservative Association, and as Police Commissioner. As a result of his service in the Boer War, he received a Military Grant of 160 acres in Lynn Valley, and on this land in 1913 he built what we now know as Mollie Nye House.  With a few brief exceptions, Mollie lived at 940 Lynn Valley Rd. all her life.

Mollie was a teacher for 40 years, an avid gardener (lifetime member of Lynn Valley Garden Club),  an enthusiastic doll collector.  She attended Lynn Valley School, North Van High School, and King Edward High School, then obtained her teaching diploma at the Provincial Normal School in Vancouver in 1932.  She went on to earn a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of British Columbia in 1943.

Mollie’s first posting was a one-room country school 15 miles south of Golden in 1932.  Her salary was $65.00 a month, $25.00 of which went for room and board.  The extreme cold, isolation, and lack of necessities added to the problems of the depression years.  Mollie taught at Roche Pointe, Capilano Elementary and Queen Mary Junior High. With the closure of Queen Mary, Mollie moved to the then new Sutherland School in 1950.  Over the years, she taught mathematics, social studies, applied arts, and arts.  It’s estimated she taught over two thousand students.

Mollie sponsored Red Cross Youth Clubs at all the schools where she taught, including her 22 years at Sutherland.  Under her leadership, these clubs made up swabs for blood donor clinics, purchased wheelchairs, assisted needy children at home and abroad, made donations toward dental care and eyeglasses for local children, and made up health kits.  In 1972 she received the Badge of Service from the Canadian Red Cross for her many years of service.

Mollie received many accolades for her contributions to the community of Lynn Valley.  She received the Centennial Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. The North Vancouver School Board honoured her by naming a Teachers Award for Outstanding Community Service after her.  On the occasion of North Vancouver’s Centennial in 1989,  Mollie was presented with a Civic Award for Pioneer Educator.

Mollie Nye Way (located across from her longtime Lynn Valley House) was named for her and she was presented with her very own copy of the street sign!

Although she did not marry, or have any children of her own, she was very fond of children and devoted her life to teaching them.  In return, she was much loved and respected, not only by her students, but by the whole community.

Barbara Bate

Historian, Mollie Nye House

February 2008

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