September 1960: Delta Association For Handicapped Children moves the Savoy Class to a spare classroom at Boundary Bay Elementary School. The Board of Delta Association For Handicapped Children meet monthly at the Sunshine Hills School on Peck Road, East Delta.
Savoy Class Starts Term
January 8, 1963: R. A. Marcer was elected president of Delta Association For Handicapped Children. Other Directors: Tony Schmand, and Alvin Oldhaver, Don. A. Robertson, H.P.J. Gunn, Dr. Yamanaka, Mrs. A. MacDonald, Mrs. Ray Fullerton and Mrs. M. I. North
This was the year that the Delta School Board presented Referendum 5 to the public vote. The total estimate of the sum to be borrowed in the referendum was $1,381,783 to acquire and develop 14 school sites, including a ‘retarded children’s school’ ($73, 328).
January 9, 1964: The Department of National Defense grants a lease of land in Delta to the Lower Fraser Valley Rehabilitation and Vocational Society for Handicapped People. There are three members of the local chapter (Delta Association For Handicapped Children): Tony Schmand, Brian Guiry and R.A. Marcer. The land is 75 acres east of Benson Road in the Vancouver Wireless Station (the current location of Reach Child and Youth Development Society). This land will hold the realization of Tony Schmands dream of a farming project for handicapped people providing training in agricultural work. The Society is planning to raise $250,000 in the next two or three years to put up residential buildings for the handicapped. This is the first of its kind in Canada.
May 17, 1964: “Retarded Children’s Week” : Flowers of Hope Campaign to aid the Delta Association for Handicapped Children’s Savoy School and Ladner Farm Training Centre.
June 11, 1964: Delta School Board announces that in the fall it will take over the management of the Savoy School for Handicapped Children, currently located at Sunbury Elementary.
1965: The Federal Department of Agriculture presented the association with 10 acres of land (adjacent to the existing leased 75 acres) for the Farm training Centre.
July 22, 1964: Tony Schmand, President of the Ladner Farm Training Centre spoke of how officials from USA and Canada were watching the Centre’s growth with interest. They have two acres of raspberries, and plan to have livestock (rabbits, chickens and cows). They hope to have two hostels and have 50 students working at one time. The farm should be fully operational by 1967. Monies raised to date $12,000.
Fall 1964 – Delta School Districts takes responsibility for Savoy Class at Sunbury Elementary.
September 22, 1965: First permanent buildings to be started on Ladner Farm Centre. Plans include a workshop, barns and dormitories for 24 students. Visitors welcomed, donations can be made to the Delta Association for Handicapped Children which sponsors the farm.
Delta Association for Handicapped Children families advocate for longer school day and five day week for the Savoy Class. As a result the class hours were lengthened to 10am – 2pm five days per week.
April 6, 1966: Department of Education officially recognizes the Farm Training Centre as a school for retarded children aged 16 – 18 and will grant $603.31 per student per year plus a transportation fee of $1 per day per student. The centre will take children from Delta, Surrey and Langley school districts.
May 7, 1966: Ernie LeCours, Delta MLA, officially opens the Ladner Farm Training Centre by cutting ribbons tied across the door of the first buildings. Bjorne F. Pettusson was the farm training supervisor. Selwyn Symons is the Director. Earle Skaalen, a retiree, offered to drive the bus which brings the young men to and from the school.
July 6, 1966: Students of the Ladner Farm Training Centre took star parts in the 20-minute documentary filmed by a CBC crew. The documentary “Training Farm for the Retarded” is to be shown July 30 across the country.
October 19, 1966: The International Variety Club, Vancouver Branch undertakes to build the first residential unit on the Ladner Farm Training Centre. The Club undertakes a $440,000 capital development program for the Centre. The Farm is now called “Variety Farm” Operational costs of the expanding centre are the responsibility of the Delta Association for Handicapped Children.
Mel Ayling, senior woodwork teacher at Delta Secondary School, looking at blueprints for a new administrative building to be constructed by students of Delta Secondary for the Ladner Farm Training Centre.
December 6, 1967: Tony Schmand receives the keys from Ralph Pries, President of the Variety International for a new bus for the training centre.
February 1968: First permanent resident moves in Training Centre.
Mrs. Lucy Schmand is interested in starting a kindergarten for preschoolers with special needs.