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1960's PDF Print E-mail
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.
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Savoy Class Starts Term

1960 Eakin heads association for 2nd_term

January 10, 1961: Don Robertson elected as new President of the Delta Association for Handicapped Children in 1961. Mrs. Ross Duncan continues as teacher at the Savoy School. The school is relocated to Sunbury School. Tony Schmand, then Vice-President of The Delta Association for Handicapped Children and parent of a child with special needs, dreams up the idea of a Farm Training Centre for children with special needs who are older than 16 and cannot attend the special classroom.  The new farm would provide employment and further training in work readiness skills and work experience.   Tony Schmand also starts co-coordinating five district chapters for children with special needs or children labelled "retarded",  (Delta, White Rock, Surrey, Langley and Cloverdale) Later, in 1964, this would form the  Lower Fraser Valley Habilitation and Vocational Society for Retarded Persons.

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
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  • RA Mercer head of DHAC for 1963   
“Delta Association for Handicapped Children trying to establish some form of training centre within the district to fulfill the needs of the handicapped to develop maximum potential” Delta Optimist
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  • Handicapped children needs schools To Suit Them 1963  


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).
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1963 school bylaw to be presented march 1963

1963 school loan bylaw referendum

May 24, 1963: Four Savoy School students received certificates for good writing.  The Delta School District Superintendent W.D. Reid came and presented the certificates. Guests were given boutonnières made by the children.


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.
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1964 75acres leased for farm

April 2, 1964:  R.H. Davidson, director of the BC Association for the Retarded (later to be known as The BC Association for Community Living - BCACL) speaks at the Boundary Bay PTA meeting about the Ladner Training Farm Project started by the Delta Association for Handicapped Children.
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1964 RH Davidson will speak on farm school

April 9, 1964:  Unused Deas Island Tunnel and Oak Street Bridge tickets were refunded and donated to the Delta Association for Handicapped Children. (A similar fundraiser was very successful using unused ferry tickets)
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1964 handicapped children can benefit from tunnel tickets

April 23, 1964: Tony Schmand, the Vice-President of Delta Association for Handicapped Children and Executive Director of the BC Association for Retarded Children (now BCACL) becomes president of the Farm Training Centre. The Training Farm is sponsored by Delta Association for Handicapped Children. The Parent body of the training farm is the Lower Fraser Valley Habilitation and Vocational Society for Retarded Persons.  It is made up of 5 chapters: Delta, Surrey, Cloverdale, Langley and White Rock. Brian Guiry (Board director of Delta Association For Handicapped Children) and Abe Hildebrand (Delta Association For Handicapped Children) are the Delta Directors of the Centre. The Lower Fraser Valley Habilitation and Vocational Society for Retarded Persons send a letter to the Minister of National Defense asking to purchase ten more acres to set up permanent buildings. Delta Municipal Council agrees to build a bridge and culvert to the farm.
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1964 Delta farm for retarded will be first in Canada

1964 farm center for retarded should be operating by 1967

1964 Retarded Children's Week ad

1964 province loans building to society


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.
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1964 school board will manage Savoy school

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.

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1965 federal department of agriculture gives 10 acres of land

1965 farm training centre to open for spring and summer

1965 first permanent buildings on Ladner farm centre

1965 Selwyn Simions becomes ED of Ladner 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.
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1965 first permanent buildings on Ladner farm centre 


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.   
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1966 Farm centre officially opened by Delta MLA Ernie LeCours

1966 board and advisory meeting with community attendees

1966 farm centre auxiliary

1966 new director sees great future for farm centre program


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.  
  •  <See CBC television clip here> (COMING SOON)  
October 5, 1966: Ten students of farm’s first year raised 23,000 pounds of sugar beet seed; 42,000 pounds of bush beans; 6 tons of cucumbers; 30 tons of potatoes


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.
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1966 Variety builds home at farm centre

The Federal Minister of Agriculture promises 25 more acres to the Farm Training Centre. Variety Club Western provides funds to build sheds, barns and poultry houses. Other fundraising activities in Delta help contribute to the development of the Centre.
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1967 workers on building at Ladner farm centre

June 10, 1967: Construction starts on the first permanent residence at the Ladner Farm Training Centre.Archived press clippings: <!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Workers on building at Ladner Farm Centre 1967   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.

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1969 Legion buys bus for association

February 1968: First permanent resident  moves in Training Centre.
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1968 first resident of Ladner farm centreFirst resident of Ladner farm Centre The Training Centre earns visits from distinguished guests from around the world including  Lord Louis Mountbatten (Admiral of the fleet, uncle of Prince Philip of England and the 15th in the royal line of England), and Leonard Nemoy (Star trek’s Mr. Spock). 

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1969 Lord Mountbatten visits centre

1969: Variety Telethon raises $70,000 for Capital Costs for the Training Centre.
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1969 Variety telethon for Ladner farm centre

Tony Schmand receives the 1969 Delta Good Citizen award by Delta Chamber of Commerce.
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1969 Tony Schmand devotes energy to retarded children


Mrs. Lucy Schmand is interested in starting a kindergarten for preschoolers with special needs.
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1969 preschool trial period .

1969 Teacher Mrs Hutson honored for her work

5050 47th Ave ph. 604-946-6622
Delta, BC, V4K OC8 fx. 604-946-6223
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