From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Teacher Barrie Clarke leaves to coach Canadian soccer squads

In 1979, Barrie Clarke was selected to guide the development of four national teams.

Since first publishing on April 16, 1891 the Chilliwack Progress has been the newspaper of record in Chilliwack.

One hundred and 28 years later the Progress remains the longest continuously published newspaper in British Columbia. With the addition of a thriving digital operation anchored by, the Progress delivers more news to more people than ever before.

‘From the Progress Archives’ is a journey into the past, to see what was making news decades ago.


Headline – Clarke absence gets board okay

Date – January 24, 1979

Vedder Junior Secondary teacher Barrie Clarke was granted a three year leave of absence last Wednesday by the Chilliwack school board.

Clarke last week accepted an offer to coach Canada’s four national soccer teams through 1982. Prior to that, he was just recently granted another leave of absence to coach Canada’s youth soccer team in Honduras, and he came back with a silver medal win.

In Mr. Clarke’s letter to the board he said, “I consider myself principally a teacher. My family is settled in Chilliwack. I have enjoyed 11 years as a teacher in this school district and for these reasons I should like to return to Chilliwack as a teacher at the end of this three year development program (developing Canada’s soccer teams).

“In addition,” he wrote. “I have always felt that my involvement in Canadian soccer has always been with the support and endorsement of School District 33. On a somewhat greater scale, I am now asking for that same support and permission to become the national soccer coach for Canada.”

District superintendent Bill Fisher told the board, “Mr. Clarke is a very versatile fellow. He is able to teach almost anything and do it well.”

One trustee asked it there might be teacher contract troubles when Mr. Clarke comes back to the district expecting a job. Most trustees agreed there will not be.

It was was suggested that Mr. Clarke’s absence might aid the board in dealing with declining enrolment. This way, it was said, some shifting might be done so that a replacement will not be needed.

Mr. Fisher added, “in terms of straight numbers … there is no question Mr. Clarke’s absence will help the school district.”

Newly-elected board chairman Don Patten said, “I’m sure we’ll welcome him back in the district.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

Tourism Chilliwack rolls out mobile visitors’ centre in an RV called Winston

Part of an innovative recovery plan following the hit local tourism has taken from COVID-19

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

Missing Chilliwack woman has not been in contact with family for several months

The RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating 35-year-old Chantelle Chenier of Chilliwack

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read