K.S.S. Through the Years


Mikayla Banman, Writer


Here’s to you our K.H.S.

To your sports and studies:

In basketball why we’re the tops

In Algebra not dummies.

This is our creed for K.H.S.

May this be our song, –

First in lessons, first in sports,

May we keep you strong!


Watch the Black and Gold fly high

Kelowna’s on her way;

on victory’s hers,

But, win or lose,

You will hear us say,-

“We will fight for K.H.S.

And uphold her creed!”

Stand and cheer her teams today,

Keep her in the lead!

Sound familiar? No? The first stanza is from ‘The Grizzly’ -K.H.S’ 1942 yearbook, and the second from the 1941 yearbook. With the 2015/16 school year beginning and new grade ten students roaming the halls, I thought I would shed some light on a few significant moments in K.S.S.’s history. As proud students of Kelowna Secondary School, we might as well know a bit about our second home for three years of our life, right?

Before 1892, if students chose to continue with their education after middle school, they only had the options of Vernon or Grand Forks for high school. This meant students from Kelowna had to drive an hour or two every morning just for the opportunity to attend a high school. I’m sure many students would sooner call high school a mandatory burden than an opportunity, but in comparison to the amount of effort it took back then just to get a good education, teenagers these days are very fortunate.

In 1910 a small building for Kelowna High School was constructed. K.H.S remained there for almost 30 years until they moved to a tight, six-room addition in the Junior High School on Richter Street.

Hooty the Golden Owl was made the mascot of Kelowna High School in 1949 “for all he stands for in good sportsmanship and achievement will inspire future graduates to greater goals of success.”

K.H.S. became the secondary school we know and love in the 1960’s. During this time the school had a diverse range of sports and activities including:

  • Badminton club
  • Curling club
  • Fencing club
  • Rowing club
  • Golf team
  • Future Nurses’ Club
  • Future Teachers club
  • Athletic Council
  • S.C.F
  • Dance Band

 …and many more. The most successful club at K.S.S. according to the 1966 Golden Owl annual was the I.S.C.F (Inter School Christian Fellowship). Another popular group was Dance Band, led by the fearless leader of the music program, Mr. Mckinley, and were “known throughout the province and beyond for their exceptional musical talents and exuberant spirits.”

December 12th, 1979 a fire was accidentally started by two 10th grade girls in the junior high section of K.S.S., and the school burned down. As devastating as that December day was, it ended up for the better. Plans were set in motion for a new permanent building for the school, and in the meantime, portables had to be used. In 2002 students moved into the new K.S.S. location on Raymer Ave, complete with old bricks from the junior high building lining the multi-purpose room, and the title of being a power-efficient “green building”, which is much more cost-effective than the old school’s boiler.

KSS’s school pride has long rivalled that of any other school in the Okanagan valley. After reading old yearbooks and newspaper articles, it is clear that throughout the years the majority of people who went to K.S.S. loved it and look back with fond memories on their time here.

That concludes this short retrospective into the school’s history, look for future articles to read more interesting facts from our own Kelowna Secondary School’s archives!