By Kathy Rowe
Thousands of children have gone through Charlottetown Junior Public school since it opened its doors back in 1969, but there are a few who have definitely turned heads over the past several years. We have done a little homework and here are four noteworthy alumni.
Take NHL Philadelphia Flyers #17 star Wayne Simmonds, for instance. Wayne, 29, grew up in the Centennial neighbourhood, the third of four brothers and one sister living at home. His two hard-working parents supported his passion for hockey. Sports were expensive and money was tight, so when he was old enough Wayne helped pay for his hockey with summer jobs. It was clear early on that he had real talent. At the time, Mike Herron, assistant coach of the Toronto Aces program, said: “It wasn’t so much a talent thing; he was a talented kid. But it was heart. He wanted it more than everybody else. He wanted to win.”
Despite the high costs of equipment and tournament fees, support from family, teammates and coaches enabled him to advance. He was picked up by the Owen Sound Attack in the sixth round of the 2006 OHL Draft. The following summer the Los Angeles Kings selected Simmonds with the final pick of the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft. Wayne made his NHL debut on October 11, 2008.
Wayne is now a right winger and alternate captain for the Philadelphia Flyers. He had always promised his family that if he became successful in hockey, he would give back to the community. He founded Wayne’s Road Hockey Warriors Tournament, which has outfitted more than 260 Scarborough youths with new hockey equipment.
(Acknowledgement to NHL.com/Adam Kimelman article, November 2014)
Jim and Andy Creeggan
Ever heard of the Barenaked Ladies? How ’bout the songs “If I had a Million Dollars” or
the theme song to the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” ? These songs and more were written and performed by the Scarborough band the Barenaked Ladies. Two members of this band went to Charlottetown JPS. Brothers Jim, 48, and Andy Creeggan,46, were original members of the band until Andy eventually left to pursue other music opportunities.
Andy has fond memories of being a student at Charlottetown. He recalls “kilometre club and those cool shirts we would get at each milestone; gym class skipping to Jim Croce “Sweet Georgia Brown”; Miss Gladwyn, Miss Barfoot, pioneer day, the plays, track and field, baseball team and soccer with Mr. Lyons ‘kick the ball!’; the horrible anti-French student demonstration; the fights in the yard; four square; band class with Mr. Skilling…I can’t remember when the first Scarborough Music Camp was but I know I was at every possible one!” In fact, all of the original members of Barenaked Ladies met at Scarborough Music Camp.
Jim Creeggan still plays the bass guitar and double bass for the Barenaked Ladies. He has also written and occasionally sung lead on certain songs on their many albums. In their first show since the 2009 departure of lead singer Steven Page, Jim took over some of Page’s harmony vocals. What a talent!
Liem Vu is a Toronto-based television personality on Global TV and as a young boy he attended Charlottetown. Liem is the youngest of a family that fled a war-torn Vietnam in search of a new life in Canada. After earning his Master of Journalism degree at Ryerson University, Liem pursued a career in both journalism and television. He can be seen weekdays on The Morning Show and The News at Noon on Global TV as a co-host and weather specialist. He is also busy behind the camera. Liem works hard producing and editing many of his own stories that he reports on throughout The Morning Show. As you can see, Liem has many talents within the media world.