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News: Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Jim Latham Honoured In Field Renaming Ceremony

The Abbotsford Board of Education approved the renaming of W. J. Mouat’s football field to “Latham Field” in honour of longtime educator and former Principal Jim Latham.

The rededication officially happened on October 13, 2017, at a special ceremony and 25th Anniversary celebration of W.J. Mouat Hawks winning the Provincial High School Football Championship (1992).

For those who knew Jim Latham, he was not always a man of few words. He liked to talk, a lot, and one of his favorite topics was the good old days he spent at W.J. Mouat. He knew the school’s namesake Mr. Mouat and made sure that he was invited to the school often. Mr. Mouat was Superintendent of Abbotsford School District when Jim was hired in 1972.

Jim Latham was an Administrator at Abbotsford Middle (formerly Abbotsford Junior), Yale Secondary, and District Principal before being assigned Principal of W.J. Mouat from 1985 – 1990. During his tenure at W.J. Mouat, he was a driving force behind the football program that started in 1987 and continues today. He was passionate about education and was visionary about creating opportunities and programs for students always encouraging new programs especially in sports and but also the arts. He understood the importance of teacher coaches and recognized the impact extracurricular opportunities could have on student achievement.

“The Board of Education recognizes the importance and leadership of extra-curricular programs in our schools,” noted Shirley Wilson, Chair for the Abbotsford Board of Education. “The care, passion, and leadership invested into the future of our youth carries on for generations. Latham Field is a small but significant recognition of such leadership demonstrated by Jim Latham.” 

Jim was relationship driven and worked hard at developing good relationships with staff, students and parents. This was an important foundation in his career.

Jim’s daughter Megan says, “I remember dad as being this positive, upbeat kind of guy. His glass was always half full and he loved nothing more than being at school games, concerts, and other student activities.” Megan graduated from W.J. Mouat in 1989 and was at the school when her dad was principal.

His son, Steven, feels that if he were here today he would take no credit for the beginning stages of the football program but say it was a collaborative effort and that the success of the program was due to the dedication of the coaches and support from parents. He remembers how excited his dad was when the W.J. Mouat Football Team won the Provincial Championship.

“My dad was always delighted to see others achieve their goals. He was always enthusiastic and genuine about their success. It’s great to see the program continue.”

Jim’s wife Freddy currently serves on the Abbotsford Board of Education. “A big reason I am in this role is because Jim believed so strongly in the importance of Public Education and encouraged me to run. He was a wonderful mentor to me and many others in his lifetime.”

“I think he would be honored to be remembered in this way,” Freddy says. “He would be proud to know that the sign overlooks a field that is being utilized by so many young athletes on a daily basis. Our family is grateful to those who spearheaded this project and we thank you for remembering Jim in this way.”

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Media Contact:

Kayla Stuckart, Communications Manager
Phone: (604) 859 – 4891 ext. 1206
Email: kayla.stuckart@abbyschools.ca