" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

February 22, 2011

Bruce Creswick's life as a teacher was his magnum opus

In spite of the many examples of individuals thoughout history who have made a difference, if you've ever had any doubt that one person can be the change, all you have to do is be on Salt Spring Island this week.  Beloved Salt Spring island Middle School teacher and musician, Bruce Creswick, died on Saturday. 

Everyone has a story about "Mr. C" and it's almost as if you can hear his name in whispers throughout the community. In Thriftys. In the hot tub at The Rainbow Road Pool. In the Employment Centre. It's all good. Clearly, this man's life was spent doing what he was destined to do and even though he is gone too soon, too young, his life's purpose was perfectly suited to his contagious and warm personality.

The quirky upbeat  humour, teasing and wholly genuine humanity streaming out of him as the love he bestowed on his students and everyone he met as a music man is coming back tenfold in tributes and in tears.

When you've only been in the presence of someone for a few hours (as I was) and yet the news of their death has the ability to really make you sad and a little tired; leave you pensive, experience a real ache and a sorrow for his family, his students and the music community on Salt Spring Island, you know his impact on others was extraordinary in the literal meaning of that word.

I met him one evening when he took over as conductor of our beginner band when Wendy and Derrick Milton were away.  "Mr. C" as the kids called him, had on his trademark Converse sneakers. These ones were cherry red. I believe he had on black jeans and a black short-sleeved shirt. He kept cracking jokes even though he'd put in a whole day at school. As a flute player, I was sitting right in front of him and his humour and banter were in fine form that evening. He kept teasing me just because I was there. Why not? It's what he did. It's was his modus operandi.

In our first year of band, when we played a joint concert with his middle-school band, I saw how he interacted with the kids using humour to get them to do what he wanted and yet keeping them in line as well. He must have been a patient man. He looked like he loved what he did in a way so many people can only dream about.

Read the tributes on the Facebook page that have been set up and you'll begin to feel teary-eyed even if you didn't know him. The tributes give you a sense of who he was in a way that will make you wish you had.

Google: Mr.Creswick - R.I.P.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great teacher and community member and a fantastic band/music teacher - sad to hear about this loss.