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Table of Contents and Prologue

PROLOGUE
ONE PoCo Now
TWO The Settlers
THREE Port Coquitlam Starts Here
FOUR Brave Beginnings
FIVE A New Depression, A New War, A New Dawn
SIX Growth at Last
SEVEN Moving Forward
EIGHT The New Millennium


Prologue

There's a lot of good feeling here," a teacher shouts to a visitor over the roar of the crowd, "a lot of memories." It's February 12, 1999, and we're in the gym at the old Terry Fox Senior Secondary School in Port Coquitlam. The stands are jammed as the Ravens meet the visiting Pitt Meadows Marauders in a fine, fast-paced game, and the lead has changed yet again to the screaming of fans, the skreak of runners on the hardwood floor, the shouts of the coaches and players and the flash of the cheerleaders' new uniforms as the school's thunderous little jazz band belts out "In The Mood."

The Ravens really want this game. The winner will be Fraser Valley north zone champions. But there's another reason: this is the gym where Port Coquitlam's most famous citizen, Terry Fox, played basketball as a kid and this is the last league-level game to be played in the school named in his honour.

Virtually every Canadian remembers Terry Fox for his 1980 attempt to run across Canada to raise research money to finance the fight against cancer. The run was tragically halted partway across Canada when the cancer that had taken his leg spread to his lungs . . . but it was a blazing triumph nonetheless for the millions of dollars it raised and continues to raise today, mostly through the annual Terry Fox Run.

Some of the teachers here had Terry in their classes. And there are special guests, introduced before the game: Terry's mom and dad and others in the Fox family are here, and so is grad Bret Anderson. Bret, the first student at Simon Fraser University to win Most Valuable Player honours in both football and basketball, now plays for the BC Lions football team. He recalled his days at Fox ("I think one of the reasons we did so well was that the lighting in the gym was really tough on our opponents") and introduced teacher Terry Fleming, Terry Fox's high-school basketball coach.

Teacher Don van Os spoke to the crowd before the game. "We're very proud of our namesake, very proud of what he stood for. Each student at this school takes that challenge. Everyone here wants to emulate Terry." And Betty Fox spoke gently about her son. "All four of our children went to school here, and all graduated. This is a sad night, walking in and seeing Terry's memorabilia. I really hope his spirit carries on in the new school. God bless all of you." The crowd rose to its feet in a roaring, spontaneous standing ovation as Betty and the others in the Fox family stood smiling in mid-gym.

The old school, a PoCo landmark for forty years, will be empty when you read this. Students and teachers opened the 1999-2000 season at a new school - also named for Terry - where the gym is twice as big.

The last league-level game played here would have made Terry proud. After a shaky beginning, with the Ravens nine points down very early in the game, the team came back to tie, dropped back again, tied again, dropped back, tied, went ahead, tied, dropped back . . . until the final minutes of the game when they surged ahead and won.

It was a little bit like the story of the town itself. The closing of the old school and the opening of the new signify tradition and change. As you'll see in this book, the vigorous little city of Port Coquitlam has generous portions of both.