“Charlie” McPherson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and moved to Vancouver in 1926 with his parents, Fred and Bella, and his brother Ken. In Vancouver, his father worked as a firefighter. McPherson completed his schooling in Vancouver, first at Queen Mary Elementary in West Point Grey, and then at University Hill for Grades 3 to 12. In 1946 he received a Bachelor of Arts from UBC, where he was also a member of Phi Gamma Delta. After spending six months in Summerland, he attended teacher training courses from 1947 to 1948.
In 1948 McPherson served as Vice-Principal of Capitol Hill Elementary School in Burnaby and then settled in Mission the next year. He began his work in Mission at Central Elementary School (now Mission High School), and in 1951 he met Audrey, who was the school secretary there. They married in 1953 and together they had three children.
Always seeking to further his education, McPherson went on in 1954 to receive a Bachelor of Education from UBC, and in 1967 returned to university to complete a Master’s Degree at University of Western Washington, Bellingham. In the meantime, McPherson’s teaching career flourished. He became vice-principal of Mission Junior High School in 1959, and remained there until he retired in 1984, having given 36 years to teaching.
Education, sports and volunteerism were McPherson’s passions, and he was a most valued member of the Mission community. He was known as a role model and leader as a basketball coach, and ‘Coach McPherson’ led many teams to victory in home championships and provincial finals. On the Mission district council, McPherson held the position of alderman for 18 years, served on Mission Hospital’s board of trustees, and was a Kinsman for 10 years. He was a long-time member of the Mission Golf Club and also started a Duplicate Bridge Club in 1953.
In retirement, McPherson continued as an active and busy contributor to the community. He chaired the Heart and Stroke Fund along with Mission notables Lorna Adair and Leona Patterson. As well, he worked on the Cancer Drive, and served as president of Lifetime Learning Centre for 10 of the 17 years that he was a member of that organization. He was an outstanding mentor, inspiring and motivating all who knew him.
Mission District honored McPherson with a Community Service Award in 1992 followed in 1995 by the highest municipal award, the Freeman of the City Award.
Source: The Mission Record, May 18, June 7, 2007