Residents on the West Shore are dealing with the recent loss of a well-loved community member.
Scott Manning – who has been vice principal of John Muir Elementary and Ruth King Elementary as well as principal of Colwood Elementary, David Cameron Elementary, Spencer Middle School and most recently Wishart Elementary – died just before Family Day.
On Feb. 17, the Victoria Youth Field Lacrosse Facebook page wrote a post about Manning calling him a “treasured friend and member of [their] JDF and Vicfield families.”
In the comment section of the post are several notes of condolence from community members who knew him in and outside of school.
“He was truly a bright light in our school district and two of my kids were blessed to have him as a principal for most of their elementary years,” a comment from Holly Mescheder reads. “Scott was [her son’s] biggest fan (as well as every other student) and always made him feel heard and supported … his quick wit, constant singing and kind heart will never be forgotten.”
Ryan Hyland, president of Juan de Fuca Lacrosse, said Manning was a “well-respected” man in the community “whose impact reaches far beyond the realm of sport.”
“We wrap our thoughts, hearts and deep condolences around the Manning family,” Hyland said. “There is no doubt his spirit will be felt on the sidelines of the field, behind the net at the arena, and with the TeamBC families the Mannings have joined over the years. He was truly an incredible person who we feel honoured to have known.”
Manning’s wife of 27 years, Nichola, wrote a tribute post on Facebook Wednesday morning. She says he had a gentle manner, quick wit, acute sense of fairness, willingness to adapt and fierce loyalty. As the only female in the home, she said she thought she was the glue to the family but has realized she was wrong in Manning’s absence.
She says their two sons – Noah, 16, and Grayson, 13, – were his greatest pride and joy, offering them practical advice or quick pep talks.
“I keep telling them they have half of their dad inside them and between the two of them I have a whole,” Nichola said in a phone interview.
At lacrosse or hockey games, Nichola says Manning would move to whatever end his sons were on so he could see them better but would also be “that stoic pillar of strength when they needed encouragement.” Nichola also adds a quote from her son, Grayson, to the Facebook post saying Manning believed in Grayson when he didn’t believe in himself.
During the phone interview, Nichola said Manning’s death was unexpected. He died of cancer.
“He battled this awful disease so gallantly and with such courage,” she says in the post. “Never did he once think the outcome of this second recurrence would be death. His worst fear was being away from the boys for an extended period of time.”
He made a profound impact on many people as a role model, mentor, teacher and friend, Nichola says, and she writes that there are no words to describe how much she loves him. She says they will celebrate and honour his life, but details of the celebration of life are still pending.
“I’ll leave you with one of Scott’s favourite sayings: ‘We all make choices,’” Nichola’s Facebook post reads. “‘If we all in our decision making could be guided by some of Scott’s acute desire to make the right choice, this world would be a better place.”