Garry Girvan was born in Jamaica in 1939 in a rural village. Following his father’s illness and death he was integrated into his father’s family and moved to Kingston, where he attended Camperdown School and Kingston College. In 1955 he emigrated to Canada with his adoptive parents and finished high school at Oshawa Central Collegiate. He did post-secondary studies at Ryerson Polytechnic and Carleton University.
The fishing was sufficient reason to take him, his pregnant wife and infant daughter to British Columbia. They lived twenty two years in the Central Interior of B.C., where he taught at the College of New Caledonia for 11 years. In Prince George the family bought a raw forty acre property and worked hard with little experience and under trying conditions to create a home out of what used to be habitat for moose, coyote, cougar, black bear and an abundance of rodents. Their efforts produced an interesting life for almost twenty years and a very small income out of ponds full of rainbow trout and large greenhouse type structures full of tomatoes.
Though interesting, the rural Central Interior of B.C. was too rigourous an environment for a lad born and raised in the Caribbean, and the prospect of old age and physical frailty in this tough, demanding place sent him and his family to a more hospitable region.
Appropriately enough, Garry and his family finally found their nirvana on an island, after a short stint in the Fraser Valley where he and his wife worked as teachers until 1996. They have lived in Ladysmith ever since.