PASSINGS – Gordon R. Gore, founder of the BIG Little Science Centre

Gordon Gore doing a demonstration at BIG Little Science Centre.

A revered former teacher and the founder of the BIG Little Science Centre has died.

The death of Gordon R. Gore was announced today (Nov. 11, 2020) by the science centre society’s executive director Gord Stewart. At Gordon Gore’s request, there will be no service.

Gordon Ross Gore, BSc, MEd, D.Litt, M.S.M.

1937 to 2020

Gordon was born in Toronto, Ontario on Nov. 17, 1937. The family moved to Strathmore, Quebec, then to Lakeside, Quebec. He attended elementary school in Strathmore and Lachine and graduated from Lachine High School at the age of 16 in 1954.

He loved playing community hockey in winter and played golf when caddies were allowed on Elmridge Golf Course one morning a week. He earned a Bachelor of Science from McGill University, took teacher training at the University of British Columbia, and earned his Master of Education in Science at UBC.

Gordon R. Gore.

Thompson Rivers University granted Gordon an honorary Doctor of Letters for his work in promoting science through his writings and the BIG Little Science Centre.

He taught science and/or Physics at John Oliver High School, Sir Charles Tupper High School, Richmond Secondary, Kamloops Secondary, Westsyde Secondary, Norkam Secondary, and Hatzic Secondary (Mission, BC).

He also trained science and physics teachers on the Faculty of Education at UBC. After retiring from teaching in 1990 he taught Science Education 320, Physics 110, and 113 at UCC (now TRU).

In 2000 Gordon started the BIG Little Science Centre in one room at David Thompson Elementary School in Westsyde. The Science Centre moved several times between 2000 and 2019 when it lost its last school-based location.

Thanks to the efforts of executive director Gord Stewart, his hardworking staff, a determined board of directors, many generous supporters, and a strong volunteer base, the Centre has risen again at 458 Seymour St. in downtown Kamloops.

Gordon wrote and contributed to many science books, the most popular are the ‘hands-on’ Physics 11 and Physics 12, first published in 1986 and still used today. His other main interests were golf and photography. He had a gift for capturing the moment and prints of those memories are still proudly displayed by former students and their families.

He was granted numerous awards for promoting science, particularly his founding of the BIG Little Science Centre and his many publications encouraging hands-on science.

Some of the most prestigious awards include the Order of British Columbia, the B.C. Teacher of the Year Award, the Eve Savory Award for Science Communication, and the Award for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Award for Science Promotion.

Due to failing health, Gordon’s favourite pastimes of playing golf and his active participation at the BIG Little Science Centre were curtailed. Living at The Hamlets in Westsyde, he was able to drive his power chair or scooter to the nearby Dunes Golf Course, where owner Bill Bilton very kindly allowed him to use a golf cart out on the course to take photographs of the abundant wildlife there. Many of those photographs hang in the dining area of The Hamlets, and many others are in self-published photo books.

Gordon was predeceased by his father Gilbert Rawson (Ross) Gore, mother Margaret Dow (‘Peggy’) Gore (nee Kemp), and older brothers David and Stephen. He is survived by brother Michael in Burnaby, former spouse Betty-May in Kamloops, and her three children by his late brother David: Susanne, David Jr., and Jennifer.

He has numerous nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces. He wishes to acknowledge the wonderful support over the years of former teaching colleague Ken Schroeder and his wife, Mary Ann. Thank you both for being like family to him. Special thanks to Dr. Jill Calder and Dr. Eric Haywood-Farmer for their compassion in the final days.

Gordon requested that there be no funeral. At a later date, a cheerful remembrance event will be arranged by the BIG Little Science Centre, where it is hoped some of Gordon’s favourite science demonstrations will be performed by present and former staff.

Gordon requested in lieu of flowers donations in memory can be made to the Big Little Science Centre.

About Mel Rothenburger (9052 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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