Al Freckelton was a teacher with a passion for math and a talent for passing on that love to his students. He believed that, “if a child can count to ten, a child can ‘do’ math”.
Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force, where his math skills were put to work in aircraft instrumentation. In 1965, he traded military service for teaching, where he could combine his love of math with his love of children. In 1981, he moved with his family to Rainbow Lake where he taught math and physics and served as Principal for twenty years.
Al retired in 2001 and moved to Swan Hills where he worked as a popular substitute teacher for about seven years, including nearly a full year teaching Grade 6 after the tragic death of their teacher, Lynn Nanninga. Sadly, Al passed away here in Swan Hills on May 17, 2019, at the age of 90.
Swan Hills School was touched to receive an anonymous donation in his memory. With this donation, an annual award has been established in his honour, which will be awarded to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 who demonstrate both skill and a passion for math.
The first recipients of this award were Amton Reeves in Grade 6, Daniel Lee in Grade 8, and Grade 11 student Wonjun Lee, who were presented with certificates at our awards night on June 19th. Their names will be the first engraved on the “Alfred Freckelton Memorial Math Award” plaque.
“He was the smartest man I have ever known,” said his daughter, Alicia Dyck, a Program Assistant at the school. “I am so proud and Mom is so happy that it made her cry. This is something Dad would be so proud of.”
Al and his wife, Mona, had eight children and huge hearts. “There was a student in the grade 6 classroom that would come to school without a lunch,” said Alicia, “so every day, my mother would pack an extra lunch and dad would set it under the student’s desk before any students would come in. He did this for the entire year that he worked in that classroom”.
It is the hope that, with the Alfred Freckelton Memorial Math Award, both his memory and his passion will live on at Swan Hills School.