Gabriel Fitzpatrick and Shae Laing both received the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Masonry. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Gabriel Fitzpatrick and Shae Laing both received the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Masonry. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

Maple Ridge students receive top honours in masonry

Received Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Masonry

Two students in the SD42 masonry program have received awards for their outstanding work.

Gabriel Fitzpatrick and Shae Laing both received the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Masonry.

The award – usually only given out to one student each year – was awarded to both of them based on a conglomeration of their work throughout the year.

Laing, a Grade 12 student at Garibaldi Secondary School, built a Gothic style archway about 2.5 metres wide and 3 metres tall. Fitzpatrick, Grade 11 at Maple Ridge Secondary School, built a Roman-style archway, about 2.5 metres wide by 1.5 metres high, along with a wall using different brick styles including the Flemish bond, English bond, a stack bond and typical running bonds.

RELATED: Maple Ridge student receives education award from provincial credit union

Brad Dingler, SD42’s trades and apprenticeship coordinator, credits the students for their dedication to the program and also course instructor Tim Brotherston, who, explained Dingler, pushes the students beyond their capabilities.

Brotherston has been with the program for the past five years. KPU has been a partner with the program for six years. This is the first time students in the district have been recognized for their work.

“He’s truly an artist in the craft. And what he has taught both Gab and Shae is that artistry,” noted Dingler.

Both Laing and Fitzpatrick wanted to learn something more “hands-on” at school. Laing because she is more artistic and Fitzpatrick because he wanted to try something new.

RELATED: Schools’ trades programs get some practical help

In addition the bonus of not being inside a building all day and being able to create your own things appealed to both students.

Fitzpatrick said he enjoyed working with Brotherston.

“He’s always pushing you because he know what you are capable of doing,” he said.

He also found the work challenging, especially trying to figure out where to lay the bricks and what each pattern looked like.

“Definitely the spacing between bricks, that’s a hard one because if you get one wider than the other one, then one’s not going to fit. It’s all got to be the same,” he described.

Both Laing and Fitzpatrick are well beyond the Level 1 designation that students their age group would normally be working at. They are into a Level 3 designation, which is a third year apprenticeship skill set, said Dingler. The next step for them will be getting out into the work force, if that is something they wish to do.

What I am thinking about when I am teaching these kids is when they get onto a job site it’s a big step to go from being a labourer to being somebody who’s working on the trowel,” explained Brotherston.

“The more experience I can get them working with trowels, the sooner they are actually going to become a tradesman dong the actual job as opposed to a labourer,” he said.

Not only does Brotherston bring a wealth of knowledge, patience and skill to the program, added Dingler, he starts them on the trowels and tools on day one.

“We want to get them working in the shop so that they realize what they need to know. Once they realize that they need how to measure and lay out the work then they are interested in doing the book-work in the classroom,” continued Brotherston.

SD42 is the only school district operating a high school post secondary masonry program in the province.

Brotherston is predicting an abundance of opportunities in the future for students like Fitzpatrick and Laing. He noted a lot of people in the industry are retiring because they are older and the area is booming in housing construction. Contractors are currently contacting him looking for workers.

Dingler can’t say enough of the high calibre course available to students in the district.

“In my opinion, it’s as much artistic as much as it is a trade,” he said.


Have a story tip? Email: cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

maple ridgePitt MeadowsSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two new Maple Ridge schools have COVID-19 exposures

Alouette elementary and Maple Ridge secondary visited by virus

Ridge Meadows RCMP Const. Britteny George and Westview students turned old tires into pet beds. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge students help turn old tires into pet beds

Westview art classes and RCMP constable take on project

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Conservative MP Marc Dalton and former MP and Liberal candidate Dan Ruimy.
Dalton slams budget, Ruimy defends Liberal spending

Neither politician sees federal budget triggering an election

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Most Read