A Lifelong Friendship: Mr. Teja and Mr. Latta
Parveen Loodu and Alyssa Slobodian

 

Many people are surprised to find out about the unique friendship between our very own IT department’s Mr. Raheem Teja and Mr. Peter Latta.

They first met in their high school computer science class in 1998 and quickly bonded over their shared interest in the subject. Mr. Latta ended up going to BCIT for Computer Science, while Mr. Teja attended SFU to study Engineering. Despite attending different post-secondary institutions, they continued to stay in touch over the years and to maintain a close friendship. 

Mr. Latta acknowledges, “It's important to have strong friendships as it opens up opportunities. It allows you to have someone to talk to, and someone who always has your back.” 

After graduating high school from New Westminster Secondary School, Mr. Latta and his girlfriend (now wife) moved into their first apartment together. They went out of their way to help Mr. Teja secure an apartment in the same building complex.

“It was a lot of fun being able to live so close,” explains Mr. Teja. “It really enabled us to stay connected and spend time together.” 

Over time, they realized they wanted to invest in purchasing a home, and given their limited resources at the time, they decided to figure out a way to do it together (even though it seemed unusual, especially back in those days). 

Mr. Latta says, “I see Raheem as my brother, we are family. Now Raheem has become ‘Uncle Heems’ to my two children.” 

The trio came up with a contracted agreement and purchased their first home together in 2009 and then again in 2019. While Mr. Teja has always had his own separate living space from the Latta family, he has definitely been a part of Mr. Latta’s son and daughter’s core memories as he’s always been around and shared in many special times.

When Mr. Teja started his job at Southridge fifteen years ago, he had no hesitation about who to recommend for a new IT position opening. “There was no doubt in my mind that Peter was the right person for this job,” reflects Mr. Teja. 

Twenty-four years of friendship and fifteen years of being colleagues, Mr. Teja and Mr. Latta’s bond is a testament to the importance of strong friendships in both personal and professional life. The respect and kindness they have for one another is a reminder that true friendship is built on a foundation of mutual trust, support, and care. 

Mr. Teja says, “We are brothers - Peter is smart, funny, and dependable. Friendship is something you shouldn’t take for granted because that person can become such a big part of your life and everything would be different without them.” 

Contributed by Parveen Loodu and Alyssa Slobodian, Communications and Marketing
Originally published in Spirit Magazine - Spring 2023