Student run newspaper committed to the St. George’s community
Celebrating the power of youth By Samir Javer ogers Arena was the home to thousands of youth social activists on Friday, October 15, 2010, as We Day Vancouver took place for the second straight year. The arena was filled to near-capacity as the ambitious youth congregated to discuss various aspects of social change. The guest speakers included former US vicepresident Al Gore, Reverend Jesse Jackson, man in motion Rick Hansen, and the founders of the social rights organization, Free the Children, Craig and Mark Kielburger. There were also musical performances from Vancouverbased band Hedley, as well as Colbie Cailatt and the Barenaked Ladies. Twenty-eight students from St. George’s School were selected to attend this prestigious event, accompanied by four staff members. Students were selected based on their applications, in which the boys had to express their desire for going as well as their previous social rights and volunteer experience. Students were greatly motivated by all the speakers, especially the profound words of Jesse Jackson, who drew a lengthy ovation upon his appearance. He told the youth, “Let this day in Vancouver speak to the world. We are the world. We are the hope. We are the joy. We have the power. This world is our world. Keep hope alive. Never surrender. Keep hope alive.” Jackson’s words undoubtedly left a resonating message on the boys. Also among the speakers was Lorne Segal, father of Matthew, who is currently a Grade 10 student at St. George’s. Lorne is an enormous philanthropist who got his family involved
people who were learning the ways of thinking less of themselves and more of others.” On September 29, 2009, We Day arrived in Vancouver for the first time, largely in part due to the efforts of the Segals.
Thousands flocked Rogers Arena to celebrate We Day
Matthew could hardly believe it for himself. The Grade 10 student explained, “It started out as just a dream. And then, with discussion, vision, time and effort, we started to bring We Day to the West Coast. My sister and I gave presentations to both the corporate and education sectors hoping to move them with the experiences we had and then receive funding, sponsorship or support for the day.” Reflecting on this year’s event, Matthew was confident the St. George’s student body would take action after having been inspired by such an event. He said, “I hope that those who attended We Day left with a sense of purpose and determination. The ‘Me to We’ philosophy is more than just a change in our outlook on life; it’s a shift in our personal behavior. Together we can achieve great things and we will.”
in the Free the Children organization by taking them on a life-changing trip to Kenya in 2007. The trip would change Matthew forever; he experienced first-hand the dilapidated conditions in Kenya which changed his outlook on the rest of the world. He told The Echo, “Beginning at an early age, my parents and grandparents stressed the importance of service and compassion. Early in 2007, my family and I heard about ‘Free the Children’ and the work they do to educate and help those who live in
the poorest part of Kenya: the villages of the Masai Mara.” Matthew has since grown to become heavily involved with the Kielburgers and played a big role in bringing We Day to Vancouver. Following their trip, the Segals attended the first ever Me to We Day in Toronto, in October 2007. Matthew said the event was certainly a sight to be seen. He recalled, “It was so amazing to be surrounded by thousands of students all cheering for social change. Never before had I seen such a large gathering of like-minded
Matthew also said that his strong desire to make a difference has been a determining factor in We Day’s success with Canadian youth. He said the choice is up to the youth themselves; whether they make a difference or not will solely depend on their passion to change the world we live in. “It doesn’t matter who you support or how much time you commit, all that matters is if you’ve got the desire to lend a helping hand. It can be a one time thing or sustained commitment, that’s up to the individual.”
so that we wouldn’t do anything stupid or call the cops. In that moment the security guards at the Apple store started to close all glass doors and I was told to go below a table.”
By Eldon Chan n what entails a full week’s worth of absence from school, Explorer 9 has recently undergone dramatic structural changes that has left teachers with the task of reorganizing class curriculums and ultimately disgruntled. Rather than have the entire grade leave simultaneously as per tradition, the Outdoor Education department has decided to split the grade into what they feel are more manageable halves, each of which depart at different intervals. Unfortunately, the onus of adapting falls primarily on the school staff, who become responsible for not only teaching twice, but temporarily suspending the curriculum until classes are once again full. Though many logistical flaws from the past have been addressed, perhaps greater dissatisfaction has been stirred, this time, not within the student body, but within the faculty themselves. As a key component of the school year that demands mandatory participation, Explorer 9 embodies many qualities that St. George’s School represents, in particular: teamwork, spirit and perseverance. Unfortunately, feedback gathered from past participants has been critical. In a survey conducted by The Echo involving
52 senior students, over half reflected upon the trip with descriptions such as “abysmal weather”, “faulty gear”, “over-enthused staff”, “horrendous food” and “physical exhaustion”. In fact, a large majority (65%) preferred the subsequent Sea-to-Sky trip offered in grade 10. However, other outdoor enthusiasts within the grade such as Eugene Su hold less censorious views, citing instead that perhaps “better organization and timing” would have made for a more enjoyable trip. According to Su, the main problem was simply the weather, although a faulty stove forced food to be prepared more unconventionally. Such feedback in general has prompted the Outdoor Education department to institute dramatic changes this year. In fact, Paul Page, who works closely with the department head Alan Hesketh, acknowledges many of the critiques as valid. Specifically, Pass admits that “the unavoidable timing of Explorer 9 generally coincides with BC’s wettest season” and that the numerous trips have stretched St. George’s available equipment to the point where less-than-desirable equipment is used, a problem that has dogged passed participants. >>Continued on Staff News Page
Armed robber took St. George’s Staff peeved at Changes to Explorer 9 student hostage in Oakridge Mall Program broken into two sub-sections to accomodate numbers
By Paul Hahn atthew Zhang, a Grade 10 student of St. George’s school was taken hostage in Oakridge Center on the September 30, 2010. Official reports state that a group of teenagers planned on robbing a jewellery store, and according to different sources, ended up taking hostages. Zhang was at an electronics store, opposite the targeted jewellery store, at 8:30 p.m on the night of the robbery. He states that he saw two young men running towards the jewellery store, both armed with a handgun and a 500ml bottle of mace, an orange pepperspray. “We heard a big bang,” says the 15-year-old student, “but we thought it was a computer dropping, since we were at the Apple store. But when we looked outside, we see this security guard on the floor, beaten to the point where he can’t even get up anymore, and covered with orange liquid from the mace.” Shortly after, the Grade 10 student saw another man with a handgun approaching the electronics store. “A lot of us thought that it was a fake gun, so we didn’t worry too much, but when the guy started shooting down the halls of Oakridge, we realized that it was real. Then he points the gun at the people at the Apple store,
Meanwhile, another suspect, who posed as a customer in the jewellery store, produced a gun and demanded that merchandise from the store be put in a bag. After the suspect tried to escape the centre, he was immediately arrested with his stolen merchandise by special police forces waiting outside. “I saw the [suspect] outside when he got arrested. He looked really scared,” said Zhang. The two other offenders who attacked the security guard were seen fleeing in a red van. The van was later apprehended by police. Zhang says that he experienced no actual injuries during the heist, besides minor irritation to his skin and lungs from the pepper spray. “I’m basically fine now; just the irritation from the mace still makes me cough.” “I’m pretty fine with [the event], it’s just that when I posted it on Facebook, people called me a liar, and kept on saying that nothing happened, which really upsets me. The heist didn’t really scare me; it’s what happened when I returned home.”
St. George’s embraces Wikispace By Patrick Hall ith technology playing a more significant role in people’s lives, St. George’s teachers have started using Wikispaces - a hosting service that allows users to edit pages on various topics. Wikispaces has more than 2.2 million registered members, and hosts more than 900,000 wikis. They have also given more than 100,000 wikis to K-12 educators. St. George’s has not been given a wiki, and pays the full educator price of $2000 per year for their private label. This $2000 pays for their own domain name, a dedicated environment, and a “single sign on” for each user. Having a personalized domain name makes it very easy to search for specific websites. In St. George’s case, the domain name is www.stgeorges.wikispaces.net. The dedicated environment means that the St. George’s domain can have an unlimited number of individual wikis, which allows each class to have its own. The “single sign on” permits users to use the same username and switch between wikis in the St. George’s domain with the click of the icon “My Wikis”. In previous years, some teachers have used similar platforms called Ning and PBworks. Some teachers such as Dr. Phillip Webster still use PBworks, but Webster has stated that he is soon going to commence the utilization of Wikispaces. St. George’s has switched over to Wikispaces for the website’s extra features, such as the “single sign on”. Also, there is no guarantee that PBworks and Ning are going to be around in future years, so Wikispaces is a more reliable choice. According to Jeremy Sayers, “[Wikispaces] provides an opportunity for students to learn from and collaborate with one another in or From Front page: At the same time, Pass is confident that the new system has brought about enough positive change to offset the flaws. To name a few, the contractual hiring of camping supervisors has dropped from 30 to 16, costs of transportation have been cut by almost half and the better allocation of gear means that more reliable equipment is used. In addition, the ratio of instructors to students has been reduced to 1:5, a number that previously stood at 1:8. To Pass, the most important benefit is that “only the truly worthy camping sites” are visited, including the Juan De Fuca trail, Golden Ears, Garibaldi and the Indian Arm. In all, the changes have saved St. George’s over $5,000 and may very well set a precedent for other trips, even Sea-to-Sky 10. of instructors to students has been reduced to 1:5, a number that previously stood at 1:8. To Pass, the most important benefit is that “only the truly worthy camping sites” are visited, including the Juan De Fuca trail, Golden Ears, Garibaldi
der to obtain a higher understanding of things, and also let them use a platform that they are familiar with.” Sayers is a senior school english and journalism teacher who uses Wikispaces “primarily for collaborative student centered discussion.” Wikispaces is much like Wikipedia, where individuals contribute a part to come to a full understanding of a topic. In an interview with a Grade 10 student, who wishes to remain unnamed, he said that “the idea of Wikispaces is good, with students helping each other, but you can just use Facebook for that. It’s [also] good for getting extra credit and participation marks, but it [can] take away from learning in classrooms if used too much.” In a recent survey conducted with St. George’s students, 52 percent said that Wikispaces was a productive learning tool, 46 percent said it was a redundant learning tool, meaning that it would make no difference if it was used or not, while 2 percent said it was a bad learning tool.
Staff news Art teacher captures former headmaster’s legacy in frame By Paul Hahn rian O’Connor, an art teacher of St. George’s School, has perpetuated Nigel Toy in portrait, in an attempt to prove to himself that he is still capable of producing great art. “I hadn’t done any painting in a long time. The last one I did was 14 – 15 years ago, “ said the Director of Visual Arts, “so I asked if I could just do a portrait of Nigel to see if its any good, and the painting in Maclean Hall is the outcome.” Originally, there was another portrait of Toy, which was done several years ago. According to O’Connor, that portrait had portrayed Toy as a weak man. “And that person is not Mr. Toy. It looks a bit like him, but it is not Mr. Toy. It’s just an image of Mr. Toy. In ten years’ time, when nobody knows Mr. Toy, it will be a very poor interpretation of him, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted the challenge. I thought I could do a better job than the guy who drew the portrait 15 years ago.” In addition, O’Connor said that although it was very hard to draw a portrait of such an iconic headmaster from just a photograph, he is happy with the effectiveness of the new portrait. Also,O’Connor mentioned that before he submitted the current portrait, he painted another painting, in which Toy’s hands were highlighted. “I wanted to paint Mr. Toy’s hands; Thus for this painting, I decided to make the shoulders and the head smaller, so that the hands would be a bit bigger. Toy’s hands are such a characterpiece for the staff and students. But when the picture was put up on the wall, the hands looked even bigger than what I had expected, so I really did not choose that one.“
After coming to this realization, O’Connor said that he went back to the art room and as quickly as possible drew up another portrait of Mr. Toy. The portrait finally hung on the wall of Mackean Hall only showed Toy’s head and shoulders. Finally, O’Connor commented that legacy is very important to both Toy and himself. He also believed that pictures and images play a huge part in shaping legacy, and that through his portrait of Toy, he had helped to shape an everlasting, powerful legacy.
By Joseph Lu imberley Orr, has embraced her new role at St. George’s School since joining last year. As the new Business and Economics teacher, Orr insists she has smoothly transitioned into the school’s community. “I thought [the transition] has been very smooth. The support from the Heads of Grade thoroughly impressed me. When I was asked to apply for a full-time position this year I felt like part of the community,” she explains. As an experienced educator who recently taught at St. Michael’s University and West Point Grey academy, Orr presents a unique teaching philosophy which she describes as, “Firm, fair, and friendly. My job as a teacher is not to be your best friend. I can be warm and inviting but my job is to teach.” The business teacher already loves her new school. “It’s a fabulous school. The opportunities here are vast and broad. And, there is something for everyone here regardless of their background and culture. The support network is second to none. Every student has someone they can go to for support.” Prior to Business, Orr also taught law, French, English, German, choir, physical education, and career planning.
She earned her MBA at the University of Victoria to go into banking and has had extensive experience in the field of business. Prior to joining Saints, Orr enjoyed working as a stay-at-home mom taking care of her fiveyear old son. Her favorite activities are golf and spending time with her son. “Anything my 5 year old likes to do. Biking, running, anything to do with him is my main interest,” Orr remarks with a grin on her face. On the golf course, the field hockey pitch, or the basketball court, Orr is no pushover. She was recruited to play both basketball and field hockey in high school. Ultimately, Orr chose to play basketball and went on to have a professional career spanning several years in Germany and Holland. “It was fabulous but it is not for everyone,” the former basketball player notes. Orr can speak four languages: English, French, Dutch, and German and has traveled to all five continents. Yet, it is Victoria she calls her favorite place. “It’s a city with lots to do, but it has got that small town feel; people have “time” for you.” She enjoys Italian, Indian, and Japanese cuisine and is fond of cooking for others. “I sing at weddings,” Orr added with a laugh. “I’ll do anything they want but no rap.”
Mr. Toy, former Headmaster of the school, will always be remembered by St. George’s as a powerful and amiable figure in this portrait drawn by Mr. O’ Conner.
A welcome addition to the St. George’s staff and faculty Screenshot of Wikispaces, St. George’s new internet medium
and the Indian Arm. In all, the changes have saved St. George’s over $5,000 and may very well set a precedent for other trips, even Seato-Sky 10. Though the school administration may be benefitting financially, many teachers have expressed dissatisfaction. Preferring to remain anonymous, many staff members shared the consensus that “[they] are now forced to waste a week of our own time”, with “no way to fairly assess the students.” When asked to comment, Page sympathizes, but feels that there is no compromising solution possible. To him, the only reason the staff could be angry is that they lose a week of “time off” when the Grade 9 students are away. Explorer 9 has indeed changed this year. Whether or not the changes have been for the better or for worse depends on the perspective taken. However, for now, it seems as though the staff have lost.
THE ECHO Students’ stories 10 student Siddoo thinking big for Grade 11’s Grade started web develBy Samir Javer community which will help the world around grand charitable initiative. This will not only fter all the build up and all the hype, us.” help those less fortunate, but will also point Grade 11 students were finally able to ex- With an abundance of previous experience, the grade towards a common goal. In essence, hale on October 8, 2010. This marked the day the Grade 11 president I would love a teamthat the results of the Grade 11 leadership core seemed very grateful for building process were announced, exactly one month into the his past leadership posithat would make school year. Under the new formation, long- tions. “I do feel that my us stronger as a time school leader Saahil Siddoo, who is a lif- previous leadership exgroup.” er at the school, will serve as president. Hafiz perience has been an asHe is one of many Dhanani, a Saint’s student since Grade eight, set in my ability to bring remarkable indiwill act as the vice president for the grade. to the forefront issues viduals in the grade Siddoo is no who seem to lead stranger to by example. The prominent leadlong-time leader ership positions; was quick to note he served as the this, saying, “Don’t head boy at the just look at me. Junior School in The Class of 2012 Grade seven, and is beaming with has been elected amazing potential as his grade’s both as a group and representative individually. From for all but one of athletics to acahis years at the demics to the arts, Senior School. this class is filled He promised the with talented boys Class of 2012 Saahil Siddoo (left) and Hafiz Dhanani(right), Grade 11 representatives, are striving to unite the whole who have a passion that this year grade to make it an unforgetable high school year. to succeed and to would be a fun, help those around productive and them.” inclusive one, It is evident that telling The Echo, “Some of my main goals for that affect my fellow peers. Throughout the this year’s Grade 11 class has something spethis year are to bring the whole grade together last three years, we have been able to bring cial about them. The boys form a group that as a cohesive unit, and to make this year a ful- countless initiatives to fruition because of will ultimately celebrate their success in their filling and successful year as a whole.” an experienced leadership team,” he said. grad year after years that included noteworA very well spoken leader, Siddoo stressed the The Grade 11 president’s main goal seemed to thy accomplishments time after time. Siddoo importance of gearing up for the peak of our be to give something substantial back to the finished on a rather profound note, leaving a high school year, saying, “More importantly, community, as he noted sometimes we take resonating message of his own. “This soon-towe want to set the stage for an unforgettable things for granted, saying, “The one thing that be grad class is a very diverse group of young senior tenor of high school. The student coun- I would like to accomplish this year is to re- men; young men who will undoubtedly make cil hopes to instill initiatives into the school ally involve the whole grade in some sort of a difference in the world.”
Khimji emphasizes students’ participation in upcoming year By Joseph Lu There may be no better person than Khimji to Khimji expects the student body to exceed fter years of being the “bride’s maid”, Kais be Head of Grade due to his past experience expectations in the classroom and on the Khimji’s time has come to be the head of as Assistant Head of Grade. “I’ve learned sports field. He expects that students will be the grade. Armed with a new philosophy, he a lot from my past experience but also from positive and participate in events. intends to make numerous changes to the way my religious activities outside of school. I’ve As for what will remain the same, Khimji the grade is run this year. learned how to organize things, present, and singles out social events. “I think we have At the core of this change, Khimji brings enough social events like forward a new leadership philosophy. He dances with Crofton and other believes students don’t think they have schools even though many much power to shape the grade. He said, don’t think so.” “We as Students can do as much as we Bombarded with suggestions want as long as we take initiative.” from students and peers, Khimji stressed the key to a good year Khimji explained just how stems from student participation. “We difficult it is to turn an idea need students to get excited about events into realty. “It starts out with otherwise they won’t succeed,” he said. the initial idea. Then we have As Head of Grade this year, Khimji has to ask how, the means of two main goals. The first is getting students money. Then we have to take involved with a hands-on charity. “I don’t into account the logistics, the want charity to be just about giving money cost, time, and place for the but I want students to get involved and do event. Then we have to set some hands-on work. A great example up a proposal and present would be the Terry Fox Run; people not it to Doctor Webster who only gave money but they ran.” then notifies Mr. Patel. If it Kais Khimji(left) and Stuwart Warren(right) are In addition, this 15 year old wanted to start is passed, we have to spread the ready to make it an exciting year for Grade 10’s an event that would end up being a tradition. word,” he explained. Although he wasn’t sure what it would be, he Khimji remained modest when stated he had plans for a possible ball hockey motivate.” explaining how he earned the trust of the grade. tournament in the fall, basketball tournament “In years past the leadership positions have “I know a lot of groups, talk to everyone, and in the winter, and dodge-ball tournament in been more of figure position, but this year maybe it is my personality. I think it was my the spring for the entire grade to participate in I think we can change that through taking speech, which was both humorous and serious and to help unify students. initiative,” the Head of Grade adds. as the same time.”
By Paul Hahn icolas Roussy Newton, a Grade 10 at Saint George’s has started his own company, and employed 14 people in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. “It all started last year,”says the 15-year-old, when my brother Olivier Francois, a St. George’s alumni, Jason James, and I created a company by the name of Novus Paradigm, which operates within the realms of: web development, mobile development, and other technology solutions. In addition, the company focuses strongly upon building a website or a program that is extremely user based, and individual for the customer.” Since its launch in 2009, Novus Paradigm has been successful in political campaigning software, medical consulting, and mobile banking. According to Newton, the company’s greatest achievement was when they got the oppertunity to work for and develop a complete website for America’s presidential Historian, Barry H. Landau. In addition, the student recalled another important event for his company. “We are close to launching a new initiative called Fashion For PINK which helps raise awareness for local charities. This was done in tandem with Outfitlab, a local social networking site with a focus on fashion.” Newton’s plan for the future is to encourage the growth of his company and he would especially like to expand his charitable initiatives such as Fashion for Pink and the Pakistan Relief Initiative that he has been working on. Also, he plans on launching his fashion technology startup Outfitlab, offering personal charitable solutions, very soon. “We look forward to continue launching our various startups and ventures in new areas such as mobile phone development and customized sim and sd card development. We also are planning to attain more consumers by strategically launching our businesses in countries such as China, South Korea, India and Japan, to name a few.” Currently, Novus Paradigm is based in downtown Vancouver, and although only his brother and the Saints Old Boy work there full time, Newton works hard to nurture, empower, and guide local talent, in order to further Vancouver’s image as the Silicon Valley of Canada. Although Newton works very hard on his company, in order to expand it, and ultimately make more money, the Grade 10 student will not let his company get in the way of his everyday life. He is still an active participant in the typical life of St. George’s. Among other activities, Newton is attending the French Advanced Class, and still participates in competetive athletic teams. According to Newton, he still honours his reponsibilities at Saint George’s out of respect for his own education and his parents’ wish to complete his career at Saints.
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Evan Liu’s successful publication By Peter Ding van Liu, a Grade 12 student at Saint George’s school, published his first novel, When the Maple Leaves Fall, in Chinese this past July. Liu’s book, the first in a trilogy, was
currently selling only in China. “It has not been a long time since publication, so I am unable to receive the statistics of my book sales,” said Liu, looking forward to getting the data in late November. The author, whose pseudonym is “the Black Feathered Sage”, started writing his story in Grade 9 and finished the trilogy, consisting of more than 600,000 Chinese characters, in March of his Grade 10 year. The second novel, he estimated, would come out in late October this year. “I initially published my work online and received a variety of comments from readers. Some appreciated my rich imagination, while others expected more Liu is apparently very happy to have his debut work published innovative themes,” and decorated with neatly drawn pictures. said the Grade 12 student. “However, published by Hua-Wen Press, a prominent I am very encouraged by and satisfactory publishing company in China. The book is with hearing the prompt and sincere response
from the readers of my first work.” Readers’ positive comments, along with his parents’ suggestions, compelled Liu to send his work to the press in March of his Grade 11 year.
By Peter Ding t. George’s Yuri Guerra, a new student to the school, has been impressing students and staff with his singing voice since his arrival in September. A Grade 11 student, Guerra is interested in pursuing a career as an opera singer. “I have loved singing since I was very young but have had no chance to perform in front of any audience. When I was eight, my primary school music teacher asked me, ‘Why don’t you sing for the class?’ I just tried although I was a bit nervous. Surprisingly, the teacher wanted me to record a CD in the summer.” At age 10, Guerra started “lyric” singing. He was admitted to the Palace of Art in his school, which he describes as a big institution where he was surrounded by great artists.
derscored that Latin, especially, was a great language from an artistic perspective. Coming to Canada for high school does not affect Guerra’s career at all. “My career is not for a country or a specific place but for the whole world,” the young opera singer said. “My past experience helps me to manage my career in other countries.” Guerra has become a student of Jessica Yan, a music professor from UBC who is currently performing in the United States.
The author created a fairy-tale world that resembles 16th century Europe. The main themes of the novel are friendship and teamwork. The protagonists are youngblooded teenagers, whose background will be traced throughout the series. Liu is currently working on another book based on his experiences at St. Georges. According to the budding writer, the draft will hopefully be completed in March or April of the coming year. Liu came to Canada six years ago. However, he never stopped reading great works of Chinese literature, writing his weekly diaries, and, during his summer breaks in China, taking Chinese lessons. “When I was very young, I loved fantasies a lot. Whenever I see other people’s interesting stories, I tend to learn from their ideas,” Liu said. He started the book by accumulating his fantasy ideas day by day. In his Grade 10 year, Liu spent almost three hours per day writing, sometimes staying up until mid-night. “I finally finished the book, after sacrificing high marks at school, ” he admitted. Although the author does not consider his English language skills adequate to write good English novels, he will try to write one during late Grade 12 or after graduation.
A new artist landed on St. George’s S
da, to sing in churches in front of crowds of people. “I love traveling to different places to see reactions from different people. It taught me how to manage the technique despite the
Guerra is not only fond of opera but also shows interest in more mainstream musicals. He started studying musicals before he came to Canada. Guerra is trying to go to the US after graduation, where musicals were widely welcomed and highly appreciated, for university. He felt very fortunate to find Nestor Gurry, one of the best Having heard his friend’s teachers in his home-city, and Guerra Yuri Guerra wishes that St. George’s will lead his way to a suc- recommendation, Janaina Pimenta, one of the best chose St. George’s for its speech therapist in Brazil. He cessful career. curriculum, which resembles learned a lot from these teachers, that of his previous school. especially from Pimenta, who had nurtured anxiousness before a performance.” Apparently, Guerra enjoys his life as a boardworld-famous singers such as Ivete Sangalo. Guerra is multilingual. He speaks Portuguese, er. He found it “home-sick curing” to make Usually, Guerra likes to perform for his fam- Italian, Spanish, Latin, and English. Master- new friends around the world, live in new ily and friends. He has traveled to many coun- ing various languages seemed to be a natural communities, and learn how to respect many tries, such as Italy, the US, Isreal, and Cana- consequence and necessity for Guerra. He un- other people.
An unforgetable experience By Ian Tai
n the 20th of S e p t e m b e r, 2010, the grade 8 students set off on their first outdoor adventure since arriving at the Senior school. Loon Lake is a research facility for the University of British Columbia, as well as a camp built for kids and teens with cancer, called Camp Goodtimes. The four day trip to Loon Lake was certainly a great way to kick-start the grade 8’s first year at the senior school. The trip featured a wide variety of activities, including kayaking, canoeing, high ropes, low ropes, rock climbing, hiking and many more. The food offered at Loon Lake was decent, but perhaps one of the few downfalls of the experience was the line ups. This was caused by the fact that the dining hall was miniscule, fitting less than a quarter of the grade in one sitting. This meant that the rest of the people had to wait outside the dining hall for more than 40 minutes at times. Most of these people just came back from activities like hiking, which took an extra half hour to complete. The last night of camp was the most dreaded task of all, something that almost none of us had ever done before: To build our own shelter, cook our own food, then sleep under the shelter during a hailstorm. This meant that we had to use our knot tying skills we had learned the night before to try build a tent out of tarp; and hope that we didn’t tie any of the knots wrong or the tarp would fall on all of us while we were sleeping. Luckily, all of us were fortunate enough to survive, despite most people managing only five or six hours of sleep and getting their bags soaked in the rain (but some of us managed to snore away into the night). Head of Grade 8 Mr. P. Palmer stated that the organizers are considering changing this activity and making it enjoyable in both rain or shine. There could definitely be some changes done to the trip. According to grade 8 student Sid Bhullar’s words, “I hope they organize the cafeteria line better next year, because this year it was really difficult to get by [the] people and the line up felt like it wasn’t moving for an hour or so”. He later added that he thinks that they could fix this problem by “send[ing] one group at a time, instead of just letting all the grade 8 boys loose, and ready to charge at the food”! Mr. Palmer also suggested that next year’s camp will hopefully be from Tuesday to Friday, instead of Monday to Thursday like this year. This makes it easier for the future grade 8’s to rest after camp, instead of having to go to school for another day. Overall, grade 8 camp has been an unforgettable experience, from the laughs we shared before falling asleep to the exhausting two and a half hour hike around the lake. On behalf of all the grade 8’s, I truly thank the staff who both organized this fantastic trip and took time off of their personal lives to come to camp with us.
Feature and Creative Writings
Day enjoys unanimous JJ wins top three CBC spot Purple support from staff and students By Samir Javer s CBC continues its province-wide search for British Columbia’s next big singer, a certain Grade 11 student has made his mark on the musical world. JJ Asuming-Tawiah, a well-known singer in the school, has been selected into the Top 3 of the CBC’s “On The Coast” competition, which aims to find the best high-school solo act in BC. As a result of being selected to this elite group of artists, he will be given the chance to perform for a large crowd in Vancouver, an opportunity that will undoubtedly give the Grade 11 student’s musical career an enormous boost. He will perform at the Trees Organic Coffee House on November 5 in Vancouver, from 3:00-6:00 PM. The sixteen year old will also be interviewed by CBC at school on November 3, 2010. The results of the Top 3 were revealed on October 29, 2010, and Asuming-Tawiah was overjoyed when he found out he had made it to the next round. “When I found out I had made the Top 3, I was speechless. It was a feeling like no other,” said the Grade 11 boy. “I thought the Top 13 was as far as I would go, but this is unfathomable.” After having made the Top 13, the musical artist was given a nice surprise when he turned on the radio in his car that afternoon. The song that he entered into the competition, entitled “Mr. Shy”, was played on CBC radio, preceded by an introduction of the student by the radio host. This self-written song has over 600 plays on CBC’s website, and its views on AsumingTawiah’s YouTube channel, entitled “Still-
JayJ”, have skyrocketed ever since the results were revealed. He admitted the song was a challenge to record largely in part due to a sudden illness, but was up to the task, telling The Echo, “The only concern was that I was sick. I only had a couple of days to record, but thankfully it went alright. For me, ‘Mr. Shy’ isn’t the easiest of songs to sing, so by choosing this song I think I showed them what I was capable of. Also, I think they liked my little rap at the end because it showed some versatility.” Asuming-Tawiah first learned of the contest from a member of the St. George’s staff, namely Robert Wisden. He jumped at the opportunity, submitted his entry, and the rest is history. He said that so far, the contest has been a big learning experience for him, saying, “What I’ve learned through this whole process is that to never give up. One of my friends also entered the competition and he didn’t make it to the Top 13 but he told me that he wasn’t going to give up, and he’ll be back even stronger. And I think that this is what competitions are all about. Even if you fall you’ve always got to get back up.” The sixteen year old has a ways to go before he can make it big, but is seemingly making the right first few steps and has the right attitude. “I think competitions like these really show how much you really care about what you do, because if you have a passion and a dream, just grab it. Don’t ever believe you can’t do it. No matter how many times people push you down, you’ve got to get back up and show them otherwise.”
By Joseph Lu
tudents and staff of St. George’s school overwhelmingly support the Purple Day initiative according to a recent survey. Seventy seven percent of the more than 50 polled said they support Purple Day, 61 percent of those saying they fully support the cause. When asked if he supported Purple Day, Mark Sauer, Grade 10 Councilor responded, “Absolutely! I think that it was a serious issue to address. I think that anytime people don’t feel safe to the point where they commit suicide, we as a group need to acknowledge that and stand up and support safe schools for all kids.” While support was readily found from the community, only 46 percent of respondents acknowledged there was a problem of homophobia at the school. Seventy nine percent of students and staff say they are not aware of any victims of homophobia at St. George’s. Sauer believes homophobia is prevalent in the school. “I think there is [homophobia] anywhere. At Saints or like any other place in society, I think there are people who exist who are homophobic. They don’t know or understand kids who are gay and the way they see things in the world and that sort of stuff.” “I think it is an issue that needs addressing but to be honest, I really don’t know [how big it is]. Being a teacher is tough because the students know more than us,” he adds.
Moving forward:With national title hopes drowned Saints First XI puts on a show against archrival VC By Samir Javer ver the week of October 13, 2010, the St. George’s First XI competed in the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) national soccer tournament. The team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in extra time of the semi-finals at the hands of their Eastern Canadian counterpart, Upper Canada College. Saints’ first game was against Albert College, a private and boarding school in Alberta. Their opponents were evidently not much of a challenge, as Saints won 8-1 with ease. The team’s next game was against Holy Trinity, the host school, which proved to be a bit more of a challenge, but once again, Saints came out on top, this time 3-0. Their third game was against Armbrae Academy from Halifax, and Saints cruised to victory with a 10-0 blanking of their opponents. That game wrapped up the round-robin portion of the tournament, and it was on to the playoff round for the boys. The First XI was then matched up with Lower Canada College in the quarterfinals. This game was a hard-fought one with lots of action, and it ended in Saints coming out on top by a 3-0 score. In the semifinals, Saints was pitted against the competitive Upper Canada College, a team that always gives St. George’s a challenge. Through 90 minutes of play, the teams were
deadlocked at 0-0. In injury time, Saints made a last-second bid for the victory as Grade 11 players Aaron Man and James Pitblado both missed crucial chances that could have given the team a dramatic victory. It was then off to extra time, where Saints was dealt a heartbreaking blow as they allowed a goal partway through extra time, giving Upper Canada College the victory, and ultimately a date with Ashbury College in the finals. Grade 11 student James Pitblado said the loss was tough to cope with, but the team has their heads up. “Obviously that game was a hard one to watch as UCC celebrated, but we feel like we accomplished something significant, that being us having made significant strides in our play as a team. And with the VC series coming up soon, we’ll be back to business in no time.” With their CAIS title hopes having faded away, Saints drew its focus toward its crucial two-game aggregate series against Vancouver College.
Game one of the highly-touted series took place on October 26, 2010, on Nigel Toy Field, home of the Saints. The match drew a large crowd in spite of the rainy conditions, and the boys were there cheering on the home team as loud as ever. However, Vancouver College proved to be no match for the Saints, and the home team left
the crowd in awe. The lopsided game ended in the Saints’ favor by a score of 4-0, with two goals from Grade 11 star Mohammad Kashanipour as well as one goal from both Brendan Catliff and team captain Bryan Fong. The latter half of the two-game series was scheduled to take place on October 28, however the team was surprised when they heard Vancouver College had actually forfeited. According to Grade 11 student Daniel Tsang, who has a friend on the VC team, “The coach was the one who called the forfeit. All the players wanted to come back and play, but the forfeit was solely the coach’s decision.” As a result, St. George’s was declared the winner of the brief series; however, the team was disappointed in their rival’s decision. Tsang told The Echo, “We were disappointed too, as we all wanted to play them again really badly.” By winning the series, Saints advanced to the prestigious Lower Mainland Tournament, where they will surely face some challenging opposition. The tournament takes place in early November. Despite having their hopes drowned by a heartbreaking loss at the CAIS tournament, it is evident that the St. George’s First XI is firmly moving forward as their highly successful soccer season draws to an end.
The councilor pointed out the common practice of students using a derogatory word when referring to something they do not like, especially the use of the word ‘gay.’
Fifty seven percent of those polled said they believed Purple Day would have a slight impact on spreading awareness of the issue. In addition, 79 percent think that the school is doing enough about fighting homophobia. Sauer believes educating and respecting others’ differences is the best way to eliminate homophobia. “We need to treat others with respect, respect their differences, and people need to educate themselves.” Purple Day took place on October 20 at the school and around North America. Numerous students wore purple shirts, hoodies, caps, shoes, and pants to show their support for anti-homophobia. Planned by the Grad Committee, the day was proposed after several suicides of young-gay men in North America who were bullied, taunted, and harassed by their peers. The school website describes the day as, “Not tolerating intolerance. Students at the school take a stance against homophobic bullying.” Sauer advised that the best thing to do if you are struggling with the issue is to find someone to talk to whom you trust and know he or she genuinely cares about you and can offer support.
Theatre production preview
The Sound of Music
By Jamie MacKay he St.Georges community has a long history in theatre arts. The Saints Players Theatre Company is putting on 5 productions this year. Last year, 4,500 people were entertained by the productions. Some of the plays last year include The Jungle Book and A Few Good Men. 125-200 students from St.Georges, York House, Crofton House and West Point Grey Academy took part in the casts and crews. From November Third to November sixth the school will present The Sound of Music. The Broadway musical was first cast in 1965 and has been converted into a film. This production is very demanding and will be a challenge to produce. One of the challenges, said by Ed Mortimer, the producer of this play, was it would be difficult to bring the story to the audience in a believable way. It will also be difficult to find child actors who are skilled enough. Saints chose this play because it was an opportunity for a wide age range, it is well known and it has catchy tunes. This play will be successful as long as they can work productively and stay on track.