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Department Profiles • Med school 101 • GEORGIAN HONOURS



St. George’s School

Fall 2009


DRAGON St. George’s School

EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR Gordon C.  Allan Director of Development




Academically Speaking: An Interview with Headmaster Nigel Toy by Gordon C. Allan


From the Chair: Board Priorities by Rob Cruickshank


The Making of a Successful Student by Stephen Sturgeon


Science at Saints by Dr. Tony Mercer


Med School 101 Comes to Summer at Saints by Pat Dyck


The Advanced Placement Program: An Overview by Bill Collins


Single Sex Education: A Hot Topic by Gordon C. Allan


Robotics by Andrew Kay


On the Shoulder of Giants: Mathematics at Saints by Andrew Jones


Social Studies: It’s All About Critical Thinking by Chris Ingvaldson ’87


Languages: The Communications Department by Patrice Dixon


English Department: A Well-developed Story by Carol van Rijn


Student Services: Opportunity and Support by Brian Lee


Information Technology @ Saints by Fred Alexander


Then and Now: A Photographic Retrospective by Elizabeth Knox

ARCHIVES AND HISTORY EDITOR Elizabeth Knox School Archivist and Historian GEORGIANS’ SECTION SENIOR GEORGIANS’ EDITOR Bryan R. Ide ‘99­ Manager of Georgian Relations President of the Georgians and the St. George’s Old Boys’ Association D. Scott Lamb ‘79 PHOTOGRAPHERS Richelle Akimow Photgraphy Gordon Allan Kyla Brown Photgraphy Bruce Elbeblawy Bryan R. Ide ’99 St. George’s School Archives Summer at Saints Staff City of Vancouver Archives   The Dragon is published twice per year, expressly for Georgians, parents, and friends of St. George’s School. It is also distributed to other Canadian independent schools and selected public or private institutions. Comments about any of the articles are always welcome. Address all correspondence to: Gordon C. Allan – Managing Editor, The Dragon St. George’s School 4175 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6S 1V1 CANADA Phone: 604.224.1304 Fax: 604.224.7066 Email: Please contact our office to be added to the mailing list.

PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40580507 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: ST. GEORGE’S SCHOOL SOCIETY 3851 WEST 29TH AVENUE VANCOUVER BC V6S 1T6 The Dragon is copyright © 2008 St. George’s School, Vancouver BC Canada. Reproduction rights: We encourage you to circulate or copy this material unmodified for your own private use. You may quote any article or portion of article with attribution. Quotation of any article or portion of article without attribution is prohibited. The Dragon, its contents, or material may not be sold, intact or modified, nor included in any package or product offered for sale.

A Very Different World from When I Went to School by Gordon C. Allan

School Life

THE  Georgians’ SECTION 36

From the President of the Georgians by D. Scott Lamb ’79


Honouring Our Very Best Interviews by Bryan R. Ide ‘99


Edward Chamberlin ’60: A Gifted Scholar Interview by Dwight Hillis and Bryan R. Ide ’99


Georgian Events in Photos


Saints’ Notes Compiled by Bryan R. Ide ‘99


Year Captains


Looking Back at the It’s a Saints World Gala 2009

St. George’s School is proud to be associated with:

Fall 2009

from the managing editor

Gordon C. Allan Director of Development

A Very Different World

from When I Went to School

The three Rs continue to serve as underpinnings for most of today’s school curricula, but the delivery of this subject matter and the value placed on its content versus process has changed. A typical young person has more information at his fingertips than ever before and technology and the World Wide Web are presenting him with a whole new way of accessing information and expressing what it is he wants to say. The challenge for a school like Saints is not to lose touch of what we have always valued as educators. Cultural literacy and general knowledge are still crucial in a world that has fundamentally changed since we went to school. St. George’s School has recently started to analyse its brand to determine how our program can be even more thought provoking,

At the start of the year, we co-hosted a presentation by Alan November, a world-renowned expert on technology in education. He focused on how technology impacts web literacy, global communication, collaboration, assessment, and critical thinking. His ideas resonated with all of us who were in attendance and clearly illustrated how we as a school need to redefine our approach to education and technology. In this issue of The Dragon, you will read about some of the exciting academic programs now being offered at St. George’s School and how the three Rs have evolved into a multi-faced and complex curriculum to prepare our graduates for a very different world. We are also pleased to highlight this year’s Georgian Honours recipients, each of whom is an academic leader in his own right.

The challenge for a school like Saints is not to lose touch of what we have always valued as educators.

empowering, and enriching for our students. The results of this analysis will be revealed in the coming months.

For many of us, the three Rs characterized academics during our elementary and high school years. The focus was often on memorizing and rarely about process. It was about passing tests and not about critical thinking.


Academically Speaking An Interview with Headmaster Nigel Toy by Gordon C. Allan To what do you attribute the School’s consistent success in Academics? There has always been a strong academic culture at St. George’s. We have continued to attract talented teachers and the blend of young with the very experienced has enriched the faculty. This has built a culture of very high academic expectations, which motivate both students and teachers. We take pride in being the best and, when organizations rank schools in BC, we value coming out on top. The Director of Studies Office is a very powerful hub to an exciting and diverse curriculum. If I had to point to an overriding factor, it is the respect that exists between student and teacher. Everybody cares about the important things. The ability of every boy to succeed and find his place in the School matters to our administration and teachers.

The DRAGON Fall 2009

When I see the energy and the boundless enthusiasm in our Grades 1 and 2 classes, I know they will go on to enhance the academic integrity of the School.


How has the overall Academic Program evolved since you have been at the School? Clearly the School has grown its enrollment and the numbers in Grades 11 and 12 are probably double that

of 20 years ago. This engenders more diverse talent and provides healthy competition. Courses and course numbers have expanded. Students embark on challenging programs and contests and this is reflected in the great successes we have enjoyed with Advanced Placement and the many national and international contests that have seen St. George’s School placed at the top. Over the past decade, we have worked hard to establish sensible class sizes. We have also organized the timetable to help good students accelerate. Added to that, are the many innovative resources that have been introduced. The Library is still the academic heart of a learning institution and St. George’s School has wonderful facilities at both the Senior and Junior campuses. We still continue a strong emphasis on exams and the results reflect excellent teaching and highly motivated students. In those years when Provincial exams were compulsory and the Ministry awarded Scholarships to high-performing graduates, St. George’s garnered totals that represented 60 per cent of the class and was a leading school in the province. This year, nearly 100 grads were awarded Ministry Scholarships. What do you see as one of the recent highlights of

the program? I guess highlights extend over a sustained period and many have emerged as a consequence of having time to develop. The expansion of courses and the ability to deliver individual timetables at the senior level has made us a very attractive academic school. Offering programs such as six languages or the introduction of courses such as Genetics, Earth Science, and Theatre Arts are all examples. The strengthening of our department structures across both campuses and the focus on securing specialist teachers for key areas supports academic excellence. For me, one of the real accomplishments, and very dear to the mission of St. George’s School, is the success we have had in providing such balance to the core academic programs with our Arts, Music, Athletics, and of course, the myriad of Clubs and Societies. Today, there is also the added emphasis on Service and Charity. Students tell me constantly have much they value the huge range of options available at St. George’s School. Finally, it is always rewarding to know we have topped an Institute’s (Fraser) academic ranking of schools for ten consecutive years. One I always take pride in: that as an all-boys’ school, we compete with the best girls’ schools in the world. I have always said that families will choose a school first and foremost for its academic prowess. For many Georgians, their recollection of school was memorizing dates and formulas.Would you say our curriculum is more processed oriented now? I cannot say with authority that such a question represents what the School once was. Certainly, in my school days there was a big emphasis on learning facts. Yes, all schools have moved to try to teach differently and student themselves are better at self-directed learning.

A number of schools are introducing IB programs. Saints continues to focus on AP courses. What are your thoughts on this? The International Baccalaureate Program has certainly expanded into many schools world-wide and a number of BC Independent Schools are now embracing it.

I do feel our longer periods have opened up the scope for more discussion, dialogue, and debate. Students still find enormous fulfillment and development in the interaction of students with teachers. A good class is a still dynamic and invigorating learning environment.


As Headmaster, I have misgivings on the overall benefits and would struggle to see how it could fit into the mission of St. George’s School to nurture the all-round boy. Currently, St. George’s has a very creditable academic program. We are one of the largest Advanced Placement Programs in BC and our graduates are highly competitive for university places virtually anywhere in the world. My research would indicate that IB schools and grads are no more competitive in the university placement stakes and many IB Schools have found it challenging to balance their extra-curricular programs with the IB culture. What do you anticipate will change in the way we impart our academic instruction in the years to come? I am sure there will be changes, though the criticism that seems to bedevil most in the educational sector is that schools have barely changed over the last 100 years. Some changes that will emerge are firstly, technology will find its rightful place in the education of all ages. Furthermore, there will be less emphasis on exams as a preeminent assessment tool and we will cater more to different learning styles. A corollary of that is knowing more about maturation and the stages of learning. A key shift that I believe is inevitable is adapting to more flexible school hours and ‘seasons’. By that, we can increase

all schools have moved to try to teach differently and student themselves are better at self-directed learning.

I do have some knowledge of it and its impact on schools; however I do not possess first-hand experience.

instructional time and allow our facilities to be used for more of the day. That opens up innovation, flexibility, and a more student-centred approach. The old Headmaster in me cherishes the ability of a school to provide all the endeavours of a true community. All those experiences that we give beyond the classroom are such important building blocks in a young person’s life. If anything, schools may be required to take greater responsibility for health, recreation, artistic development, athletic participation, and societal responsibilities. I am very proud that St. George’s School gives so much opportunity for individual expression and team endeavours. There is a sense that all belong to an expansive and multidimensional community.


The DRAGON Fall 2009

Celebrate Mr.Toy’s leadership and tremendous contribution to the St. George’s School Community for the past 13 years.


Sunday, June 13, 2010 Senior School Fields


from the CHAIRMAN

Rob Cruickshank Chairman

Board Priorities Your Board, or subsets thereof, continue to focus on our three top priorities: hiring and stewarding the Head, creating a Strategic Plan, and raising the funds necessary to execute the Strategic Plan.

paper. By the time this article is published we will know for sure but, as indicated, the candidates appear strong and feedback on them has supported that evaluation.

With respect to stewarding the Head this is, as you all know, Nigel’s last year. He continues to amaze, as he has over his previous twelve years, with his passionate leadership, tireless energy, and complete commitment to our boys and the School. There will be many well-deserved recognition events throughout the year with the Gala, on October 2 (see pages 56–57), being the first.

The final area is whether you can secure the candidate you believe to be the best fit. We are confident that will be the case and continue to be on track to make our selection in November.

The second area of trepidation is whether the applicants are as good in reality as they appear on

We know that one of the marks of a great school is a healthy endowment.

There are three areas of trepidation in a search. The first is whether anyone will be interested in the role. I am pleased to say that we had a great deal of interest from around the world. We have been very pleased with our consultant’s ability both to cultivate and gain feedback on our applicants. The result is a very strong list with outstanding pedigrees.

Finally is the area of fundraising to support our Plan. We know that one of the marks of a great school is a healthy endowment. Nigel has expressed his desire to focus on building our endowment throughout his final year. I am pleased to report that each and every member of the four Boards involved in the School; Society, Foundation, Auxiliary, and Georgians have pledged financial support to our endowment. We are very much hoping that the rest of the community will follow their lead and that we can use Nigel’s last year as the kick-off to taking St George’s endowment to a level commensurate with great schools.

In the search for Nigel’s replacement, I would first like to thank everyone who took advantage of the opportunity to provide input with respect to the School today, what they might like to see in the School’s future, and what attributes they would like to see in the new Head of St George’s School. The resulting profile document was extremely thorough because of this thoughtful input.

Previously I had indicated that we were working toward year-end for completion of our next Strategic Plan. In the course of talking to prospective candidates it has become apparent that the new Head will want to be able to have input into the new Plan. With that in mind we will take the current work to ‘draft’ and wait for our new Head before finalizing the document. Our current plan, while officially ending at year-end, provides sufficient guidance to bridge us over the interim period.


The making of a

Successful by: Stephen Sturgeon

Deputy Principal of the Junior School


The DRAGON Fall 2009

Education at the Junior School


This summer during the annual cleaning of my office (actually, by the time summer rolls around, it is more like a purge—a joyful disposal of all things irrelevant), I happened upon an old university poetry text buried deep under a pile of other books. Its cover was badly beaten and its pages tattered. My first impulse was to heave the book on to the recycle pile, so I flipped through its pages to ensure that there was no name or personal information inside. My eyes fell upon the poem The Road not Taken by Robert Frost.

I have read this poem many times, but on this occasion its message had particular resonance. Frost says that he came upon two roads within a yellow wood. One direction lead to what he knew, the familiar, the set of habits and tendencies he had inherited and acquired; all that is safe. The other one lead to the unknown. It was unwalked and had an uncertain destination. He then had to choose which direction he would take. He says, ‘I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference’. Earlier in the day, I had spent a couple of agonizing hours at the skateboard park with my seven-year old son. I have learned that skateboarding is not for the faint of heart. Mistakes are common and the cement is very unforgiving. By this time, my son’s legs and arms were spotted with bruises. (He wears a helmet, elbow/knee pads, and wrist guards, but he still seems to find unprotected body parts to injure. I have toyed with the idea of wrapping him in bubble wrap but I am pretty sure there are laws against that.) He was determined to complete this one particular ‘trick’. I am not sure what it is called, perhaps Death Drop or Leg Breaker!

I tell this story now because I think it is an appropriate one in the edition of The Dragon devoted to Academics. Boys in the Junior School face obstacles each day: academic, physical, social, emotional. As much as we want to protect our sons from every possible hardship, they must learn how to overcome adversity. They can’t give up when faced with a challenge and we can’t always rush in to right the wrongs. Successful St. George’s boys are those who stare their demons in the face and refuse to back down. They are the ones who say, ‘I will try’ not ‘I can’t do it.’ They are not afraid to admit defeat but seek help when they can’t succeed and are proud to share success with others. They teach as much as they learn. They do not pounce on the weaknesses of others but

acknowledge their own and work to improve them. They enjoy the absurdities of life and commit to a full body laugh each day. They lead when they can and know when it’s better to follow. Successful St. George’s boys appreciate their great fortune in having been born in a time and place where their opinions matter and they try to ensure that all voices are heard. They are red-faced from a good game at lunch and dirtied from their fall on the yard. They are polite, respectful of others, and show support to those in need. They know when to be loud and when they should listen. They know that making mistakes is natural and not to make a mistake means that they have not taken a risk. They win. They lose. But they don’t give up or take the easy way out. They don’t necessarily do what everyone else is doing. They choose the path that fits best for them. So much of school and learning happens outside the controlled environment of the classroom. It is important for the boys to learn on the playground and on their way to the pool…standing in line after recess or as they sit quietly in chapel. They learn from their teachers and parents but also their friends. They learn that the road that is well worn may be safe and secure but the road less travelled offers a whole lot more potential for adventure.

The end of the skateboard is positioned on the lip of a ramp and then gravity does its job and successful participants whiz to the bottom, a look of satisfaction on their faces. There he stood at the top of the ramp and I could tell he was deciding what he was going to do; proceed and risk yet another injury or walk away and continue doing what he knew he could. It was much easier for him to simply walk away; there was no threat of injury and if truth be told, I would have been much happier. Instead, he steadied his nerves and jumped off. He fell. He got hurt. He cried. Then he got up and did it again and again and again. By the end of the morning, he had successfully completed the trick. Even though his body ached from head to toe, he was proud that he had done what he had set out to do. (I was too.)


Graduates from decades ago often stand agape at the fine facilities in the Chan Pavilion for Arts and Sciences; a total of eight labs dedicated to the study of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science. Long gone are the days of dungeon-like labs deep in the bowels of the school. Our science classrooms now come equipped with video projectors, sound systems, computer-aided labs, and first-class laboratory equipment. All students can have the experience of student-centred learning through hands-on, experimental investigation. Supported by the invaluable assistance of our lab technicians, there is no doubt that we provide all that is required for the complete education of the scientists of tomorrow. At the Junior School, five years ago we had a renovation of the science laboratory to include new storage rooms, cupboards, and a fume hood to complete the state-of-the-art classroom.

Science at Saints

The DRAGON Fall 2009

by: Dr. Tony Mercer, Head of Science


Bob Bacon

John Lawrence

Paul Baumann

The Science Department

Mr. Bob Bacon, whose gargantuan frame enclosed a gentle man had a passion for physics that remained unparalleled. For him, physics really was fun and his bear-like hugs were designed to convince the students that he was right. A man who believed that physics should be taught with string, blocks, carts, stop watches, and ramps, would perhaps look askance at the high tech, computer assisted equipment available to the present-day physics student. Mr. Paul Baumann was an extraordinary biology teacher, whose board work was second to none and who provided models of great ingenuity to demonstrate animal behaviour. Few students who were privileged to see Mr. Baumann teach the mating ritual of the male fruit fly, will ever forget it: I certainly haven’t. At the Senior School, the science department is the biggest department with 13 teachers. It prides itself on the level of scholarship and opportunities for diverse study. The junior courses are still divided into the three sections of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, and the students rotate through specialist teachers during the school year. In Grade 8, the students are placed into non-streamed classes so that they can demonstrate their abilities at the high-school level. There is no acceleration in science in the junior grades and the needs of the best students in Grades 9 and 10 are met through enrichment material. The fact that all students must study the same material is especially important in Grade 10, as there is now a Science 10 Provincial Examination in June. Our averages in this examination are around 18 per cent above the provincial averages: a testament to the quality of our students and the strength of the teaching provided by the talented staff. In the graduation program, small class sizes provide the key component of quality education with the opportunity for hands-on experimentation and thoughtful discussion. In Grade 11, all students must take one Science 11 but many take two and, a few, with measured academic counselling, will take on the challenge of three. Chemistry 11 is the most popular course with over 60 per cent of the grade

enrolled. Many students continue their studies at the Grade 12 level and on to university where popular degree options are in biochemistry, medicine, and dentistry. A wide selection of courses is offered for the very best science students: AP level courses of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and a recent and significant addition, Environmental Science. We score very highly on these exams with approximately 70 per cent receiving the highest grade of five. An additional elective is Genetics 12, a course that introduces students to university-level material and the opportunity to conduct lab work at UBC. A recent innovation is a Chemistry 11 and 12 Honours program. Students can take Chemistry 11, Chemistry 12, and AP Chemistry in just two courses over two years. Outside the classroom, experiential learning is fostered through field trips around Vancouver and annually to Bamfield for Marine Biology. The Science Department has conducted three trips to the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s great natural ecological wonders. Students are encouraged to participate in summer school programs, science fair projects, and in external contests. In these contests, we always do exceptionally well with individual students frequently placing in the top positions. Every year we enter students in the Avogadro Competition (Chemistry 11), Sir Isaac Newton Contest (Physics 12), Canadian Chemistry Competition (Chemistry AP), and University of Toronto Biology Competition (Biology AP). The results from the latter are especially praiseworthy as the school team has placed first in Canada three times in the last six years. Another offshoot of the science department is the Robotics Team. This team has produced outstanding results in competitions against both high school and university teams in North America. At the Junior School, the students compete and do exceptionally well with the greater regional science fair with some projects achieving a gold medal and going on to further successes at the national level. As we step solidly into the twenty-first century, science at St. George’s has a clear mandate to increase the use of web-based learning and there is much encouragement for teachers to participate in professional development to enhance the innovative and creative learning experiences offered to students. As the mission statement of the science department clearly states, the department is fully committed: ‘To inspire students to become successful individuals who strive to be scientifically literate; are adept with new technologies; are able to observe, experiment, and reason critically; work cooperatively; and are committed to making a positive contribution to society and the environment through ethical and informed decision making.’

Science has long been established as one of our major departments and, as in all great schools, the science department has had its share of charismatic if not quirky teachers; perhaps more than its fair share. Three instantly come to my mind. Who could forget Mr. John Lawrence? A true renaissance man who was prone to leaping up on the laboratory bench, metre rule in hand and with his trademark: ‘Gentlemen…’ launch into a passionate discourse on the relationships between chemistry and the real world, quoting from the lives of famous scientists or tipping points in human development. He made science not simply a series of facts but gave the subject a human face and a political and social significance.


MEDSCHOOL101 by: Patrick Dyck, Summer and Adult Programs

comes to Summer at Saints

Over the course of 15 summers, Summer Programs at Saints have witnessed an explosive growth in enrollment and demand for unique summer learning opportunities. In response to this need, tactile, active, interesting, and unique enrichment programs have been designed to accommodate the approximately 3,000 local students who attend each season. The majority of our clientele range in age from four to 13 years of age, therefore we have seen a growing interest in specialty camps for teens. Now, we offer Employment Prep, Cross Town Leadership, Game Design from Scratch, and most recently, Med School 101.

The DRAGON Fall 2009

After surveying our parent constituency, we found over 250 parents with the title ‘Dr.’ in front of their names. With so many such parents and alumni in medicine, we realized we had a pool of informed specialists on which we could call to offer meaningful courses to help students decide if medicine might be a career of choice.


Last year, four alumni from British Medical Schools, under the guidance of recently graduated Dr. Alasdair Nazerali ’03, presented daily lectures, labs, and case studies to a group of 20 future medical students from all over the globe. Bjorn Thomas ’05, Justin Chang ’05, Mitchell Goldenberg ’07 (St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London) and Shaan Pawa ’07 (St. Andrew’s, Scotland) teamed up to provide a

real-time glimpse into what medical school is like. The program commenced with Dr. Brian Day (Past President of the Canadian Medical Association) and then different parent-doctors spoke directly to the students. By the end of the two-week camp, students definitely knew whether medicine might be their chosen career. The highlight of the program was an all-day visit to a stateof-the-art surgical training centre at Vancouver General Hospital, where students had hands-on instruction in suturing and experimenting with remote robotic surgery, which is currently practised by former Saints’ parent, Dr. Larry Goldenberg. According to Goldenberg, a prostate operation can be performed by a doctor in Vancouver on a patient lying on a surgical table in Belgium. It appears there are advantages to growing up with a Game Boy! Summer at Saints anticipates continued interest and growth in its Medical School. Consequently, St. George’s is considering developing a Career Preparation Program within its regular program to add an interesting dimension to the curriculum. With the development of new courses, St. George’s continues to position itself as a ‘school of choice’ both locally and internationally.


Advanced Placement by: Bill Collins, Associate Principal/Director of Studies

Program at st. george’s School:  AN OVERVIEW does not appear on either the Ministry transcript or the St. George’s transcript and this score has no effect on a student’s percentage mark in the corresponding AP course.

The Advanced Placement program is based in the United States and is administered by the College Board. There is no necessary link between a St. George’s AP course (authorized by the Ministry of Education) and the College Board’s AP exam. Thus, students may take an AP course and choose not to write the AP exam; some students in Grades 11 and 12 choose to self-study for an AP exam and do not take the corresponding AP course within the regular St. George’s timetable. Students who take an AP course receive a percentage mark which appears on their transcript from St. George’s and from the Ministry of Education; students who write an AP exam receive a mark out of five from the College Board. A student’s score out of five on an AP exam

Students choose to take AP courses and to write AP exams for a number of reasons. The AP courses provide the challenge of university-level curricula to students who are still in high school. Students will thus have experience with university-level expectations before starting their university studies. AP courses can also provide advanced credit for courses at many universities, but most students at St. George’s prefer to gain the university-level experience without necessarily receiving advanced credit for the course at university. A student’s mark in an AP course can be used for admissions purposes in many, but not all, Canadian universities. AP courses are recognized for admissions purposes by US universities and these courses also provide an internationally recognized measure that is often used by overseas universities. Students are able to combine their scores on AP exams with their scores on Provincial Exams in the calculation of their eligibility for a Provincial Scholarship of $1,000. The Advanced Placement program is very successful at St. George’s, with many students scoring four or five on the AP exam. This program has grown in strength over the past years and in the future it should continue to be an important part of the overall academic program at St. George’s.

In May 2009, the Advanced Placement program at St. George’s had its twenty-first anniversary. The program was started during the 1987–88 academic year, when 26 students wrote 71 exams. Last May 2009, 189 students wrote a total of 463 exams. In addition to significant growth in the number of students participating in the AP program, there has also been a shift in the grade level of the students who write AP exams. The group of exam writers in 1988 was composed of 25 Grade 12 students and one Grade 11 student. In 2009, AP exams were written by 84 students in Grade 11 and by 91 students in Grade 12. The participation rate in 1988 was approximately 30 per cent of the Grade 12 student population; in 2009, approximately 60 per cent of the students in Grades 11 and 12 wrote AP exams.

Advanced Placement exams and courses are at first-year university level, making them appropriate mostly for students in Grades 11 and 12. At St. George’s, there are also a few Grade 10 students who participate in the AP program. St. George’s offers 23 AP courses out of a possible 32 proposed by the College Board. AP courses provide the flexibility of not requiring students to be part of a specific program. Students are free to choose one or more AP courses as they wish, while at the same time still continuing in their regular academic program at St. George’s. However, AP courses are not suitable for everyone and students need to reflect realistically on their academic strengths before undertaking an AP course.


Single sex by: Gordon C. Allan, Director of Development




The history of education is often seen as a pendulum swinging from one extreme to another. For example, during the 1960s we saw ‘New Math’ and, for many, an abandonment of formal instruction in grammar and phonics in favour of ‘The Creative Process’. By the 1980s, there was a cry for a return to the fundamentals and the emergence of the ‘Whole Language Approach’. This swing synthesized traditional approaches with the notion that while writing is a process, there must be some accountability for style and structure. In the midst of this ongoing dialectic, many savvy educators came to the realization that there are no absolutes in education and much of what existed in the past still has relevancy–albeit adapted for today’s generation of learners and rooted in sound educational research. A case in point: single-sex education.

If we fast-forward to the twenty-first century, suddenly there is renewed interest in single-sex education. This time, the swing of the pendulum is driven by brain research and, in particular, the work of Dr. Leonard Sax, who was recently profiled in a cover story of TIME magazine. His book, Why Gender Matters succinctly summarizes the key arguments in favour of single-sex schools and, of course, many of these tenets are in keeping with St. George’s School admissions material. Sax contends that the brain develops differently in girls and boys. In girls, language areas of the brain evolve before areas used for spatial relations and geometry. The opposite is true for boys. Generalizations about boys being better at math and girls being better at languages are commonplace but here we see them grounded in scientific fact. Sax further argues that brains in boys and girls are wired differently. In girls, expressions of emotion are processed in the same area of the brain used for processing language. Girls are therefore able to express emotions more readily. In boys, emotion is processed in a separate area of the brain, making it more difficult for them to express how they feel. Sax believes that schools able to focus or specialize on a specific gender and recognize its unique developmental issues can be more effective at maximizing success. Girls typically do better at math and science in an all-girls’

environment and, correspondingly, boys do better in languages and the arts in an all-boys’ school. One of the more interesting findings in the whole debate revolves around the original assumption that single-sex schools perpetuate gender stereotypes. In fact, more and more the opposite is being observed. Researchers have discovered that students in a coeducational setting are prone to ‘gender intensification’; that is, determining in their own right which subjects are suited for boys and which ones for girls and reinforcing those labels. Among applicants interviewed by our Admissions Office, we often see applicants who are the product of this type of stereotyping; boys who want to pursue arts or languages yet feel intimidated in a coeducational environment as those subjects have been deemed by their peers to be not ‘cool’ for boys. While the single-sex debate will continue as one of the many topics on the educational pendulum, those of us who witness the effect of single-sex education on boys on a daily basis can attest to its positive influence. Boys at Saints are equally comfortable on the rugby pitch as they are on the stage or in the music rooms. Unique interests and diversity are celebrated in a community in which labels are not important. In an all-boys’ environment, boys appear more team-oriented and less preoccupied with competing for the attention of the opposite sex. Instead they strive for excellence in whatever they choose to do and that effort is celebrated and congratulated by all. At the same time, St. George’s has become a different type of boys’ school than it was in 1930. Electives in the languages, math, sciences, the arts, and athletics; comprehensive personal counselling, and a commitment to the individual spirit send the message that you can be cool in whatever you choose, regardless of gender. Celebration of excellence in whatever field can and will be both honoured and respected.

In the 1960s and 1970s, a number of school boards abandoned single-sex education for economic reasons. Baby boomers flooded the school system and new schools had to be built. For many, it did not make strategic sense to support multiple single-sex schools. At the same time, a shift in family dynamics and a push for gender equality worldwide seemed to imply that coeducation would provide a more level playing field for everyone and that single-sex education had served to perpetuate stereotypes. During this time, many single-sex schools disbanded and coeducation moved towards becoming the norm.


Robotics SAINTS

by: Andrew Kay, Senior School Faculty

The DRAGON Spring 2009

Team exceeds expectations at International, University-level competition


In the fall of 2007, St. George’s Robotics team began the most ambitious endeavour ever attempted. We were working at the cutting edge with a limited budget and no pre-engineered neat and tidy ‘kit’ to build from. The purpose of the program at Saints is to expose students to a real engineering project. Pieces of metal, plastic, and electronic components had to be drawn, machined, assembled, tested, and refined in the cycle called the design process, until those pieces and the collective whole of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) functioned to specification.

Collin Shuen, Eric Huang, Tim Wai, and Ray Yu met with Mr. Kay to plan the next step. Submersible ROVs take skill to build, but this was now well-trodden ground for them after their previous success in May, 2007 in Newfoundland (see The Dragon, Fall 2007 issue). The logical evolution for them was autonomy. Was it possible to build a submersible vehicle that operated independent of human control? It would have to use sensors and a computer to navigate and perform specific tasks. It would be a monumental step up from the past projects. If there was ever the right mix of students in the school to pull it off, they were the ones. They were bright, self-motivated, and adaptable.

operation. With batteries fully charged and programs loaded, our team carried CE-DART to the crane for lowering into tank. A navy seal diver pulled the last arming plug on CE-DART and released it. The CE-DART performed the first of the mission tasks and qualified. CE-DART did everything the team expected it to do and collected points that put Saints ahead of many universities. Due to missing sensors that could not be afforded, it was a forgone conclusion that CE-DART would be able to perform only a subset of the total mission goals and the powerhouse universities like Cornell passed the Saints team to make the finals.

Saints Robotics Team: Collin Shuen, Eric Huang, Ray Yu, Tim Wai, and Mr. Kay pose with CE-DART at TRANSDEC.

CE-DART is lowered by TRANSDEC crane into the tank before a run.

On July 27, 2009 the team attended the Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI) Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition in San Diego. The gremlin kill continued up until the day before qualifications. That gave the team time to appreciate the scene around them. Over 300 competitors were present with their creations; they were mostly senior engineering and grad students, who made up the 25 teams. It was an amazing sight to see the variation in solutions and the similarities too. The Saints contingent immediately noticed a marked difference between themselves and the rest of the competition. So many of the teams were larger and they had purchased their major sub-sea components (like thrusters) instead of building them themselves. It was a nice distinction for our entry. Before any team could enter into competition it had to qualify by demonstrating a minimum level of autonomous

Prizes were handed out at the competitors’ beach party banquet: first place $10k to Cornell, second place $4k to UVic, third place $3k to University of Rhode Island, and Best New School $1k to St. George’s School, as well as $500 each to Florida Atlantic University, Kyushu University, and Embry Riddle. There was immense surprise and elation over the result from our team! In a candid conversation with one of the judges after the awards, it was revealed that cash awards were ranked also as an incentive to direct teams towards the type of participation the organization wanted to see. Special thanks to an exceptional group of students that was the Saints Robotics Team of 2009: Collin Shuen ‘09, Eric Huang ‘09, Ray Yu ‘09, and Tim Wai ‘09. They have delivered incredible notoriety to St. George’s School on an international stage! The St. George’s Auxiliary was a keystone for funding this extracurricular enterprise; Dr. Shuen and Dr. Ling for so many of the loaned robotic parts and use of their dining room and basement to build CE-DART, and companies like ABC Traders, Lee’s Electronics, Sevylor, Steveston Marine, RP Electronics and Ocean Server for their own forms of support to the team’s efforts.

Initial surface tests of the AUV in Kerr Pool were perfect! The AUV performed as it was designed to do. As the testing shakedown continued, unforeseen bugs in sensors, mechanical balance, and computer stability began to make themselves known. Gremlins had come for another visit. Debugging of the AUV, now dubbed the CE-DART, went into overdrive.


Mathematics has always been a subject that foments a strong opinion. When I mention in passing that I teach mathematics, the reply has always been one of two possible responses. ‘I was never any good at math’ or ‘I really enjoyed mathematics’. The first group is generally more numerous than the second, but it is true to say that nearly everyone can recall at least one of their high school math teachers. Saints has seen some truly remarkable characters join our staff throughout the years. Among them there are two giants of mathematics, who have recently left this world: PJ and Craig Newell. Rarely does one encounter people of their calibre, either academically or pastorally. PJ, or Anthony Parker-Jervis ‘35, was one of the very first students to enroll in St. George’s in 1930 and graduated in 1935. After a stint in the army, he joined the faculty in 1956. Of course, he quickly proved himself to be a truly inspirational (and somewhat eccentric) teacher and mentor. He was head of the department until his retirement in 1984. He sadly passed away in 2008. Many of his students and colleagues recall some of his favourite expressions: ‘Ye gods, I know you are a stumblebum, but you don’t have to be one of absolutely the first class’. Or, in deriding a student for a lack of insight: ‘An intelligent Hottentot could see this is really simple’. Or, the legendary statement: ‘This is a simple equation. So what do you do now? Throw your pens out of the window? NO! You solve it!’

Craig Newell joined the school in 1981 having graduated from Yale some years earlier with a double major in Math and Philosophy. Not only was he a truly brilliant mathematician and the possessor of ‘a beautiful mind’, he also contributed widely and enthusiastically to a plethora of activities and initiatives to help students achieve their potential and be aware of their social responsibility, be it in the classroom, in contests, or on the games fields. He never ceased to pursue learning for its own sake and, instead of retiring in 2005, he started work on his PhD thesis. In 2008, he passed away. He was much admired by his colleagues as an innovator and a mentor. Students were inspired by his concern for their success, not only in math, but also in life. He is sorely missed. Both PJ and Craig would no doubt

Mathematics at Saints

The DRAGON Fall 2009

by: Andrew S. Jones, Head of Math


PJ ‘35

Craig Newell

concur that something worth achieving, whatever it may be, is worth striving for. Those who study, practise, and persevere gain the success they deserve and those who rely only on native wit and intuition generally do not reach their potential. Our teachers are not only enthusiastic and caring, but they are passionate about math, about transferring that knowledge, and guiding students to their own ‘Eureka’ moment, be it about arithmetic of fractions, combinatorics of card-hands in Math 12 or the theoretical intricacies of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Whether it is teaching the student in Grade 8 or in their Grad Year, they all want our students to achieve eventual success and share a responsibility in that process.

As educators, we deliver and teach the curriculum effectively and enthusiastically and it is our mission to try and stimulate enquiry and appreciation, not only of the ‘whys’ but also to investigate the ‘what ifs’. This equips our students to think outside the box, to challenge their understanding of a problem, and to find novel approaches to solve the problem, preferably by ‘elegant’ methods rather than brute force. Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty… Bertrand Russell Mathematics is the most beautiful and most powerful creation of the human spirit. Stephan Banach

We have nine full-time math teachers in the department: Mrs. Beaumont, Mr. Benny, Mr. Jones, Miss Kelly, Mr. Klassen, Mr. Luers ‘87, Mrs. Morris, Miss Stirrup, and Mr. Tweedle, and two more, who also teach in other disciplines; Mr. Palmer ‘80 and Mrs. Zajdlik. The Math Department functions as a strong team, supporting the students and each other, in all stages of curriculum delivery and extension. Mathematics is a series of incremental steps, building on what has gone before. Hence the quote from Sir Isaac Newton: ‘The reason I have seen so far is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants’.

All students take mathematics to the Principles of Math 11 level. However, the vast majority continue in Grade 12. There are several choices: Principles of Math 12, Calculus 12, AP Calculus, AP Statistics, and Geometry and Discrete Mathematics. The pivotal role and importance in so many science or economics-oriented programs at university makes calculus a major attraction for very many students. At present, the British Columbia curriculum is undergoing a major overhaul. Its aim is to provide a greater understanding of the ‘why’, and not just the ‘how’. This is laudable and, for us at St. George’s, it has always been a cornerstone of our own philosophy. Beyond the scope of the Ministry, there is a genuine desire to give our students a glimpse into the world of beautiful, elegant mathematics, the insight of the great mathematicians of the past, and to marvel at the wonderful simplicity of concise, rigorous proof and some of the stunning connections between different branches of mathematics.

Current and Recent Contest Highlights • Provincial Plaques and Zone Championship plaques have been awarded to the Euclid team for five years in a row. There were a large number of students in Grades 9, 10, and 11, who were recognized for their help in winning team awards in this Grade 12-level contest. • 25 per cent of Canadian participants in the Pascal/Cayley/ Fermat contest achieve distinction. At Saints, about 70 to 75 per cent achieve distinction. The top students in the school are invited to write the follow-up FGH contests with many achieving Gold and Silver standards of distinction. • About 85 per cent of our participants achieve distinction on the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge and every year someone is invited to write the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad. • St. George’s typically ranks in the top three BC schools in the American Mathematics Competition with around 11 students per year qualifying for the American Invitational Mathematical Examination. We regularly receive invitations for selected students to write the American Mathematical Olympiad. • Our Grades 8 and 9 have won countless medals and trophies including many regional and a number of provincial championships in the Math Challengers and the Math League contests, including 2009. • The school has three math clubs. The Olympic Math Club is open to the top mathematicians in the school from September to November in preparation for the COMC. The Math Challengers Club for Grades 8 and 9 is open from September to March and the All Grades Math Club is open from November to May in preparation for all other contests that happen throughout the year.

Students are enrolled in either provincial-level mathematics, which pursues the curriculum appropriate to their grade level, or into honours-level mathematics, which pursues the curriculum a year ahead, and also gives opportunity for enrichment and extension. Moreover, there is an honours/ competition class, again studying the grade ahead, but spending considerable time on extension, recreational mathematics, proof, and on contest preparation. Anyone is eligible to be considered for the math contests, but it is expected that every student in the HC class will participate.


Social Studies it’s all about critical thinking by: Chris Ingvaldson ‘87

The DRAGON Fall 2009

Head of Socials


It is an exciting time for the Social Studies department at St. George’s School. Changes by the Ministry of Education with respect to standardized tests have allowed greater flexibility. Social Studies courses are an integral part of the academic program and are required by the Ministry of Education to Grade 11. A provincial exam for Social Studies 11 is a graduation requirement for all students in the province. However, at the senior level, Grade 12 provincial examinations are optional. Consequently, the senior students and teachers have a great deal of freedom regarding content and assessment. Thus, the focus is shifting from content to process. The really important skills become information retrieval and analysis to create many exciting and new developments in the classroom and beyond. At the senior level, there are a wide range of courses offered as electives: the provincially examinable courses of Geography and History and the non-provincially examinable courses of Law, Economics, and Comparative Civilizations. Advanced Placement courses on US History, Psychology, Economics, Government and Politics, and European History allow students the opportunity to gain first-year university credits. Critical Thinking 9 has become a very popular elective course and every year it is full. An emphasis on critical thinking binds the entire department together. Students are not told what to think; rather, they are encouraged to find answers and explain why they think the way they do. Beyond the classroom, these skills enable them to be more active and responsible citizens and play a large role in the boys’ extracurricular education. The Model United Nations program, initiated by Mr. Skinner, allows the boys several opportunities throughout the course of each year to interact with students from all over the world. St. George’s regularly attends conferences put on by Stanford, Harvard, and Chicago universities and we are regular participants in the National High School MUN and the United Nations International School’s Conference, which are both held in New York City. Moreover, we are the host of the Vancouver Model UN every year, and many of our students learn management and diplomatic skills. The boys discuss, debate, and attempt to solve global issues. Indeed, the vast majority of students who go on to Ivy League and other such high-level universities will have participated in Model UN conferences. Our department continues to campaign for more courses to broaden the educational experience. The faculty is dedicated and strong, with diverse backgrounds and perspectives and the students are enthusiastic and actively willing to participate.

The Social Studies faculty is comprised of a group of passionate and dedicated teachers whose primary goal is to engage our students in critical thought. We have several long-serving faculty members including former Heads of Department: Ralph Skinner and Stephen Ziff. Verne Becott, John Hughes, and Sean Muldoon provide stability, continuity, and leadership and newcomers to the department provide alternative perspectives on pedagogy. Together we provide a dynamic and challenging learning environment for our students.


Communicate, communicate, communicate! This is the mantra at the heart of our language classes here at St. George’s School; the mantra that drives our teachers and the mantra that leads our students. Language classes have long been touting the communicative approach and our students can as easily be seen strutting about playing the role of Napoléon at Waterloo, El Che in hiding in the mountains of Cuba, or a waiter on the Yangtze River, as they can be seen in the classroom working on a grammar lesson. Now, with the slow disappearance of provincial exams, language teachers are finding themselves in the enviable position of focusing more on portfolio collections of oral and written work rather than on exam preparation. The introduction of the Common European Language Portfolio that has been mainstay of language learning for school-age students and adults alike in Europe is now sweeping its way through North America.

Languages: The Communication Department by: Patrice Dixon, Head of Languages

The DRAGON Fall 2009

St. George’s School language programs have grown from the days when we offered only French and Latin classes. From altogether 52 language classes, our students can choose to study one or more of the six languages on offer. All our students are required to study a second language to the end of their Grade 11 year. French is still our most popular program and it accounts for 25 of our 52 language classes. Our three streams of French allow students to move between the levels, as they become stronger and more confident. Boys who come to us from Carol Hollander and the Aim Program at St. George’s Junior School continue to impress us with the level of their French and the confidence that they have in the language.


Our students participate in and place extremely well in such language competitions as the Grand Concours, a French language competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French and the National Latin and Mythology exams, sponsored by the American Classical League. Latin continues to attract students, who are as interested in this classical language as they are in the culture that spawned it. Catherine Mori is our resident classicist and offers Latin programs from Grades 8 to 12 and Latin Advanced Placement. Even more important than language competitions are the real life immersion programs our boys can experience. Each year some of our Grade 10 students will opt to study in Germany or Québec City for a term. We have a long-standing relationship with the German Heritage Association and this year we have welcomed three students from Germany for a fall term and we will be sending three students to Germany for this spring term. Our boys who participate in our exchange trip to Québec City typically spend seven to nine weeks at a Québécois school in January and February while living with a francophone family and, in return, we welcome our Québécois students here from October to December. We also welcome Québécois students for a short cultural stay here for a few days each year in April. Our German program is experiencing a real renaissance with St. George’s School being named a Pasch Schule, or a Partner School, with other schools throughout the world

Our Spanish program is attractive to students who want a fresh start in Grade 9. We offer Spanish to Grade 12 and like our German, Latin, Mandarin, and Japanese classes, we will offer Advanced Placement classes when there is enough interest to warrant it. Many students who are interested in attending American universities are also interested in pursuing Spanish as their language choice. Our Asian languages continue to grow in popularity. We currently offer Mandarin from Grades 9 to 12, and we also have a very healthy Advanced Placement class. Our Mandarin classes, like French and, to some extent, Spanish, are streamed. Grade 9 is reserved for true language beginners and students with some Mandarin background can join advanced classes in Grades 10 to 12. Mrs. Jane Li, our Mandarin teacher, has students write the TOP exam sponsored by the Taiwanese government.

Our students continue to place extremely well on this exam. Students also get extra practice in the Mandarin debating club where they hone their oral skills. This year, our Japanese classes are very fortunate to have Ms. Chika Kobahashi from Japan working with Ms. Martha Bassett, our Japanese specialist. Ms. Bassett is very keen that our students improve their oral skills and beyond the language and cultural spring-break trips to Japan that she sponsors and leads, she believes that having a native speaker work with the students daily will go a long way to achieving this goal. Ms Bassett offers Japanese classes from Grades 8 to Grade 12AP. Many of our teachers work with the Ministry of Education to develop provincial programs and exams. Teachers who worked with the Ministry this year were William Collins, Christine Wessler, Heather Schuetze, and Jane Li. William Collins and Alan Sherman marked provincial exams this year. Catherine Mori is the PreUniversity Representative to the Classical Association of Canada and a member of the National Greek Exam Committee. Heather Schuetze and James Wyatt have both been chosen to act as volunteer translators with the 2010 Olympics, and Heather Schuetze will be present at all the Olympic Hockey games, including the allimportant Gold Medal match! We offer four language clubs: the Mandarin Debating Club, the Russian Club, the French, and Spanish Cultural Clubs. Collectively we speak 12 different languages and this year we will be sponsoring a cultural tour to Paris and Barcelona.

which offer German as a language option. This program is sponsored by the German government. We receive books, learning materials, guest speakers, and musicians from Germany as a part of this program. More impressive yet, is the fact that this program sponsors a St. George’s boy and St. George’s teacher to study in Germany during the summer. Last year, Harrison Xu, a Grade 10 boy, and Tanya Peters, one of our German teachers, received bursaries to study in Germany. We currently have students enrolled in German from Grades 8 to 12.


A well-developed story by: Carol van Rijn, Head of English Looking back: a study of characters The English Department has always had a vital role in the life of St. George’s and has seen its share of colourful individuals. A departmental icon from the forties was WWII veteran, Tommy Roxburgh, who taught English Literature. With his gift for words and an encyclopedic memory, this resident ‘character’ could not only summon up a line of poetry for every occasion but could also instantly identify the source of a line quoted to him.

The DRAGON Fall 2009

Another ‘character’ within more recent memory was the legendary Welshman, Garath Hill. He directed an unforgettable production called The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew, starring the cherubic-looking Jeremy Sayers in a broadly comic role. The irrepressible Garath was enormously popular with his students, who renamed his English 8 course ‘Welsh Mythology.’ He was also famous for having spelling bee words stuck on the ceiling of his classroom.


Don Gardiner

Tommy Roxbrugh

Other English teachers also made their mark. In the early seventies, department head Don Gardiner made a lasting impression on neophyte teacher Simon Oliver. Don, assuming that Simon was a student, loudly commanded him to retreat to the back of the cafeteria line. But most beloved of all heads was certainly Robin Baker, nicknamed ‘Spuddy’. Robin was a true Renaissance man: he was the long-serving editor of The Georgian, a very effective Director of Studies, and the driving force behind the House Supper entertainment, Arts Week, and many other aspects of school life. The department today: a well-developed theme The English Department has continued to evolve and change. In addition to the regular English 8-12 curriculum, it offers Language Enrichment, Creative Writing 8, Journalism 11/12, Writing 12, Provincial Literature 12, AP Literature and Composition, and Art History. For those who thrive on competition, opportunities abound: the Malcolm Campbell ‘93 and Sean Dixon ‘88 Creative Writing Competitions, the Headmaster’s Essay Contest, and the 50-Word Minisaga Contest for the entire school, staff included, during Arts Week. Every year several of our students receive recognition for their entries for a wide variety of external writing contests, including the Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition. Our Grade 8s compete in a Canspell spelling contest and students of all grades take part in a Scrabble competition during Arts Week.

Garath Hill

Robin Baker

Simon Oliver

Today’s department: ongoing character development The department is comprised of talented teachers from a variety of backgrounds: journalism, publishing, acting, academia, and professional writing. One of our teachers taught in international schools in the Caribbean and Thailand, while another taught university in Korea. Saints teachers have taught in Japan, Australia, France, and Zanzibar.

Here are some fascinating facts about individual teachers:

Over the last six years, three talented young women have joined the department: Karina Hepner, Hayley Jacobs, and Katrina O’Connor. Each has significantly enhanced our elective offerings. Karina has attracted students to the English Literature 12 program by emphasizing the transformative power of literature. She regularly invites UBC professors to speak on their particular area of expertise. In her Writing 12 course, Hayley has helped her students to discover their unique voices and to learn the writer’s craft. Katrina has encouraged her Creative Writing 8 students to play with language and to discover the joy of self-expression.

•  Actor Robert Wisden once played a vampire overlord and still has the fangs to prove it. •  Dwight Hillis once broke a record at the famous Yankee Doodle Restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut by eating 13 hamburgers in one sitting. •  Daryl Wakeham’s Wakehamology 11 course has become even more legendary than Garath Hill’s Welsh Mythology 8. •  Michael Atkinson rearranged several teeth as a result of playing hockey. •  The ever-serious Jeremy Sayers ‘82 trained with the Canadian Airborne Regiment as a paratrooper. He was also a newspaper reporter in the combat zones of Kitimat and Prince George. •  Clare Rundall attended the same independent school in Hawaii as Barack Obama. •  Carol van Rijn once nearly turned to ice in an unheated hostel during the dead of winter in Kabul, Afghanistan. •  Mike Stiles spent six summers as a tree planter. He narrowly missed having his eye removed by a tent pole when a tree fell on his tent.

Fostering the love of learning and self-expression is always a priority. A relatively recent innovation is our class trips to Bard on the Beach. The department sponsors a school literary magazine, The Opus, and a Journalism newspaper, The Echo. Individual English teachers sponsor activities such as the Improv Club, Opus Live, Contemporary Music Night, and the House Supper. Over the school year we invite local writers, academics, actors, directors, and aboriginal rights activists to speak to our students. During Arts Week, the former Head of the English Department at UBC addressed the entire student body with a compelling talk entitled ‘Why Literature?’


The Student Services Department at St. George’s School is committed to providing opportunities and support for strengthening the social, emotional, and intellectual growth of each student. Student Services is actively involved in all aspects of school life and empowers students to reach their full potential in a caring and studentcentred environment.

Student Services by: Brian Lee

Director of Student Services

The DRAGON Fall 2009

Support and Opportunity


The Student Services Department at St. George’s School works to create the same nurturing environment where students do not feel the need to look out that window for comfort and support. The department’s guiding principle is built around that of a good teacher. We start wherever the student is by examining his individual needs, strengths, and personal goals. Although working with students is the primary focus, coordinating and consulting with teachers, parents, administrators, and outside referral agencies is essential to the work within our department. Student Services overlaps with several different and sometimes disparate areas of student life. As such, the department is divided amongst four distinct but interrelated areas; Personal Counselling Services, University Counselling Services, Learning Resource Services, and Service and Charity. In today’s economy, education systems are experiencing budget cuts which have translated into reduced staffing, reassignment of administrative duties, cuts to extracurricular activities, and the loss of valuable student support programs carried out by school counsellors. As linchpins in the process of transitioning students from high school to post-secondary institutions, our counselling staff is well equipped and committed to ensuring that no student falls through the cracks and that the three domains of school counselling: academic achievement, social-emotional development, and post-secondary and career planning are never compromised.

Educational institutions similar to St. George’s aim to provide value-added services that go beyond just meeting the basic needs of students and their families. St. George’s unwavering commitment to student support is evident through a wide variety of school programs and initiatives found within Student Services. Some of these include, but are not restricted to: the guest speaker series supported by the Parents’ Auxiliary, the Peer Counselling Program, Georgians’ Career Day, Course Selection and University Planning Presentations, Technology-Assisted Learning and Resources, and the use of Naviance Software: a webbased resource program designed to facilitate the career search and university planning process. Programming and departmental initiatives are instrumental to the overall support provided to our students. However, the strength in our effectiveness lies within our ability to establish meaningful relationships with students and to make connections with the necessary stakeholders (parents, faculty, outside referral agents) to ensure sustained successes. Each year, following spring break, an exit survey is administered to our graduating students soliciting their feedback and input on the various departments within Student Services. Our graduates are given an opportunity to reflect and comment on the support they received during their time at St. George’s School. When asked what aspect of school life has made the most impact on their educational experience, without fail our students report that it is the lasting relationships they have formed with the various members in our school

Services and Support •  Academic planning and timetable supports •  Administration and support of student IEPs •  Application Essay Writing Workshops •  Career Counselling and Personality Type Inventory testing •  Classroom Guidance–Planning Transitions course •  Crisis intervention •  Developing and facilitating conflict resolution program •  Early intervention counselling •  Individual and/or group counselling •  Referrals to outside support agencies •  Ongoing consultation with administration, parents, and faculty •  Organization of on-campus guest presenters and admission representatives •  Post-secondary advising and application support •  Crisis intervention within our school community •  Service and Charity initiatives

When my six year-old daughter started kindergarten, a natural ritual emerged. Following our parting hug, I always made it a point to look into her classroom from the outside window as I walked back to the parking lot. Nothing warmed me more than seeing her hustle around the room to get to that ever-so important position in order to make eye contact and blow me a kiss goodbye. This went on for several months and was something that reassured me during my commute to the office. One day, as per our routine, I glanced through the window anticipating her presence. She was nowhere to be found. I was worried that something must have happened and hurried back to the classroom. Much to my surprise, I saw my daughter playing with her friends. She was confident and happy in her surroundings. I walked away without her ever knowing that I had gone back. As I drove away, my initial devastation was replaced by a realization: my daughter was in a safe place, one where she felt comfortable, supported, and valued. And that was the point: our ritual had served its purpose and come to its natural end.


community. Collectively the Student Services personnel share a vast array of expertise and talents as counsellors, each bringing a genuine care and sincerity in supporting and advising students. The capacity to engage with a diverse set of personalities with a wide range of skill-sets is the true value-added component of the Student Services Department.

Counsellors: a Junior School Counsellor and five Senior School Counsellors. Students at the senior school are assigned to a Grade Counsellor each year. The designated Grade Counsellor functions as a student advocate liaising with the student, his teachers, his parents, and the school. School counsellors support the worth and value of the whole child, regardless of abilities or areas of interest.

The Learning Resource team consists of six staff members: three at the junior campus and three at the senior campus. Students with identified learning challenges are supported through modified programs, special accommodations (teaching strategies, preferential seating, and assistive technology), and Individual Educational Plans (IEPs). The IEP outlines specific classroom interventions, exam accommodations, and includes a statement outlining the methods in which the student’s progress will be reviewed. Identified students are assigned to a resource class which teaches learning strategies, study skills, and organization techniques. These students are identified with the help of faculty, school counsellors, and external psychologists.

University Counselling and advising begins in Grade 10 with course selection workshops and an introduction to the Naviance software. During the spring of Grade 11, each student is assigned to a university counsellor who is responsible for advising students throughout the university selection process. The department maintains information about post-secondary options, the selection process, admission trends and policies, university representative visits, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities.

The DRAGON Fall 2009

The Personal Counselling team includes six Personal


The University Counselling department sees the university admission process as both educational and maturational. Through research, students will naturally learn more about specific institutions; more importantly however, the process teaches students about planning and responsibility,

decision-making, self-reflection, goal setting and selfpresentation. St. George’s School has a long-standing history of successful university admissions, successful in the sense that our students have been well placed in post-secondary institutions considered to be the right fit and the most appropriate setting. Each year, our students are accepted to selective colleges and universities throughout Canada, the United States, and Overseas. Coinciding with the Mission Statement at St. George’s School, Student Services promotes, supports and encourages our students to willingly play a role in the betterment of society. Taking part in Service and Charity initiatives allows students to develop leadership skills, gain personal satisfaction from helping their community, establish positive contacts, gain work experience, meet new people, and support causes they truly believe in. Through Service and Charity initiatives, students will foster an understanding of global issues and contribute positively to the broader community. Our aim is to inspire students

to make a lifelong commitment to charitable involvement and to recognize the importance of doing so, particularly from our position of privilege. The equitable emphasis on service and charity demonstrates that the giving of both time and money are both relevant in working towards a socially just world. Working in collaboration with administration, faculty, and each other, the department is dedicated to continuous evaluation of its current practices and to finding ways to promote both the present and future well-being of all students at St. George’s School. Fundamental to the value-added education that we provide is the genuine care and the lasting connections made with our students. If we are successful, our students will not feel the need to look out our window for support or comfort and will derive the necessary confidence to make a successful transition to post-secondary life.

Universities attended by Saints’ Grads OVERVIEW




Number of Graduates





Attending British Columbia Universities





Attending Other Canadian Universities





Number of Graduates Attending American Universities





Number of Graduates Attending Overseas Universities









CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES / COLLEGES Langara College McGill University McMaster University Queen’s University University of British Columbia University of Calgary University of Toronto University of Victoria University of Waterloo University of Western Ontario

US UNIVERSITIES / COLLEGES Boston College Boston University Brown University Columbia University Duke University Harvard University New York University Stanford University Tufts University University of California at Berkeley University of Pennsylvania University of Southern California

OVERSEAS UNIVERSITIES / COLLEGES King’s College London Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland St. George’s Hospital Medical School University of St. Andrews (Scotland) 

The institutions listed above provide a snapshot of some of the schools our students have attended over the past five years.

Military Service, Gap, Travel, Working



Hidden in the walls and invisible in the ethers of St. George’s, the digital world pulses with increasing importance: it’s not quite The Matrix but computing is now a part of every department and endeavour in the school. Moreover, it has to run 24/7, 365 days a year! Over the last ten years, we’ve seen a growth from approximately 150 computers to over 1,000 machines sprinkled over both campuses. Wireless is everywhere; no more seniors running attendance books up to the front desk as Mr. Sayers ‘82 can do it on his handheld now and every teacher can watch or show satellite TV from their laptops.

Information @ saints

Technology by: Fred Alexander

The DRAGON Fall 2009

Director of Information Technology


Portable laptop carts are booked by teachers and pushed from room to room. The two campuses talk to each other via a laser beam installed on the roofs and a microwave tower was erected last year to give us access to greater bandwidths of 100MBs when needed. Our Helpdesk Team: Gilbert Lo, Vincent Ka, Vincent Chow, Alton Tam, and David Cheng, led by Peter Wong, maintain our equipment and network to the highest of standards. By the time a student enters the Senior School, he knows how to operate a computer with a minimum set of skills and finesse. The days of learning how to format a word document or send an email are now relegated to Irene TeraguchiCharney, our Junior School Computer Coordinator, and her Grade 4 IT classes. It starts in the elementary years where the Grade 2 boys create digital-photo storybooks on laptops. In the Senior School, Brenton Wilke teaches multi-media and Ron Ouwerkerk teaches Advanced Placement Java programming. Advanced programming is a ‘grey-matter’ intensive course and we are especially proud that our program, starting in Grade 8, continues to the Advanced Placement exams in Grade 12. Moreover, many schools do not have these resources available.

Nor have the teachers been left out of this computer literacy surge. More and more of the reporting and content delivery are in digital format and teachers are learning the tricks to SmartBoard presentations. FirstClass is used to communicate and homework assignments are uploaded, completed, and downloaded back for teacher marking. We are fortunate that we have been able to keep up with this second industrial or, better said, digital revolution. We are well situated to take the boys to a level of literacy that Alan November spoke of at a recent workshop at the school. We

STAFF PROFILE: BrentonWilke Brenton has a fine arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal and three years experience as a Walt Disney Studio’s animator. It is no wonder that the courses he teaches in the MAC Lab are always full, as he makes them extremely interesting and fun! His lab itself is something very special: powerful MAC towers with 20” Cintiq touch screens. He is passionate about his multi-media classes and this is evident in the positive vibes that abound there.

need to TEACH kids INFORMATION LITERACY, how to find, evaluate, and judge INFORMATION. Furthermore, we need to weave all places that kids can find this information, both text and digital resources, into curriculums. The IT Department at St. George’s has created and maintains an infrastructure that allows the realization of our Strategic Plan goals to: Stay abreast of information technology and seamlessly integrate it into all curricula, to have teaching and support staff that are functionally computer literate, and to have the physical capacity to allow both of those goals to take place. As Winston Churchill said, ‘give us the tools and we will finish the job’.

Our Senior School classes have changed over the years from the array of applications courses, like Word or PowerPoint, to specialized courses where video and sound editing with Podcast postings on Wikis are done in specially equipped labs. In the Music department, AP students craft their tunes in the Midi Lab and the Art Department’s mini lab is used extensively for creative projects. These courses attest to how deep this digital insurgence runs.



The DRAGON Fall 2009


The DRAGON Fall 2009


Then 1980 pool bubble | 1931 dining room | 1968 swimming pool construction 1980 Senior School front | 1986 quadrangle

The new track | McLean Hall | The Kerr Swimming Pool Senior School front | The Great Hall



from the president of the Georgians

D. Scott Lamb ‘79 Georgians President

The Annual Dinner was especially memorable as we presented Alan Brown ‘54 with the Georgian Lifetime Achievement Award. He will be remembered and respected for his remarkable career as Headmaster of the School and laying the foundations for the success we enjoy today. McLean Hall was filled to capacity for the dinner and the atmosphere was filled with memories, fraternity, and good humour. At the Homecoming Rugby Games, the St. George’s First XV played the Magee First XV in regular season play and Old Boy teams for the both schools played each other in a friendly match. I am happy to report that the St. George’s sides easily carried the day under the watchful eye of Headmaster Toy and a large crowd of more than 300. Last year, we established a system of appointing Year Captains for each graduating year. This will help us reach out to even more Georgians to increase participation in our events and provide the opportunity for greater engagement with the School community. In May of last year the Georgians formally established our first Chapter in Toronto. An Executive under the leadership of Monte Burris ‘89 has formed to lead the Toronto Chapter of the Georgians. We are creating Georgian Chapters in other cities to address the reality that many our Old Boys pursue their education and careers not just in Vancouver but all over the world. We want to find ways to keep them engaged with each other and the School no matter where they may be living.

The DRAGON Fall 2009

The Georgians have already been involved with the search for the new Headmaster and the consultant to


the Search Committee has interviewed the Georgian Board of Directors on their views of what the School should be looking for. A town-hall meeting of Georgians was held with the Search Committee to solicit more Georgian views. We feel we have been able to assist the Search Committee with drafting the terms of reference in a productive manner. This year, the Georgians look forward to shifting our attention to welcoming the new Headmaster to the School and supporting him to lead the School to new heights of success. This year, we will work even more closely with the Year Captains and look forward to inaugurating more Georgian Chapters in other cities. In addition, the School will be conducting a survey of Georgians to give us valuable feedback on we are doing right as an organization and what we can do better. We hope to pass this survey on to thousands of Old Boys in January 2010. We are always trying to engage more Georgians and move our organization forward. As part of engaging more and more with our Georgians, we bring people back to the things they love about the School. In doing so, inevitably some people step forward with generous gifts to the school—and some people simply give what they can as a token of their affection for the School or the great things done at St. George’s. As such, I hope that you will support this year’s Georgian Annual Fund which provides for the many programs and facilities that are not covered by tuition. Finally, as the school year draws to a close, the Georgians will be looking forward to celebrating the achievements of the current Headmaster, Nigel Toy, as he retires. As always in our organization we will carry on the traditions of the School and build on the bonds of friendship and affection for the School.

Last year the Georgians accomplished many things and held events that will be remembered for years to come. As I enter my second year as President, I not only look back on a successful year but also forward to another very exciting year ahead.

As part of engaging more and more with our Georgians, we bring people back to the things they love about the School.

St. George’s School and its alumni association, The Georgians, are proud to present this year’s recipients of The Georgian Honours. With 6,000 alumni in more than 40 countries, many Georgians are recognized for their outstanding achievements and are celebrated for their positive contributions to society. These extraordinary men exemplify the spirit of St. George’s: honour, integrity, and commitment.

BEST interviews by: Bryan R. Ide ‘99

Honouring our very 37

Honouring our very

The DRAGON Fall 2009



Education Profile: BASc in Chemical Engineering, University of British Columbia Diploma in Education, St. John’s College, University of Oxford MA in Teaching, Brown University

ALAN C.M. BROWN ‘54 Georgian Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Alan Brown has been a long-term passionate educator. He holds a distinguished record as a leader in the field of education, having taught in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Canada. Alan first came to St. George’s in 1946, entering Grade 5. From very early on his in life, Alan demonstrated his talented and gifted mind. He graduated from St. George’s at the top of his class in academics and went on to UBC, where he obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering in 1959. In 1963, he received his Diploma in Education from St. John’s College, Oxford University. In 1968, he spent a summer at Stanford University, on a Shell Merit Fellowship for studies in Computer Education and, then in 1969, spent a year of studies at Brown University as the recipient of a scholarship from US National Science Foundation, where he earned his MA in teaching. In 1970, he began working for six months on his doctorate with the Computer Science Systems Group at the University of Toronto. However, he soon interrupted his studies to return to St. George’s to take up a position as the School’s fourth headmaster, serving from 1971 to 1989. It was under Alan’s guidance that St. George’s gained its reputation as a leader in academic excellence. He was responsible for overhauling the School’s curriculum and promoting excellence in all departments. Upon retiring from St. George’s, Alan was asked to serve as the founding headmaster of Southridge School in Surrey.

What were the challenges you faced in building St. George’s into one of Canada’s leading academic institutions and how did you overcome those challenges? It was 1971 when I became headmaster and those were turbulent times. In the social turmoil, academics and intellectual life were in danger of being left behind and I sought to correct this. Setting the standard for excellence in education is not an easy job, but the directors, staff, parents, and I worked together in setting reachable goals to meet that challenge. There are many tangible and intangible ways to accord to academic studies the attention and status they deserve. We worked at this on many fronts, through substantial academic scholarships, for example, the Madge Brown Academic Scholarship, direct encouragement, and the development of innovative, relevant extra-curricular activities.

Since your retirement some 20 years ago, what are the biggest changes you have seen? I feel a strong level of satisfaction to note how the academic quality of the school has gone from strength to strength. I am very gratified to notice how the school has dramatically developed under my successors. What do you see as some of the challenges in the next ten years for the incoming head? I don’t know, is the short answer. It’s hard to predict, but I must say that the fourth headmaster didn’t have to deal with the proliferation of cell phones, laptops, and social networking capabilities. I’m not sure how the school will deal with the distractions, albeit beneficial, presented by these new electronic media. Nothing, however, can or should supplant older traditions of academic scholarship, research, and critical thinking. What advice do you have for the new head of school? Continue to follow your vision for the school, amidst all the inevitable frustrations! I look forward with enthusiasm to watching the school’s future successes.

What was your vision for the school when you first arrived at St. George’s as headmaster? I sought to bring excellence in education to St. George’s, but I hope I never lost sight of the humanitarian aspects of school life: public service, the arts, sports. I hoped to turn it into a great school and I like to think I was at least partially successful.


Honouring our very


Education Profile: BSc in Mathematics, University of British Columbia MD, University of British Columbia DPhil in Mathematics, University of Oxford

The DRAGON Fall 2009

John Spouge is an award-winning researcher. Even as a student at St. George’s School, John distinguished himself as a talented mathematical mind. In Grade 11, he placed first in the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad. In 1973, as a student at UBC, he placed seventh in North America in the William Lowell Putnam Math Contest. That UBC Putnam team was composed of John, Mark Latham ’70, and Bruce Neilson and came second only to Caltech.


Currently, he works for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, US, where he is a founding member of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (or NCBI). The NCBI was created specifically to meet the challenges presented by the Human Genome Project and was the first organization specifically devoted to the biological specialties now known as bioinformatics and computational biology. John has also collaborated extensively with AIDS researchers under Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the AIDS antibody test, to develop mathematical models in evaluating potential AIDS therapies. Recently, he has also contributed to efforts to catalogue all the plant species on the Earth.

John spouge ‘71 DISTINGUISHED GeorgiaN Award Recipient

What exactly is computational biology? Before computer storage became inexpensive, the most effective scientific strategy was to summarize masses of experimental data with equations and to facilitate human understanding of the physical phenomena underlying the data. Computational biology is based on an entirely different strategy: as demonstrated in the cancer research above, it stores massive amounts of data and then lets statistical models make predictions from the data without detailed human understanding of the underlying phenomena. High-throughput experiments are now common in biology, for example, micro-arrays read the output of thousands of genes at once and sequencing machines analyse all DNA in a chunk of earth. Biologists cannot sort through the masses of data by hand, so they must use computers instead. The activity is called ‘computational biology’. In your opinion, what are some of the more interesting advances in medicine and biotechnology that have benefited from computational biology? Nowadays, most biologists use computer programs daily, so computational and experimental biology are inextricably interwoven. As a measure of how much computers have insinuated themselves into biology, biologists run just one popular sequence comparison program at NCBI over the web more than three times a second. However, if I were to pick one area where computational biology has had a big impact, it would be medical genetics. Computer analysis of disease inheritance and the DNA sequences implicated in genetic disease now routinely localizes genetic defects to specific sequences in the human genome, thereby speeding the discovery of disease mechanisms. How did you become interested in AIDS research? What motivated you to turn your attention from computational biology to studying AIDS?

My mathematics supervisor at Oxford, John Hammersley, once wrote, ‘Chance presents, but interest nurtures.’ In 1989, Scott Layne, another ex-post-doctoral student at Los Alamos National Laboratory, was interested in mathematical models of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. At the time, I felt the US government under Ronald Reagan had been slow to respond to the AIDS epidemic, so Scott and I teamed with experimental collaborators and wrote a paper pointing out that cell concentrations in lymph nodes are about 1,000 times those achievable in a test-tube, so successfully blocking HIV in a test-tube need not translate into successfully blocking HIV in an AIDS patient. In part because of our paper, efforts were directed away from soluble CD4, a futile AIDS therapy, into more productive avenues of research. One motivation for my career choices was to show that mathematics can enhance our understanding of biology or medicine, so I found doing the AIDS research very satisfying. What are your thoughts on the progress we have made in understanding this disease? Is there any way for us to know if a cure will be discovered in the near future? I shifted the focus of my research away from AIDS in 1996. Since then, our understanding of HIV infection has improved considerably. Because HIV can remain dormant in cells for years, a cure is still probably quite distant, but control of disease symptoms is now a reasonable short-term research objective. In your speech at the 2009 Annual Georgians’ Dinner upon accepting the Distinguished Georgian Award, you talked very fondly about your previous math teacher, the late Tony Parker-Jervis ’35. Could you please share with our readers what impact he had on your academic pursuits and later career? I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. One of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, George Pólya, used to say that he became a mathematician because ‘I am too good for philosophy and not good enough for physics.’ Like Pólya, I found myself strongly attracted to physics as a youth. Instead, I pursued mathematics, probably because I was blessed with a steady stream of exceptional mathematics teachers, of which Tony was the first. Because Tony encouraged me when I was young, I came to value my academic abilities, regardless of the burdens a schoolboy must carry with them. He never let me relax, so I honed those abilities, constantly readying myself to meet his next challenge. Subsequently, through his powerful enthusiasm for the subject, I came to love mathematics. He left me, as he did many others, with the best legacy that a teacher can leave a willing student: an unrelenting desire to do my best. In all honesty, I cannot separate his impact on me as a person from my academic pursuits and later career, and in tribute to the profound debt that I owe him, I would never want to.

You are a founding member of the United States National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which was created by an act of Congress. Can you explain the significance of the NCBI’s creation? The Human Genome Project produced a need to store and process large amounts of DNA sequence data, so, in 1989, the US Congress created the NCBI to capture, organize, and disseminate those data for use in biological research. As an example of the benefits, in 1994, a research group was investigating a gene implicated in hereditary colon cancer. They compared the gene sequence to sequences in our databases and found similarities to several known DNA repair proteins, indicating that the cancer was a defect of DNA repair. Since 1989, biotechnology has generated many types of data other than DNA sequences, for example, three-dimensional protein structures and the production of RNA in cells. Nowadays, many organizations exist to capture that information and disseminate it usefully to biologists, but the NCBI was the first.


Honouring our very

In an exceptional medical career that spans the North American continent, Rodney ‘Rod’ French is one of only three consultant surgeons who are called upon by the National Hockey League Players’ Association for expert opinions on hand and wrist injuries. He has worked with NHL teams including the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, and Anaheim Ducks.


While at Dalhousie, Rod was voted ‘Resident of the Year’ by the medical students in the Faculty of Medicine. After medical school, he earned a prestigious fellowship to Harvard Medical School in Boston where he practised as Assistant Surgeon to the Chief Surgeon of Plastic Surgery and Chief of Hand Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2002, Rod volunteered for ‘Operation Smile’ which was a mission to a poverty stricken area of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where over a 10-day period he performed 139 surgeries to repair cleft lip and palate deformities. In 2008, he was honoured with the post of Head of Division, Plastic Surgery at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, where he also resides. He also is a clinical instructor in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.

Education Profile: BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography, University of British Columbia MD, University of British Columbia MEd in Medical Education, Mount Saint Vincent University Plastic Surgery Residency, Dalhousie University Fellowship in Hand and Microsurgery, Harvard Medical School

The DRAGON Fall 2009

Why did you choose to specialize in hand and wrist surgery? I suspect that most of us who love what we do and have a passion for our work would agree that somehow these fields choose us, not the other way around. I can recall the exact day when I saw hand surgery for the very first time. I was in Victoria on an elective in a different field of surgery. A plastic surgeon I had not met was scrubbing in to his last case for the day and said I was welcome to join him if I wished. It was a simple enough surgery: with a tourniquet on the patient’s arm, there was no bleeding and I could see all of the intricate structures that made the human hand work


To this day, I honestly still marvel at the mechanics and engineering that make the human hand function the way it does: to paint artwork, to play an instrument, or to play a sport. When I am giving lectures to medical students, I ask them to sit on their hands at the start of the lecture and periodically ask them over the course of the hour if they have started to notice just how incapacitated they are without

the use of their hands. They can’t scratch an itch, they can’t tap their friends on the shoulder, and they quickly acquire a better appreciation of what we all take for granted. Patients will often comment that they didn’t really appreciate how important their hands were until they no longer have use of them. To put an injured hand back together is often like doing a jigsaw puzzle. The reward lies in giving a patient back a livelihood, improving quality of life, and alleviating pain. You have mentioned in the past that you have a passion for art, so how did you find yourself pursuing a medical career? Art was very important to me at St. George’s. Nan Oliver and Rob Stickney were positive influences who encouraged me in my artwork and saw talents in me that I didn’t initially appreciate. It made me seriously consider art as a career. Being a struggling artist, I think you have to have a deep passion because you know that times will be tough

RODNEY J. FRENCH ‘86 YOUNG GeorgiaN Award Recipient

After finishing marine biology at UBC, I didn’t end up ‘swimming with dolphins’ but, rather ended up in a rundown shack on the BC coast sampling ocean water with a bunch of bird-watchers who were tagging and tracking an endangered bird species. Again, this just wasn’t me. However, I met a Coast Guard Search and Rescue crew and became very interested. During my training in Search and Rescue, we were taught advanced medical training and we were called to incidents requiring medical aid and medical evacuations. The medical training and care involved was what led me to pursue medicine as a career. By the time I entered medical school, I had had enough varied experiences that I instantly knew I had found my passion. Do you consider yourself an artist when you are performing your surgeries? I guess that somewhere deep down there may be an element of that, but there is such a responsibility that comes with the privilege of being a doctor and, especially a surgeon in whom people place their trust, that it never comes to mind on a day-to-day basis. First and foremost is a focus how to get that patient safely through an operation successfully. I develop a tremendous attachment to many of these patients and I want very badly for them all to do well and get a good result from surgery. In the operating room, I am more a perfectionist than an artist and ‘close enough’ is just not acceptable. I credit my Mom and Dad who used to always stress to me ‘for heaven’s sake, Rod, if you’re going to do something, do it well or, don’t do it at all.’ I probably do fewer surgeries than many of my colleagues and certainly make a less lucrative income for that reason. I never book a surgery to finish in a certain time frame and I always over-estimate the time I will need for two very important reasons. Firstly, I don’t want to

be rushed and, because I want each case to be done to the best of my ability, I don’t want to be looking at the clock for fear of having the last surgical case of the day cancelled. Secondly, I purposely book ‘fiddle-factor’ time as I call it. Each case will always have something unique about it or some unforeseen finding that will require me to come up with an equally unique solution. That often requires some careful thought and I book time in for that. So in reality, I really think that my job is like that of a man I have always admired, Leonardo da Vinci; part anatomist, part bio-mechanist and engineer, part artist, and 100 per cent a humanist. You have been a speaker at the School’s Careers Day. What advice do you have for those young Georgians who wish to pursue a medical career? Be ready to adjust. Things will change; you will change. You will need to try many different things before you find what you like or, more importantly, your passion finds you. You will most likely stumble on it, as I did. By arriving at it that way, you will have gained so many varied experiences that will make you not only the better at what you do, but you will be able to relate to people because you have had a variety of experiences. What I disliked most was working in my father’s lumber mill for a couple of summers. When I realized just how hard the work is and that I didn’t want to do that all my life, I not only studied it harder in school but, when any injured millworker comes into my office now, I maintain a tremendous respect for how hard he works as well as an understanding of what his job entails. Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University professor, who wrote The Last Lecture said: ‘experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.’ The first time I applied to medical school I was told that not only was I not going to get in that year, but that I really should be considering a different career because I would likely never get in. Expect doors to be shut on you. But it will be only in those tough times that you really grow and change as a person. You will discover that if you want to do something badly enough, you will press on, not give up, and find a way to do what you want to do. If it’s not your passion, you will discover that because you will accept that the door is closed...but if it is your passion, you will find a way to open the door again. As an added bonus, you will have that much more confidence the next time something doesn’t go as planned.

before or, even if, you get noticed. But, I had other interests as well: I loved flying and flew a small plane with my father, was active in the outdoors thanks to Geof Stancombe ‘62, and loved biology and the sciences. After Saints, I was accepted to a military college in South Carolina because I thought I wanted to fly fighter jets. I never went out of fear of what a ‘military training’ might do to me. I was never one to thrive on following orders without being a questioning, thinking person and you can’t do that in the military. So, in hindsight, as much as I wanted to fly, I believe I made the right decision not to go. I don’t think I would have survived the rigours. So like my artwork, it went to the side. I had a suspicion that with the right career, I could still pursue both as hobbies rather than careers.


Education Profile: BA in Mathematics, University of British Columbia BA in English Language and Literature, University of Oxford PhD in English, University of Toronto

Edward Chamberlin ‘60 A GIFTED scholar

interview by: English Faculty Member, Dwight Hillis, and Bryan R. Ide ‘99 Edward Chamberlin is a world-renowned literary scholar and teacher. In addition to being the Head Boy from 1959 to 1960, he is the School’s second Rhodes Scholar.

The DRAGON Fall 2009

He has a wide range of scholarly interests including poetry, oral and written traditions, aboriginal culture, and native history and art.


In addition to being a professor at the University of Toronto, Ted became a Senior Fellow at Massey College in 1997 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2000. From 1985 to 1990, he served as Principal of New College at the University of Toronto. He holds an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of the West Indies.

You are an expert in oral traditions among aboriginal groups. Why are stories and oral histories so important to many cultures? Do you see these traditions fading? I think oral traditions are important to all cultures, in fact. The central institutions of Canadian society: churches, courts, parliaments, and schools all involve oral traditions, with ceremonial protocols similar to those that have shaped the secular and sacred traditions of aboriginal societies. And both aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities value the congregational aspects of oral traditions, the getting together with others in certain places, at certain times, often wearing certain clothes, and using certain languages. Although distant education has become very important, it began, after all, with books. We still value teaching and learning that takes place in company with others. That said, the new media beginning with photography, the telephone, the radio, and now with audio and video technology and computers may be signalling a shift as significant as the one that occurred in the middle ages with printing and reading. Stay tuned. There are many historical examples where different cultures, each with their own set of stories, have come into conflict with one another. How can these different groups bridge their differences and find common ground? It is sometimes said that human beings are wired for language. I think, instead, we are wired for belief, of which language is just one manifestation. (Believing that the letters C-A-T represent a cat requires a large leap of faith, after all). We learn to believe and we learn the contradictions of belief very early in our lives. This learning is shared across cultures. ‘It was, and it was not’ is how the storytellers of Majorca start their stories. Garube is one word (with a click at the beginning) which means ‘the happening that is not happening’ say the hunters and herders of the southern Kalahari, when they begin. ‘Once upon a time’, we say to mean, ‘right now’. So, even though our beliefs, like our languages, may differ, and other people’s may seem strange, understanding that our stories are ceremonies of belief as much as they are chronicles of events may give us some common ground in a world, and I might add an educational system, that sometimes seems preoccupied with differences. In addition to your academic interests in aboriginal culture,

you have a passion for raising horses. You’ve even written a book Horse: How the Horse Has Shaped Civilizations. Just what type of impact has the horse had on the development of civilizations around the world? For millennia, horses shaped the way humans lived, providing food and transportation, status, companionship, religious, and cultural conventions. There are instructions for the care and feeding of horses in the Qur’an and chivalry comes from the French word for horse. Horses were our first weapons of mass destruction and with them humans invented war as we know it, and established and expanded empires. Horses were the inspiration for games from ancient to modern times, as well as some of our favourite books, movies, and paintings. Even those of us who don’t work or play with them still admire horses for their grace and beauty; and from cave paintings forty thousand years ago to the calendars we hang in our kitchens and bedrooms, horses have found their way into our hearts, our homes, and our languages, as we indulge in ‘horseplay’ or display some good old ‘horse sense, ‘put on airs’ or ‘put the cart before the horse’, ‘start from scratch’ or ‘give someone a leg up’, and even ‘eat like a horse’. The theme for this issue of The Dragon focuses on academics. Could you share with our readers how your time at St. George’s influenced your future academic pursuits and career? Well, it really did all begin at St. George’s for me. First of all many of the friends I made there have been with me all my life, even when they were thousands of miles away. All encouraged me, even when they couldn’t figure out what I was doing (and I couldn’t either!). Sports, especially rugby, were also very important to me and I remember one teacher, exasperated at our laziness and lack of commitment, saying that the very same energy and determination—and I remember he used the words, craft and courage—that we bring to the playing field was required to do well in our academic studies. Thinking, he said, must be done without fear or favour too. There are many other things that I learned at St. George’s, but perhaps the most important to me, and this was taught by Tony Parker-Jervis ‘35, was that mathematics and the sciences are as much about stories as literature and the arts, and that we must take all tellers of tales equally seriously, and equally sceptically. As an educator, do you feel that education is still important? What do you feel is the role of academic institutions in a society? Education brings people together, young people and older people, each contributing something to a conversation; to bring together science and the arts, nourishing the contradictions in each and believing both. But, most of all, education is a kind of covenant in wonder with the world. Teachers are the custodians of that wonder and of the wondering that nourishes it. Wonder and wondering are closely related and we all need to work to keep them together. If we separate them, we get the kind of amazement that is satisfied with the first explanation; or the kind of curiosity that is incapable of genuine surprise, and therefore of serious inquiry. Or, to go back to where I began, wonder and doubt, which is simply another way of wondering, are two sides of the same coin; that coin is the currency of all story-telling; and storytelling is what we do in our schools and colleges and universities.

How did you develop these interests in so many fields of study? What is it that combines these interests? It took me a long while to figure this out. For a number of years I was both teaching literature and consulting with aboriginal communities and governments on land claim settlements. Slowly, I began to understand that these were two sides of the same coin, and that the currency was stories: stories that tell us who we are and where we belong; stories that keep us together and others apart; stories abut the past, the present, and the future. National literatures are collections of such stories, as are the literatures we organize along lines of race, gender, and region. When aboriginal communities go to court to claim jurisdiction over land and livelihood, they too tell stories. And slowly too, I began to formulate some questions about these stories: why do we believe in them; and why at times, do we not? What difference does it make whether we listen to them or read them? How do we learn to believe, especially the things that we know are not true, or not real? It’s those questions that have kept me busy the past decade or so.












1 - Geof Stancombe ’62 presents the sportsmanship trophy is his name to Ryan French ’84 2 - From left to right: Josh Owen ’01, Chris Francis ’01, and Chris Owen ’78 3 - Class of 2004 from left to right: Jamie Hankinson, Philip Wright, Luke Jenkins, and Simon Dyakowski 4 - Class of 1979: Reunion Weekend 5 - Toronto Chapter Visit: Georgians President Scott Lamb ’79 presents the newly-formed Toronto Chapter Executive with the Georgian pennant. From left to right: David Williams ’86, Scott Lamb ’79, Toronto Chapter President Monte Burris ’89, and Bo Meng ’02. 6 - The Junior Rugby tour met up with some of our young Georgians who are currently studying in the United Kingdom. From left to right: Faculty members Heather Stirrup and Justin Wilke, Jeremy Loh ’08, Justin Chang ’05, Bjorn Thomas ’05, faculty member Phil Webster, trainer Jonathan Figueroa, Matthew MacFayden ’09, Senior School Principal Bud Patel, parent Lisa MacFayden, and Nicholas Chang ’07. 7- Eight golfers from the Class of 1977, from left to right: Jeff Ayre, Peter Birks, Don Anderson, Reid Robinson, Dave McAdam, Fraser Mackay, Ian Watson, and Paul Knickerbocker. The foursome of Jeff, Peter, Ian, and Paul won the 2009 Old Boys’ Trophy for the lowest score of any foursome from the graduating class. 8 - The Senior Georgians and their spouses. 9 - Class of 1959 from left to right: Lloyd Wilson, John Coleman, George Hrennikoff, Gordon Brown, and Michael Fullerton. 10 - Class of 1989: Reunion Weekend 11 - Class of 1969: Reunion Weekend 12 - From left to right: Lucas Burdick ’99, Robin Black ’00, Patrick Stancombe ’00, and Mark Jukes ’00



saints’notes 1946 •  Ross Hamilton and his wife, Lois, celebrated their eightieth birthdays on July 25, 2009 with a family reunion arranged by their four sons, all of whom are Georgians: Jim ’71, Robert ’72, Doug ’75, and Pat ’82. The event was a threeday get-together for the whole family. Everyone was able to schedule their work so that they could arrive in Calgary on Thursday and leave on Monday. Robert’s family travelled from Vancouver and Doug’s travelled from Houston, Texas. Doug, deputy flight surgeon to Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk, arranged for Dr. Thirsk to call Ross and Lois from the International Space Station and wish them a happy eightieth birthday. After speaking for about two to three minutes, Dr. Thirsk passed the call to fellow astronaut Julie Payette. Ross and Lois mention that they will forever remember the longest long-distance call they ever received. 1948 •  Robert MacInnes writes: ‘Thank you for the marvellous publication you put out. It keeps us abreast of the goings on at the school and thus continuously reminds us of where we got a portion of our basics of formal education, as well as being subjected to so many of the other, just as important, facets of growing up. For example, I was one of the students who answered the call to work on the dikes that memorable week in 1948. I say week, because, while our “commitment” was for one night, there were some of us who extended that time to several days. We rationalized that the school term was for all intents and purposes over and humanly our time was better spent there than ragging the dorms at the school. The minds of 17- year olds have a way of doing things like that. Looking back, I can proudly say that this philosophy has permeated most of my years. While I enjoyed considerable success in my business career, it was also being introduced to sports, theatre, music, and the arts that enriched my life and continues to do so. As I approach my eightieth birthday I am still able to shoot my age from the back tees of most of the Vancouver Island Golf Courses.’

The DRAGON Fall 2009



•  Fraser Evans, the 1958 winner of the Simms Trophy, and a member of the School’s Rugby Tour to England and Scotland that same year, recently donated to Saints his replica of the official trophy. In the words of John Harker, who dedicated much of his life to ensuring that the boys under his headmastership would have an opportunity to pursue a happy and successful future, the Simms Trophy is presented each year to ‘the Senior Boy who, in the opinion of his masters, best exemplifies the qualities of a gentleman, a sportsman, and a scholar.’

•  Bob Ross recently published his first book, The Cucumber Tree: Memories of a Vancouver Boyhood. Bob tells The Dragon that his book is a story about growing up in Vancouver in the 1940s and 50s, in a time when kids played outdoors from dawn until dusk without supervision, in a world without television or computers. One of the chapters tells about life at St. George’s in the 1950s, in the days when the success or failure of the school as a whole was measured by the outcome of the rugby games against Shawnigan and University School (now known as St. Michaels University School). The St. George’s of Bob’s memory was a Dickensian collage of duty prefects and house masters, Latin and Greek, and wooden desks scarred by a generation of school boys’ initials. Daily attendance at chapel was mandatory, schoolyard disputes were often settled by formal boxing matches, and being caned by The Beak was a right of passage. The Cucumber Tree is distributed by Sandhill Book Marketing and it is available in local bookstores. There is a copy in the School library, and anyone wishing more information is encouraged to contact Bob at 1960 • Rudy Nielsen and his son won a salmon fishing masters tournament in June, 2009. As a prize for catching the biggest fish overall, they received a cheque for $125,000. About 120 fishermen entered the tournament which took place in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Rudy donated his prize earnings to the Children’s Wish Foundation and to a wildlife fund in Kenya. He and his son will now be representing Canada

in the world marlin fishing contest in May, 2010 in Mexico where 64 countries will be represented. They had won the BC salmon masters tournament three years ago and went to Mexico, where they placed eleventh out of 65. The year before, Canada was sixty-fourth out of 64. Rudy writes that the whole program in Mexico is a catch and release program and goes by a point system based on who catches the most. It is a challenging program and contestants are up before dark and on the water at first light racing to where they think the marlin might be. Rudy mentions one of the tips to the tournament: on hooking a marlin, it is all about bringing it in as fast a possible, so the line can be out again for the next catch.


• Bruce Lambert wrote from Newport Beach, California. After graduating from St. George’s, he began a career in the clothing business with Margetson-Lee Ltd. on Howe Street, in downtown Vancouver. Margetson-Lee was a leading men’s clothing business at that time and Bruce enjoyed a rewarding career there to 1977, when an opportunity presented itself to open a new custom jewellery business in Newport Beach, California. Bruce’s wife of now 41 years, Bonnie, and he moved to California with their three daughters, Shanna, Danielle, and Tia and have lived there since. Shanna and Dani are both married and each has two children. Tia will be married in San Francisco this month. Bruce and his wife have a vacation home on a lake in the South Cariboo, near 100 Mile House, so they visit BC at least three times a year and try to swing through Vancouver every two to three years. Bruce keeps in regular touch with Rich Kelly, his fly-fishing partner and, in the past few years, have enjoyed a few dinners at Umberto’s with Hugo Martin, Brian Brenn, and Dave Whitelaw and their spouses. Rich, Hugo, and Bruce have discussed arranging a fiftieth anniversary of their graduation in 2011 and hope that the Class of ’61 will get in touch and help make this a reality. To participate in the 50-year reunion, please email Bruce at • In the September 2009 edition of Accounting Today (www., Thomas Sadler was honoured as one of the 2009 Top 100 Most Influential People in accounting. Tom is Chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), the largest professional regulatory organization in the world. NASBA member boards license and regulate over 650,000 certified public accountants (CPAs) in the United States and worldwide.

1964 • Tom Coldicutt, Executive Producer of the documentary Mary Pickford, The Muse of The Movies just had his premiere showing at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. The documentary will subsequently be showing at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The film interweaves Mary Pickford’s personal life with her professional career and the history of the film industry within the American context in the first half of the twentieth century. Mary Pickford was known as ‘America’s Sweetheart’ even though she was born in Canada. Tom and his team will know in December if they are finalists for an Oscar. 1968 • Mark Steven recently was one of three lawyers in British Columbia who successfully settled British Columbia’s first certified class action lawsuit against Dow Corning Corporation and Bristol Myer Squibb for defective silicone breast implants: they were representing, in total, 4,162 claimants. From 1980 to 2000, Mark was a partner in the law firm of Connell Lightbody in Vancouver and since then has built a reputation as a busy sole practitioner specializing in personal injury claims and medical malpractice. Mark’s elder son, Derek, graduated in 2008 from Queen’s University with a commerce degree. His younger son is 17 and in Grade 12 at West Vancouver Secondary School. 1971 • Michael Moore’s web-design/communications firm, Ladybird Communications, has been awarded with a 2009 Best in Industry Award by the 52,000-member Internet Marketing Association for its NGO website www.beadforlife. org. BeadforLife is a poverty eradication project making great progress in Uganda. Michael has been developing websites for small business and NGOs since 1996. More information on his firm can be found at www.ladybirdcommunications. com. He is currently living in Victoria with his wife and three children. • John Sprung has been teaching at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for over 20 years. This past year he received a sabbatical year during which he has been working on some projects for the City of Surrey. John is the Chair of the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society. Its heritage rail demonstration project for 2010 is to restore the original BC Electric Railway (BCER) interurban railcars to run on the original Fraser Valley Line. The first of these cars, BCER 1225, should be back on the tracks next year in time to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the line. The BCER opened up the valley with daily freight and passenger service from downtown Vancouver to Chilliwack in 1910. Interurban BCER 1225 was the last car to carry passengers when the service was shut down in 1958. More information can be found at



saints’notes John is also working on a City of Surrey initiative to look forward as the city maintains its growth for the next decade and becomes the largest city in BC. This has inspired an international design ideas competition called TownShift: Suburb into City. John sits on the steering committee of this competition which will attract any interested person with new ideas about dealing with the issues of sustainable growth a quickly changing region. These issues are not just specific to Surrey but have global implications. The competition will be announced on November 2, 2009 by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and will run until January 6, 2010. There is $75,000 in prize awards for the five parts of the competition. More information can be found at 1972 • Gordon Gage has spent three years from 2006 to 2008 as Chairman of the Board of The Winnipeg Art Gallery and is

currently Past Chair of the Board as well as being Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee. He is Vice President, Business Development for PCM Interactive in Winnipeg. The company provides performancebased search marketing for national and international corporations. He is married to Elizabeth who was selected woman Entrepreneur for Manitoba for her work at PCMI. The have two children, Sarah, 12, and Christopher, 8. • Graeme Wilkinson, after 30 years service with Air Canada (formerly CP Air, Canadian Airlines), is continuing on to pursue Graduate Studies in Music at Concordia University in Montreal. In March of this year, Graeme competed in Le Concours des Grands Amateurs de Piano in Paris, France. He is now preparing for the highly challenging International Piano Amateur Competition in Berlin in October, 2010. 1974

The DRAGON Fall 2009

• Peter Muringer now resides in Gifu City, Japan, with his wife and two daughters.


1975 • Doug Hamilton has been named as the Deputy Flight Surgeon to Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk. Doug will be responsible for ensuring Thirsk’s health while he is on the

International Space Station for six months. • Peter Hilton and family with his wife, Sofi, and two children, Emily, 15 and Nicholas, 11 have moved from Sweden to Kamloops. Peter is Vice-Provost, Students at Thompson Rivers University. • Guy McKenzie-Smith and his new wife, Janet, will be moving to Ladner where she works as a school counsellor. 1978 • Giles O’Connolly is living and working in France, where he recently changed jobs from European Export Manager for Stirrings Cocktail Mixers (DIAGEO) to Export Director for a leading Burgundy white wine producer, Cave de Lugny AOC MACON, sparkling Burgundy, and Rhone wines, Cave de Saint Desirat, AOC Saint Joseph and Syrah for North America, Asia, and Europe. He is based near Lyon, culinary and cultural capital of France, near the Alps and the Mediterranean. Giles mentioned that some of wines available at Liberty Wines in BC. • Craig Moyes is Director of Studies in French at Christ’s College. In 1996, he completed his PhD in Comparative Literature at the Université de Montréal, followed by a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship at King’s College, Cambridge. He moved to London in 1999 to lecture at King’s College London in French and Comparative Literature. Craig specializes in seventeenth-century French literature and contemporary Québécois cinema. Most recent publications in both fields include a chapter on Denys Arcand for Wallflower Press’s The Cinema of Canada and a special issue of Études françaises entitled ‘L’échelle des valeurs au XVIIe siècle: le commensurable et l’incommensurable’. He also just welcomed his fourth child, a girl, Nora Jessie. 1979 • Andrew Karolyi just joined Cornell University as Professor of Finance in the Johnson Graduate School of Management and holds the newly created Alumni Chair in Asset Management. Andrew moved this summer after 19 years on faculty at the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University. His son, Steve, just got married to Meghan Whitley in August, 2009. 1980 • Mark Leckie is living in Victoria with his wife, Solvig, and two dogs Barney and Baxter. He occasionally sees Charles Middleton traipsing around the Oak Bay waterfront with military fatigues and a large backpack. Mark is working at BC Ferries as a Unix system administrator. • Ford Nicholson is currently Chairman of BNK Petroleum. BNK operates both US oil and gas assets and European exploration assets. He was previously a founding shareholder and board member of Bankers Petroleum. He sits on the board of Kepis & Pobe Investments Inc., a private investment company. He is also a member of the President’s Circle of the International Crisis Group.

saints’notes 1985 • Jaimie Baker is doing publicity for the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which runs from November 6 to 14. For more info, check out Jaimie is thrilled to have this new role as concert producer and classical musicians’ agent through his company, Encore Performances. You can visit him at

• Ward Trythall was recently promoted to the rank of Major in the Canadian Forces and appointed the Commander of 6 Engineer Squadron in North Vancouver, BC, a Primary Army Reserve unit of the Canadian Army in Western Canada. He has been a member of the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Forces for 24 years. He currently resides in Burnaby, BC with his wife, Iska, his son, and daughter. He works as a quality engineering manager at Teleflex Canada in Richmond. 1986 • Andrew Stephens and his wife, Katherine, are enjoying raising four year-old twins in Los Altos, California. He recently moved to an in-house counsel position at the professional networking site, LinkedIn, based in Mountain View, California. Andrew reminds everyone to join the Georgians Group on LinkedIn! 1987 • Trace Thomas has twin sons, Callum and Jack, who are now 13 and beginning Grade 8 in Comox, BC. He has another son, Max, who is 10 and in Grade 5. Trace is married to his childhood sweetheart, Amy (yes, he knew her even before starting St. George’s in Grade 6), and he has been working as a physician (specialist in Internal Medicine) since 1998 and has been practising in Comox since 2001. 1988 • Matthew Clark is a founding principal of Subplot Design Inc., an internationally renowned and highly awarded branding and design firm based in Vancouver, BC. Recent projects have included the complete re-branding of the Vancouver Aquarium and Okanagan Spring Brewery, along with major packaging and branding projects for Caffe Artigiano, FullyLoadedTea, and Happy Planet. 1989 • David Law is Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis. He also recently became engaged to Hyun Jin Chung, who works at the United Nations in New York.

1990 • In 2005, Carl Jensen stumbled upon the Scottish Highland Games almost by accident. He competed in his first ever Highland Games, never having before touched any of the implements! He ‘put’ the stones, threw weights and hammers, and he even tried turning a caber for the first time. Carl fell in love with the sport and since then, he has competed at a dozen Games in BC, Alberta, and Washington. He has gone on to become the Athletic Director for the Victoria Highland Games Association, where he has been responsible for growing the Victoria Games heavy events from a oneday, 10–12 athlete competition to a two-day, 25–40 athlete competition that last year featured the 2008 World Heavy Events Champion and the 2009 Canadian Champion. His opportunity to put Victoria on the Scottish Heavy Events map will be in 2010, as Carl will be managing the 2010 IHGF World Heavy Events Championships in Victoria on the May long weekend. For details, Carl can be reached at • Stephen Joyce was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the OpenTravel Alliance, a US-based international standards body for the travel industry. More information on the OpenTravel Alliance can be found at www.opentravel. org. 1991 • Thomas Watt is currently living on the French Riviera in Antibes and is working as Director of Solutions and Services at a mobile phone software company called Open-Plug. 1992 • Meng Weng Wong recently moved home to Singapore after starting two dot-coms in Philadelphia and Silicon Valley. He spends his time with next-generation internet startups and is active in the local entrepreneurship community as an angel investor. 1993 • Travis Dowle, the current Treasurer of the Georgians, is the President and Fund Manager of Vistra Capital Management Ltd., an investment management firm focused on alternative strategies. Vistra Capital launched its flagship investment fund, the Vistra Fund, on July 1, 2009. The Vistra Fund is a long/short fund focused on special situations and eventdriven opportunities.

• Jonathan King is a registered architect and has recently joined the firm HOK as a senior associate and senior project manager. His primary focus is on public and institutional architecture work. After studying at the University of Western Ontario and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, England, Jonathan has been living in Toronto for the past 10 years with his wife Sandra and two boys, aged 9 and 11.


saints’notes • Patrick Guenkel, moved last month from Paris to Lagos, Nigeria, where he is still working for Total SA in upstream oil and gas. Patrick reports that after a bit of culture shock and adjustment to the challenges of day-to-day life, it seems the expats are generally well taken care of there. He is looking forward to seeing any adventurous Georgian travellers. • Oliver Linsley premiered three films at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival: Machotaildrop, A Gun to the Head, and Big Head. He is currently producing Beyond the Black Rainbow. 1994 • Taleeb Noormohamed has been promoted to Vice President, Corporate Strategy, National and International Partnerships for VANOC. 1995 • Jason Tang’s work as an architect has been published by European, American, and Asian publishers, the most notable of which was by the Spanish Publisher, teNeues, in the book, Ultimate New York Design. 1996 • Siamak Boroomand is working towards his Doctor of Education degree at the University of Toronto. 1997 • Chris Hindmarch-Watson was hired as Executive Director of the Canadian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association in October 2008. Has also been hired as the live-in house announcer at various national and international swimming events including the Canadian (Montreal, 2008) and USA (Omaha, 2008) Olympic Swimming Trials, Junior Pan Pacific Championships (Guam, 2009), Asian Age Group Championships (Tokyo, 2009), Canadian World Aquatic Trials (Montreal, 2009) and US Open (Seattle, 2009).

The DRAGON Fall 2009

• Joshua Karton recently moved to Kingston, Ontario, where he just started in the Law Faculty at Queen’s University, teaching contracts, commercial law, and international arbitration. His research focuses on cross-border commercial disputes. Joshua is also finishing up a PhD at Cambridge University focusing on international commercial law. Before his PhD, Joshua worked in the litigation/arbitration group of Cleary Gottlieb, a Wall Street-type law firm in New York. Two years ago, he married Ann Chen, a native of Taiwan. She has also nearly finished her PhD at Cambridge (in secondlanguage education). They live in Kingston where Ann works as a translator, a Chinese teacher, and an educational researcher. Joshua writes that he would be happy to meet up with any other Georgians at Queen’s or in Kingston.


1999 •  In August, Jonathan Manes finished a year working as a law clerk to Justice Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada. While living in Ottawa, he co-founded a local website reporting on Ottawa arts and culture, www.apt613.

ca. He has recently moved to New York City to start a job as a legal fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union, where he will be working on cases challenging US detention, torture, warrantless surveillance, and other post-9/11 policies. •  Ali Nathoo has completed his MBA at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. •  Vince Ng is still based in Beijing, having moved into a new position a little over a year ago as Director of Program Development for the China Education Initiative, an innovative NGO established under the auspices of the Ford Foundation, and Princeton and Tsinghua Universities. The initiative seeks to address educational inequity in rural China. More information can be found at: www. •  Craig Rollins recently completed his law degree at the University of Windsor. He is currently articling at Clark Wilson LLP and has successfully completed the BC Bar exams and is waiting to be called to the Bar in the spring of 2010 so long as he can keep out of trouble! 2001 • Sam Leung was recently promoted to lead the Search Engine Marketing Team at the Aber Group, a boutique marketing agency focused solely on direct marketing online. • Warren Miles-Pickup got engaged in June of this year and will be getting married on October 24, 2009. 2002 • Charles Bern is currently in his first year of an MBA program at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. 2003 • Tyler Hotson is now playing professional rugby in England for the club Plymouth Albion. He also received his tenth Test Cap playing for the Canadian Rugby Team this past July when they qualified for the Rugby World Cup which starts in September 2011. • Chris Reynolds recently signed with KPMG Vancouver as a staff accountant in their Industrial Markets Group. He will be finishing up accounting courses at the Sauder School of Business and travelling in the interim. 2004 • Michael Mackay recently graduated from the University of Victoria and has started a career in real estate development working for Onni Group of Companies as a development manager. 2005 • Nick Farrell recently completed his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While at NSCAD, he was in Interdisciplinary Studies and Nick’s paintings have been shown in Montreal and Halifax.

Danette Mortimer


PASSINGS • Michael Ferrie ‘47 on October 21, 2008 at Vancouver, BC. Michael was the brother of Jock ‘47 and father of Chris ‘74. •  Past Governor Ken Hennessey on June 20, 2009 at Vancouver, BC. Ken was father to Kreston ‘96 and Kody ‘01. •  David Balinsky ‘69 on July 6, 2009 at Muskoka, ON. •  Karen Cheng, wife of Boris Bong ‘89, on July 7, 2009 at Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China. •  Richard Sendall ‘48 on July 15, 2009 at Langley, BC. Richard was father to George ‘70. •  Calvin McCarthy ‘73 on August 26, 2009 at Victoria, BC. •  Anthony ‘Tex’ Pitfield ‘77 on September 2, 2009 at Marietta, Georgia. RETIREMENTS • The Board of Directors of the St. George’s Old Boys’ Association and St. George’s School would like to thank Travis Dowle ‘93 for his dedication and service to the Georgians. Travis, the Treasurer of the Georgians, will be retiring from the Board at the Association’s Annual General Meeting on November 11, 2009. CORRECTION • The editors of The Dragon would like to make some additions to the article, ‘Rugby at Saints,’ which appeared in Spring 2009 edition. In 1991, the School did a tour of Australia and New Zealand with a repeat tour in 1993. Also, Matt Fraser ‘91 and James Boatman ‘92 should have been added to our list of Canadian representatives. Matt was selected to the Canada U-19 in 1992 and James was selected to the Canada U-19 in 1993.

Have you seen your school lately?

Keep checking our website for the following upcoming visual presentations:

•  N  ew School Video A new school video was released at the Gala held on October 2. This will be available for viewing on our website shortly.

•  V  irtual Tour You will be able to view 360 degree images of both the Junior and Senior School campuses.

The St. George’s Community was saddened by the loss of Danette Mortimer on June 23, 2009. She will be missed particularly by the boys, parents, and faculty at the Junior School. Danette was born in Westlock, Alberta in July 1952. She started her teaching career in the Sturgeon School Division just north of Edmonton. During this time she was honoured by being named Alberta Educator of the Year. She married Ed and, after several foster children, Nicole came into their lives in 1987. The Mortimer family left Alberta in 1989 and moved to Bishop’s College School, a large independent boarding school in Quebec. Danette and Ed were responsible for 24 boys in Smith House. In 1995, the Mortimer family moved west to Vancouver to join the St. George’s community. Ed taught chemistry and Danette began teaching in the Junior School. Over the next 14 years Danette taught Grade 2, participated in a number of extra-curricular activities, and made significant contributions to the running of Harker Hall. In 2007, she became the Primary Coordinator and assisted in the Admissions office. In June of 2009, the Mortimers were presented the Robinson Distinguished Award for their work at St. George’s School. Danette Mortimer will always be remembered for her compassion for those less fortunate. Many hours were spent coordinating community service throughout the Junior School, including the annual Terry Fox Run, food for the Union Gospel Mission, and, of course, the annual Hamper Drive. There will always be that image of Danette and Ed working as a strong team to pull together the various logistics of ordering and collecting food, fundraising, delivery, and organizing volunteers to make the annual Hamper Drive one of the most successful food drives in the Lower Mainland. The Danette Mortimer Endowment Fund The Danette Mortimer Endowment Fund has been created in Danette’s honour to recognize a boy at each grade in the Junior School for his public service commitment, either at the School or within the greater community. Recipients receive a cash award which they are then required to donate to a charity of their choice. Following this decision, they are asked to make a presentation to the School Community outlining why they chose their particular charity. Contributions to the Fund can be made c/o St. George’s School and are eligible for a tax receipt. Please contact Aldrich Tan for further information (604) 222-5886.

•  George Hay ‘56 on August 9, 2009 at Vancouver, BC.


saints’notes STAFF


• Past Headmaster Gordon Atkinson received his Doctorate of Music from Indiana University.

• Steve Grimmett ‘93 to Marie-Eve Daunais on February 21, 2009 in Quebec City, QC.


• Siamak Boroomand ‘96 to Bonnee Belfer on July 5, 2009 in Montreal, QC. Kenneth Li ‘95 and Warren Shum ‘96 were groomsmen.

• Matthew Clark ‘88 and his wife, Denise, a daughter, Zoë Adele, on May 29, 2009.

• Alan Nichol ‘84 and his wife, Jackie, a daughter, Brooke Elise, on June 5, 2009. • Faculty members Brian and Katrina O’Connor, a daughter, Ailish Ella, on July 12, 2009.

• Adam Cotterall ‘01 to Lyndsay Sanders on August 8, 2009 in Vancouver, BC. Adam’s best man was Jamie Matthews ‘00.

• Scott Siegert ‘95 and his wife, Sherry, a son, Cameron William, on July 30, 2009. • Scott Earthy ‘93 and his wife, Carolyn, a son, Nathan Richard, on August 7, 2009. • Andrew Warren ‘89 and his wife, Catherine, a second son, James, on August 10, 2009. • Faculty member Paul Proznick and his wife, Lana, a daughter, Sydney, on August 16, 2009. • Jason Tang ‘95 and his wife, Maki, their first son, Enzo, on August 29, 2009.

The DRAGON Fall 2009

• Faculty member Ed Taylor and his wife, Effie, a daughter, Lia Gabrielle, on September 14, 2009.


Cameron William Siegert

Nathan Richard Earthy

• Guy McKenzie-Smith ’75 to Janet on August 9, 2009 in Vancouver, BC.

yearcaptains The success of the Georgians depends on those who have devoted their time and energy. One important set of volunteers is our group of Year Captains. What is a Year Captain? A Year Captain is the designated contact person for his respective Class and serves as the primary link between his Class and the Association.

We are still looking for Year Captains for the following years: 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1960 | 1961 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1972 | 1974 | 1976 | 1979 | 1983 | 1984 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1990 | 1994 | 1997 | 1998 | 2000 | 2005 | 2006 | 2008 | 2009 |

What does a Year Captain do? The overall responsibility of a Year Captain is to ensure that every Georgian from his Class is connected with the Association and the School. A Year Captain plays a role in: • spreading word about upcoming events, • keeping in touch with members of his Class, • acting as a point of contact and information source, and • helping to locate lost Georgians from his Class.

If you would like to be a Year Captain, please contact Prentice Durbin ‘89, the Year Captain Co-ordinator, phone: 604-631-4986 or e-mail:

List of Current Year Captains Year Name Phone



Barry Madden



Ward McMahon

604 643 7447


Steve Pocock


1971 Alistair Palmer


1973 Mark Perry



Brad Johnston



Don Anderson


1978 Paul Mitchell-Banks


1980 Stephen Jackson


1981 Simon Jaques


1982 Neil Menzies



Geordie Hungerford



David Powley


1992 Harley Rollins


1993 Travis Dowle


1995 Curtis Fairclough


1996 Michael Armstrong 604-659-8006

Warren Shum


Bryan Ide



2001 Tristan Sawtell



Gavin Dew


Bo Meng


Kelvin Tse



James Potter



Daniel Chan


1970 Al Marler



The DRAGON Fall 2009



It was an idea that had been in the works for some time…host an event to bring all corners of the Saints Community together under one roof, organize an evening of entertainment and festivities, and create an exciting opportunity to raise money for the St. George’s Endowment Fund. So it was that the It’s a Saints World Gala 2009 was born. Co-presented by Peter M. Brown ‘58 and John C. Kerr ‘61, and masterfully directed by Saints parent Monika Deol and her tireless organizing committee, the ‘It’s a Saints World Gala 2009’ saw 800 guests involved in a celebration of all things Saints, including retiring Headmaster Nigel Toy.


How can we best serve you as a


This is an important question for us, one that we need your help in answering. There are many ways the School can assist you, whether it is in helping your son become a student at Saints, networking you with other Georgians, hosting Georgian events worldwide, working with you on Student Career Days, or simply keeping you abreast of what is happening at your School.

The DRAGON Fall 2009

We are currently working with a company that specializes in alumni surveys at both independent schools and universities. With the help of this company, we expect to release a comprehensive alumni survey specifically targeted to the Georgian Community and we hope that we can count on your support in filling this out. The survey will be distributed both in electronic and hardcopy form.


Watch for our Georgian Survey coming in January, 2010.

Help us carry on the tradition the 57th annual St. George’s SCHOOL Fair. It’s bound to be a wonderful day.

If you’d like to consider donating any items to the silent auction at The Fair please contact the head convenors: • Lesley Bentley: • Tracie Watson:

Fun Food Games Bargains Entertainment for all ages Reconnect with old friends, meet some new ones


St. George’s School 3851 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver BC V6S 1T6 Canada 40580507

The Dragon Fall 2009 Issue  

Fall 2009 Issue

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