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O U R S TO R I E D PA S T • G E O R G I A N S R U G B Y • P J ’ S C A R

A Georgian in

Kandahar Major Erik Liebert '85 on his time in Afghanistan

St. George’s School

Spring 2007

MANAGING EDITOR Gordon C. Allan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Bruce Elbeblawy SENIOR EDITOR Christine Moore EDITORS Bryan R. Ide '99 Elizabeth Knox PRESIDENT OF THE ST. GEORGE’S OLD BOYS’ ASSOCIATION A.G. (Alex) Tsakumis '84 MANAGER OF GEORGIAN RELATIONS Bryan R. Ide '99 PHOTOGRAPHERS Kyla Brown Photography Bruce Elbeblawy Ruth Farrow Larry Goulet John Hislop '71 Bryan R. Ide '99 Erik Liebert '85 Robert Millen '00 Jay Sherwood Lily Song Lee Wright David Zhu School Archives BC Archives in Victoria 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 3851 West 29th Avenue Vancouver BC V6S 1T6 CANADA Phone: (604) 222-5817 Fax: (604) 224-4366 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 © 2007 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.


DRAGON St. George’s School

Spring 2007


Lessons in War by Gordon C. Allan


To be Well Rounded by Nigel R.L. Toy


Stories to Tell by Peter R.B. Armstrong '72


Learning from Georgians by Don Livingston


The Saints at War Project by Jay Sherwood


The Re-Birth of Rowing at Saints (Part 2) by David Darling


Saints on Ice by R. Luke Fredeman '84


The Georgian Rugby Football Club by Robin Lecky '60


The Car by Patrick M. Palmer '80


From The President by A.G. (Alex) Tsakumis '84


A Georgian at Sea by Lieutenant (Navy) Robert J. Millen '00


A Georgian in Kandahar by Major Erik Liebert '85


Annual Georgians Dinner/Stancombe Golf Tournament


Ultimate Champions by Staff


Fielding World-class Players by Gordon C. Allan


Saints Notes compiled by Elizabeth Knox and Bryan R. Ide '99


Olympic Fever by Gordon C. Allan

St. George’s School is proud to be associated with: Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISA)

At the recent Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) awards banquet, St. George’s School was awarded the Gold Trophy for PCL’s construction of the School’s new Great Hall (including design, innovation, and workmanship). The category of the award was for construction under $10 million. It was noted that it was very unusual that a high School would advance this far in the selection process and that St. George’s School won in a year with the most number of nominated projects ever received by the VRCA.


Lessons in war Sensitizing today’s youth to the realities of world conflict

n a 1961 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, John F. Kennedy said: “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” While the Cold War to which Kennedy referred has become a distant memory, his words of wisdom still resonate true as we witness the current war on terrorism and the various conflicts in the Middle East.


In this edition of The Dragon, the Saints at War project demonstrates the students’ research on Georgians who died for their country. The stories which unfold document young volunteers, who felt it was their duty to fight for peace and who held the notion of their country above their own lives. Unlike a typical Hollywood movie, these stories could not anticipate happy endings. These characters had left behind families and promising lives to become casualties of war. These stories impress upon our students the senselessness of war and instill a greater respect for the quality of life they can now enjoy.

by Gordon C. Allan, Managing Editor

In this edition of The Dragon, the Saints at War project demonstrates the students’ research on Georgians who died for their country.

War is still an unfortunate part of mankind and yet, movies, video games, and carefully edited news clips continue to bombard today’s youth, often sensationalizing mankind’s most diabolical evil. How then, does a school like St. George’s sensitize today’s youth to the realities of war and provide them with tangible opportunities to reflect on the previous generations of students who were drawn into world conflicts? Through research, students are able to discover real-life stories about those who died fighting for our freedom. Thus, the current Saints at War project launched by Elizabeth Knox and Jay Sherwood is so relevant.

We are also honoured that Major Erik Liebert ‘85, who served as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team, was able to take the time to send us his story in Afghanistan. He recalls his years at St. George’s School learning lessons which prepared him for the responsibilities he now assumes. His story is one of determination, hard work, and hope for a better and more peaceful world. It not only serves to illustrate the ravages of war, but also the enduring strength of the human spirit. Sine Timore aut Favore

Spring 2007 • 3


To be well rounded It’s all about developing character


As Headmaster, I have never deviated from this primary goal of providing an all-round education to serve the individual well in life. Herein exists the elusive challenge for any of us! The School and its leadership may see clearly the benefits of instilling a healthy balance in education, but that does not always match parental or societal expectations. It's not so much about creating the all-rounder but rather about developing the wellrounded person. The all-round person may be seen to show abilities across many areas, but I'm inclined to believe that it takes the emergence of more intrinsic qualities of character to become well-rounded. As an eighteenth century poet wrote, "Character is perfectly educated will". School provides one of the wonderful periods of life where students may discover themselves through the experience of trying new things. Academic rigour may well be the

4 • The Dragon

by Nigel R.L. Toy, Headmaster foundation for developing intellectual As Headmaster, I have never deviated skills, but so is from this primary goal of providing an the acquisitiall-round education to serve the individual on of knowwell in life. ledge if young people are to begin to understand the are so many paths to follow at school world around them. St. George's and who can determine which one is School is dedicated to a program to best. However, the measure of any enrich lives and explore potential. We person's worth will be enhanced by show the way and lead from the front broadening the experience in and out underscoring that in every experience of school. or lesson instilled there is the capacity There should be no equivocation on to grow character. the part of students and their families I never cease to be overawed by the that here at St. George's School we accomplishments of our students. want them to be involved. (How many Their School lives are bound up with times have the boys heard me say excelling in academics, arts, athletics, that?) It is important to strive in the and service to others. Time and time classroom and take considerable again, I extol the incredible all-round confidence from improving results. accomplishments of these young However, the real lesson is believing men. Furthermore, I see the same one can do better and having the happening in other institutions where discipline to set about achieving it. So, young women climb to the pinnacles it is with all the other activities and options that flourish within the of all-round excellence. School: to make an attempt, to be part I have just watched our Grades 9 and of a team, a band, or a production, will 10 Rugby Team play Kilkenny College invariably 'round' a student. I have in Ireland (founded in 1538). The always preached there is no failure, abundance of all-round talent in those only setbacks, and the best building squads gave cause to ponder. Are we block is to persevere with something also giving them that well-rounded in which we believe we can succeed. education? The answer again was evidenced in seeing them interact Every young person has much within with their hosts with confidence, them. As educators and parents, we have shared responsibility to maxpoise, and humility. imize opportunities. School days are Today we confront a 'landscape' so busy days, but I would always hope often demanding results ahead of they are rewarding days. The rewards experience, a one-dimensional pursuit come as breadth of mind and a over the multi-faceted approach, and growing sense of self-worth. extolling victory over humility. There

chools the world over espouse the concept of developing the all-round student. St. George's School lays this out quite clearly when it states: "The School's primary focus is to develop a well-rounded boy. This education so provided will foster and nurture the intellectual, physical, and social capabilities of each boy." The Strategic Plan goes on to say the well-rounded boy is the hallmark of the School and represents the call for a better balance of academic focus with other aspects of School life. The end goal is to produce a worthy and contributing citizen.


Stories to tell Sharing our experiences by Peter R.B. Armstrong '72, Chairman

The true gauge of our effectiveness as a place of learning is the extent to which we empower our students with meaningful experiences.


Whether it is sharing a drink with a Georgian at a formal event hosted at the School or chatting with a Georgian I happen to run into at an airport overseas, I am always struck by the richness of the stories each and every one has to share about his time at the

s Chairman, it is my responsibility to understand what makes the School tick. Regular briefings from Headmaster Toy go a long way to keeping me abreast of the dynamics of this wonderful place. The realities of today’s St. George’s reflect the many events and personalities of our past scholars and contribute to the oral history of our School’s culture. For this, I am deeply indebted to the organization we now call The Georgians.

School. For as much as we can measure the success of St. George’s on the basis of its university acceptances, awards, and winning tournaments, the true gauge of our effectiveness as a place of learning is the extent to which we empower our students with meaningful experiences to which they can relate long after they leave. I feel it is our collective responsibility as Georgians to share with today’s students our experiences at the School and how those experiences have had an impact on our own lives. Sharing our Saints stories helps our students to appreciate the very fabric of the School. Moreover, the School they enjoy today is the sum total of other people’s stories of success, failure, integrity, passion, conviction and, yes, even shenanigans. These

stories will continue to define who we are and from whence we have come. They are the lifeblood of our School. Opportunities to share your stories can include submitting an article to The Dragon or offering to make a presentation to one of our classes. Everyone likes a good story, particularly if the story is one that took place in your own back yard. We also have a new Manager of Georgian Relations, Bryan Ide ’99, who is always looking for new Georgian stories and will help you to get your story told. Be a storyteller! Our School community will be further enriched from your efforts. Sine Timore aut Favore

Fall 2006 • 5


Learning from Georgians Stories that matter by Don Livingston, Chief Advancement Officer

Every week I meet Georgians from all walks of life who enthusiastically recount their memories of the School, and how Saints has had an impact on their lives.


Ernest '70 and Mable Mak

After nearly twelve months of following a lead and tracking down Ernest Mak ’70 in Hong Kong, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know him and his wife, Mable, over the course of a couple of trips to Asia during this past year. These very gracious hosts have been generous with their time and their accounts of St. George’s, Vancouver, and their family and business activities over the past 35 years. Ernest recalled a number of special memories from his day, one in particular being PJ and his infamous car, how fast it would go, and how many different versions of it existed over the years (see separate story on PJ’s car in this issue of The Dragon). With an amazing memory (the first song he heard upon arriving in Vancouver from Hong Kong was ‘Fire’ by Arthur Brown), he looked over some class lists from his days and related many anecdotes about classmates and some of the extracurricular fun they had. It was clear to me that St. George’s was a significant part of Ernest’s youth, and remains close to his heart after all these years. Through Ernest, I also met another Georgian from 1970, Dr. Edmund Li, and he helped me to track down Dr. Manson Fok '74, who is also working in Hong Kong. Connections just keep on coming, and in this case, I’ve also

6 • The Dragon

share Chairman Peter Armstrong’s sentiments that one of the very best parts of working at St. George’s is spending time with alumni. Every week I meet Georgians from all walks of life who enthusiastically recount their memories of the School, and how Saints has had an impact on their lives. Unlike Peter Armstrong, I am not a graduate of the School, but I am able to live vicariously through others who are, and I never cease to be amazed at the outpouring of fond memories, and the goodwill that exists because of their experiences at St. George’s. Let me share just two recent stories with you.

gained a wonderful new friendship made possible only by the School. The other Georgian who has shared some memories with me recently has been Peter Brown '58. The Brown family has a long-standing involvement with St. George’s, dating back to the late 1940s. Peter’s mother, Madge, was a driving force behind the creation of The Auxiliary and the Country Fair (as it was then known) and father Ralph was a Governor of the School. Brothers Ralph '53, Alan '54 and Robert '68 all attended the School, as have Peter’s two sons (James '86 and Jason '89), a cousin and three nephews. Since Peter’s keynote address to the graduating class at Prize Day last June, when he talked about the importance of taking personal responsibility, loyalty to friends and customers, and above all having a passion for what you do, I have had an opportunity to talk more with him about the School and its evolution over the past 50 years. Much has changed, of course, but the key elements of high educational standards, core values, and codes of conduct continue to be the fabric of the School and in Peter’s view, St. George’s continues to do an excellent job of preparing young men for the challenges and opportunities that life brings them.


Wellingtons at Sunset—from a Christmas card in the St. George’s School scrapbooks


St. George’s School opened its doors on January 7, 1931 with 25 students and six faculty members. By the time War broke out, the numbers were 150 and 17 respectively. About 170 former students and faculty served overseas and of those 27 died. Recently, Grade 6 Challenge Program students started their ambitious project, Saints at War. They hope to find out more about these former students, who chose to serve our country.

y father, Charles Szymik (Sherwood) and his two brothers served in World War II. Though my father seldom talked about his experiences, I know the memories of those years remained with him for the rest of his life. My father and uncles are gone and the number of World War II veterans is rapidly diminishing. With them go all the oral history and vivid memories of a time in history so important to the formation of today’s society. It is important for the youth of today to know about the experiences these people encountered and understand something of their willingness to give their lives for the ideals in which they believed.



by Jay Sherwood, Junior School Librarian


In the Junior School Chapel is the Honour Roll of the students and staff who served in World War II. This was compiled by Mrs. Nancy McDonnell, wife of Peter McDonnell, School bursar and also a World War II veteran.

The Saints at War project was launched during the 2007 winter term. Students in the Grade 6 Challenge Program were asked to research the backgrounds of some of the 27 personalities named on the Bronze Plaque.

Further acknowledgement is given to students who “paid the supreme sacrifice” in World War II by the Memorial window, a fine stained glass window portraying St. George. Under the Memorial window hangs the Bronze Plaque, which records the names of the 27 students and teachers who lost their lives. These gifts were all presented by The St. George’s Old Boys’ Association and dedicated in 1947.

Using the military records and other documents gathered by the late Dr. Richard Wynne '35 and Mr. Kevin Robinson '86, the students were able to begin their research. Gratitude is owed to these gentelmen as they kindly donated these materials to the School. Mrs. Elizabeth Knox, School Archivist, was able to provide direction so the students could access old editions of the Georgian Annual

Spring 2007 • 7


and retrieve stories and information about these World War II servicemen during the time they attended St. George’s. The School kept scrapbooks throughout World War II. These scrapbooks are currently housed at the British Columbia Archives in Victoria and we received special permission to photograph them. They provide not only invaluable knowledge about the St. George’s students who were involved in the War, but also the effect the War had on life at the School. Included are newspaper articles about the students, enlistment pictures, and Christmas cards sent back to the School by the servicemen.

ERY DES BRISAY GORDON MONTGOM By Zach Hauser, Alex Yang, and Brian Kwok, Grade 6 students

In addition, the students used the Internet to gather more information about the men and place them in the context of the war. The students wrote reports on the men they researched along with reflective poems in which they described their own personal responses to the project. The Saints at War project has already contacted some of the School’s surviving World War II veterans and their family members to hear their stories. I recently interviewed the sister of Gordon M. Des Brisay '41. Mr. Des Brisay’s sister was able to share a few photographs of her late brother. We were also pleased to receive a visit from Tony Cowling '42, who attended St. George’s during 1939-40. Mr. Cowling spoke to some Grades 9, 10, and 11 students about his experiences in Japanese POW camps for more than three years and his resolute determination to survive. 8 • The Dragon

Gordon Montgomery Des Brisay '41 was the son of Naomi Des Brisay and Dr. Harold Archibald Des Brisay. His father was Canadian and his mother American. At 6 feet 1 inch, Des Brisay had brown hair and blue eyes. He was born on March 12, 1924 into the prominent family of Des Brisay. His father was a physician and surgeon and his uncle was Chief Justice of British Columbia. While at St. George’s School, he was enrolled in the 1st XV Rugby Team and attended a Cadet Program, where he excelled at rifle shooting. He was a student at St. George's School for two years and matriculated from Prince of Wales Secondary School. When in high school, he attended the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders Cadet program. Des Brisay enlisted in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve as an Ordinary Seaman, was assigned to HMCS Discovery, and was posted to active service on July 2, 1942. On September 3, 1942, Gordon M. Des Brisay was posted to the HMCS St. Hyacinthe. Two months later, he was promoted to Ordinary Signalman. His character and efficiency were tested on New Year’s Eve and were found to be

of “Very Good Character” and of “Satisfactory Efficiency”. On January 27, 1943, Des Brisay was posted to the HMCS Stadacona and two days later moved to the corvette HMCS Buctouche. On April 17, 1943, he was posted to his final ship, the St. Croix . The St. Croix participated in the Battle of the Atlantic, which was very important in WW2. Since the UK was (sic) an island nation, it was dependent on sea-going trade. The Germans tried to block shipping from North America in order to prevent supplies of food and weapons . A year after he was promoted to active service, Des Brisay became a Signalman aboard the St. Croix. However, the St. Croix was sunk by U-Boats in the testing of new German Naval Acoustic Torpedoes. Although Gordon Montgomery Des Brisay was killed in action on September 20, he was officially discharged on September 23, 1943. Coincidentally, Gordon had a relative in WWI named Arthur St. Croix Des Brisay. Des Brisay Bay, North of Bella Bella, was named after Gordon in 1965. He is remembered at Panel 10 of the Halifax Memorial, which was dedicated to Canadians in the War whose bodies were never found.

1 Genealogy at (note: Gordon is not mentioned on this site, but his parents are) 2 Military records 3 A picture of HMCS St. Croix in August 1943 can be found at Gordon Des Brisay is probably on this boat at the time. 4 HCMS St. Croix was formerly called USS McCook before it was lent to Canada to use during the War. “USS McCook (DD-252)” 5 “Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945) 6 7

Tony Cowling '42 addressing Grades 9,10, and 11 students.

Hugo Stead '49, a brother of Christopher Stead '42 who also served, brought in the identification bracelet he wore during the War. The widow of the late Dick Wynne, addressed the Challenge Program students about her husband’s involvement in the War. Mrs. Wynne and her daughter were particularly pleased to see how the students were incorporating Dr. Wynne’s material into their projects. In response to the email sent to the Georgians about the Saints at War project Mrs. Shirley Clothier spoke to the Challenge Program students. Mrs. Clothier talked about her husband, the late Robert Clothier '40, his experiences

Spring 2007 • 9

WORLD WARser,IIGrade 6 A Poem by Zach Hau

From everywhere; schools, offices, houses, cities, and towns; They leave, the young and old alike: some not finished school! For the war! To fight evil: to die for their principles. Some to the Air Force: to be killed by anti-aircraft guns! But Maitland; no, he was shot at, and saved! By a silver cigarette case, given by his fiancée. A DFM he was awarded; presented by the King! Others to the navy: Des Brisay went, He was a signalman. Des Brisay did not have to go But he volunteered— For his death: To save us all. You see, in war; the history of war, A weapon is designed, only to be the victim Of a defense: which is made obsolete by a new Weapon. And so it continues… A GNAT was developed, German Naval Acoustic Torpedo. Created by the Germans To hear the ships’ heartbeats, To find that sound Explode. This GNAT had to be tested, So tested: on some Allied ships. Destroyed them; and one ship was The St. Croix. Des Brisay was on that ship Killed, never to be found

in the War, and his life afterwards as a sculptor and an actor. He became famous for his role as Relic in the Beachcomber series. Mrs. Clothier also talked about Robert’s brother, John '38, one of the St. George’s students who died in the War. Mrs. Clothier brought along historical materials and mementoes, such as her husband’s flight logbook, pictures taken during the War, and material from Robert’s life after the War. The flight logbook, which Mrs. Clothier gave us permission to copy, is a valuable document, recording more than 1,200 hours of flight from 1940 to 1944. The Saints at War project still continues. If you are a World War II veteran, who attended St. George’s School, or if you have information about any of these people, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Elizabeth Knox, School Archivist at (604) 222-5896 or by email: We would like to know more about the personalities who served in the War and who are part of our School’s great history.

10 • The Dragon

Memorials are made For these occasions, When a body is lost. The Halifax Memorial; The first thing sailors see When they enter the harbour. Carved with the names of hundreds, We remember them: Des Brisay is there. WE: The boys of St. George’s, we remember… WE Have learned about these people, This war. WE Have organized material, Created accounts of these times. And it is rewarding Sometimes, we teach a sister things About her brother; Things she never knew About her dead relative. We do this for the future: So everyone will know! They will understand! And maybe, This will not happen again.

II WORLD WAR ok, Grade 6 A Poem by Brian Kw

Maitland, Des Brisay Two St. George’s Boys The two we searched for. The facts and the clues soon started to glue The mysteries had to be solved Family and friends were asked for an interview We had a start Fascinating, frustrating, exhilarating Those were the feelings. Groups were made The search began. Looking at pictures, Learning about history, World War II machines and newly invented weapons, The battles in the Atlantic, The dogfights in the sky Interviews were interesting Information was abundant Mr. Wynne was the man to talk to But, died a few years ago A friend of the two men The facts that he left behind Helped paint the picture in my mind We asked his daughter about his past And his wife about his life. Montgomery Des Brisay A sailor Who joined the Navy to go to war Became a Signal Man on St. Croix Last job he ever had. Drowned For the St. Croix had been hit by a torpedo Five officers and seventy-six men on board Rescued by HMS Itchen Two days later, the Itchen was torpedoed by a U-Boat Only one St. Croix sailor survived.

School Archivist, Elizabeth Knox, leading the Saints at War project.

Bill Maitland Well known at St. George’s Captain of two teams A Prefect Later became the head boy of the School. During World War II

Note: Our thanks to BC Archives for permission to reproduce copies of material from the School scrapbooks.

Spring 2007 • 11




by David Darling, Head of Grade 11

In part two of David Darling’s Rebirth of Rowing, he provides the following chronicle of key personnel and standings dating back to 1986.

• THE HEAD COACHES John Cordonier, 1986-7 | Peter Mordie, 1987-9 | Boris Klavora, 1989-97 | Rob Dale, 1998-9 | Craig Pond, 1999-to present

• THE CAPTAINS James Millership, 1986-7 | Peter McGee, 1987-8 | Toby Lang, 1988-9 | Mark Fancourt-Smith, 1989-90 | Jason McLean, 1990-1 | Andrew Hungerford, 1991-2 | Oliver Linsley, 1992-3 | Greg Smith, 1993-4 | Robert Carruthers, 1994-5 | Daren Toppin, 1995-7 | John McCormack, 1997-8 | Neil Armour, 1998-9 | Matthew Cooper, 1999-2000 | Patrick Knox, 2000-1 | Kevin Smith, 2001-3 | James Thomas, 2003-4 | Connor Teskey, 2004-5 | Ben Tuyp, 2005-6



Constantine Tanno, Yale | Matt Grenby, Harvard Clayton Binkley, Yale | Tom Carruthers, Brown Rob Carruthers, Brown | Matt Cooper, Princeton Ben Maas, Harvard | Kevin Smith, Princeton James Thomas, Princeton | Ben Tuyp, Harvard

1990 Junior Lightweight 4+ Bronze Medal: George Heras (bow), Ben West, Guy Taylor, David Smith (stroke), Barney Killam (cox)

OTHER USA Neil Armour, Cal-Berkeley | David Creighton, Stanford

FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE 1998 Junior Lightweight 4+ Gold Medal: Andrew Armstrong(bow), Ben Maas, Matt Cooper, Alex Binkley (stroke), Derek Thong (cox)

INTERNATIONAL HONOUR ROLL • Clayton Binkley, USA, Under-23 World Championships, 1998 (4x) SCHOOL ERG RECORDS (2000M) • Kiran Van Rijn, Canada, World Cup, 2001 (2x) Heavyweight Patrick Knox 6:12.03 • Paddy Knox, Canada, Junior World Championships, 2001 (2x) Lightweight Matthew Cooper 6:27.0 • Ben Maas, Canada, Junior World Championships, 2001 (2x) • Alex Binkley*, USA, Under-23 World Championships, 2003 (8+) • Neil Armour, Canada, Junior World Championships, 2002 (4x), Under-23 World Championships gold medal (8+) , Pan-Am Games, 2003 silver medal (4-) • Connor Teskey, Canada, Junior World Championships, 2004 (8+), Junior World Championships, 2005 (4+) • Danny Matthews, Canada, Junior World Championships, 2005 (4+), Under-23 World Championships, 2006, 7th (4+) • Ben Tuyp, Canada, Junior World Championships, 2005 (4-) • Rónán Sabo-Walsh, Canada, Junior World Championships, 2006, 4th (4+) • Michael Wilkinson, Canada, Under-23 World Championships, 2006, 7th (4+) *Alex Binkley left Saints at the beginning of Grade 11. He went on to row at Harvard. Spring 2007 • 13


3rd 4th

Junior Lightweight 4+ George Heras (bow), Ben West, Guy Taylor, David Smith (stroke), Barney Killam (cox) Senior Heavy 4+ Alan Linsley (stroke), Chris Hoffmeister, Jamie Humphries, Clark Olson (bow), Brandon Lee (cox)


2nd 3rd 5th

Junior Heavy 4+ Drew Hungerford (stroke), David Smith, Oliver Linsley, Guy Taylor (bow), Greg Smith (cox) Senior Heavy 4+ Alan Linsley (stroke), Chris Hoffmeister, Jamie Humphries, Clark Olson (bow), Brandon Lee (cox) Senior Lightweight 4+ John Fuller (stroke), Kiran van Rijn, Alex Robinson, Fred Hung (bow), Greg Smith (bow)



Senior Heavy 4+ Drew Hungerford (stroke), George Heras, Oliver Linsley, Kiran van Rijn (bow), Greg Smith (cox)



Junior Heavy 8+ John Lewis (stroke), Angus Murray, Michael Smith, Tom Carruthers, Alex Munro, Clayton Binkley, Matt Dawson, Michael Rumble, Henry Chen (cox)


2nd 3rd

Senior Heavy 4+ John Lewis (stroke), Angus Murray, Michael Smith, Tom Carruthers, Henry Chen (cox) Senior Heavy 8+ Michael Rumble (stroke), Tom Carruthers, Clayton Binkley, Cyrus Boelman, Tony Colabraro, Matt Dawson, Michael Smith, John Lewis (bow), Henry Chen (cox)


4th 5th

Senior Heavy 2x Daren Toppin, Michael Garforth Senior Heavy 2x John McCormack, Neil Armour


1st 4th

Junior Lightweight 4+ Andrew Armstrong (bow), Ben Maas, Matt Cooper, Alex Binkley (stroke), Derek Thong (cox) Senior Heavy 4x Neil Armour (stroke), Daren Toppin, Michael Garforth, John McCormack (bow)


2nd 3rd 5th

Senior Lightweight 1x Matthew Cooper Senior Heavy 2x Matthew Cooper, Neil Armour Senior Heavy 1x Neil Armour


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th

Senior Lightweight 2- Matthew Cooper, Ben Maas Senior Lightweight 1x Matthew Cooper Junior Lightweight 4+ Andrew Poole, Daniel Scarrow, Christian Parsons, Kevin Smith (stroke), Derek Thong (cox) Senior Heavy 1x Patrick Knox Senior Lightweight 1x Ben Maas


2nd 3rd

Senior Heavy 2x Ben Maas, Patrick Knox Senior Heavy 1x Ben Maas


2nd 3rd 4th 4th 6th

Junior Heavy 2x James Thomas, Simon Dyakowski Senior Lightweight 1x Kevin Smith Senior Lightweight 2- Kevin Smith, Ryan Crowe Junior Heavy 1x Michael Wilkinson Junior Heavy 4+ Simon Dyankowski, David Creighton, Paydon Spowart, James Thomas, Adam Parsons (cox)


3rd 3rd 4th

Senior Heavy 4x James Thomas, Michael Wilkinson, Gavin le Nobel, Payden Spowart Senior Heavy 4+ James Thomas, Michael Wilkinson, Gavin le Nobel, David Creighton, Connor Teskey (cox) Senior Lightweight 1x Kevin Smith


1st 2nd

Senior Heavy 2x Danny Matthews, Gavin le Nobel Senior Heavy 8+ James Thomas(stroke), Michael Wilkinson, Gavin le Nobel, David Creighton, Payden Spowart, Danny Matthews, Ole Tietz, Ben Tuyp, Connor Teskey (cox) Senior Heavy 4+ James Thomas(stroke), Michael Wilkinson, Payden Spowart, David Creighton, Connor Teskey (cox) Junior Lightweight 4+ Matthew Hayto (stroke), Mark Darling, Hugh Wallace, Rob Ballard (bow), Rónán Sabo-Walsh (cox) Junior Heavy 2x Matthew Hayto, Mark Darling

2nd 3rd 3rd 2005

1st 1st 2nd 4th 4th 4th 6th


1st 1st 1st 1st 5th

14 • The Dragon

Senior Lightweight 8+ Ben Tuyp (stroke), Elias Hammer, Ole Tietz, Hafiz Kassam, Courtland Morrice, Matthew Hayto, Deyan Ivanov, Rob Ballard, Connor Teskey (cox) Senior Heavy 2x Danny Matthews, Hugh Wallace Senior Lightweight 4+ Ben Tuyp (stroke), Elias Hammer, Ole Tietz, Rob Ballard (bow), Connor Teskey (cox) Senior Heavy 4x Danny Matthews (stroke), Mark Pettit, Mark Darling, Hugh Wallace (bow) Junior 4+ John Tuytel (stroke), Dean Brookstone, Deyan Ivanov, Sam Wu (bow), Rónán Sabo-Walsh (cox) Junior Lightweight (64kg) 4+ Matthew Hayto (stroke), Chris Green, Justin Tang, Daniel Chan(bow), Rónán Sabo-Walsh (cox) Senior Heavy 2- Hafiz Kassam, Courtland Morrice Senior Lightweight 8+ Ben Tuyp (stroke), Elias Hammer, Courtland Morrice, Matthew Hayto, Deyan Ivanov, Brendan le Nobel, Ian Russell, Rob Ballard (bow), Rónán Sabo-Walsh (cox) Senior Lightweight 4+ Ben Tuyp (stroke), Elias Hammer, Courtland Morrice, Rob Ballard (bow), Rónán Sabo-Walsh (cox) Senior Lightweight 2- Matthew Hayto, Brendan Le Nobel Senior Heavy 4x Hugh Wallace (stroke), Sam Wu, Dean Brookstone, Deyan Ivanov (bow) Junior Heavy 2x Theodore Lim, William Matthews

SAINTS ON ICE 2006-2007 Season

by R. Luke Fredeman '84 Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive. t a school that celebrates the arts, high academic achievement, and diverse sporting excellence, it can be difficult to appreciate the sentiment that humourist, political commentator, and educator Stephen Leacock expressed almost a century ago about our national sport. That this renowned Canadian was in 1887 the Head Boy, and subsequently a master, at our largest Eastern Canadian rival perhaps helps us realize that hockey continues to be a unifying force in this country.


For almost 35 years, many energetic and talented members of staff have fuelled the passion of students who love their sport, love our game. At times, promoting hockey has been a challenge: huge club commitments for our students and erratic programs in other schools have meant that we have always had to be most flexible. But the school hockey scene is changing and strengthening both at St. George’s and across British Columbia. In Vancouver, we are fortunate now to have some consistent competition. At the U-16 level this season, we played a combined eight game series against Vancouver College and Prince of Wales and earned a 6-1-1 record. In the Provincial Cham-

pionship Ross Cup Tournament, the U-16s played spirited games against Francis Kelsey Secondary (Mill Bay), Brentwood College, and Prince of Wales in the preliminary round before bowing out 4–2 in the semi-final. The squad could not repeat as Provincial Champions, but their 8-3-1 overall record is a strong foundation for future success. The Varsity team competes in a Vancouver schools league with Vancouver College, Prince of Wales, Point Grey, and Kitsalano Secondary School. By far the youngest team in the league, with nine Grade 10s and two Grade 9s we, nevertheless, skated to a league-leading 5–3 record. At the Ross Cup we finished the preliminary round with excellent wins against Cowichan (Duncan), Summerland, and Point Grey Secondary School. After defeating Prince of Wales in the semi-final, we narrowly lost to a strong Vancouver College team. Our biggest highlight of the year came when the Varsity and U-16 squads came together to represent the School at the Ridley College Tiger Challenge Cup in St. Catherines, Ontario. The boys played superbly, attacking hockey in round-robin play against Gilmour Academy (Cleveland, OH), Lakefield College (Peterborough, Ont), and Shadyside Academy (Pittsburgh, PA), outscoring their opposition 18–0. In the final, they battled the

Ohio State Champions—St. Edward’s School (Cleveland, OH) and captured the title with a 5–1 win. It was our first tournament victory in Eastern Canada after several semi-final and final appearances. The strength of our current group gives us a great deal of confidence to grow the program: ten of our varsity players have received invitations to Junior A and Junior B prospect camps this spring. Also, our U-14 team has gone on two successful tours to Lower Canada College. Our intention is to provide more competitive and recreational hockey opportunities at all grade levels. While we don’t experience Leacock’s “deathly chill”, there is no doubt that Saints’ students thrive in this most “Canadian experience.” Our boys appreciate that they are part of a long, passionate tradition of love for the game. With two recently graduated students playing in the NCAA and others on the verge of lacing them up for either junior or college squads, we are beginning to understand that hockey is a perfect match for our students’ educational aspirations. "Hello Canada and hockey fans from the United States and Newfoundland." Foster Hewitt

Spring 2007 • 15


Long before rugby became synonymous with St. George’s School, early Georgians took it upon themselves to establish and get officially recognized, the Georgians’ Rugby Football Club. In this history of the club, Robin Lecky '60, talks with fondness of the success of the organization which, in its inaugural season, captured the Vancouver Rugby Association Second Championship Cup.


Georgian Rugby FOOTBALL CLUB MEMORIES OF A FOUNDER by Robin Lecky '60

16 • The Dragon


Irish lilt, I might add, and enjoyed the Game as much as anyone I knew. He was also included in many of our planning sessions. His encouragement was consistent and we felt our presentation would be enhanced with the addition of an older adult, who also happened to speak with a rugby accent. So, one very wet and blustery spring evening, Abbott and I made our way downtown to the old Metropole Hotel on Abbott Street situated across from Woodward’s department store—a good omen, we thought. This is where the VRU held their monthly directors’ meetings and, as one would expect of a rugby group, the meetings were conducted in a room conveniently located adjacent to the pub.

cannot recall the precise date that the Georgians’ Rugby Football Club was founded. I do know that the club officially became a member of the Vancouver Rugby Union (VRU) in the spring of 1962 and took to the field for its first match in the September of the same year. Not even the VRU files will yield the official founding date! Not that any of that precise history really matters.


A bunch of us who had played at the School and loved the game wanted to continue playing together once we had abandoned the blazers and ties. So we hatched the idea of starting up a rugby club that would be sanctioned to play in the VRU. The thinking was that we could develop a considerable powerhouse over the years and maintain our strength in the long term. We were to establish a player recruiting pool which would include not just Saints, but Shawnigan, Brentwood, and St. Michaels University School—sort of a postschool home or pitch for the “independents.”

We also felt the initial club core would be solid and experienced. In anticipation of a European rugby tour, the School had offered Grade 13 in 1962 and a good number of the previous year’s First XV side had decided to stay on another year just for the tour. Unfortunately, the travel financing fell short and the tour was cancelled, much to the dismay of the players. But the tour cancellation probably served to spur on further club planning. Of course, planning usually took place over a pint or two, or more so, after a few “planning” sessions, we had convinced ourselves that the club would, in short order, become a national champion and, after a few more planning sessions, probably an international one as well. So the model was set and the vision was nothing short of glorious. I teamed up with David Abbott, a delightful Irishman and School master, to put together our case and make the formal presentation to the VRU Board. Abbott taught English, with a wonderful

Abbott and I were scheduled to make our formal pitch at 8 pm. but we had agreed to meet at the hotel 45 minutes early so we could rehearse our presentation. We met in the pub and, with Abbott ordering loudly for the two of us, I was served a beer, and then a second. My nervousness at not yet being of age (in those days the legal drinking age was 21) slowly dissolved with the beer, as did both our jitters about the VRU presentation. About the time we were beginning to feel very confident in ourselves and the presentation, a chap arrived at our table and asked if we were the “Georgia” guys. We replied that we were the “Georgians” guys and he informed us that things were running about 20 minutes late and we would be called when the directors were ready. We said, “no problem” and ordered another round. Not surprising, our confidence grew! Shortly, we were called into the meeting room and stood before a group of about a dozen or so men. The VRU Chairman introduced himself and proceeded to outline for the other directors who we were and what we wanted to propose to the VRU. With that, he invited us to make our formal presentation. We were ready. Abbott led things off with a little background

Spring 2007 • 17


about the School and its rugby history, tradition, and records. I followed Abbott and my task was to highlight a couple of key points in favour of our being granted club membership in the Union. Firstly, I talked about our independent school feeder network which would ensure the club would be able to field teams consistently, eventually in all three divisions. Secondly, I suggested that the quality of the independent school players would, in the long term, contribute to the quality of Vancouver and BC rep sides. In those days Vancouver and BC rep teams were often assembled to play visiting club, regional, or national touring sides.

18 • The Dragon

We then sat down and awaited questions. There was only one, as I recall. Someone asked whether our new club would have a negative impact on the ability of the existing clubs to draw players from the independent schools. We had not rehearsed this one. Abbott and I stared at each other for a brief moment. Then I stood up and announced that the impact would be minimal because most of the independent school guys would either end up playing at UBC, UVic, or simply head back home. As I sat down I realized my answer was in direct conflict with my first “key” point about how our feeder system would serve to stock The Georgians’ club.

However, my growing angst quickly subsided when the questioner nodded and calmly responded, “sounds fine to me, mate.” The Chairman then asked us to leave the room while the directors discussed and voted on our application. We weren’t out of the room more than a few minutes when we were invited to return. The Chairman stood, walked over to Abbott and me, shook our hands and said,“we welcome The Georgians’ Rugby Football Club to the VRU.” With that, the members applauded. I think we signed a document of some sort and then the meeting was adjourned. We all headed back to the pub for a celebratory toast.


quickly designed and had made up a Georgians’ RFC crest which could be stitched (or stapled in a couple of instances where sewing was obviously an unknown art form) to the jersey either over an old First XV crest or in place of it. In our second season, the club adopted an all-white uniform—shirt, shorts, and socks, as you will note from the 1963 team photo, from which I was absent, for some reason not recalled.

Robin Lecky '60 and Thor Young '54

What a moment! I still remember the excitement of it all. Of course, now came the hard part. We had to field and outfit a team for the following September, which was only three or four months away. VRU membership had been conditional on the Georgians starting their first season’s play in the second division and, based on success and record, we would advance up to the first division in subsequent seasons. Our plan was to build a club with a player base able to stock teams in both divisions. Admittedly, we were not very original. Our first season jersey would be all red and our shorts and socks would be all white. We were, however, practical. Most of us still had the old red and white kit from our playing days at the School. We

In our initial 1962 season, Abbott was assigned the duties of player and coach. He was ably assisted on the coaching side by another Schoolmaster, Thor Young '54, who also proved to be one of the club’s better players. The rest of the side was made up of a wonderful group of guys, who were either just out of the School or very recent grads. Some names that come to mind include, Tim Cummings '60, Dave Norton '60, Rudy Nielsen '60, Paddy Stewart '60, Chris Atkins '61 (the Stewart and Atkins family homes became the unofficial, but often used, post-match clubhouses), Bill Strachan '60, John MacMillan '60, Barry Stubbs '56, Jim '59 and Barry Adams '60, Ken Liebscher '60, Harvey Brown '61, Chris Barrett, John Fraine '61, Dave Logan, Don Shaw '61, and a few more whose names have slipped into the ether of time. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to locate a 1962 season-one club photo if, indeed, one was ever taken.

While won-lost records are certainly not the true measure or joy of rugby, it still must be recorded that the club captured the VRU second Division championship cup in its inaugural season in a match against the Kats played at Brockton Oval. Much of the game details remain hazy, but it can be accurately reported that the winning try was scored very late in the match with the score locked at 3–3. Fly-half, Tim Cummings, dished off one of his lovely, patented set-up passes, putting Dave Norton through a crowd of green-shirted Kats right to the line. Norton made a stretched out dive into the end-zone and, as the ball touched the ground it popped out of his hands and straight up in the air. Much controversy and debate ensued as to whether the ball had been legally touched down, but, finally, the referee raised his arm and awarded the try. I had the much lesser, but still memorable distinction of kicking the points-after and, with the final whistle coming just a few minutes later, our first season came to a glorious end with an 8-3 victory and the awarding of the (Bell-Irving or Carmichael) Trophy, emblematic of VRU second Division championship. And what a wonderful season it was—a magical combination of great rugby, spirit, friendships, and good times. And always and forever, the memories, although somewhat hazy from the vantage point of 40-plus years after. I played with the club through the 1963 season before signing on with UBC for a couple of seasons and then heading to Toronto right after college. The club’s history from the ‘64 season on and its eventual merging into the UBC Old Boys’ club will be better told by others, who, like me and the early club members, still very proudly call themselves, “Georgians.” Robin is currently a production, media, and communications specialist with extensive experience in the event, show production, and marketing industries in North America and abroad.

Spring 2007 • 19


Tony Parker-Jervis '35 is known for a number of things: he was one of the School’s very first students and he was a popular Head of Maths until his retirement in 1986. But his real claim to fame was his legendary souped-up Austin A40 sports car. Even today, it is the topic of discussion at Georgian reunions. Pat Palmer '80, a 19year veteran of the School and currently Head of Grade 8, documents the story behind the car and the myth it has created. sidebar to the 76-year history of St. George’s, surrounds the variety of staff cars and vehicles that have found their way on to the School campus. Many cars have stood out in the School history.


Early students will remember the ‘Green Misery’, Ben Sweeney’s 1923 Dodge, the early haul-all for the rowing program. The 1970s saw the purchase of a large School bus which was carefully painted the School colours of red, white, and black by some teachers and senior students. Later, students will recall the old green van, the “country” van used by the outdoors program and possessing off-road capabilities and seating capacity unknown in any of today’s SUVs. There has been a variety of vehicles indeed. There have also been sports cars, most with a British flavour: Simon Oliver’s TR3, Paul Bauman’s Austin Healy 3000, Steve Blackett’s Spitfire, Chris Goodwin’s Rovers, and even the author’s MGA. There have been cars of character like Geof Stancombe '64’s Comet–the “Blue Bomb” and Mr. O’s other car, the recently restored, trans-world mini. Dougall Fraser had Jaguars galore, both speedy (an XKE) and sedate. More recent standouts in the parking lot include Bill Collin’s Ranger, previously owned by singer Phil Collins’ son, and Carol Pollock’s Alfa Romeo. However, no staff car can compare with the legendary vehicle driven by Tony Parker-Jervis '35, an original student at the School, graduate of 1935, and Head of Maths until his retirement in 1986. This was a most unusual car; a car of legend built by a legendary teacher. 20 • The Dragon

THE CAR The car’s original identity was that of an Austin A40 Sport (built between 1950 and 1953); the 40 representing the horsepower of the small car’s engine. Mr. Parker-Jervis, who was affectionately known as ‘PJ’, bought the already modified car in the mid 1950s but did not start adding his own touches for several years. Modifying the little car was a long-term project, but for PJ, it was also a labour of love—or was it a compulsion? PJ started his work by putting in a small-block Chevy V8 that

would put out about 350 HP, a significant jump from the original Austin four-cylinder plant. PJ added the rear axle and suspension of a Jaguar XKE and put disc brakes from an Austin Healy on the front end. With a V8 in such a small car, good brakes were quite important. In PJ’s words the result was “a very fast little car that could also stop”. PJ ran the car in this form for about nine years until the small block started to wear out and he then started to look around for a used 350 Corvette LT1— another very powerful engine.

PJ put in this engine and added a beefed-up transmission and a turbocharger. This arrangement gave “an almighty shove” when it kicked in at 2,500 RPM. PJ considered increasing the power through the turbocharger, but he was concerned about blowing the engine. Despite rumours to the contrary, the car did not have a nitrous system—PJ laughs at the idea. PJ found that the extra power was not really needed, as very little if anything could keep up with him at the lights, and that included motorcycles. The engine ran a little hot so PJ


Many stories live on with Georgians of this little car and the man who drove her. Some of these have grown to legend over the years, and a few are related here. Despite the best intentions of some teachers, like Paul Baumann, the School has never had a long-running auto-shop program. Not to be deterred, PJ did his best to keep his mathematicians in the know about the inner working of cars. If a class had proven to be “intelligent Hottentots” PJ would take them out to his car and question them on their knowledge of engines. While we learned the details of the little Austin, much of what was learned was not easily transferred to the operation of more conventionally-built vehicles. Nevertheless, these were illuminating lessons. A legend surrounding the car related to a time when PJ was motoring up the valley. A police cruiser saw him speeding by and pursued him. Unable to catch the little car, the officer radioed ahead to set up a road block. Seeing the blockade, PJ reined in his car, pulled out the choke (making the car run too lean), and slowed to a sputtering halt for the police. The police surveyed the car and its convulsions, looked at the driver, no doubt dressed in tweed, and asked PJ if he had been passed by anyone driving at excessive speed. PJ honestly replied no, that he had not been passed by anyone. He was allowed to proceed.

THE STORY OF TONY PARKER JERVIS’ INFAMOUS A40 SPORTS CAR by Patrick M. Palmer '80, Head of Grade 8

Tony Parker Jervis '35 stands proudly beside his Austin A-40

managed to squeeze in a radiator from a Lincoln. The little car was used for local driving only and occasional jaunts up the valley; she was never raced. PJ was not absolutely sure of the car’s top speed. On one occasion, when PJ passed a large truck on the highway and an unseen police cruiser, the officer felt compelled to ticket PJ for his excessive speed. He informed PJ that the car was travelling at least 150 mph. PJ looked at the officer and his car (which was painted an unflattering flat black and red at the time) and

remarked “150, in that thing?” The police officer let him off with a warning. PJ is not sure what the top end might have been as the front end did tend to lift at 150 mph, despite the home-made spoiler attached below the front bumper. PJ never did have any problems getting the car licensed or through the necessary inspections. While he might have been held up by bureaucracy today, there were no hurdles to avoid in the car’s heyday. She was easy to license, but PJ pointed out that they never looked under the hood. I cannot

imagine what AirCare and ICBC would think of her now. In the early 1980s the car was painted silver; PJ is not sure why. She was only on the road for a few years in her new colours, as PJ started to change her engine again with the LT1 starting to get a little worn out. At the same time, PJ bought a 1973 Cadillac to drive while the modifications to the Austin took place. These were never completed and the little car came to rest in the Parker-Jervis’ garage. She has been there for some 20 years, un-driven but not unappreciated.

In the late 1970s the School’s music teacher, Mr. Fred Gas, bought himself a new motor bike. Naturally, as a man interested in speed, PJ tried it out and completed several wheelies down 29th Avenue, dressed in his usually tweed. Apparently, PJ was noted for such activities as Mark Perry '73 recalls PJ doing the same thing on a bike owned by Glen Walker '71 some years earlier. After testing the metal of Fred’s bike a small challenge led to a race between the bike and PJ’s car. On a quiet street the contestants lined up. The bike was the first off the line (just), but Fred was immediately passed by the Austin. He was left in the swirling dust and fumes long after the Austin had gone. PJ and his car remained triumphant. Dennis Molnar '74 writes: In the summer of Grade 11 (1973) I had a job at the Hell's Gate Air Tram, north of Hope in the Fraser Canyon and every Spring 2007 • 21

An unmodified Austin A40

day as everyone wanted to hear the story! 3) PJ was never, ever one iota friendlier to me 4) I got no immunity from him. In Math class, I still earned my share of "thumps on skull", laps around the field, and chalk-brush dustings of my hair. weekend I would hitchhike down to Vancouver rather than take the bus. One day I was hitchhiking outside the Air Tram and around the corner came PJ's car. I waved madly and he stopped to pick me up. When he undid the rubber strap holding the passenger door shut I was greeted with clouds of cigarette smoke pouring out. I said: "Hi PJ". There was a very long silence from him. Suddenly he gruffed at me: "Molnar, so you want to see what this car will do?" I answered: "Yes." He pushed the gas pedal to the floor and we tried to pass a car on a right hand curve going into a tunnel. As we gained speed, I became more and more frightened. We did not pass the other car until we were well into the tunnel. What I did not know, was that his car accelerated like no car I had ever been in. When we came out of the tunnel my stomach had cramped badly as I guess I had felt the end might have been near! I asked how fast we had gone and he gruffly said: "Over 140." I bravely asked him for a cigarette and he gave one to me. It had a calming effect. We talked cars all the way down and I learned that his car had a monstrous V8 engine with a Jaguar E-Type rear end. He chuckled as he told me many stories of being at traffic lights with people who thought they could race them. He would give that great PJ chuckle as he told me how he would easily beat them. I knew from experience that driving to Vancouver normally took about two and a half hours. We arrived in about 65 minutes! To this day I remember this ride vividly as: 1) I have still never been in a faster car 2) This made me popular for one School

22 • The Dragon

Brad Johnston '75 recalls: It was 1974, when Camosun Street had little traffic and there was no stop sign at 33rd Avenue. Every morning, students who took the bus hung out at 41st and Dunbar hoping to catch a ride with other students. When the last bus before School came, everyone hopped on. I was always late, and so was PJ. On these occasions (when no one else was around), he would give me a ride. On this particular day, he had turned north on to Camosun from 41st Avenue. Tailgating him was another student in my grade, Paul Cooper ’75 and he was driving a souped-up GTO. PJ glared at him in the rear view mirror and then scoffed out a deep guttural rumble, "piece of garbage". PJ then carefully drove through the School zone from 39th to 37th Avenue at exactly 20 mph, which infuriated Cooper, who now seemed only inches from our back bumper. Just before we reached the end of the School zone, PJ growled, in a raspy baritone that only 20,000 packs of cigarettes could produce, "hold on". Then, I suddenly knew what an astronaut might feel like as the rocket takes off. I felt pressed back in the seat and outside was a blur. The engine was roaring and I was certain that the car was going to fall apart. In seconds we were at 29th Avenue. At the corner, I looked back down Camosun to see Cooper four blocks behind and frantically trying to catch up through a cloud of blue smoke. PJ pulled into the School parking lot with a mild chuckle and slowly pulled into his private parking spot outside his math room. "Thanks for the ride, Sir." Getting out of the car, I prolonged every minute I could.

Later, in math class, I was still no different than any other student. I still got my regular dosage of harassment, knuckles, and chalk brush on the head. But I will still never forget that ride or the look of astonishment on Cooper’s face. This little car, like its owner, has become a part of St. George’s folklore. Few graduates of the School will forget their time spent with PJ or their image of this car. PJ was one of the School’s first pupils. He was the stepson of the School’s longest serving Headmaster. He was one of the first Georgians to return to teach at the School and after 30 years of teaching, he had left an indelible impression. He had helped to transform the math department and the School into one recognized for its academic rigour and strength. A large part of what the School is today is owed to teachers like PJ. He was a teacher who cared deeply about the success of his students and he will be long remembered for his passion for mathematics, his unconventional (by today’s standards) but effective teaching methods, and his singular car. Mr. Parker-Jervis is still enjoying his retirement in his Kerrisdale home, but he does not get out any more. If you wish to reach PJ his contact information is available through the author at St. George’s School. The A40 Sports was a small aluminiumbodied convertible version of the Austin A40 Devon. Produced from 1950 to 1953, the A40 Sports featured a four-seat twodoor body built by Jensen. It was very similar to the Devon saloon, although it used a twin-carburettor version of the 1.2 L engine for somewhat more power. When production ended, 4,011 A40 Sports cars had been put on the market. The Palmer family has a long tradition with the School. Pat’s father, Gerry Palmer ’49, was one of the School’s directors and his grandfather, Elmer Palmer was a governor of the School.


A Georgian at Sea page 24 A Georgian in Kandahar page 26 Ultimate Champions page 30 Saints Notes page 32

From the president


The tradition of excellence continues and is evident in the results of our students. We are the pre-eminent school in Western Canada in both academics and sports. But most importantly, for me, the School spirit seems to have swelled to such a degree that it is bannered by the graceful comportment of our boys.

I have never been prouder to be an Old Boy of this School and even prouder that my son will be following in my footsteps.

A.G. (Alex) Tsakumis '84, President of The Georgians

The tradition of excellence continues and is evident in the results of our students. We are the pre-eminent school in Western Canada in both academics and sports.

So it is with this sense of pride that, as President of the Georgians, I salute our great staff, but most particularly our parents, as they have produced such fine sons to become dominant, pronounced scholars and dignified sportsmen.

Furthermore, I need not impart that the extraordinary place that Saints continues to be is a testament to the dedication of the boys themselves, who, while at the School, are the beneficiaries of the ever-steady leadership of

t. George’s School has changed much in the just over two decades since my classmates and I graduated from these hallowed halls. Our physical plant looks more like a university campus than a storied school. To my astonishment, but absolute delight, our teaching staff is even more committed than ever, and I thought we had reached that threshold of superiority in my day!

Headmaster Nigel Toy and Principals Greg Devenish and Bud Patel. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible before the rest of my first term is completed and I will enthusiastically embrace, once again, presenting our Old Boys’ ties to the newest of the Georgians in June of this year. With warmest personal regards.

Alex Tsakumis '84, President of The Georgians and to his immediate left, Jon Lotz '94, a Director of The Georgians, hold court at the Young Georgians’ Pub Night at Yaletown Brewing Company in December, 2006.

Spring 2007 • 23


Lieutenant (Navy) Robert J. Millen '00 is known to many as the guy "in the black uniform" at School Remembrance Day services. In this first person account, Lieutenant Millen reflects fondly on his time in the Canadian Armed Forces.


The Canadian Armed Forces—an experience of a lifetime.

ike many Georgians in my year, I attended the University of Western Ontario. The independence of living on my own, coupled with my St. George's experience was invaluable in preparing me for a career in the Canadian Forces.


As a Naval Reservist, the Canadian Forces offered to pay for half of my university tuition and guaranteed well-paying employment in the summer months—not to mention phenomenal experiences and opportunities which simply do not exist in many other jobs. Beyond anything else, the ability to communicate and my demonstrated maturity were both skills and traits I had learned while at

24 • The Dragon

by Lieutenant (Navy) Robert J. Millen '00

Saints and were the main reasons I was selected to proceed as an officer. In May 2001, I began Basic Officer Training in Esquimalt, BC. I later had the opportunity to attend the Royal Military College while being paid, and continued on in the Distance Education program. I was now concurrently earning my bachelor's degree while serving at sea! The role of a MARS officer is to command, coordinate, and control military operations requiring the ability to lead and make decisions, often under adverse conditions. A MARS officer must possess knowledge and expertise in a wide range of activities and responsibilities relating

to exercising sea power, such as navigation methods, warfare and strategy, ships, aircraft, weapons, and engineering. After completing my training in 2002, I was posted to the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel HMCS GLACE BAY (commissioned entities are spelled in capital letters). The second ship in the KINGSTON class fleet of 12 ships, she is 55.3m long and displaces approximately 1,000 tons. After earning my Bridge Watch Keeper's certificate, I was selected to become the Deck Officer, which meant leading a department of ten boatswains, the oldest trade of mariner, and specialized in weapons and ammunition. When not attending to departmental duties, I stood watch


Stephen Millen '70, Past President and a current Director of The Georgians, Rob Millen '00, Rob's commanding officer on board the HMCS GLACE BAY, and his father.

as the Officer of the Watch, answering only to the Commanding and Executive Officers while I had entire responsibility for the ship, what some may call "driving". I would go on to spend four years at sea, averaging 230 days per year out of Halifax. After an 18-month Deck Officer tour, I was selected by my Captain to challenge the demanding Fleet Navigating Officer's course, which is instructed by the Royal Navy. This earned me the qualification to pilot any warships or submarines of any size, anywhere in the world. This provided me with amazing opportunities, including: piloting multiple HALIFAX class frigates at 30 knots in fog using only a stopwatch, being seconded to a Japanese Destroyer in the South Pacific; conducting an Arctic ice reconnaissance in a torpedo bomber and later piloting a formation of warships across Hudson's Bay and past the Arctic Circle; conducting several Search and Rescue operations; becoming a Rescue Swimmer and jumping from a Sea King helicopter into the North Atlantic; conducting exercises in support of the Special Operations Force; and training many junior officers as we sailed the Caribbean. At the end of my sea service, I had visited 61 separate ports all over North and Central America and the Caribbean. I wholeheartedly believe that my experiences in the Canadian Navy have been a privilege and have made a positive contribution to my life. I strongly recommend a career in the Canadian Forces to anyone who is interested. Although no longer serving full time, I still maintain my status as a Naval Reservist, but have continued on to pursue civilian aviation.

ST. GEORGE'S PARENT HEADS THE CANADIAN FORCES LIAISON COUNCIL St. George's parent and former Chair of New Parents Committee, Scott Shepherd, is BC Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, which is a group of Canadian business people who volunteer their time and effort to promote the Reserve Force. The mandate of the CFLC is to obtain the support of organization leaders in Canada to enhance the availability of reservists for the execution of their military duties. The CFLC aims to make Reserve Force members who are students in civilian life more readily available to participate in military training and operations. Many reservists join the military during their last two years of high school or while enrolled in college and university. There are between 400–600 reservists currently serving in Afghanistan and some of these young men and woman have been deployed more than once. These brave soldiers and proud to be going to the war-torn country and want to improve conditions so that Afghanis could one day live in peace. A provincial awards ceremony is held to recognize employers and institutions providing excellence in employer support to reservists. Not only are these reservists given the time needed for deployment and training, but their positions are held for them until they return.

Spring 2007 • 25


Major Erik Liebert attended St. George's School from 1978 until he graduated in June, 1985. Two weeks later, he joined the Canadian Army and embarked on a career which eventually brought him to Afghanistan to serve as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team from January to August 2006. His mandate was to help the Afghan people rebuild their troubled country. In this first-person account, Major Liebert documents his mission, which he describes as one of the most interesting, demanding, and frustrating experiences of his life.

26 • The Dragon

A Georgian in

Kandahar by MajorEric Liebert '85

Kandahar Province is located in southwestern Afghanistan, adjacent to the lawless Pashtun tribal areas of northern Pakistan. Hot, dusty, and remote, Kandahar is an unforgiving land with conditions ranging from harsh deserts to rugged hills and mountains, from barren and bleak landscapes to the expansive poppy fields providing so much of the world's heroin, to busy, crowded, and rapidly expanding urban areas like Kandahar City. Devastated by 30 years of war, Kandahar is notorious for its extremely high levels of illiteracy, child mortality, and unemployment. It is a country of stark contrasts, where families of wealth and privilege live next to people in crushing poverty. Although Kandahar possesses some of the country's most fertile land, farmers still struggle to feed their families. Tribalism and the effects of war dominate all aspects of life. Tribal relationships define Afghan identity, govern personal and group conduct, and have a profound effect on decision-making. War has destroyed much of the nation’s physical infrastructure. However, it has had a much more profound effect on the people of Afghanistan. It has destroyed traditional leadership structures and allowed warlords and the Taliban to take their place in Afghan politics. It has also deprived an entire generation of the skills and learning needed to run the country. Afghanistan’s people are principled, energetic, and resourceful, but they still lack so many of the skills and knowledge that Canadians take for

granted. Despite this, the people of Kandahar are working hard to overcome these challenges. They are learning how to build roads, schools, and medical clinics, how to provide basic services such as education, healthcare, and how to manage public utilities. Progress is slow and Kandahar remains a dangerous place in which to live, with corruption and the competing interests of tribal politics hindering its development. My path to Afghanistan began in 1985 when I joined the Canadian Army. I was trained as an infantry officer and joined my Regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, in 1989. Almost immediately, I began preparing for my first overseas mission. I deployed to Cyprus as a rifle platoon commander in 1990. Then, I went to serve in Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1993 and 2002 and Kosovo in 1999. Experience is an excellent teacher. These overseas missions helped prepare me for the challenges which confronted me in Afghanistan. They taught me how to work with people in foreign cultures. At the same time, I learned a great deal about working in war zones and how to deal with the complex problems left in the wake of armed conflict. Afghanistan was the greatest challenge of my military career. Two things set the mission apart: the magnitude of the problem and the nature of the insurgency. The Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team was responsible for the entire province, an area of almost 50,000 square kilometres with a population of between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 people (the number is

Fall 2006 • 27

The practical challenge was immense. Only 15 per cent of the people in Kandahar can read. Life expectancy is 43 years and one in five children dies before the age of five. Most people do not have access to adequate sanitation or clean drinking water. Although these problems were very difficult to address, our team worked closely with the United Nations and other international agencies to develop effective strategies to improve the quality of life. Canadian soldiers and civilian police officers worked side by side with their Afghan counterparts, patiently teaching them the basic skills needed to improve security. Canadian development experts worked closely with United Nations organizations and Afghan government officials to improve the infrastructure, extend government services, and expand the education system. Canadian diplomats worked closely with their Afghan counterparts, monitoring the performance of government officials, and developing programs to promote good governance. These programs are starting to produce results, but progress is still slow. The insurgents actively resisted development activities because successful initiatives weakened their control over the local population. They burned government offices, schools, and medical clinics. Anyone associated with either the Government or the International Coalition was threatened. They posted menacing “night letters” and frequently attacked teachers, moderate religious figures, women’s rights advocates, and people who worked with international agencies. The insurgents usually avoided direct confrontations, preferring to use guerrilla

28 • The Dragon

tactics rather than face the risks of an open confrontation with better trained and better armed NATO soldiers. Perhaps the most disturbing insurgent tactics involved suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices. These weapons were indiscriminate, frequently killing and injuring large numbers of civilians. It is hard to exaggerate the horror in the wake of a bombing as security forces converge on the scene and shattered families mourn the dead and try to care for survivors. These bombings exact a terrible human toll and place tremendous stress on the soldiers and policemen who operate in the face of this kind of threat.

My experiences at St. George's School laid the foundations for my work in Afghanistan and the other countries in which I have served.

approximate because there are no accurate census figures). The task was daunting because Kandahar was not receiving a lot of support from the central government and many of the international aid organizations would not work in southern Afghanistan because it was too dangerous.

Afghanistan was fascinating, yet also a stressful and frustrating place to work. The country has a long and very interesting history that dates back to Alexander the Great and beyond. It is an ancient world veiled by foreign languages and dominated by tribal interests. The Afghan mission was physically and mentally demanding. The environment was brutal with summer temperatures sometimes exceeding 50 degrees Celsius and dust storms were commonplace. The oppressive heat and constant danger combined to sap your energy and slowly wear you down. The mission was exasperating because it was very hard to measure progress. It was extremely difficult to promote development in an environment where the security situation was deteriorating. For example, as Canadian soldiers successfully resisted a major offensive in southern Afghanistan last summer, Canada paid a heavy price for this victory—20 members of my regiment

were killed and many more were seriously wounded. Each of the deaths was a tragedy, but these losses must be placed in perspective. My Regiment suffered much larger losses in past wars, and the Afghan people continue to make huge sacrifices in their fight to resist tyranny and oppression. In the end, my greatest accomplishment was ensuring that the men and women under my command returned to Canada alive and in good health. I am proud of this achievement, but I wish that I could have done more for the Afghan people. My experiences at St. George's School laid the foundations for my work in Afghanistan and the other countries in which I have served. I look back fondly on my time at St. George’s and the teachers and other role models who gave me a first-rate education. These people taught me how to analyse problems and think both creatively and independently. Many important lessons were learned outside the classroom. I learned self-discipline and self-reliance as a boarder in the Junior School, overcoming homesickness and appreciating cooperation in a group environment. I learned a great deal about fitness and leadership on the rugby fields in front of the Senior School. I also drew inspiration from the School motto, Sine Timore aut Favore (Without Fear or Favour), which served as a useful guidepost when I stood alone, facing seemingly insurmountable problems. You don’t need to join the Army to make a difference. Canadians can contribute by learning more about what is happening around them and becoming involved, either through public debate or by taking more direct interest in world affairs. For leaders to lead successfully, regardless of the nature of the undertaking, they need basic skills and values and St. George’s School provided that for me.




Tuesday, May 8, 2007 Venue: Senior School Campus, 4175 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver Cocktails 6:00 pm • Dinner 7:00 pm • • • •

Keynote Speaker: David Bentall, Past Chairman of the Board Presentation of this Year's Winners of the Georgian Honours Fabulous Door Prizes Valet Girls Service With a Smile

$80/person $35/person Classes of 2002–2006 $800/table of 10


Monday, June 18, 2007 Venue: University Golf Club, 5185 University Boulevard, Vancouver Registration 11:30 am • Shotgun Start 1:00 pm • • • • •

Great Prizes Scramble Format Team Event with Prizes for Low Team Score and Individual Low Score Soft Spikes Must be Worn Lots of Fun with Fellow Georgians

Entry fee is $195 per person.

Cash Bar | Credit Cards Welcome | Business Attire Please

For sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Events Page at or call (604) 222-5885.

Fill out either entry forms below and fax to: (604) 224-4366 MANAGER OF GEORGIAN RELATIONS St. George’s School 3851West 29th Avenue Vancouver BC V6S 1T6 T: (604) 222-5885 E:



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Spring 2007 • 29


THE HISLOP SIBLINGS: (L-R) Kristy, Tyler, Tory, and Scott

Ultimate Champions J Four Hislop Siblings winners at the 2006 World Club Mixed Ultimate Champions in Perth, Australia

ohn Hislop '71 is one proud father. His four children were recent winners of the 2006 World Club Mixed Ultimate Championships. Saints brothers, Tyler Hislop ‘01 and Scott Hislop '06, were members of Team Fisher Price which won the World Club Mixed Ultimate Championship held in Perth, Australia in November 2006. Approximately 2,000 athletes from 20 different countries took part in the tournament, which is held every four years. Competing in the mixed division of 40 international teams, Team Fisher Price was undefeated in the tournament winning the finals against a USA team, Brass Monkeys, with a decisive 13–8 point score. Included on the team were four grads from York House School, sisters Kristy Hislop and Tory Hislop , Andrea Cheng , and Tiffany Lin. This is not the first time the Hislop siblings have won World Gold in Ultimate. In 2002, Tyler was a member of the Canadian Junior

30 • The Dragon

Boys’ team that won the World Junior Ultimate Championship in Riga, Latvia. In 2004, Kristy and Tory were both on the Canadian Junior Girls’ Team which won the World Junior Ultimate Championship in Turku, Finland. In 2005, at the Canadian National Ultimate Tournament held in Winnipeg, Tyler and his two sisters were members of the Fisher Price Team, which won the Canadian Open Championship. At the same tournament, Scott, who was playing for the BC Provincial Boys’ Team, won the Canadian Under-19 Championship. In September 2006, Scott was on the Canadian Junior Boys’ team which won silver at the World Junior Ultimate Championship held in Boston, USA. Ultimate is a seven-a-side team sport played on a football-sized field, where two teams face off against each other in an attempt to catch a flat plastic disk in the opponent’s end zone. The disk is popularly referred to as a Frisbee; however, due to

by John Hislop '71

trademark restrictions, the use of the term “disk” is more appropriate. The game is very fast paced involving constant running, skill at throwing the disc, and well-developed hand-eye coordination for catching. This kind of sport calls for strong cardiovascular conditioning and its associated running endurance. Athletes generally reach their peak performance in their mid twenties. The name “Team Fisher Price” was coined two years ago by a friendly heckler who yelled out: “Who are you guys, Team Fisher Price?” (referring to the children’s toys manufacturer). He had noticed how young the players had been when they walked on to the field to play in an adult division. As it turns out, age is not always the determinant for success on either side of the life spectrum. Skill, fitness, determination, and team chemistry are the most important key ingredients

ield Hockey is alive and well at St. George’s School. The program, which typically boasts a head count of 70 students from which four teams are formed, participates in the Vancouver Junior Field Hockey League at the under-14, under-16, and under-18 levels. Last season the School’s under-16 As placed second in the BC Club Championships.


Former Saints field hockey players are also achieving success on the world stage. Anthony Wright '02 and Philip Wright '04 represented Canada at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia and the Men’s World Cup in Changzhou City, China. In 2007, Anthony and Philip, as well as David Carter '99, were nationally carded by Field Hockey Canada and named to the national team.

During the 2006–2007 season, the University of British Columbia fielded a team to participate at the prestigious HockeyReyes Tournament at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona. Saints grads made up over 30 per cent of this team. They included David Carter '99, Anthony Wright '02, David Hancock '04, Tim Healy '04, Russell Bissett '00, and Philip Wright '04. The final match in which UBC lost 7 to 2 to the Polo Club, was televised nationally and had a number of VIPs in attendance, including Horst Wein, former coach of the International Hockey Federation (FIH); Juan Calzado, past president of the FIH; and, Juan Antonio Samaranche, past President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Saints Field Hockey Players Enjoy International Success

by Gordon C. Allan, Managing Editor

Fielding World-Class Players THE UBC THUNDERBIRDS: Back Row: David Carter '99 (fourth from left), David Hancock '04 (fifth from left), Tim Healy '04 (fourth from right) Front Row: Phillip Wright '04 (fifth from left), Anthony Wright '02 (far right)

Spring 2007 • 31

SAINTS NOTES To contact any of the Georgians listed in Saints Notes, please visit the Georgian Directory by visiting the “Staying Connected” menu item at

Robert Linnell’s documentary ‘Last Flight to Berlin’ was nominated for a Gemini award in 2006 for best historical documentary.

Patrick L.W. Smyth has recently launched a venture capital firm to assist emerging technology corporations with early stage financing, investment research, and analysis services.



Michael L. Overton has announced his engagement to Michèle Menzies. The wedding is to take place in North Vancouver this summer. The couple will be in North Vancouver for six months then will travel in Europe before settling in New York in 2008. Michael is the son of David Overton who taught at the School for many years and Michèle’s brother is Neil J.B. Menzies '82, a past President of the Georgians’ Association.

Farhad Karim is now a partner with the law firm Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP, where his practice focuses on the representation of private equity firms making investments in Europe and Asia.


1974 Kelly G. Murray is appearing for a second season on the Golf Channel’s reality series “The Big Break VII: The Reunion”. In series VI he appeared with Donald Trump who said that Kelly was great under pressure.

1976 Craig A. Brooks has joined Agriculture Financial Services Corporation in Lacombe, AB, as Manager, IT Client Services.

1978 Paul J. Mitchell-Banks has returned to Vancouver after spending two years in Norway. He has taken up a position as Senior SocioEconomist at the Burnaby Office of Gartner Lee Limited. Gartner Lee is an employee owned top tier consulting company with 16 offices across Canada and an office in the Middle East.

1979 Joe E. Winkler has announced his engagement to Grant Elton Robinson. The wedding will take place in Victoria on August 11, 2007. He would like his class mates to know that he has hyphenated his last name and is now known as Joe Robinson-Winkler.

1985 Robert Y. Shaw, who is an internist at Straub Clinic in Honolulu and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Hawaii medical school, met up with Michael Skene who was vacationing in Hawaii over Christmas. 32 • The Dragon

1989 Bryan C. Poon is in the film industry in Los Angeles and specializes in simulations of the cloth and fur on characters. Having worked on Chronicles of Narnia and Monster House he is now with Dreamworks Animation. He is presently working on the Jerry Seinfeld movie, The Bee Movie.

1991 Shahrad (Rod) Rassekh has accepted a position as a pediatric oncology at BC Children’s Hospital.

1992 Andrew W.M. Hungerford is living in London, UK working for Deutsche Bank RREEF in real estate investing across Europe.

1993 Ari Y. Benbasat has successfully defended his PhD dissertation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory. His research concentrated on the design of low-power sensor systems. For the short term, he will be continuing his research as a Visiting Scientist at the Media Lab. Mark Chan and his wife continue to enjoy life in NYC where he is in private equity and Emily is a medical doctor.

1994 Mathew R. Cantor and John Wang recently established a boutique real estate investment and consulting firm in Singapore and Taiwan (Avalon Group). They are also collaborating on an advertising and new media business in Taiwan.

Kenny Ho wrote to advise us that his current role with Jones Lang LaSalle in Shanghai is that of Associate Director and Head of Research.

1996 Murray M. Allan has successfully defended his PhD dissertation in Geology at the University of

and non-profit organizations. Hublounge strives to provide a web-based platform for organizations to tap into the benefits of social networking technology. Nabil is currently an investment banker in London and is concurrently managing his venture with a team based in Vancouver. He has created a virtual lounge for the Georgians so that alumni can interact in a virtual world that mirrors real-life interaction.

Under-21 Rugby: Thomas Cobb '04, Tyler Hotson '03, Mike MacKay '04, James Potter '04, and David Stockton '03 all represented Canada on the National Under-21 Rugby Team’s Tour of Ireland from November 7 to 19, 2006. The Canadian team went 2-1 when travelling to Dublin, Derry, and Limerick.



Leeds, UK. He studied the chemistry of ancient hydrothermal systems and has returned to Vancouver to pursue a career in the mineral exploration industry. Michael J. Cox is a Talent Executive for ‘the Showbiz Show with David Spade’ on Comedy Central.

1997 After graduating from UBC in 2001, Joseph Ng went to Shanghai and established a manufacturing company. However, the desire to further his career has taken him to the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia, VA where he hopes to receive his MBA degree in May this year. He is the VP Finance of Opportunity Consulting, Inc., Darden’s pro bono consulting service for local businesses. Nabil Meralli launched a social networking website during his post-graduate studies at the University of Oxford and targets special interest

Varsity Rowing—Payden Spowart '04 writes: This past November, I had the chance to head to St. Catherines with UVIC along with Hugh Wallace ’06. Hugh had been in the lightweight four and in Grade 10 when I was in Grade 12. During the regatta, I had a chance to meet with Danny Matthews '05, Mike Wilkinson '04, and Gavin le Nobel '04. In 2004, the four of us were racing together in the Saints 8+ at the same course. This year, Danny Matthews was in the Western boat, which placed first, I was in the Vikes’ boat, which placed second, and Mike and Gavin were in the Queen’s boat, which placed a close fourth, right behind UBC. It was thoroughly enjoyable to be racing against my former team mates at a higher level of rowing.

Spring 2007 • 33


ANOTHER SAINT IN NEW ORLEANS Following up on the previous issue on The Dragon, we have uncovered another Georgian who is helping rebuild New Orleans.

Justin Gunn '05

34 • The Dragon

t was difficult to sit down and start writing about New Orleans. It was hard to portray an accurate account of my experiences without including the controversial politics in which I was immersed. It was even more difficult reflecting on profound lifechanging experiences I went through on a day-to-day basis. Despite these challenges, I will do my best to tell you what it was like doing relief work in the


Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Common Ground Relief Centre housed both relief workers and displaced residents of New Orleans. It was once a Catholic school which also served as a shelter for displaced people in the days following the Hurricane. 30 people died here. The horrific and brutal legacy of suffering that once occurred in this shelter still remains in an old

classroom; written across a chalkboard, a desperate citizen wrote, “They left us here to die.” I remember my first day in tremendously vivid detail. I was woken up at 6:00 am by a female choir roaming the halls of the Common Ground Relief Centre in the Lower Ninth Ward. As “this little light of mine” rang throughout the halls, I arose from my sleeping bag and off the floor of what used to be a school library.

After brushing my teeth in a janitors sink, and having a breakfast consisting of mixed eggs, grits, and filtered water, I knew I was a long way from home. Gathering equipment and tools with my work crew, I hopped into the back of a pick up truck and we took off for our first work site. With the cold morning air blowing in my face as I sat with my crew in the back of the truck, we passed by blocks and blocks of wind and flood damaged houses. Every single one of these houses looked exactly like it did last September. New Orleans, what we used to refer to as “The Big Easy,” was now nothing more than “A Big Empty.” We finally arrived at our worksite. A single-storey house in a lowincome area, boarded up, with a spray painted “X” on the door, indicating post-flood inspection by the National Guard. Luckily there was a “0” sprayed below the “X.” No bodies were found in this house. Our job was to gut the inside of this house. This meant removing everything: appliances, furniture, possessions, drywall, insulation… everything. For our personal safety, we all wore protective tyvek suits, and used particle respirators. Black mould spore counts in these houses were high as a result of the evaporating toxic flood waters. It was a year and a half after the storm and this house had not been touched by anyone. This had created a very toxic and poisonous work environment. Stagnant puddles of toxic water containing gasoline, human sewage, and industrial toxins still remained within the house, choking our every breath if we didn’t use a respirator. Refrigerators had to be ducttaped shut before they were moved out, as they contained floodwater and food that had been rotting for a year and a half. I remember one instance when this method didn’t work, and some of the foulest substances spilled on to members of my crew. All they

could do was hold their breaths, peel their respirators off, and run out of the house gagging. The fridges were just one example of how dilapidated our first work site was. Walls were black with mould and decay. Televisions, sofas, beds, were all destroyed. But the worst part was carrying out children’s toys, and family photographs. It was then I realized I was throwing somebody’s whole life away. Such a feeling is indescribable. When it first hit me, I couldn’t talk for a whole day. As I became more and more absorbed into day-to-day life in a disaster zone, I began to feel my life changing in subtle ways. Waking up at 6:00 am was no longer difficult. Having a breakfast of donated eggs and fruit on the verge of rotting was something that could sustain me for hours. Moreover, after a half day of gutting, lunch would be brought to us; canned ravioli, lettuce, and a defrosted cheese sandwich. It was absolutely disgusting, I won’t lie. But the taste was easy to ignore and the feeling of food in my belly felt amazing. My life wasn’t just changing in terms of food. After a day of gutting houses, we would return to the relief centre for showers and rest. There were four showers for over 300 occupants. Two were cold and two were hot. However, the hot showers were only turned on from 4:00 to 6:00 pm and they were reserved for house-gutters. Never before, was a shower the most satisfying aspect of my day as I removed fibreglass and mould from my hair and skin. In my spare time, I began to play chess and sit on the front steps of

the relief centre with locally displaced people, hearing their stories of survival and loss in the hurricane. I heard stories of hope, stories of loss; stories which made me laugh out loud, and stories which made my eyes water. But one thing every one of those stories had in common was they were all unique, powerful, and reminded me of the greatness and hardships of life. They taught me the power and triumph of the human spirit. New Orleans also took a toll on me mentally. I slowly started becoming disillusioned with reality and felt ashamed of my privilege and good fortune when there was so much suffering around me. At every house I gutted and with every

wheelbarrow load of possessions I threw to the curb, I became sickened by the rampant materialism and wealth I had been surrounded by in Los Angeles. I couldn’t believe that over 200,000 residents remained displaced and New Orleans still looked like it did in September. Back home people seemed to care more about useless matters like Britney Spears shaving her head. There was also one particular work day that greatly affected my state of mind. In the midst of the reconstruction, one of the most controversial issues that arose Spring 2007 • 35

was the Government’s destruction of affordable public housing units in low-income areas. As a result there were forced evictions of hundreds of families. Instead of gutting houses for a day, I volunteered to help an evicted family move out of their unit and help them find a place to stay. When I arrived at the Woodlands housing project in Algiers, a father was standing before a TV camera holding his young daughter. As he tried to control the tears falling from his eyes, he said something that would resonate within me forever. He said, “I’m not looking for a handout or sympathy. I’m just looking for a chance, an opportunity. It’s hard to find a home without a job and it’s hard to find a job without a home.” Hundreds of these families were evicted on this day with nowhere

36 • The Dragon

to go. Some went to stay with relatives, some went to the Common Ground Relief Centre, and some even went as far as Florida. Fire alarms throughout the entire complex rang relentlessly, like air raid sirens. Police officers passed through, but only to make sure the residents were moving out. When the deadline had passed, the police went so far as to arrest two relief workers from my crew who were helping residents evacuate. From this day, I saw into the marginalization poor African Americans in New Orleans have endured. Going back to the relief centre and knowing I had a place to rest my head made it difficult to even fall asleep. While in New Orleans I also learned a lot about myself. I learned that it’s not achievements, awards, or the size my pay check which define

success for me. It’s doing something that’s worth waking up for in the mornings. For me, that just happens to be doing what I can to rebuild the once great city of New Orleans, whether it’s doing the grunt work and gutting houses or sitting at a desk making maps for relief crews. By living in a disaster zone, I also learned how easy it is to be happy and satisfied with so little, whether it’s cold showers, donated food, or sleeping on the floor. It’s the little things in life that matter. Finally, I will never forget how to use a crowbar, sledgehammer, wheelbarrow, and particle respirator properly and will always remember how the satisfaction I felt using that sledgehammer to knock down drywall.


2000 Adam Cotterall has accepted an invitation to join the Learning Strategies Group at the Segal Graduate School of Business, SFU. Here he will pursue his passion to help develop and implement learning solutions for organizations.

2001 Christopher Flak, who works for CTV News in Toronto has recently been promoted to Story Producer, Canada AM.

BIRTHS Mark Chan '93 and his wife, Emily, a son, Theodore H.T.F. Chan born March 26, 2007. Paul Proznick (faculty) and his wife, Lana , a son Chase Clifford born February 22, 2007. Sean Field-Lament '83 and his wife, Sally, a daughter Eleanor Mae born February 16, 2007. Gavin Reynolds '86, and his wife, Gillian, a son, Mac Mitchell Reynolds, born on February 8, 2007. Gavin is a Director of The Georgians’ Association. Laurier Primeau (faculty) and his wife, Gladys, a son, Luc Tsai Gee on January 23, 2007. Matthew L. Clark '88 and his wife, Denise, a son, Graham Lee born December 31, 2006. Rod Rassekh '91 and his wife Kate, a son, Zachary on December 12, 2006. Travis Dowle '93 and his wife, Sian, a daughter, Sofia Reese born December 6, 2006. Travis is Treasurer of The Georgians’ Association. Anthony P. Lee '88 and his wife Jennifer, a son, James Patrick born October 3, 2006.

James Patrick Lee

Nejeed Kassam '04 While much of the world watches, or rather ignores, the 1.2 billion people who live in abject poverty, End Poverty Now does not. A non-profit organization which has firmly taken a stand against this human rights violation, End Poverty Now (EPN) was founded by Nejeed Kassam ‘04 with a group of dedicated McGill students. EPN fights against poverty on both the national and international fronts, operating on a tri-pillar structure of grassroots redistrib-utive projects, education and awareness, and government lobbying. Although in its first operating year, EPN has had significant success, creating internship and scholarship opp-ortunities, producing an annual journal, and hosting various poverty awarenessraising events. In 2007, EPN is going national by starting local chapters all across the country.

Luc Tsai Gee Primeau

Chase Clifford Proznick Spring 2007 • 37


MARRIAGES Mohammad Namazi '96 to Golnaz Golmohammadi on June 12, 2006 in Malaysia.


Christian Paul '97 to Bernice Chu on December 9, 2006 at Vancouver, BC.

• A.G. (Alex) Tsakumis '84, President • Scott Lamb '79, Vice President, External Affairs • Brian Grant Duff '83, Vice President, Georgian Relations • Prentice Durbin '89, Secretary • Travis Dowle '93, Treasurer • Brian Soregaroli '84, Immediate Past President • Rodan Gopaul-Singh '88 • Matthew Ilich '00 • Bruce Jackson '78 • Brian Lecky '65 • Jonathan Lotz '94 • Neil Menzies '82, Past President • Stephen Millen '70, Past President • Gavin Reynolds '86

Patrick L.W. Smyth '85 to Kathryn Kozak on December 29, 2006 at Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica.

PASSINGS John Leonard Boultbee '46 on November 13, 2006 at North Vancouver, BC Daryl J. Duke '46 on October 21, 2006 at West Vancouver, BC. Peter A. C. Tynan '54 on March 15, 2007 at Vancouver, BC. William E. Whittall '40 on September 14, 2005 at Vancouver, BC.

PARENT UPDATES UBC has presented Mason Loh, father of Jeremy '08, Spencer, '10 and Merritt '13, with the honorary title of Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine for his substantial contributions to the profession and the development of its regulatory college. We would like to thank the following Georgians from the class of 2003 for their kind contribution of $500 to our recent Junior (Grades 9 and 10) Rugby Tour to Wales and Ireland. Their funds were used for the boys to attend a tour of Cardiff's Mellennium Stadium and the Heritage Park Coal Mine. It is kindness such as this that binds the current St. George's rugby players with the old. Special thanks to Tyler Hotson and Dave Stockton for their leadership. Scott Tindle '03, Chris Reynolds '03, Tristan Armstrong '03, Dave Stockton '03, Lyle Perry '03, Tyler Hotson '03, Tom Masterson '03, Doug Grant '03, Ben Lutes '03, Mike Mackay '04


THE GEORGIANS’ GOLF TOUR 2007 SCOTLAND AND IRELAND The dates are set and the tee times are booked at the Old Course at St. Andrews. There are still eight openings for a two-week golf tour of five Scottish courses and three Irish. We will travel by a private chauffeured bus and stay at inns and castles along the way. All the courses are British Open locations, such as St. Andrews, Royal Troon, Ballybunnion, and Lahinch. The tour begins June 24, 2007 and should cost about $5,000. For further info: Brad Johnston '75 (604) 739-7242

We regret that the following Georgians were identified incorrectly in the Fall 2006 issue of The Dragon. 1976 John D. Weston of West Vancouver. BC has successfully won the nomination of his riding of West Vancouver/ Sunshine Coast/Sea to Sky Country as the next candidate for federal Conservative Party. John hopes to win the seat that John Reynolds, father of Neil Johnson '87 and Chris '03, has faithfully served for the last eight years. John Weston was a founding member of the The Access Law Group where his practice focuses on aboriginal law, constitutional law, international law, and wills and estates. Good luck John!

38 • The Dragon

1977 Jonathan McCullough of Vancouver, BC is a lawyer at McCullough O'Connor Irwin, a firm he founded in 1994, which specializes in corporate finance and securities law. He is married to Tara (Campbell) and has five children ranging in age from one to 19 years old. A former disciple of Geof Stancombe ’62, he spends most of his rather limited free time outdoors, distance running (slowly), snowboarding, and wakeboarding (inexpertly), mountain biking (painfully), and hanging out at his cabin on tiny Mudge Island.

OLYMPIC FEVER Two St. George’s students prepare for the 2008 Beijing Olympics

s Olympic fever descends on Vancouver with the 2010 Winter Olympic Games only three years away, two students at St. George’s School, Tom Sun and Michael Xue, have more immediate concerns: namely the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Sun and Xue will be representing China on Beijing’s Star Class sailing team.


During the School’s 75th Anniversary celebrations, Headmaster Toy and other School officials happened to be in Beijing at the time a press conference was being held to announce the boys’ participation and, for a brief moment, St. George’s School and the Beijing Olympics were being discussed in the same breath. Sun describes how his foray into the world of sailing happened by accident. “I was actually training to be a competitive swimmer when my coach, Ying Wang, who is also the founder of the Chinese Sailing Team, suggested that I had a body-type that was more suited for sailing.”

Sun’s decision to move from swimming to sailing occurred at the same time that Wang was approached by Chinese Olympic officials to set up a Star Class team. “The Chinese have made a commitment to enter a team into every Olympic competition,” says Sun, who admits that his focus will be on participating rather than trying to win.

by Gordon C. Allan, Managing Editor

The team includes one other Vancouver-based Chinese sailor and two sailors who are based in Beijing. “At this point, our team is practising on both sides of the world,” says Tom, whose own training schedule alternates between the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Jericho Sailing Centre.

Asked if he was nervous, Sun replied: “Well, of Michael Xue, the other member of the team, course. But my coach has told me to stay will be training more as an apprentice, helping focused, be positive, and give it my best. I know with coordination and strategy. “It is an we probably don’t have a chance—we’re just opportunity of a lifetime,” say the boys. Sun’s too inexperienced—but to be able to partparents have been very supportive even icipate on the world stage is the ultimate though he has been advised that he may have honour”. to put off his first year of university to focus on a rigorous training Michael Xue and Tom Sun schedule.



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

The Dragon Spring 2007 Issue  

Spring 2007 Issue

The Dragon Spring 2007 Issue  

Spring 2007 Issue