ALL ABOUT THE ARTS • SAINTS IN PERU • THE “CASTLE”
St. George’s School
MANAGING EDITOR Gordon C. Allan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Bruce Elbeblawy SENIOR EDITOR Christine Moore ARCHIVES AND HISTORY EDITORS Elizabeth Knox, Jay Sherwood GEORGIANS’ SECTION SENIOR GEORGIANS’ EDITOR Bryan R. Ide '99 PRESIDENT OF THE ST. GEORGE’S OLD BOYS’ ASSOCIATION A.G. (Alex) Tsakumis '84 PHOTOGRAPHERS Gordon C. Allan Matt Barnes Kyla Brown Photography www.kylabrown.com Dominic Chan '10 Andrew Cliff '08 Bruce Elbeblawy Graham Handford '06 Tom Hawkins Danny Hong '08 Don Livingston Bo Meng '02 Catherine Mori Ed Mortimer Vinny Ng '99 Neil Piller '85 Colin Shuen '09 Mendel Skulski '08 City of Vancouver Archives St. George's School Archives
DRAGON St. George’s School
The Artist in All of Us by Gordon C. Allan
SCHOOL LIFE 4
A Man for all Seasons by N.R.L. (Nigel) Toy
An Interview with the Chairman Interviewed by Gordon C. Allan
Defining who we are: Art at St. George’s School by Mark Sauer
Progress and Tradition: Music at St. George’s School by Marko Rnic
A Tribute to Rob Stickney by Nan Oliver
Alive and Well: Theatre Arts at St. George’s School by Ed Mortimer
Carpe Diem: Latin and Debating at St. George’s School by Catherine Mori
Under The Saints’ Spotlight by Brenton Wilke, Eric Stewart , Hayley Jacobs, and Alan Sherman
Having a good time, Mr. Stewart? by Daryl Wakeham
Building Opportunities: Saints’ Students in Peru by Andrew Cliff ’08
The “Castle”: A Look back at the History of the Junior School by Airlie Ogilvie
THE GEORGIANS’ SECTION SPECIAL FEATURE: PROFILING GEORGIANS IN THE ARTS
The Dragon is published twice per year, expressly for Georgians, parents, and friends of St. George’s School. It is also distributed to other Canadian independent schools and selected public or private institutions. Comments about any of the articles are always welcome. Address all correspondence to: Gordon C. Allan Managing Editor, The Dragon St. George’s School 4175 West 29th Avenue Vancouver BC V6S 1V1 CANADA Phone: 604.224.1304 Fax: 604.224.7066 Email: email@example.com Please contact our office to be added to the mailing list. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40580507 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: ST. GEORGE'S SCHOOL SOCIETY 3851 WEST 29TH AVENUE VANCOUVER BC V6S 1T6 The Dragon is copyright © 2008 St. George’s School, Vancouver BC Canada. Reproduction rights: We encourage you to circulate or copy this material unmodified for your own private use. You may quote any article or portion of article with attribution. Quotation of any article or portion of article without attribution is prohibited. The Dragon, its contents, or material may not be sold, intact or modified, nor included in any package or product offered for sale.
Symbols of Our Souls by A.G. (Alex) Tsakumis '84
Renaissance Man: Jake Kerr ’61 by Gordon C. Allan
Constant Peril: Sustaining Artistic Passion at St. George’s School by Adam Goldenberg ’04
Sounding a Mosaic: Jay Malinowski ’00 and Bedouin Soundclash Interviewed by Bryan R. Ide ‘99
The Globetrotter: Vincent “Vinny” Ng ’99 Interviewed by Bryan R. Ide ‘99
Rockin’ DJ: Jimmy Vallance ’07 Interviewed by Bryan R. Ide ‘99
Everything I need to Know I Learned from Saints’ Players by Bo Meng ‘02
The Beat: Alexis “Lex” Assadi Interviewed by Bryan R. Ide ‘99
Georgian Artists in Nova Scotia Interviewed by Bryan R. Ide ‘99
Goodbye Daddy: A Farewell to Geof Stancombe ’62 by Pat Palmer ‘80
Saints’ Notes: compiled by Elizabeth Knox and Bryan R. Ide ‘99
St. George’s School is proud to be associated with:
FROM THE MANAGING EDITOR
IN ALL OF US
“An artist is not a special kind of man, but every man is a special kind of Artist” Ananda Coomaraswamy
In 2002, the US-based National Endowment for the Arts commissioned a summative paper documenting 62 research studies on the social and academic effects of an Arts education. The findings of this research were clear. There are obvious links between a student’s involvement in the Arts and a wide range of social and academic benefits. The studies further illustrate how the Arts encourage mastery in subjects such as, Reading, Mathematics, and Social Studies and how the student who is deeply engaged in an Arts curriculum performs better on standardized tests like the SAT.
by Gordon C. Allan, Managing Editor
Arts encourage mastery in other subjects such as, Reading, Mathematics, and Social Studies.
istorically, success in school and readiness for university entrance has meant being proficient in what educators typically refer to as the hard curriculum: Mathematics, Languages, and the Sciences. Tutoring services and learning centres thrive in a market driven by anxious parents who are looking to better their child’s academic performance. In the meantime, a growing body of research is pointing to another area of the curriculum as the root of academic, creative, and social preparedness; the Arts.
Much of this information is not new to St. George’s School. Without having the above data, statistics, or research, students and staff alike already understand and can attest to the profound impact of being involved in Music, Art, and Theatre Production and the successes resulting later in life. We are able to witness first hand the development of St. George’s School students into true Renaissance men, because of the School’s commitment to an aesthetic education; that is, an education valuing the interconnectedness of body, mind, emotion, and spirit. In this edition of The Dragon, we have highlighted the Arts at St. George’s School; where they are today and where they are going tomorrow. You will also be able to read of Georgians who have been transformed as individuals through their experiences in Art, Music, or Drama courses at St. George’s School and how, in some cases, they have made successful careers for themselves in the entertainment industry. You will read about Georgians who are art collectors, Hip Hop artists, DJs, rock stars; and of recent graduates who are pursuing a career in Art at the prestigious NSCAD University. All of these are stories of passion and the creative spirit. They are testaments to a community which finds in all of us, a special kind of artist. Sine Timore aut Favore
Spring 2008 • 3
FROM THE HEADMASTER
FOR ALL SEASONS
When St. George's School was founded in 1930, it was Englishmen who brought with them a clear and precise understanding of the role of young men in society. N.R.L. (Nigel) Toy, Headmaster
As I reflect on the St. George's of the twenty-first century, those founding principles have surely taken root in the culture of the School. The boy of today is afforded wonderful opportunities and options. The resources and talents of the teachers open for him ways in which he can explore, not only his academic strength and athletic aspirations, but his creative spirit. As Headmaster, I am constantly amazed by the flair and dedication that boys display in the Arts. Everyday, their energy is seen in areas such as Ceramics, Painting, Acting, Debating, and Music. It is often said that there is creative and artistic spirit in us all. The key is in knowing how to release it. It is to give it the opportunity to develop and to be able to enrich and bring balance to an individual’s perception of the world. Educators have long advocated the need to provide and nurture all talents. However, in my experience, very few schools are able to create the culture and expectation that draw youngsters to embrace a “balanced” education. There is, more often than not, a preoccupation with pure academics and measuring young people only on their intellectual performance. Modern research, and I believe sheer common sense, tells us that the Emotional Quotient is a far greater indicator of a more fulfilling career. The work of researchers in establishing multi-intelligences demonstrates that we have capacity to go well beyond pure abstract thinking. To be in a school where the Arts truly flourish, as they do at St. George’s, brings alive the spirit of inquiry and self-exploration. Each individual, whether teacher or student, pushes boundaries to pursue the aesthetic elements of their lives. I find it fitting always to pay tribute to those talented educators and mentors who over the decades have established such a rich cultural heritage in St. George's School. Today, we continue our tradition of an Arts Week. This has become a time for the School to pause and immerse the students in a variety of artistic presentation. Visiting authors, painters, musicians, sculptors, and actors present to the boys and staff. There are also outstanding
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To be in a school where the Arts truly flourish, as they do at St. George’s, brings alive the spirit of inquiry and selfexploration.
John and Douglas Harker, the early great headmasters, were themselves products of Rugby School in the UK. They knew only too well what it meant to sanction an all-round education for boys. Their beliefs were grounded in the concept of the “gentleman”; someone not only courageous and chivalrous, but also a man of learning with a genuine appreciation for the cultural milieu.
displays of student work and presentations by student artists. The culmination is the awarding of the Rigg Scholarships. These prestigious honours, with cash endowments, recognize young artists who have excelled and who will continue to make a leadership contribution to the Arts at St. George's School.
As we honour our Rigg Scholars, the Harkers would be proud to know that nearly all have achieved Honours or better standing, whilst half are on Senior Premier Sports Teams. They are expected to pursue their potential, give back to their community, and be young people of integrity. They exemplify the spirit and philosophy of the School as we all strive to be that “man for all seasons”.
Christopher Gaze (of “Bard on the Beach”) reminded us during Arts Week of the words of Rudyard Kipling: “… If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!” Sine Timore aut Favore
David Chau '03 at Hwa’s Art Gallery in Shanghai.
Spring 2008 • 5
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
An Interview with
CHAIRMAN Interview by Gordon C. Allan, Managing Editor
Rob Cruickshank was elected Chairman of the Board this past November and The Dragon recently had the opportunity to interview him about his role and goals as Chairman.
Maintaining the concept of developing the well-rounded boy is something we never want to lose sight of.
Rob has been President of the British Columbia Technology Industries Association (BCTIA), before which he had a long and successful career with Telus/BCTEL, serving in many executive roles including over four years as the President of BCTEL Mobility. In 1992, he attended the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board at St. George’s School, Mr. Cruickshank is also Chair of the Board of Directors of Corpus Christi and St Mark’s Colleges, a member of the Board of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and an advisory board member of both AfterCAD Software Inc. and Nutri-Loc, two early stage technology companies. Mr. Cruickshank is married, has nine children , including Jeffrey '92, Gregory '94, Joseph '00, Jamie '07, and Matthew '12, four grandchildren, and is an active community advocate. He supports numerous charitable agencies and coaching athletics.
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The Chairman gets in the Spirit of Arts Week at the Junior School.
What does it mean to you to be Chairman of St. George's School? St George's has been a part of our family for over 20 years. I enjoy being part of what my children are involved in and so it has been a natural progression of engagement for me. For the benefit of our readers, what is your role as Chairman and what is the role of the Board as a whole? The role of the Board as a whole is to: 1. Hire and steward the Headmaster, 2. With the Headmaster and his team, develop and assist in the delivery of a Strategic Plan for the School, 3. Show leadership in the area of fundraising to support the delivery of the Strategic Plan, 4. Ensure that there are processes, procedures, structure, and reporting that provide the Board with the visibility it needs to perform its fiduciary duties. You were involved in the development of our most recent Strategic Plan. What do you see as the key goals of this plan? First, I would encourage anyone who hasn't read the document to read it. There was a great deal of work done in advance of the Plan to gather input from a broad range of constituencies. There has also been significant progress towards delivering on the Plan and we will, in the near future, be developing a Plan for the next five years.
With respect to the key goals, I think all of the goals are important as are the mission and educational philosophy stated in the Plan. Having said that, I believe maintaining the concept of developing the well-rounded boy is something we never want to lose sight of. That is why it is stated both in our educational philosophy and appears as one of our goals. Finally, I would stress the need to keep St. George's in mind with respect to charitable giving. Our fees only cover the operation of the School. The facilities that our boys enjoy only exist through the generous support of our parents, past parents, Georgians, and friends of the School. This Plan and the success of future Plans will be dependent on continued generosity. As someone who has been intimately involved in the world of technology, what new technological developments do you see as opportunities for the School? What I know is that anything I mention could be obsolete by the time this goes to print. Seriously, I think this is one of the major focuses for the next Strategic Plan. If we don't plan with respect to the role of technology in the School then technology will drive us. In other words, we can't avoid it, so we are best to get in front of it. That has implications for the Board, the faculty, the staff, the students, and the parents. Done well it can be yet another differentiating factor of why people choose St. George's.
The theme of this current issue of The Dragon is the Arts. How important are the Arts to you as Chairman of the School? What I have always enjoyed about St George's is the variety and quality of the opportunities it provides for the boys. You can pursue anything you wish and whatever that might be is okay. This certainly wasn't the case in my school experience. Sometimes those who pursued certain subjects and, even worse, did well at them were persecuted. I have always enjoyed the Arts events at the School and we have been fortunate enough to have a couple of our boys distinguish themselves in aspects of the Arts. Do you have any personal objectives during term as Chairman? I have mentioned that we will soon be developing the next Strategic Plan so the work associated with that and its delivery will certainly be one of my objectives as will completing on the current Plan. Another objective is ensuring the continued population of the Board and the various roles within the Board to continue the growth of the School. Furthermore, to increase our fundraising efforts, thereby enabling us to add greatly to everyone's life at the School by building and maintaining our facilities. Finally, to increase our endowment fund to allow us to offer the St. George's opportunity to those who may benefit from our programs, yet otherwise could not afford it.
Spring 2008 â€˘ 7
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
Brian Harries, Grade 12, â€œRocks", Acrylic on Canvas
It was mid week, in the middle of the afternoon, and with the active pace of the school week reaching a crescendo, I decided that I might try my hand at throwing some clay on the pottery wheel to relax. Although
making clay moulds with handbuilding techniques, I am not particularly experienced enough to produce pottery. My first recorded attempt resulted in a Jackson Pollock themed design of mud thrown against the wall. Although I felt the design had true artistic merit, the maintenance staff did not share my enthusiasm.
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Art DEFINING WHO WE ARE
by Mark Sauer, Senior Schol Art Teacher
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
caught myself humming a nursery rhyme as if to soothe a sick child to health. The situation was nearing a total disaster as my pot was starting to wobble—the very act of which was making me feel nauseated. I turned, and as luck would have it, Rob Stickney had returned from lunch. With 27 some years of teaching Ceramics under his belt, I assumed that he would be able to guide me through my sudden artistic crisis. However, he offered the services of Tim Stockton, a Grade 12 student, who had followed him to the Ceramics Studio. True to Rob’s impish sense of humour, he gave Tim the option of serving a detention or assisting me. Thankfully, Tim chose the latter, to help me out.
Mark Sauer’s teapot fails to take shape, as his Arts students relish the moment
Undaunted, I returned to the scene of the crime determined to master a “new” Art, both intimidating and exciting to me. As luck would have it, there was no one around the studio at this time, so, I collected my materials and sat at my work station and prepared to make what I hoped would amount to the mother of all coffee mugs. I took a minute to look around and was in awe of the many pots, bowls, and vases that adorned the boys’ shelves. I was momentarily intimidated by their flawless structure and design, but my initial hesitation turned to confidence as I began the arduous process of centring my clay— a skill that can at times require the full strength of a Bulgarian shot putter. With personal satisfaction, I began to form my cylinder, feeling quite assured that this mug would prove itself spectacular. It was not long before things started to go horribly wrong. My walls were not thinning out. My rim was starting to dip and sag. All at once I was confronted with the reality that my envisioned masterpiece may be reduced to nothing more than a heap of earthen muck! I refused to let my pot wilt and die and so I continued to use my hands, clumsily caressing the clay, in the hope that it might conform to my will.
Tim and I had known each other for some time and I am pleased that he seemed mildly interested in saving my pot from certain catastrophe and me from utter humiliation. Five years ago, Tim was a Grade 7 student at the Junior School where I served as his English teacher, homeroom advisor, and art instructor. Tim is no longer a little kid. In fact, he like many other of my former students, has grown both in stature and in mind. As Tim took a seat next to me and guided me with words of encouragement and technical savvy, I suddenly became more confident to regain my credibility as a potter. From the corner of the room I saw Rob smile at our mutual accomplishment. Even with his vast experience of teaching, he still takes pride in his students’ accomplishments—regardless of their age! Alas, our momentary satisfaction was short lived as my pot collapsed and gave in to the force of gravity. This mug was never meant to be. As I removed my clay slab from the wheel, Tim and I took this opportunity to chat. I reflected on those many years ago when our roles were reversed and I sat patiently next to him attempting to teach the art of crafting eloquent and fluid sentences at a time when he was encountering difficulties. Time is the great equalizer. Tim was no longer that small child. He was about to embark on his future life away from Saints. As a future Georgian, he has already paid back a small debt to the School by introducing me, a new student, to the potter’s guild.
St. George’s is not your average school. If its academic and athletic programs are distinguished as the heart of the School, then one could argue that the Arts are its soul. When many schools have made significant budget cuts to their Fine Arts programs, St. George’s has made a noted effort to continue with its investment. Funding becomes a priority and engaging the inner artist in the students is seen as an essential component to creating the allround boy. From Painting to Pottery, Printmaking to Classical Animation, or Digital Photography to pastel cats, St. George’s School has maintained a rich tradition of fostering the Arts. Over the course of the last few decades, many of the finest post-secondary Visual Arts institutions in Canada and abroad have coveted our students. Their success is a victory for the School and as the graduating student seeks to engage in new artistic frontiers, he must and should take a moment to embrace the road that got him there. At Saints, a student’s journey begins early at the junior levels, where Art becomes an integral part of the grade school curriculum, thus allowing all students to achieve success in their own special artistic ability. It is a chaotic time in a young artist’s career, where exploration of materials and ideas are often marred by the frustrations of spilled paint, broken clay, or the ingestion of glue. Nothing is greater than watching a young child create at this stage of his life; his innocence and playfulness splashed out for all to see on the virtual canvas. Creativity can be expressed in many ways and I remember a young boy in Grade 2, who thought that chalk pastel looked better on him than on the paper, the very sight of him causing me to erupt in laughter. Art becomes an elective by the time the boys arrive at the senior levels and the majority of students remain captivated by the program. For the select few who make it a central part of their timetable, the Art Department becomes a second home, a bastion of creative and spiritual exploration, where boys are often encouraged to reach far beyond their comfort zone and, at times, fail in order to succeed. For the most part, the students who pursue Visual Arts as a career “see” in a very unique way and conceptualize the world rarely in black or white, but through kaleidoscopic glasses. Theirs is a very special calling. There seems to be something for everyone in the world of Art and, although there have been more than a fair share of people who profess that they “cannot draw to save their life”, the truth of the matter is, that
The School motto, Without Fear or Favour, did not apply to me at that moment as I was both fearful and in need of merciful help. I was so desperate to succeed that I Brian O’Connor, Director of Visual Arts
Spring 2008 • 9
some way or another touched by the passionate approach Nan fostered in bolstering the credibility and integrity of the Art Department over her 22 years at the School. Her replacement, Brian O’Connor, shares her fervent love of the Visual Arts and continues to champion the creative capacity in all students. The 2D Art Department is an amazing place to work, enhanced by the passionate approach taken by teachers like Brian, Santhe, and Tim Varro; teachers whose skill set, dedication, and love of the Arts trickles down to the boys in their charge. Personally, as a man who has grappled with my own self-prescribed attention deficit disorder, the art room is a place where I can channel my abundant energy into facilitating a joy of learning in the students I teach.
Colleen Busby, Junior School Art Teacher
anyone can draw, paint, design, or create. Much like training for a professional trade or practised skill, becoming an artist involves hard work and some come to it more naturally than others. Those who engage in the Visual Arts become richer for the experience and recent studies have shown that students who participate in Art in some of its many forms score relatively higher in critical thinking—a skill deemed crucial in today’s multi-faceted and complex world. Similarly, students who participate in art learn “the meaning of joy of work—work done to the best of one’s ability, for its own sake, for the satisfaction of a job well done.” Although work done in the field of the Visual Arts is awarded a grade, most Art students see past the final destination of a mark and gauge the success of their project on its personal fulfillment. Unlike
WHAT IS A RIGG SCHOLARSHIP? The Rigg scholarship is presented annually to a select few arts students in their 11th year who have demonstrated leadership skills, possess technical prowess in their artistic field, and have demonstrated a love and passion for the Arts. The scholarship is generously supported by the Rigg family whose son, Philip (1958–1974) created significant work in the Fine Arts while a student at St. George’s. His pottery was some of the finest done in the School and, as with his painting and drawing, was of quality such that future recipients of a Rigg Scholarship could consider such recognition of their work an honour indeed.
10 • The Dragon
many other fields of study, Art has a visible conclusion. It is this intrinsic aspect of the Arts that makes teaching it so rewarding. I became a part of the Saints’ Visual Arts community in 2001, hired fresh out of teacher’s college to replace Colleen Busby temporarily. Before even meeting her, I was astonished by the collection of work that Ms. Busby had assembled over the course of her 25 years teaching. As I gazed through her collection of students’ work, what I assumed were works completed by boys in Grade 4 were actually pieces produced by Grade 2s: Van Gogh Sunflowers, Picasso-styled Cubist Cats, Matisse Collages. These were not merely time-filler projects. These were astonishing works of Art! Upon her return, I was suddenly thrust into the role of the eager student and was amazed at how Colleen so effortlessly engaged the students to explore the spirit of their inner artist. In seeing the passion Colleen went through to develop projects, I realized that I was not going to get by on my innate skill alone. I learned to see Art everywhere, in its many forms, and eventually began to develop a newly found passion for creating and viewing Art. After working at the Junior School for the better part of five years, I was encouraged to pursue a one-year position at the Senior School, subbing for Santhe LeBlanc. There had been many recent changes at the senior level beginning with Nan Oliver’s retirement the year before. She had led two decades of Art development at St. George’s. There are very few Georgians who can say that their lives were not in
Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking are just some of the areas explored in the 2D Department and inspiration for work is often unconventional—a song, a sight, a thought—all combine to arouse a student’s creative energy. Although despised by my ageing ears, Rap Music echoes throughout the classroom. Energetic banter accompanies engaged work, and Brian O’Connor’s cheery disposition serves as a model for the students and co-workers. Perhaps most importantly, under his guidance, the Art Department strives to expose the students to a wide range of human values and concerns. In a world inundated daily with images of the human experience, the Visual Arts endeavour to engage the student to perceive these images—good or bad—with a critical eye; to see how art can express the highest ambitions of the human spirit. As these boys progress along toward their graduating year and beyond, their work takes on a new dynamic—much like watching a flower blossom in slow motion
Ian White, Grade 12 Ceramic
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
Kyba, Lynette Dian, and Rob Stickney, the boys are inspired to learn the skills of the potter, starting from the basics in Grade 8 to the more complicated techniques presented to the Grads. Clay work proceeds in a regular sequence. It is usually bisque-fired when bone dry and glazefired after bisque firing. This process can take up to two weeks. Planning becomes critical. Understanding the rhythm and timing of the studio is important. Being aware of posted firing times and becoming responsible for the flow of work through the cycle are essential skills and students learn quickly. There are no lastminute pots; pots cannot be completed overnight. Time management becomes an important skill. Our two kilns, both computer controlled, fire an average of twice per week. Thousands of pots move through the studio and up to 60 students use the studio on a daily basis.
JJ Tsang, Grade 12 "Gramps" Acrylic on Canvas
until the process reaches its dramatic and inspiring culmination. It is in these later years when students push to develop their work into structured portfolios, which define who they have become as men. A Rigg Scholarship, awarded annually by grants from the Saints’ community, is the most coveted of all the Fine Arts awards, given to those students whose work displays outstanding vision and professionalism. The award honours Philip Rigg (1958–1974), a student of considerable merit, whose athletic and academic excellence was second only to the brilliance that dominated his work in the Fine Arts. The Senior School Art Program is a diverse road map of eclectic study. Here each student can find something that appeals to him. For those students whose tactile nature determines their skill, the Ceramics Studio with its 15 pottery wheels, two kilns, and abundance of clay forms and glazes, is consistently abuzz with student activity. As formers and potters, students face palpable challenges when they use their hands, their arms, and, at times, their whole bodies to create unique and personal threedimensional works of Art. Ceramics is a study of exploration, of challenging oneself to push the limits of your creativity to produce wondrous works of Art, or to watch helplessly as what once had the potential to be great is reduced to nothing more than earthen muck. It is a story with which I am all too familiar. But with failure comes mastery and students continue to work, wedge, and weave their creations as a form of personal expression. Under the tutelage of Markian
Students learn to think ahead and they learn to take responsibility for their work as it goes through the various stages to becoming a finished piece. Deadlines do still have to be met. Students in Ceramics have had their work displayed in local galleries, in community shows, and most recently on Granville Island. The St. George’s Art Studios regularly host Ceramic and 2D artists visiting from the larger Arts community, who demonstrate their skills to students. They share techniques, processes and a generosity of spirit, which filter down to all the students using the studio. In both the 2D and 3D media we have had the privilege of securing professional artists to showcase their talents to the students. People like Tam Irving, Kinichi Shigeno, Aaron Nelson, Sam Kwan, Bob Kingsmill, Rachelle Chinnery, Gillian MacMillan, Gailan Ngan, Nick Lepard, Melissa Waddell, Ted Harrison, and D’Arcy Margesson have come in and shared their insights and particular talents with students and staff. Yet, with all their devotion to the traditional study of Art, the St. George’s Art Department is firmly entrenched in exposing the Visual Arts to new and unique possibilities. Technology cannot be ignored and although most students need a solid understanding of the conventional method of artistic application, computergenerated art is rapidly becoming a dominant force in society. Brenton Wilke, a classical animator, who worked for the Walt Disney studios, has become the cornerstone of the St. George’s Media Arts program. His skill set offers a wide range of unique study including still-frame animation, Photoshop image manipulation, computer-generated graphic design, and various forms of technical media manipulation. With the assistance
and support of the Information Technology Department and Fred Alexander, Saints has always been on the cutting edge of technology’s integration with the Visual Arts. Over the years the School has been outfitted with an up-to-date Mac Lab, cutting-edge software, and most recently high-tech art tablets, which transform what the student draws directly on to the computer screen (see Cintiq on Page 12). Students are also educated in the study of architecture and forms. At the Junior level, Christina Mears, an accomplished and exhibited artist in her own right, has utilized the Vancouver Museum to incorporate the Media Arts as her Grade 7 class will undertake an ambitious project this term, resulting in an eight-minute stop-motion cut-out animation, based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. After its completion in the spring there will be a screening, followed by entries into international children’s film festivals. Exposing the students to these types of activities truly places St. George’s School in a league of its own. Over the years, the Saints’ Art Department has strived to expand experiences and opportunities using various forms of
CAMERON IAN MACLEOD '76 The late Cameron Macleod '76 was the recipient of the first Rigg Scholarship in 1976. Every once in a rare while one is confronted with an aspiring young artist who is charged with such passionate dreams and has evidence of such genuine vision, though as yet chaotic and unfocused yet so fraught with unusual promise, and yet who is so distressingly fragile in his own psychic uncertainties, that he compels one's compassion by the very precariousness of his potential self-realization: such a young artist was Cameron MacLeod. Whatever he was, whatever his body of accomplishment finally amounts to, his is a fascinating record of a promising young artist of our time who, because of unknown, unbearable stresses, went under. He stands with the young Romantics as a poignant example of a singular talent fighting for a recognizable direction. And as such, an exhibition of his promise is a memento mori of both a personality and a period. (extract from an essay by Jack Shadbolt, May 1987)
Spring 2008 • 11
activities, both within the classroom and on ventures outside. The first public exhibitions of student art took place in Oakridge Centre and at Sinclair Place in partnership with Crofton House and York House Schools. The joint displays were very warmly and enthusiastically received by the public and also provided professional connections among the participating schools. The Senior School has been involved with many small galleries allowing student work to be displayed throughout the community. In recent years, the Junior School partnered with the Omega Gallery on Dunbar Street. This popular exhibition took the form of a year-end event for selected young artists. Students’ work, professionally matted and framed, was put on show over the course of two weeks and being selected became a great honour to those participating students. The Dunbar Library has also offered its walls for annual displays, which have proven to be highly regarded. The most recent addition to the Junior Art Department’s gallery space is a large wall at Kokopelli Café, where patrons can appreciate the creativity of our students over a cup of coffee! Looking back on my past seven years at Saints, I realize I too am still a student and will always remain one. Visual Art is endless in its capacity to explore new ideas. Every day, I see something different on a canvas, in a pot, in an idea, and the very act of working with the students on their projects allows me a great deal of personal growth. One of my favourite activities is working with the Grade 12 class in the Ceramic Studio. Their repartee is addictive, their discussions reflective of bright young men, but men who have yet to be thrust into the complexities of the real world. Somehow it is comforting to know that under the veneer of their manly guises exist imaginative and playful young boys. It forces me to remember the delicate nature of working with young people and the importance of always encouraging them in the pursuits of their dreams, always reminding them that in daring to dream, anything may be accomplished. Chris Lee, Grade 12, Digital Painting
WHAT IS CINTIQ 21UX? Cintiq is a unique technology that combines a special pen with pixel-level accuracy and a smooth-edge LCD screen that can rotate 180 degrees in each direction. It allows users to draw as they would with pencil and paper, but offers the ability to manipulate colour, texture, effects, and filters. Brenton Wilke, Teacher of Animation and Graphic Design. 12 • The Dragon
SUPPORTING OUR ARTS Joe Kim-Suzuki, Grade 11, Photograph
St George's School is a hugely important institution in all of our lives. Contributions made over the years have made a significant difference to the lives of generations of boys. Looking to the future, we hope you will once again join us in meeting a new and important challenge. St George's School is intent on building a collection of contemporary and Modern Art. Such a collection would be an indispensable educational resource for the community, enriching lives of many and helping to educate future generations. The goal of Modern Art education is very different than old persisting stereotypes would have us believe. We aspire to a more comprehensive approach, which includes learning the creative process, Art history, Criticism, and Aesthetics. All of these elements involve teaching our boys how to think in order to solve problems. Art education does not make us smarter, but does make us able to consider problems more objectively, make better decisions, become sensitive and thoughtful, and broaden our creativeness and individual satisfaction. These are valuable skills and ones we should nurture whenever possible. They can go a long way towards making us successful in our adult lives. It is our aspiration to build a collection and gallery at St George's School, that will befit a school of our stature and serve as both a teaching resource and source of inspiration for all who walk the halls. This is a long-term aspiration, but we are committed to the impact and benefits that will result, including an enduring legacy for St George's School and the wider community. HOW CAN YOU HELP? • Make a gift to the Fine Arts Endowment Fund, which will assist in collections acquisition, gallery tours, and hosting artists-in-residence. • Give the gift of Art itself. We will accept pieces of art that fit our collections policy (for more information contact Mr. Brian O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org) and with an appropriate appraisal, you are eligible for a tax credit for your gift. • Plan ahead. You can support the St. George's Gallery by making the School a beneficiary in your will or through a number of other taxeffective ways. If you are interested in making a future gift to St. George's, please contact in confidence: Don Livingston Chief Advancement Officer Telephone: 604.221.3883 email: email@example.com
Jared Braverman, Grade 11, Photograph
Spring 2008 • 13
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
Over the past decades, the growth of the Music Department at both the Junior and Senior Campuses has been innovative and progressive. Yet, all the developments and initiatives have remained steadfast in keeping our past directions alive and well, with the student remaining at the focus of why we are here. THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT AT ST. GEORGE’S SCHOOL
PROGRESS & TRADITION
by Marko Rnic Head of Music, Director of Bands
14 • The Dragon
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
The Junior School has seen phenomenal advancement in both facilities and personnel. In the past ten years, "concert band" has progressed from an early morning activity, which originally began with an interested group of 23 boys, to a full-time curricular program involving all students in Grades 5, 6, and 7. Some 20 years ago, the Music Room was in Room 212, located on the main floor next to the Chapel. With the growth of the School, it was relocated to the first floor science lab/multi-purpose room, and then to its current location, which was originally the stage at the end of the Blackmore Gym. In its "clubs" and "early morning" days, the band was taught by Mr. Armstrong and me and classroom music and the choir were taught by Mr. Ryan. With the passage of time, Mr. Robson and Mr. Crompton also joined us to work with Junior School students. Under the guidance of Mr. Greg Devenish, Junior School Principal, "band" made the transition to a regular timetabled course over a period of three years.
With the completion of the new music room, the suite of practice rooms, the instruments storage area, and the new music office nine years ago, St. George's was fortunate to be able to hire Mr. Rob Murray, with whom I worked to develop a remarkable Grade 5 instrumental program. Furthermore, we implemented a traditional concert band format for all students at the Grade 6 and 7 levels. With the increasing complexity of the school timetable at both the Junior and Senior campuses, Mr. Crompton and I gradually shifted our focus to the Senior School and Mr. Murray was joined by Mrs. Mary Backun. Together, they refined and developed their methodology and curriculum and raised music to new heights. St. George's Junior School is one of the very few schools in Canada, where all students have an enriched performancebased music education, with all boys taking part in concert bands, choirs, small ensembles, and musicals.
Almost three decades ago, the Senior School's Music Program consisted of concert band, "stage band", and some choir. Momentum started to build with Mr. Fred Gass' work with the Senior Stage Band. In those days, this precursor to the Jazz Ensemble rehearsed as an afterschool club and the concert bands rehearsed during specially created long lunch hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mr. Kevin Armstrong and Mr. Bob Bricker both played a major role in the development of the department and focused on refining and bringing "to the fore" the fundamental importance of the concert band. When I first joined the department 20 years ago, the Music Program worked from a single small room which, after three renovations, has evolved into the Upper Music Room. Our bands, in those days, did quite well at local festivals, and began to appear on the National stage. The late 1980s also saw Messrs Armstrong,
The Senior Concert Band perfomring in the Farquhar Auditorium at the University of Victoria
Marko Rnic, Head of Music Director of Bands.
Marc Crompton Senior School Music
Rob Murray Junior School Music
Mary Backun Junior School Music
Wakeham, and I accompanying 35 students on the very first European Band Tour travelling during the spring break in March. During Mr. Gordon Atkinson's time as headmaster, a new larger and better equipped music room was constructed along with five dedicated practice rooms. Mr. Robson followed Mr. Armstrong for two years before departing for Vancouver Island. In 1992, when Mr. Crompton joined the team, he spearheaded the Music AP program, the development of the Midilab, and brought the jazz program to new heights. In the years since Mr. Nigel Toy has been Headmaster, all five bands at the Senior School have increased both in size and quality. The Senior Concert Band expanded to a record 122 members and the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band became integral parts of the Program. Many initiatives, such as the "Musician in Residence" program, the "Guest Soloist" program, and the Concerto Competition for Grade 12s became well established. With the renovation and increased floor space of both the Lower Music Room and the Auditorium, the Music Program has matured and flourished beyond expectations. Any former music student returning to visit would most likely remark on how much has changed. He would see that each of our ensembles now perform at the National level, with our seniors consistently earning gold ratings at the highest levels of competition. Tours occur on a cyclical basis, with our students performing regularly in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, USA, Australia, and New Zealand. The finest of Canada's conductors and performers have come to the School for weeks at a time to teach and perform with our ensembles. However, beyond the new rooms and fine equipment, he may notice that the spirit and essence of the program has remained unchanged.
Dr. Gerald King from the University of Victoria leading a Master Class at the Victoria Conservatory of Music 16 â€˘ The Dragon
Music is so much more than the notes which you see printed or the technique used to play an instrument. Lessons and experiences are constructed to lead the student into the world of inspiration and creativity. They also teach of hard work, dedication, and perseverance which help to forge the strongest of characters and develop the ability to rely upon oneself. Kindness, thoughtfulness, and humour are the threads woven throughout classes and rehearsals to link the lessons together. Through the study of music, we remain steadfast in helping each boy gain a greater understanding of himself and appreciation of what it is to be human.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
Rob Stickney A TRIBUTE TO
by Nan Oliver, Former Head of Art Department I'd like to start today with a story. About 20 years ago there was a fire in the Upper Art Room. A member of the general public had been upset with three Saints’ students, who were blocking the sidewalk on Dunbar and he had decided that the best way to express his anger was to set fire to the School. There was little security in those days and having entered the Art area at night, he found a can of solvent, doused the room, and lit a match. The fire was limited to the Upper and Lower Art rooms, but Mr. Stickney and I were forced to count on the generosity of others for the rest of the term and transfer all of our classes to the Library. The change was surprisingly seamless. Classes proceeded almost as normal and all obstacles were easily overcome. I tell this story, because it illustrates Mr. Stickney's adaptability and willingness to work with others towards a common goal. He can see the big picture, never worrying about his
A copy of Nan Oliver’s Retirement Tribute to Rob Stickney, who retires from the Art Department after 27 years of service.
own space and always concerned with the good of the whole department. Rob and I worked together for over 25 years and from the very first day, I knew that he was a special person. He's not just a master potter and Ceramics teacher; he's also exceptionally knowledgeable about many other aspects of visual expression. During our term in the Library, clay could obviously not be used, but Rob had little difficulty adapting his classes to teach Water-colour Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking instead. We worked together to provide the best possible instruction under difficult circumstances and Rob showed me that two can be stronger than one. From projects as diverse as European Art tours and designing the new Art Room, to writing curriculum and preparing for major exhibitions, our shared ideas and mutual support always seemed to solve even the most daunting problems. On those rare occasions when one of us had to go at it alone, Rob was able to do this without flinching. Once when we were on an Art tour in Venice, our guide had organized a gondola trip for the group. Several of our more observant students were already wondering about the link between the money we were paying the guide and his extensive collection of designer leather jackets. When they discovered that we were being charged twice the going rate for the gondola trip, my response was to panic. Rob, on the other hand, calmly clicked into gear, and within 15 minutes, the money had been returned.
In his own quiet way, Rob has always been a totally committed supporter of St. George's. He oversaw after-school swimming for many years, played softball as often as he could, showing amazing skill in the field, chaperoned dances, helped to provide the Hamper Drive breakfasts, volunteered for School Fair setup, and in all ways, showed the qualities of a true “Saint”. These qualities were never more evident than when he was trying to teach me to type! Of course Rob's greatest love at the School is his classroom, the Ceramics Studio. His patience and compassionate approach made it possible for him to pass on much of his encyclopedic knowledge to his students. One only has to look at the results to realize that Rob is a truly gifted teacher. This year, the Grade 12 Ceramics students have been invited to exhibit their work at the BC Potters' Guild on Granville Island and this is a first for any local high school. The exhibition opens in May. Rob is also a constant learner, taking courses whenever he can, and this has helped him to bring fresh ideas to his classroom on a regular basis. I've been retired for almost two years now and I've had plenty of time to reflect on my working years at St. George's. I always come back to the realization that working with Rob was truly a blessing. He was a wonderful mentor for me in so many ways and his gentle presence is part of all the special memories I have of the Art Department. I wish him every happiness in the next stage of his voyage of artistic discovery!
Spring 2008 • 17
Alive & Well
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
THEATRE ARTS AT SAINTS
by Ed Mortimer, Director of Theatre Arts
A Scene from Frankenstein 18 â€˘ The Dragon
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
Theatre Arts at Saints continues the traditions of excellence so characteristic of our School. The program is energetic and exciting and includes all grade levels. Altogether, we have five exceptional productions planned or already presented this year. We take pride in including as many aspects and talents of other departments to provide many opportunities to all students to excel and experience the joy of team work so necessary in the field of Theatre Arts. The fall season opened with a stunning production of My Fair Lady, directed by Mr. Luke Fredeman. With a cast of 40, a full orchestra, and a large supporting crew, the show entertained more than 1,100 patrons over five nights. My Fair Lady provided a renewal opportunity for Saints’ Players. Its large cast, full orchestra, and challenges for the technical crew offered our students, the girls in the cast, and the community, an opportunity to bind the artistic energy and love of Theatre Arts we find throughout the School.
In January, the Middle School theatre presented Cheaper by the Dozen as its play. It was well attended and acclaimed. Many new faces were introduced to the Saints’ Players audience and we look forward to watching these fine young actors mature and continue their theatrical careers at the Senior School. A dark but intelligent production of Frankenstein rounded out the senior calendar. Ms. Jacobs’ direction took the senior actors on a difficult but rewarding journey, culminating in a fascinating and rewarding production of Mary Shelley’s classic story of the dangers of Man playing God. The department welcomed two new faces to the department this year. Robert Wisden teaches part time in the Senior School and directed the Middle School production of Cheaper by The Dozen. His passion for the theatre inspired a very young cast to reach deep to perform this touching story with maturity and skill. Mr. Wisden brings 25 years of professional acting experience to his classes and production work and he is excited to work with Mr. Fredeman to expand the curricular Drama experience for Saints’ boys. Nicole Griffeth teaches most of the Drama classes in the Junior School and is directing the projected production of Robin Hood, playing on May 29 and 30. Ms. Griffeth has cast this musical show with students from Grades 4 to 7. She fits in well with the creative team at Saints and has been integral to the success of My Fair Lady, working with Heather Wilke on the choreography. The Primary Department (Grades 1 to 3) has been presenting a musical review each spring. Saints’ Players will incorporate this show into the company, to provide support for the production, and
A Scene from Cheaper by the Dozen
Spring 2008 • 19
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
Ed Mortimer, Director of Theatre Arts
Hayley Jacobs, Stage Director
Tim Varro, Senior School Technical Theatre Arts
thereby involve every grade level at the School in Theatre Arts. Theatre Arts has enjoyed the collaboration of other departments to facilitate and perfect a united production. Examples of this collaboration range from teaching assignments shared between the departments, to the integration of various aspects of each production. The Visual Arts department has assisted with the posters, the scenic work, and some properties used in the plays. The Music department has been instrumental (no pun intended) in the preparation and presentation of the three musical shows this year. The Technical Theatre students have provided video presentations for the Fair, for Arts Week, and for other School events, coordinated and directed by
20 â€˘ The Dragon
Luke Fredeman Stage Director
Nicole Griffeth, Junior School Theatre Arts
Mr. Tim Varro. Our students record music performances and provide valuable technical support for Contemporary Music Night, Tunes for our Times, and other concerts. Mr. Varro teaches not only technical theatre, but also Visual Arts and works in Harker Hall Residences. The Theatre Arts department now has a renovated and wellequipped, state-of-the art performance space. We have an Arts community within the School, with whom we work closely, and new faculty members with fresh approaches and new ideas. Moreover, we have vibrant, skilled, and enthusiastic students. It is easy to maintain an optimistic perspective for many future productions and it is my privilege to be the Director of this fine department.
A Scene from You Canâ€™t Take It With You
SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS
It is surprising how much Latin lurks in everyday speech. If you have ever exhorted someone with “carpe diem” or taken advantage of “habeas corpus”, if you have ever been caught “in flagrante delicto”, asked if there is a “quorum” and then adjourned “sine die”, if you have ever told a person “ad nauseam” to hold his tongue or spoken “sub rosa”, you were speaking the ancient and still widely studied Latin language.
Seize the day in Latin at Saints
Charlie Turton at the Junior Classical League (Roosevelt HIgh School, Seattle)
Western Canada’s foremost high school Latin Program
By Catherine Mori, Latin Teacher
Apart from the obvious academic pursuits, our Latin department promotes various co-curricular activities such as participating in North America-wide competitions (the National Latin Exam, the National Greek Exam, the National Mythology Exam, and the Medusa Mythology Exam) and conferences (the Junior Classical League), all of which are sponsored by the American Classical League. Over 135,000 students throughout the world wrote the NLE last year alone. Students who maintain a high “A” average are enrolled in the National Junior Classical League Honour Society, receiving a special certificate and pin. The Classical Association of Canada, our Canadian organization, also promotes the High School Sight Latin Translation Competition every year, with entrants from Francophone as well as Anglophone schools. The Greek club meets at lunch times, where numbers are sufficient.
By Catherine Mori, Language and Debating Coach
At St. George’s School, the ancient tradition of inculcating classical Latin is still strong. Our program, the only complete one of its kind in Western Canada, spans Latin 8 to an accelerated 11/12 and culminates in the Advanced Placement Latin Literature course in the students’ final year. Probably no other high school in the Province provides its students with the opportunity to master the Latin language to such a degree that they can read original classical literature (written 2,000 years ago) within three years of starting. The most that any other school will offer is literature in translation.
This year’s debating club participated enthusiastically in the usual number of debates: from Newman–FISA to UBC, Regionals, and Provincials. There were also numerous small invitationals geared towards training the novices. At the end of April, a new event involving a whirlwind trip to Phillips Academy, Andover, completed the debating season this year. Invited by former student Paul Hsiao to compete in a mock trial, we gladly took up the challenge. The team took advantage of our stay in the Boston area, visiting the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, taking a Duck Tour, attending the opera (the Abduction from the Seraglio) and touring Harvard with former World’s debating champion Adam Goldenberg '04. The actual trial itself was a fine exercise in debate since it melded debaters’ practical skills with legal theory. Our novice lawyers defended their client most skilfully against a seasoned team of Seniors but in the judgment of the Massachusetts Superior Court judge we lost by three points. Nevertheless, our youngest debater, Grade 9 student Francis Dowlatabadi was awarded “best performance” and won a commemorative gavel. Our hopes are that mock trial will become a regular event in our future calendar. Back row: Eric Cheng, Steven Cheng, Morris Choy, Catherine Mori Front row: Francis Dowlatabadi, Robert Patterson, Tony Goo
This year, our students revived the custom of visiting advanced Latin classes at UBC, through the kindness of the Classical and Near Eastern Studies Department. Professors from Western Washington University also visited us to give a workshop in conversational Latin, a challenge our students readily took up!
lingua Latina in schola Sancti Georgi semper vivit, sine timore aut favore! Spring 2008 • 21
A PROFILE OF SOME OF THE UNIQUE ARTS PROGRAMS AT SAINTS
22 • The Dragon
BY BRENTON WILKE
MEDIA ARTS The Media Arts program at Saints reflects a dynamic and stimulating approach to aesthetics within the Visual Arts Department. It is considered to be yet another tool within the vast range of creative processes available to students. Crossdisciplinary explorations and multi-media works of art combining traditional techniques such as acrylic painting and digital manipulation are encouraged and are becoming more the norm. Nothing summarizes this more effectively than the exciting new addition to the Mac Lab—the Wacom Cintiq (see separate description on Page 12). Media Arts is first introduced in Grade 9 in the form of classical animation and graphic design. The animation course, which is traditional in approach, allows students to focus on the principles
by using a peg bar, pencil, and paper. The drawings are then shot individually with a live digital video camera and sequenced frame by frame using istopmotion and Final Cut Pro. Photoshop becomes part of the student’s visual vocabulary in the new graphic design course. The senior Media Arts courses are offered to students in Grades 10, 11, and 12. These courses are based on the processes and content areas of the visual arts curriculum and provide an overview of animation, film/digital video, graphic design, and digital photography. With extensive use of Final Cut Pro, PhotoShop, and Illustrator, students learn the technical and fundamental aspects of image creation.
Spring 2008 • 23
BY ERIC STEWART (BC Coordination for the past 19 years)
REACH FOR THE TOP — SCHOOLREACH From the television ashes of the old 1980’s game show, Reach for the Top, St. George's School embarked on a new challenge: the question pack subscription program called Schoolreach. The St. George's School juggernaut has produced 15 Provincial titles in the past 20 years, including a 2004 National Championship team. Our junior teams have enjoyed equal success with similar numbers since the early 1990s and are the present BC Champs. Since 2000, St. George's Senior School teams have placed in the top three nationally a total of five times; a feat unmatched by any school in the country. Here's to the titans of trivia!
24 • The Dragon
BY HAYLEY JACOBS
IMPROV! The Improv Club was created in 2006 with the goal of bringing a new Theatre Art form to St. George’s School. The style of improvisational theatre is a very popular yet little known method of acting. Actors are required to portray not only creative, original characters and unique ideas, but there is a certain demand for being able to tickle the funny bone as well. The Improv Club is an inclusive opportunity for students in Grades 8 to 12 to be able to come out one lunch hour a week and have a good time! The Improv team is made up of a group of eight senior boys who explore their comedic and stylistic talents in competition, namely in the Canadian Improv Games. In the past two years, the team has demonstrated great promise, captivated their audiences, and has impressed the judges. Improv has been a wonderful means of generating energy and laughter and the positive response from members and audience promises to maintain its popularity. Back Row: Nick Sehmer, Matt Landels, Matt Lloyd, Matt McFetridge, and Alex Rivers Front Row: Elvin Chang, Max Lloyd-Jones, Miggy Esteban The Opus artistic and literary magazine has been a long-standing studentdesigned publication, which began in 1991 with one edition being published annually. The publication enables the amalgamation of crosscurricular talents to include works from various artistic mediums and writing genres. The aim is to include pieces from students from Grades 8 to 12 to reflect an inclusive publication. The Opus is another wonderful tool for encouraging creativity and appreciation. This year’s edition of The Opus was financially supported by the Georgians.
BY HAYLEY JACOBS
Spring 2008 • 25
BY ALAN SHERMAN
DESTINATION IMAGINATION Destination Imagination, the world's largest non-profit creative problem solving program for youth in K to 12, helps young people learn valuable, higher-level skills and, at the same time, develop an increased level of selfconfidence. The program promotes creativity, team work, and critical thinking, while it exposes participants to budgeting, project management, research, script writing, and presenting. This year, DI celebrates 25 years of "thinking-outside-the-box". St George's will once again be competing in the Destination Imagination Globals tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee where over 1,000 teams from around the world will meet to present their solutions to five different challenges.
26 â€˘ The Dragon
Having a good time,
MR. STEWART? by Daryl Wakeham, Senior School Counselling Department
Eric has taught German, Spanish, and French for over 29 years. He will be fondly remembered for leading the Languages Department into poly-lingual excellence as its Department Head and by starting the School's Spanish language program. He later learned to speak Italian and then Portuguese, language skills which endeared him to our maintenance and kitchen staff. More importantly, he embodied the essence of a teacher of St. George's by becoming involved in all aspects of School life, be it in the form of academics, athletics, or extracurricular activities. Eric arrived at Saints during a time when the majority of the staff was British and had little or no idea of Canada's favourite sports. Stewart had played hockey. When he came to St. George’s, he was code-named "Howie", after Howie Meeker; and consequently took over the nascent hockey program. During his first 17 years at the School, he coached the Junior Team and managed the Senior Team, arranging fixtures, transportation, and tournaments. Indeed, his love for the sport is recognized in a trophy that bears his name for "The Most Enthusiastic Junior Player".
His quick retorts, effusive use of puns, often quirky and high-powered approach to languages, profuse use of music with accompanying physical movements, and maddening gesticulations, endeared Eric to many students. As well, his organization of Québec, Spanish, Mexican, French, and German exchanges ensured that Saints' boys, and many members of his staff, had opportunities to learn abroad. His commitment to pedagogy will be forever and fondly remembered.
Under Eric's mentorship, St. George's School won the Provincial title in Reach for the Top for 14 years out of 18 and the National title twice in 1991 and 2004. From 1982 to 1996, he also guided the teams to the BC Championship every year and the Western Canadian Championship three times in the Francophone version Génies en Herbes. As the Provincial Chairman, Eric promoted the competitions for over 19 years. The program originally involved the participation of only a handful of Vancouver schools. It has now grown to over 50 schools competing throughout the Province. As Public Service Coordinator, he led trips to Strathcona Park Lodge, with the Grade 10s and memorable year-end trips with Daddy Stancombe '62 and his Venturers.
Spring 2008 • 27
COMMUNITY SERVICES ABROAD
BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES SAINTS’ STUDENTS IN PERU
Tyler Holland proudly stands on the newly installed roof trusses.
28 • The Dragon
by Andrew Cliff '08, Head Boy
COMMUNITY SERVICES ABROAD
In December of 2007, a delegation of St. George’s volunteers embarked on an adventure to South America to try to better the lives of underprivileged children. The group consisted of 22 former Discovery 10 boys, now in Grades 11 and 12, two parent doctors, and three teachers. Our destination was Pumamarca, a town located high in the Andes, near Cuzco, Peru. Our mission was to build a school and aid in the education of the local children. OVERVIEW Heading into the trip many of us had no idea what to expect. We faced many challenges, but by the end we had achieved our goals. The school was built, classes were able to take place, and we had managed to provide medical attention for the whole community. Between stages of building the school, we had the opportunity to put our Discovery 10 skills to work, for example, hiking through the Andes at altitudes of 15,500 feet. After two weeks, not one of us returned the same; we had witnessed a degree of poverty and gained a connection with those plagued by it that deeply affected us all. PREPARATION The preparation for our trip to South America took over a year. The adventure would not have been possible without the commitment of the whole St. George’s community. Donations poured in from the Junior and Senior schools as well as the School Auxiliary, the Georgians, a local soccer club, and several local businesses. The financial support ranged from small to large, but it all made a difference. In total,
the sums of $24,000 in cash and over $6,000 in equipment and supplies were raised. Every student brought not only his personal equipment, but also a neatly organized, but massive hockey bag filled with supplies for the community. Four days worth of food had to be pre-made and packed for the hiking component of the trip along with stoves and tents for the whole group. Compiling the inventory, organizing, and packing of all this equipment began weeks in advance of the trip and was achieved by a dedicated team of parents, students, and even siblings! THE JOURNEY DOWN The group of 27 people and 54 checked bags departed YVR at 10:00 am on Boxing Day, 2007. Our journey to Cuzco involved three flights and a night in Lima, altogether taking over 30 hours. Arriving in Cuzco, we were awed by the beauty of the city, with its narrow, steep, cobbled roads lined with little shops and bistros. Everyone in the group enjoyed the day there acclimatizing to the altitude of 11,000 feet and getting to know the area.
Early the next day we departed from Cuzco, driving 45 minutes higher into the mountains to reach our destination, Pumamarca. Although it was a relatively short drive, it transported us to a different world, which was a world of severe poverty and hardship. PERU’S CHALLENGE It was imperative that we should find the right Non-Government Organization, or NGO, to work with in Peru. We wanted to be sure our efforts would effectively benefit the community with whom we were to be involved. Peru’s Challenge is a small NGO working in the areas around Cuzco. Jane Gavel, an Australian, and Selvy Ugaz, a Peruvian, founded Peru’s Challenge, in 2003. Their goal was to assist indigenous communities of Quechua origin. The organization works with volunteer travellers to improve the education, health, and hygiene standards in indigenous mountain villages. Within the Cuzco area, 75 per cent of the population lives in abject poverty and 60 per cent of its inhabitants have at least one unsatisfied basic need. Levels of education and literacy are worse
Spring 2008 • 29
Andrew Cliff, helping with construction.
than the Peruvian national average, with Cuzco being among the worst in the country with 18 per cent literacy. By working with communities, rather than for them, Peru’s Challenge is not only helping people, it is educating them how to help themselves. The NGO functions by working intensely in an area for two to four years and then phasing out its involvement, thereby leaving the community with sustainable improvements, starting with education and sanitation. PUMAMARCA Pumamarca is a small agricultural community located in the mountain region above Cuzco. The 400 inhabitants live in small mud-brick houses along several narrow dirt roads. They survive on their agricultural products—fresh flowers, maize, potatoes, and other vegetables, which they sell at local markets in Cuzco. In the village they farm small plots of land. To maximize produce, farming occurs all year round, which inevitably depletes the fertility of the land. The surrounding landscape is completely deforested and shows signs of continuous harvesting of trees for fuel and building materials. Because the community does not have any funds and the Department of Education in Peru does not support the local primary school, it is therefore left to fend for itself. The school had subsequently fallen into disrepair and disuse. Unfortunately, money from the tourist industry in Cuzco does not make it to Pumamarca, but the inflated prices of food do. This has plunged the village into an unsustainable economic situation. The inhabitants of Pumamarca cannot afford to live with a reasonable level of sanitation, nutrition, or education. THE PROJECT It took seven days of heavy work to complete our goal of building a threeroom school which would house the 40 kindergarten students of Pumamarca. Rize Alliance Developments, a company owned by a St. George’s family, kindly sponsored the construction cost of approximately $10,000 and Kerrisdale Lumber helped out with a generous donation of tools. The building process was a real community effort. From day one, we found ourselves working along side the whole village.
30 • The Dragon
We began by moving 5,000 adobe, or mud, bricks. Everyone pitched in; even the smallest children would try to carry bricks. However, since each brick weighed 30lbs, almost as much as the children themselves, they frequently ended up hopping into the wheelbarrows and hitching a ride to the site! After enough bricks were moved, the local fathers, along with a few hired contractors, taught us how to make a building out of mud and bricks. The construction techniques were foreign to us; and a variety of challenges kept us on our toes. The villagers spoke Quechua, the local language, and a little Spanish. We, on the other hand, spoke English and virtually no Spanish. After much hand waving, we got the hang of things and despite everchanging plans, the construction moved along quickly. It was a constant process of churning up mud for mortar and then laying the bricks on the growing walls. The air rung with cries for “barrow” (mud) and “adobe” (brick). After the walls were built the rooms had to be levelled and the roof constructed. The fathers built the trusses for the roof and we levelled the muddy classroom floors and built a fence around the schoolyard. Finally, came the process of raising the trusses and panelling the roof. It took a team of 15 students to raise the trusses and another two days of work to finish attaching the roof panels. Between our hours of building, we kept busy by immersing ourselves in the community. We put the soccer equipment brought from Canada to good use and played several matches against the locals. Countless hours were spent with the village children, who soaked up any attention we would give them, including sitting on our laps or being carted around in wheelbarrows. All things bright and shiny fascinated them. Our possessions were of constant interest; cameras and tents were particular favourites. One day, two of the St. George’s boys set up an impromptu hair-cutting salon. Word spread quickly and soon a throng of children lined up to have their hair cut in a unique Vancouver style!
of Peru. At the same time, it gave the walls of the school an opportunity to set, before the roof was added. The scenery on the hike was spectacular and like nothing we had ever seen before. We found ourselves in deep valleys bordered by sharp awe-inspiring peaks. En route we would run into herds of goats, llamas, and alpacas, as well as wandering through clusters of dwellings entirely constructed of piled rocks and straw. The local people were very friendly and often tried to sell their weavings as we trekked past. The people we passed were living almost exactly as they had 500 years ago. Traditional life in the Andes involves small self-sufficient communities growing potatoes and raising animals. While cooking dinner one night, a herd of alpacas meandered amongst our tents and stoves, an experience that truly reminded us all just how far from home we were. The hike also had a unique set of challenges. Our packs seemed much heavier at 15,000 feet, than at sea level, and water took over 45 minutes to boil on our stoves. We didn’t move anywhere too fast and had to spend many hours purifying water and catching our breath. The slow pace really allowed us to look around and take in the scenery. MACHU PICCHU One of the more coveted parts of our trip was the journey to Machu Picchu. What a sight! In an effort to avoid the crowds, we arrived at 6:00 am. The ancient city was still covered by a quiet blanket of fog. However, good things come to those who wait, and by 10:00 am, we were allowed a spectacular view over this amazing World Heritage Site. A local guide led the group on an educational tour and we gained some interesting insights into the theories of why Machu Picchu was built. The rock work was absolutely stunning. It is mindboggling to figure how these massive rock structures were built and what motivated the Incas to do such a thing on the top of a mountain! We spent the whole morning there and the group took countless pictures. Soon, however, it was time to head back to Pumamarca and finish our project.
For our time at the school, we lived inside some of the older completed classrooms and in tents clumped together in the yard. This modest, and very local, accommodation allowed us to gain an even closer relationship with the villagers. Whenever it was light, there was something going on with the kids. THE LARES TREK At the half-way point of our construction, we departed Pumamarca on a four-day hike through the Andes and to visit Machu Picchu. This allowed us to see a little more
Murray Wong plays soccer with the locals
COMMUNITY SERVICES ABROAD
of our funds will be put towards providing clean water for the village, one of the basic missing necessities. Peru’s Challenge is setting up a mother’s craft group to help raise money for extra food for the village. With the efforts of volunteers and the improvements in education, Pumamarca will continue to develop sustainability into the future. IMPACT ON ST. GEORGE’S STUDENTS The trek to South America not only changed the lives of the people of Pumamarca, but also had profound effects on the boys from St. George’s School. All 22 of us who ventured to Peru were deeply affected by what we saw. We returned with a much stronger sense of global awareness and an understanding that it is imperative to look over your own fence to understand what lies beyond your backyard. Our brief peek outside our little world of Vancouver changed the way we will think, forever. All the St. George’s volunteers returned realizing just how lucky they are and feeling their responsibility to help those who are less fortunate than themselves. IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY Pumamarca has many challenges, but with continued effort from volunteers, the situation is improving. The people in the village lack the means necessary to survive with a reasonable level of sanitation, nutrition, and health care. A vicious cycle has emerged; the villagers need an education to improve their income, but they cannot afford it. During our time we worked to explore effective ways to use the funds we had raised to aid the village. After many group discussions, we decided to continue focusing on improving education in Pumamarca. Obviously, the school we built was our largest contribution. However, we chose to supplement it by funding classes for parents, who wished to gain trade skills, as well as by supporting further education for the village children.
While in Peru our two parent doctors set up a medical clinic and provided a huge number of prescriptions and medical advice to the local families. This was an unprecedented and much appreciated effort. The medical supplies we brought from Canada will allow for additional clinics to be established to provide further health care for Pumamarca. A large section
After this trip one could not help but gain an appreciation for the amount of suffering caused by poverty. Yet, the most important thing we learned is that we can make a difference! The individual has the power to make a positive influence on the many lives. We saw, in just two weeks, how the efforts of 27 volunteers helped provide hundreds of people with hopes for a brighter future.
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OUR STORIED PAST
Although more common in eastern North America and Europe, the large stone buildings used for convent schools are a feature rarely found in the cities of western Canada. Therefore, the building housing the Junior School at St. George’s is unique. It was originally the home of the Convent of the Sacred Heart School.
The“Castle” A look back at the history of the Junior School building and the Convent of the Sacred Heart School
by Airlie Ogilvie, President, Vancouver, Point Grey, Alumnae Association of the Sacred Heart
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29th Avenue, circa 1900s
The Beginnings The story of the Sacred Heart Convent School begins almost a century ago with the early beginning of the municipality of Point Grey. At this time, the area west of the City of Vancouver was forested land, as yet undeveloped. Founded in 1800, the Society of the Sacred Heart was the brainchild of an educated French lady named Madeleine Sophie Barat. As a teaching order society that would revolutionize the education of girls around the world, Barat opened her first school in France in 1801. In 1818, her followers established their first school in North America. However, it wasn’t until February 12, 1911 that six nuns of the Society arrived in Vancouver to establish a temporary residence at St. Paul’s Hospital. Their school consisted of two students who had attended Forest Ridge, the Sacred Heart School in Seattle. A month later the nuns would open their first school on Burnaby Street and by September, 30 day students and five boarders were registered. The following year, enrollment had increased to 56 pupils, thereby warranting the construction of a new Convent school in the recently opened municipality of Point Grey, which at that time was a community separate from the City of Vancouver. Frances Bartley, an early student at the school, accompanied Reverend Mother Gorman on a trip to Point Grey. She wrote: “We drove by horse and carriage out to the west end, through sparsely settled Kitsilano to ‘Point Grey’ and then down a muddy little road known as Dunbar Street, to a spot which is now 29th Avenue. There we had to alight and make the rest of the trip on foot over a trail until we reached the property. This trail wound through woods and underbrush so dense, that it was
only when we reached a little clearing, which now marks the West Gate, that we could see the sky.” On the Feast of the Sacred Heart, June 14, 1912, Bishop Casey officiated at the laying of the corner stone. The school opened in September 1914. Superior General Janet Erskine Stuart wrote from the Mother House in Rome that the purpose of the school was “to make the Sacred Heart of Jesus known and loved, so that for all who come to this Convent, it may truly be to them the very Gate of Heaven.”
The Design and Layout The Convent was constructed in the Gothic Revival Architecture style so characteristic of Convent of the Sacred Heart schools built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Stone was used for the exterior and the roof was of slate. The top of the building was crenellated: crenellations are multiple regular spaces cut out of the top of a wall. In medieval times, these were used as defence mounts from which arrows were aimed. Decorative features on the exterior included a cross, gargoyles, and stone flowers. Another prominent architectural feature of the Convent school was the port-cochère: a covered area embellishing the main entrance. During renovations in the 1990s, the original entrance had been blocked but the elegant port-cochère still remains. Moving into the large entrance hall, on the left is a wooden staircase leading to the fourth floor. A statue of Mary and of Madeleine, the founder of the order, was displayed on the upstairs landing. Many arches were to be seen throughout the interior and since it was a religious school, there was also a chapel.
The original plans included a second building on the west side which had been intended as a residence for the nuns. The onslaught of World War I put these plans on hold, but evidence of the planned connecting walkway on the fourth floor can still be seen in the large window at the top of the west side. There was a grotto, a place for quiet contemplation, located behind the main building and also a small orchard and play area. The current principal’s residence served as a steam plant providing heat to the school and laundry. Original bricks stamped 1909 can still be seen in the basement and the tall chimney still remains today. In addition to the ten acres of property where the school sits today, there was also a five-acre parcel of land west of Wallace Avenue. This included a garden area, chicken coop, and cemetery. When the Society sold this land in 1953, the graves were moved to a cemetery in New Westminster.
The Convent School The Convent of the Sacred Heart served as a Catholic girls’ school from Grades 1 to 12. Some of the students boarded during the week, where life included daily chapel and prayer services. The school emphasized academics and, according to one alumna, classes were small so that “each student was an individual who was noticed and cared about”. Social and charitable activities were also part of the school curriculum and although the girls participated in sports, there was no gym in the original school. In 1953, the Society sold its five-acre parcel west of Wallace Avenue and used the money to construct an addition. This is the present day primary wing and Blackmore gym. Spring 2008 • 33
The Architectural Legacy Today, the Society of the Sacred Heart Convent school building is almost 100 years old. It received a City of Vancouver Heritage Building designation and this recognition plaque is placed in the front entrance. Since its initial construction, Vancouver has changed dramatically and the school is no longer in the midst of a forest. Although, the surroundings may have changed, many of the school’s original features remain. The library and chapel are still in the same location. Look carefully around the interior and exterior of the building and you will see many things just waiting to be noticed. For example, there is the cornerstone and the school’s inscription over the front of the port-cochère. The recessed area where St. George resides originally held a statue of Mary. Above it there is a cross. Three of the four original gargoyles stare down at you. In the back, the nun’s gallery which was used as a walkway still remains and the fancy wrought iron can still be seen.
The Original Students
A New Home for the Junior School Several thousand students attended the Convent school during its 65 years. Nuns from the Society of the Sacred Heart worked and lived there, some of them remaining for many years. However in 1979, due to declining numbers, the school was forced to close and there was a natural concern about the fate of the building. Fortunately, this unique architectural structure was bought by St. George's School and henceforth continued as an educational institution. Almost 30 years later, the building remains as St. George’s
Junior School. In 1993, it was necessary to make major renovations and implement a seismic upgrade. At the same time, a boarding house was constructed on the grounds and the steam plant was transformed into the principal’s residence. In 2006, the Grade 7 Challenge Program students researched the architecture of the school and its history. Working with St. George’s archivist, Mrs. Elizabeth Knox, they located several historical photographs and found much new information about the Convent of the Sacred Heart School. The project provided the students with a better understanding of the school they attended.
On the north-east corner, the roofline mark for the wooden structure is still visible. This was constructed when the second building was prevented from completion in 1914. On the fourth floor, each of the narrow windows on the north-west side marks one of the small bedrooms where the nuns slept. Over one of the library doors the outline of a transom still can be seen. The original wavy glass has survived in a few of the library windows. There are many other details worth studying in this magnificent building. If you listen carefully you might even hear the sounds of the people who have walked these halls before you or the ghost of the nun who is said to reside in the dark corners of the basement.
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cred Heart The Nuns of the Sa
OF OUR SOULS
There are so very many reasons to feel blessed to send your sons to Saints. We have truly created an atmosphere conducive to learning at the highest levels and a milieu which fosters the very best for our boys. But if there is one discipline, though, which offers a student an opportunity to create his own expression, it is the Arts. Be it Music, Sculpture, Painting, or the like, our students excel in their chosen artistic endeavours. We have been blessed with so many fine talents: artists and musicians whose skills and prowess are pre-eminent in their respective fields. In many cases, the international acclaim has been overwhelming.
by A.G. (Alex) Tsakumis '84 President of The Georgians
Disraeli once wrote that without music, the beautiful is dead. I would speak similarly of all the Arts. They are, more often then not, symbols of our souls. It is with this as back drop, that I salute all those students, past and present, who have coloured (pun intended) our lives with their talents and work. Blessed they be.
Spring 2008 â€˘ 35
RENAISSANCE MAN by Gordon C. Allan, Managing Editor
Jake Kerr '61 can best be described as a prime example of a Renaissance man. Whether it is managing a successful business, serving on the board at the Vancouver Foundation, or overseeing the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club, Kerr leaves a mark whereever he goes. As a recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia, he has been recognized for making significant contributions to the Province and the Country. But underlying all of his passions for life is one that was instilled in him at a very young age: a love for the Arts.
best decisions he ever made. Today Falk is a nationally renowned artist and has works displayed at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. Kerr also had similar foresight in the 1980s when he invested a hundred dollars in a Gordon Smith painting. Today, that piece is valued in the thousands.
“I was born into a family who embraced everything artistic,” admits Kerr whose parents were both art collectors and whose mother was a concert pianist.
“But it’s not all about investment”, says Kerr, whose wife shares his same passion and taste for the Arts, and whose brother is a collector of photography.“You have to love what you are collecting,” says Kerr who admits to being a visceral collector rather than a technical collector.
By the time Jake graduated from UBC in the 1970s, he was already investing anywhere from 25 to 50 dollars in art pieces that captured his imagination. One artist that caught his attention was Gathie Falk, who at the time was a relatively unknown UBC art professor struggling for recognition. Kerr’s $25 investment in a piece by this eccentric artist was one of the
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Kerr also champions the relationship between business and the Arts by serving on the Board of Business for the Arts. The purpose of this organization is to increase private sector support and to help make partnerships between the private sector
GEORGIAN PROFILE GEORGIAN: Jake Kerr C.M.,O.B.C., LL.D. YEAR OF GRADUATION: 1961 OTHER SAINTS’ CONNECTIONS: • Brother: Timothy C. Kerr ‘63 • Son: Timothy B. Kerr ‘90 • Grandsons: Alexander C.F. Bebb (Grade 5) and Joe Walker (Grade 1) PROFESSION: • Managing Partner of Lignum Forest Products • Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lignum Investments Ltd. • Director of the Bank of Nova Scotia • Director of the Vancouver Foundation. • Member of the Chief Executive Organization and Past Chairman of The International and BC Chapters of the Young Presidents' Organization. • Recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia • Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from Simon Fraser University COMPANY: Lignum Investments ADDITIONAL INTERESTS • Co-Owner of the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club • Art collecting, fly fishing, tennis, golf, and baseball.
and the Arts more effective. Kerr also helps to support funding for the Arts as a board member of the Vancouver Foundation.
and Design. The impact that my Arts education had on my later appreciation of the Arts was significant.”
And, what about his grandsons, Alexander (Grade 5) and Joe (Grade 1)? How important is it that they receive a good quality Arts education?
Kerr is also interested in the growth of the Arts scene in Vancouver and happy to see the proposed move of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “I foresee Vancouver becoming a cultural centre in the next few years, something that cannot occur without a more spacious gallery.” He also refers to local artists like Jeff Wall and Brian Jungen, who are gaining recognition and who epi-
“Terribly important!” says Kerr.“The Arts are an integral part of a well-rounded education and I am pleased to see my grandsons taking an early interest in Art
tomize the coming of age of Vancouver as a fertile ground for nurturing fine artists. And, what of his own collection? “I would describe it as quite eclectic,“ says Kerr, who owns over five hundred pieces, including works by Lawren Harris, Emily Carr, Jack Shadbolt, and The Group of Seven. And what advice would he give to budding Georgian art collectors? “The best advice I can give is to follow your heart. As long as you like what you’ve bought, you can’t go wrong.”
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I started off as a longshoreman. As a chipper Grade 9 wannabe, I scored a bit part in the Saints’ Players production of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Nile, and I couldn't believe my good fortune. Ms. Christie would have been similarly incredulous for my loud and valiant struggles with passengers' steamer trunks were nowhere to be found in her script. Luke Fredeman, the play's director, had turned the humdrum task of ushering audience members to their seats into a part of the action, killing several birds with one stone. The small group of us conscripted to do the job couldn't have been happier. Though the actors with speaking roles scarcely noted our presence for they had much more important things to worry
about, you see from our perspective, their performances seemed Herculean. Our names were in the program and we were assigned blocking and simple dialogue. We may have been costumed lackeys, but we were nonetheless part of something much bigger than ourselves. The feeling was infectious. The Arts tend to be inseparable from the passion that makes them possible. For an audience member, the performer's energy and conviction are central to the experience of theatre, no less so than the substance of what's being performed. The gift of high school theatre is its amateurism and there's nothing that can sustain an actor in a school play other than a desire to
Goldenberg as Tevye in Fiddler on The Roof
perform and to perform well for its own sake. So much of one's time in school is spent being evaluated by others; unlike writing a test or learning Algebra, however, participating in the Arts forces any student to look to themselves as the highest court of appeal. Malicious competitiveness with one's peers doesn't mix well with theatre. Compete with the members of your own ensemble and you'll all wind up covered in sophomoric muck. It's a mixed blessing, to be sure, but it's the playwright, not the actors or the director, who decides which character is to be the star of the show. The spotlight follows the script, not the ambitions of the performers. Successful actors might be no less self-important than successful athletes or scholars, but if they don't learn to keep that ambition in check when it counts the most, they forfeit the rewards that they stand to gain for their talents. It's not so much even a question of successful teamwork on stage. In the most successful productions, one would be hard pressed to distinguish the team members, actors and crew alike, from the composite of their efforts. For the past two years, I've been a member of the cast of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals,
CONSTANT PERIL Sustaining artistic passion at St. George's School
by ADAM GOLDENBERG '04
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GEORGIAN: Adam Goldenberg YEAR OF GRADUATION: 2004 OTHER SAINTS CONNECTIONS: His brother Mitchell graduated from St. George's in 2007. Adam was a Philip N. Rigg Scholar in Drama in 2003–2004 CURRENT UNIVERSITY: Harvard University ADDITIONAL INTERESTS: Beginning in the summer of 2008, Adam will work in the Policy, Strategy, and Programme Support Division of the United Nations World Food Programme, based in Rome, Italy, and Kampala, Uganda.
the oldest theatre troupe in the United States, which has been putting on outrageous drag burlesque musicals since 1844. The Hasty Pudding show is the ultimate ensemble piece. Each year, there are 12 equally sized characters. There is no "star". Every performance ends with a 30minute kickline extravaganza, in which all 12 (male) actors appear on stage in identical showgirl costumes, high heels and tights very much included, and we do our best to put Radio City's Rockettes to shame. Whether or not we succeed, the absurdity of our combined efforts has kept the show running for a century and a half. There are prima donnas to be sure, but few things smother hubris the way that wearing fake breasts does. The satisfaction of being a part of the company, which has produced infinitely more bankers, lawyers, and doctors than dancers, depends on an individual's glory being relegated to the margins. There are no small parts, after all, only small players. Try using that line on a member of the rugby team! Participating in the Arts at a school like St. George's is a phenomenal luxury. Theatre, Music, and Visual Arts are each just a part of a much broader constellation of extra-curricular pursuits, which are intended to broaden a boy's experience and deepen his character, not to prepare him for a particular occupation. Although I've continued acting at university, I've never really intended to make performing a source of my future livelihood. I have, however, watched dozens of my peers graduate and pursue careers in the Arts. It's a bold step to take, given the state of private patronage and government support. North American performers fund the Arts with their blood, sweat, and tips but, it's one that has been motivated in every case by the same passion that compels a bunch of Grade 9 boys to dress up like longshoremen to usher a St. George's play. The best school plays rely on passion for their success, but that dependency comes at a price. Schoolboy actors, musicians, and sculptors might have passion in abundance, but glory can be in short supply. Art is subjective and there is no scoreboard, no winners and losers, no championship game. A spectacular sports season can produce a spiffy banner to be hung from the rafters of the school gym, but a blockbuster performance has no real permanence beyond the audience's attention spans. Art doesn't exist for Art's sake because it wants to, but because it must; a non-professional play's success can be measured in terms of fulfilled objectives, but it otherwise defies
quantification. As a consequence, the Arts remain in perpetual danger especially at a hyper-competitive school with a proud tradition of collecting trophies and buffing them until they shine. The young actors who strut and fret upon the St. George's stage, or practically any other high school stage for that matter, tempt the dissatisfaction of having their work underappreciated or, worse, ignored by their peers. Winning crew races tends to be considerably more glamorous than putting on makeup (ew!) in the evenings and singing and dancing in front of the footlights. Whether justified or not, there is constantly the appearance of an implicit bias against the Arts in a school environment, particularly one as self-consciously masculine as St. George's. For fledgling performers to thrive, a school has to offset this perceived bias by making an extra effort to celebrate and support the Arts. Otherwise, in an environment where winning seems to be everything, participating in an activity where "winning" isn't even a possibility risks being quickly devalued. However, St. George's isn't like most schools and its proud artistic tradition speaks for itself. The recent refurbishment
of the old School auditorium, whose upholstered chairs used to produce a cloud of dirt and detritus if sat down in too forcefully and the reliably sold-out runs of Saintsâ€™ Players productions both speak to the depth of support for the Arts that the School community embodies. This is important in a context where the slightest sign of indifference is potentially devastating to the artistic opportunities that have been enjoyed by so many St. George's boys over the years. I'm deeply grateful to St. George's for giving me the chance to explore the Arts. The community one joins when one performs in any medium is an exciting one, fuelled by individuals' passion, creativity, and talent. The School has a history of cultivating these personal attributes, which serve their bearers well even if they never sing for their supper professionally. For decades, St. George's has learned to provide its young artists with sufficient support and encouragement. In this way, they exceed their own greatest expectations. No lesson for both the School and its students could possibly be more vital. Adam Goldenberg '04 will graduate from Harvard University this June.
Goldenberg as Poirot in Black Coffee
Spring 2008 â€˘ 39
Sounding a Mosaic
Jay Malinowski ’00 is on a roll. The modest vocalist and guitarist has been catapulted to stardom. Jay, of course, is the front man of Juno award-winning Bedouin Soundclash, an Indie rock band formed in 2001. The group takes its name from a dub record by Israeli fusion artist/producer Badawi. Back when it released its début album, Root Fire, Bedouin Soundclash was still a college band working gigs in and out of Kingston, Ontario. Today, the group is in high demand, already having performed in over a dozen countries. Despite Jay’s hectic schedule, he was able to share his interest in Music and Art with The Dragon. In addition to being a musician, Jay is also an avid painter, working mainly with wax and oil paint. How did you develop a passion for Art and Music? I always loved Art and Music as a kid. I saw it as something bigger than everything else. My parents were always supportive of my lean towards Art and Music over sports and school. I skipped class one day when I was in the Junior School to buy a $30.00 guitar at a junk store on Dunbar. I felt I couldn't tell my parents what I had done, so I hid the guitar in our garage for three weeks until it got too cold to play outside. I had to start hiding it in my room, but when my parents found it they were actually quite cool with it. My mom just shrugged. They have always given me gentle allowance for weird behaviour. In what way did St. George’s School help you develop an appreciation for the Arts? Nan Oliver, period. I can remember being in Grade 10 and feeling dislocated and disenfranchised. But, as much as being 15 years old can feel absolutely hopeless, it’s also a fertile time for new ideas and new directions. I had given up on Art. That year, Ms. O came back from teaching abroad with the “exam” approach, where every student was required to work towards a final submission piece that was based on a term of research and experimentation. It was the first time I felt that Art was being taken seriously. Before that it seemed like was a self esteem class. It was always “A for effort”. Anyways, it was the perfect time for me. That year and the next two I really explored possibilities. I directly hold Nan responsible for everything that has happened to me since that year. Who were those at Saints who inspired you artistically and how did they do that? There was a group of us in my year who got serious about Art. We were pretty competitive with each other if I can remember.
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That sounds funny, right? I think our year was the first time that more than three kids went on to Art School. Competition and ego are incredible motivators. Those traits also make intolerable people and bad habits. You have a huge following. What do you think makes Bedouin Soundclash so appealing? I hope it’s our honesty. I’m not sure. We care deeply about what we do. If we didn’t, we would stop. But, we have also have had a lot of luck. There has been luck that we fell upon and luck that we created. I also think that our genuine friendship carries over to our listeners. When we stand together on stage in Vancouver, London, Tokyo, or Los Angeles, we are truly in the moment and feel grateful for what we have been given. I've also tried to write good songs, but those can come and go. When forming your band, what were some of the challenges that you faced? Our challenge was always on having people look beyond the past and having their attention focused on the Music. Surprisingly, starting a reggae/punk/soul-influenced band in Canada with my background didn't win us an immediate audience. A young white kid, who grew up middle class and went to a preppy boy’s school in Vancouver, is a long way off from Brixton or Trenchtown. But we wanted to use our backgrounds as our point. Creatively we have a cultural meeting point or a culture clash, which we are trying to express and move forward. All of us in the band come from really different places. That has been a challenge. But there is also the potential, because where I live in Toronto, there are West Indians, Europeans, and Africans, all living and working together. It’s fertile. So our
challenge has always been getting beyond the past and seeing our band in a new context of what it could mean to be a Canadian band. Sometimes it has been hard for others to see our band as authentic. It took the American and then English punk audience to embrace us for everyone else to recognize us as valid. In addition to being a talented musician, you’re also a gifted painter. What, if any, influence does your Music have on your painting or vice versa? The two are quite separate. Most people who have come to a showing of my work have been shocked that it is much “darker”. Our tour manager came to a Montreal show last week and used the word “depressed” (Jay laughs to himself). I don't find the two cross over. In fact, if I am in a painting mode, I can't listen to Music or write. It clutters my space. Who are some of your favourite artists? Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, Ray Johnson, Basquiat, Raymond Pettibon, Klein, I'm obviously pretty diverse, but I like anything that has or takes action. What do you hope to be doing in ten years? In ten years? That sounds like a St. George's question! I have no clue. I hope I still have passion and inspiration. I'm scared that burns out. Here’s another St. George’s question for you: what advice do you have for any students or Georgians, who may be exploring their artistic or creative sides? Listen to yourself, work hard, sweat, and get a tough skin. Also you might want to start saving some money now, because you won't have any later. But, who cares...
GEORGIAN PROFILE GEORGIAN: Jay Malinowski YEAR OF GRADUATION: 2000 PROFILE: Singer GROUP: Bedouin Soundclash ADDITIONAL INTERESTS: Painting www.bedouinsoundclash.com Interview by: Bryan R. Ide '99
Jay Malinowski '00
Photo by Matt Barnes
Spring 2008 • 41
A true globetrotter, Vinny Ng ’99 seems to have a restless, energetic spirit. Born in Hong Kong, Vinny found his way to Saints via Australia. After school, he made his way to Boston and then to New Hampshire, where he graduated from Dartmouth College. He currently serves as the Project Director for the Youth Bridge Global Marshall Islands 2008 Project. He assisted in directing in the first ever YBG production in the Marshall Islands and the first ever internationally touring YBG production in the Balkans. Having previously served as the English Language Resource Director at the Montessori School of Beijing, he has been actively involved in co-founding the popular Beijing Improv Theatre Troupe. He has been active with a Chinese NGO that uses participatory theatre to empower migrant workers and has done documentary film work in China and Israel.
GEORGIAN PROFILE GEORGIAN: Vincent “Vinny” Ng YEAR OF GRADUATION: 1999 PROFILE: Theatre Project Director GROUP: Youth Bridge Global www.ybglobal.org www.youtube.com/comedyoferrors2008 http://comedyoferrors2008.blogspot.com
ADDITIONAL INTERESTS: Education, Filmmaking, Travel Interview by: Bryan R. Ide '99
After graduating from university, you first were involved in education, then filmmaking, and now you’re producing plays. Can you describe the path your life has taken and what influenced you to get into these areas? After graduating from Dartmouth, I spent three months in the Marshall Islands as a volunteer Math and History Teacher at a high school. My former professor and now mentor, Andrew Garrod, had encouraged me to join as an Assistant Director for the first theatre production that had ever been staged in the Marshall Islands High School’s 25-year history. To put it simply, it was an amazing opportunity which I could not turn down. From working in the Marshall Islands, one of the poorest countries in the Pacific, I came to realize the tremendous impact a teacher can have. After deciding to move to China, I accepted a position teaching Grades 3 and 5 at the Shanghai American School. The thing about China is that you never know what opportunities may come up. Sure enough, a year later I moved to Beijing
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to work for an environmental documentary filmmaker. Film had been something in which I had always been interested but never really had the opportunity to explore. I was particularly excited by the intersections made with media, education, and the environment. Although when new experiences present themselves, I must say it is often hard to resist.
An opportunity to coordinate an English program at the International Montessori School presented itself about six months later and it meant that I could explore my interest in alternative educational philosophies. The flexible schedule of the school allowed me enough time to work on several theatre projects in Beijing at the same time. But to come back to the second part of your question—what influenced me to become involved in education, filmmaking, and theatre? I think it has stemmed from having truly inspiring teachers and a desire, not only to see the world, but also to record and share my experiences of it with others.
You talk about inspiring teachers. Which teachers at St. George’s inspired you? There is no question that I was truly blessed to have some of the most inspirational teachers in my time at Saints. For starters, I don’t know where I would be if Nan Oliver hadn’t cultivated my appreciation in the Visual Arts and an early passion for photography. She really was someone who infused a contagious energy and passion among her students. With regards to theatre, I think it all started in Luke Fredeman’s acting class in Grade 9. Were it not for his class, I don’t think I would have tried out for a part in my first play The Pirates of Penzance. However, the defining moment in my theatre experience came when I auditioned for a lead role in The Cherry Orchard. I remember looking over the speech made by Lopakhin. He was businessman, who has just realized that selling off an estate had completely devastated a family. I will never forget the risk I took as I collapsed to my knees on stage, drew my hands up over my face, and wept tears of bitter-
sweet guilt. From up in the very last row of the auditorium where Dougal Fraser would always sit during auditions, I heard the sound of one man clapping. As I wiped away the beads of sweat from my forehead, Mr. Fraser later told me that it was the first time he had ever clapped in an audition. Those words, I will never forget. Your theatre production is not a traditional one. How did you come up with the idea of marrying developmental work with theatre and what do you hope to achieve? When Andrew Garrod originally set up Youth Bridge Global three years ago, he articulated a vision for using theatre for the purposes of reconciliation and development. In 2007, I joined him again when he took the Shakespeare model to the Balkans in order to promote mutual understanding across the dangerous ethnic and religious divides that threaten the fragile peace in the region. The first production in Mostar featured a Muslim Romeo and a Croat Juliet, forged a number of inter-ethnic friendships, and generated immense communal support in a city divided by deep-seated nationalism. In the Marshall Islands, the program grew out of the Dartmouth College volunteer teaching program, but was rooted in Andrew’s passion for theatre and what he saw as its potential to help adolescents develop self-confidence, public-speaking skills, and what many psychologists now refer to as emotional intelligence. Soft skills, that is, the ability to communicate, to work in a group, to be able to take on the perspective of another person and consider situations of conflict from different points of view, cannot be learned from a textbook. These are the skills that are absolutely essential to develop a generation of young leaders who are empowered to create change. Unfortunately, they also happen to be the skills that are not traditionally emphasized in the Marshallese education system. In
order to address these issues, this year we have developed a youth leadership program to accompany the theatre production. The end goal of this new combined program is to nurture creative and theatrical skills and build long-term leadership capacities among the young generation. We hope we are planting the seed for a sustainable youth-led creative Arts movement. To me, theatre is about a celebration of what it means to be human. Whether we are moved emotionally by a character’s tragic misfortune or are able to laugh at a misunderstanding that mirrors an experience in our own lives, the theatre experience is, in effect, a process of coming to terms with the struggles we all share in common. I see the end result as strengthening the bonds and ties within a community and a step toward human progress and development. Given your unique situation and your love of theatre production, can you describe the process and challenges of putting together a play? There are really three major steps: building a team, fundraising, and producing the show. In some ways, one could argue it is analogous to any major venture. I guess if you look at the challenges I faced when working in the Marshall Islands, it helps to put it in a socio-historical perspective. From 1946 to 1958, a number of locations were used as nuclear testing sites by the US government, killing many islanders and forcing others to relocate due to unexpectedly high levels of nuclear fallout. Today, US aid accounts for over 60 per cent of the country’s GDP, making the Marshall Islands, per capita, the largest recipient of foreign aid in the world. The legacy of destruction and aid has rendered the country one of the poorest in Micronesia and school dropouts face little opportunity in the work place. This disaffection and the decline in traditional
values has created problems of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and suicide among the population and especially so among those under 30 years of age. The vast dispersal of islands presents challenges for the delivery of health care and messages of good practice, causing high birth rates and childhood mortality. Provided they are able to recapture some sense of their traditional identity, I really see the greatest hope for the Marshallese lying with the next generation to move their communities forward towards a self-reliant and prosperous future. There is no doubt it is a challenge. This is a place where “on time” means showing up for rehearsal half an hour late. Or, students will promise you to turn up, but will not, because they were too ashamed to tell you that they could not afford to take public transportation into town. That said, four years ago, we completely blew away people’s expectations of what was possible and we are confident that we’ll continue to do so this year. Your story about helping the Marshallese is truly inspiring. What, if any advice, would you like to share with your fellow Georgians? Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche once said: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” I suppose another way to put it could be that we all have expectations of society, of our peer group, or of our parents to be or to act in a certain way. However, those who dare not only to dream, but also who act on those dreams are the ones truly listening to their own music. Although it may sometimes feel like everyone is watching and thinking that you are crazy, if you are hearing the music perhaps the only thing to do is to keep on dancing.
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It's accurate to say that Jimmy Vallance ‘07 was rockin' before he was walkin'. He grew up listening to the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones, and he was a decent drummer before he was out of diapers. At the age of six, he began piano lessons but later pursued more contemporary styles of music when he entered Saints. At the age of 13 he formed his first band, Angel's Edge. Two years later Jimmy developed an interest in DJ-ing. He picked up a pair of turntables, a mixer from his local music store, and stayed up all hours of the night perfecting his mixing skills. After a year of endless practising, Jimmy decided he was ready to move out of the basement and on to the main stage. He assembled a ten-track promo CD and sent it to every promoter in the local area. By the age of 17, Jimmy had a residency at Vancouver's Cyber Night Club. Now at 18, Jimmy has shared the stage with top DJs like Armin Van Buuren, Sander Van Doorn, ATB, Cosmic Gate, and many more. His productions have charted among the Top 100 downloads on a number of websites and have been supported by major players like Matt Darey, Simon Patterson, Graham Gold, and Cor Fijneman. Jimmy is fuelled by a passion for creating and playing dance music.
Rockin’ DJ At the age of 18, you've already shared the stage with some of the world's top DJs, and you are already considered an upcoming DJ to watch. To what do you attribute your success? I have a real passion for creating and playing House music. From the moment I heard my first House track in Grade 10, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I consider myself very fortunate to have found something I love doing. Can you perhaps explain what type of music you mix? What exactly is House music and what are some of the common misconceptions? I compose and perform a style of dance music that's called House. House fans are "diehards". They know everything about their favourite DJs and producers. Being a House fan requires that you dig a little deeper than listening to your local radio station. The most common misconception with House music is that people label it as Techno, which is like calling Sarah McLachlan's music Heavy Metal.
GEORGIAN PROFILE GEORGIAN: Jimmy Vallance YEAR OF GRADUATION: 2007 PROFILE: House DJ www.jimmyvallance.com Interview by: Bryan R. Ide '99
Photo by Tom Hawkins 44 • The Dragon
From an early age, you have been very musically talented. You also come from a musical family. How did you find your passion for DJ-ing? I feel lucky to have had a bit of success already, but I'm a long way from achieving my goals. I hope that one day I can have the same effect on someone that Armin Van Buuren had on me. I'll never forget popping his CD in my Discman and pressing "play" for the first time. In some ways, becoming a DJ has been an uphill battle. It's hard to be taken seriously. My parents are both musicians and they supported my musical career choice, but initially they didn't understand the DJ thing. They didn't see turntables as being musical. It took me a year to win them over. The fact that it's been a struggle has pushed me to do my best. I like the challenge. That's what makes it appealing to me.
When I started listening to House music in Grade 10, only two other students in my grade were even aware of that style. We'd share songs and listen to "live" sets of our favourite DJs online. By Grade 12 things had changed and for a lot of students, House music was their preferred genre. You mention that your fellow classmates were all drawn to House music. In what other ways do you feel St. George’s helped to foster your creative side? I owe a lot of my creativity to my Media Arts teacher, Brenton Wilke. He's a fan of House music and he was always keen on listening to the music I was composing. He pushed me to think "outside the box" in the classroom, which had a direct effect on how I approached my music at home. St. George's taught me to believe in myself and to trust my instincts. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Now that I've graduated, those words ring very true. I’ve seen you perform and know how engaged your audience is. Can you describe what it is like when you are DJ-ing in front of all your fans? The first Dance CD I ever heard was by Armin Van Buuren, currently ranked the number one DJ in the world. Two years later I was asked to open for Armin, and I was blown away. It was a dream come true. For me, there's no bigger thrill than playing one of my own tracks "live" and seeing a great reaction from the crowd. I live for that moment. When I DJ, I try to imagine what I would want to hear were I in the audience. Most of my listeners work "nine-to-five" jobs, and they've come to have a good time. I'm an entertainer, so understanding your audience is essential. This year I've been invited to play at the Winter Music Conference in Miami, Florida. It's a prestigious event in the DJ world, and I was really honoured to be invited.
A scene from The Mikado
EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW, I LEARNED FROM SAINTS’ PLAYERS
by Bo Meng '02
My involvement with the Arts at St. George’s primarily involved two areas: Theatre and Music. With regard to Music, I was a member of the Concert Band for all five years at the Senior School and a member of the Jazz Band from Grades 9 to 12. For my last two years at Saints, however, my main artistic focus was as a member of the Saints’ Players. My involvement with theatre at St. George’s was a defining period of my life, from which I learned many important and lasting lessons.
The show must go on A lot of crazy things can happen leading up to and during the run of any theatrical production. My three productions with Saints’ Players took place during a fairly tumultuous time in the program’s history. A few weeks before opening night, Mr. Fraser, the original director for The Mikado, fell ill and was unable to complete the rehearsal process. Messrs Fredeman and Mortimer ably stepped in to finish putting the show together.
There’s nothing to fear but fear itself Towards the end of Grade 10, auditions opened for The Mikado, a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta being put on jointly by Saints’ Players and the Music Department. Ever since watching a Saints’ production of The Cherry Orchard in Grade 9, I had wanted to take a shot at auditioning. However, I was quite honestly afraid to take the leap. I was very happy just being a part of the Music Department; I loved the music we performed, I enjoyed the ensemble atmosphere, and just as importantly, I was comfortable.
Directorial changes mid-production are rare and tend to be messy. For many of us in the cast, The Mikado was our first theatrical production. Mr. Fraser was tasked with the challenge of turning a bunch of students into a real acting troupe; now, with the transformation almost complete, Mr. Fredeman had to help us finish the job.
There were many reasons not to try out for the play: I had no previous experience. I knew very few members of the theatre crowd and despite having had Mr. Fraser as a teacher for a whole year, I still found him a little intimidating. However, my curiosity got the better of me and I went ahead with auditioning. I walked into the upper music room and was asked if I had prepared any songs. Never having auditioned for a play before, I had no idea that I had to bring anything at all. With his customary smile, Mr. Rnic asked me to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. In a state of abject terror, I began to sing: “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I... uhm...” At this point, my fear finally began to subside. After all, I had forgotten the words to a song I’ve been singing since I was four; how much worse could things possibly get? I made it all the way through the song on my second try. When the final casting was announced, I was shocked to discover I had landed the role of Pooh-Bah, the Lord High Everything Else. Never again in my theatrical career at Saints or beyond would I ever be as nervous as I was at that first audition. At the first rehearsal, I met dozens of people with whom I would spend most of my free time with the rest of the year, didn’t faze me. Opening Night? No problem. After all, I had flubbed the easiest song in the world, and lived to tell the tale. Years later, I found myself in a different room a continent away, auditioning for my first show as a college freshman. Once again, the show was The Mikado. They asked me what I would like to sing. My response was immediate, and a bit surprising even to me: “I’d like to sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, please.”
It would have been easy for Mr. Fredeman simply to let us coast, but instead he took Mr. Fraser’s vision and added his own spin to it, working with the cast to get as much out of us as possible. Mr. Mortimer worked with some of us on character development and certainly taught me a great deal about how to get into a role. Through all the change, Mr. Rnic, our Music Director, was the lone constant voice. I was already familiar with his talents as a band teacher, but as a Vocal Coach and Choral Director he proved to be just as good. A situation that could have been a fiasco ended up becoming a great production because neither the students nor the teachers were willing to give up on it. The next fall, very shortly before opening night for The Man Who Came to Dinner, we lost a vital cast member. Mr. Sayers volunteered to take on the role at the very last minute. As we worked to get all of Mr. Sayers’ scenes polished and performance ready, that last week of rehearsals proved absolutely nerve-wracking. In the end, all the scenes came off perfectly and Mr. Sayers stole the show. My college production of The Mikado saw changes in both stage and music directors and four cast changes, one of which took place partway during the run of the show itself. Just as we did at Saints, the cast, crew, and directors came together, put in the extra hours and hard work, and pulled a great production from the brink of disaster. These days, cast turnover and garbled scenes have been replaced with lost proposals and garbled presentation files, but the only way out is still found only through perseverance. Everybody needs somebody sometime Even more so than in band, teamwork is absolutely vital in Theatre. Every part of the team has to be on task and sure of what they’re doing in order to ensure the best possible performance. A slip by any one member can drastically affect the on-stage results. This applies not only to actors, but also to the behind-the-scenes crew. The greatest strength
GEORGIAN: Bo Meng YEAR OF GRADUATION: 2002 PROFILE: Account Manager COMPANY: Guardsmark
of Saints’ Players was in the focus not only on good acting, but also a polished crew and an experienced front-of-house team. Our sets were always exemplary, and the student Stage Managers always ran the show with great professionalism. The stage crew is what drives any successful performance and in the years since high school I’ve not yet worked with any crews as polished and capable as the ones put together at Saints. As the voice of the Plant in Little Shop of Horrors, crew member Eric Taylor literally acted as my body, manipulating a life-sized plant puppet on stage, while I produced the voice from above. Every detail had to be coordinated down to the seemingly spontaneous ad-libs that we would come up with and rehearse before the show each night. Working with the other actors themselves was also a treat. The focus on the team was stressed every day by our directors and as a cast we always tried to take the advice to heart. I was fortunate to get an opportunity to work with many people who were talented actors, great team players, and amazing friends to boot. Many of the relationships forged at Saints’ Players have developed into lifelong friendships and, in one case, opportunities to work together on stage after high school. After having worked with Adam Goldenberg in The Man Who Came to Dinner and his memorable performance in Little Shop of Horrors, I was lucky enough to be on stage with him again years later in the HarvardRadcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ productions of Pirates of Penzance and Princess Ida. There’s no business like show business After my time at Saints, I moved on to college theatre and put on a number of productions with various groups at Harvard, including the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the Gilbert and Sullivan Players, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatics Club. Since graduation, besides a weekly volunteer gig at a non-profit theatre class for kids, I’ve gone back to being a member of the audience. In December, I watched Adam pull off an amazing Pooh-Bah in The Mikado and have had the opportunity to come back to watch a number of Saints’ Players productions as well. People often look back on their own time in a program with nostalgia, referring to it as a “golden age”, inferring that somehow nothing has been quite as good since then. A couple of years ago, I flew down to watch my own little sister star in a Saints’ production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. The product on the stage was polished and full of energy, in the finest tradition of Theatre at Saints. It’s good to see that theatre at St. George’s continues to thrive and grow, with bigger and better productions seeming to come up year after year. However, in the end it’s the people, students and teachers alike, who drive the program, and Saints’ Players has always had the best. Spring 2008 • 45
Lex Assadi ‘06 has been making Hip Hop music since the age of 12. His first performance was at Saints’ Contemporary Music Night. When he was 16, he released his first album entitled Freedom and within the next year , he had performed at numerous venues around British Columbia. By the time he was 18, he had teamed up with a good friend Lenny Diko to form Violative Cause. Their album Just Movement was a great hit, gaining them much recognition throughout Canada. In the summer of 2007, Violative Cause toured Western Europe and performed for crowds of over 2,100 people. Last November, they released their second album, The World Is Ours. Now, they are in the process of booking their second European tour and considering shows in Asia.
What attracted you in the first place to Hip Hop? I first fell in love with Hip Hop when I moved to Canada at around 12 years of age. I loved the sound, swagger, and its means of expression. Though I have lived around the world, I had never before been exposed to Rap Music, nor did I grow up around those who listened to it, so when I heard my first rap song,“Children's Story” by Slick Rick, I was completely entranced by the new sound. How do you consider Hip Hop an art form and from where do you draw your inspiration? Hip Hop is an art form because of its true nature of expression. There is a lot of room for writers, dancers, singers, and painters to take part in the culture. Hip Hop was born out of struggle and has evolved into a contemporary form of positive expression. Most of my inspiration comes from my personal thoughts and feelings. I enjoy analysing the self and writing about it, although once in a while, I will embody the "fly on the wall" and add my bit of social commentary. These days my music is more relaxed and calm, probably because my life right now is quite hectic (I guess I have finally entered "the real world!"). By creating smoother music, I am able to go to a place in my mind which is collected and stable. So, what makes you different from other Hip Hop artists? Most underground artists don't have any longevity. They start rapping because it is "the cool thing to do" and give up shortly after. I have been rapping since I was 12 years old. I understand what it means to "pay dues" and
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to work hard at music. I have endured many losses throughout the years (music wise), and have stuck through the difficult periods. I can honestly say that I have a deep love for Hip Hop, something which, because of the super-saturation of the industry, is becoming increasingly rare.
How would you describe what Hip Hop is to those who don't follow that genre of music? Actually, Hip Hop is not a genre of music. Rather, it is a culture which encapsulates Rap Music, Breakdancing, Turntable-ism, and Graffitti Art. (Good) Rap is based upon clever lyricism accompanied by a looped soulful instrumental. There are different styles of Rap throughout the world, most of which have not yet surfaced among the general population. Because Rap is so lyric dependent, the artist has so much room to write exactly what he wants. One can almost fit an entire essay into a single song! You’ve mentioned the importance of language in Hip Hop. What role did St. George's play in helping you discover and develop your passion for being a Hip Hop artist? First and foremost, the teachers at Saints are fantastic. They truly cared about my musical endeavours and nurtured my musical passion. They have, on many occasions, offered to me their best wishes and advice, something which I only appreciated after I graduated. The School’s outstanding Art and English programs helped me develop into a better writer. The first time I ever performed live was at Contemporary Music Night in the Auditor-
ium. This event, in my opinion, is the best way for student contemporary musical talent to be exposed to the rest of the School. What did you appreciate most about the School's programs in the Arts, including Music, Fine Arts, and Drama? The effort which Saints puts into developing young artists is phenomenal. What is quite remarkable is the amount of Arts programs offered by the School which cater to the needs of so many individuals. I have vivid memories of watching the School plays and being astonished by the talent and professionalism which exists in the student body. Classical, Jazz, Choir, and Contemporary Music are all facilitated, as well as numerous art shows and demonstrations. My favourite time of the year was always Arts Week. So where do you hope to see yourself in five years? In ten? In five years I hope to have attained a degree in law. I also hope to further my success in music. I have toured Europe already. I would like to perform in Asia and South America. Because I have other interests, I'm not yet sure that I will always choose music as a profession. Perhaps I would like to enter the world of politics or diplomacy. However, I will always cherish music and continue to pursue it as much as I possibly can. Ten years from now, I will probably be hoping to settle down and focus on one career path. For now, I'm taking things one step at a time trying to do my best in school and music and enjoying my young life!
GEORGIAN PROFILE GEORGIAN: Alexis “Lex” Assadi YEAR OF GRADUATION: 2006 PROFILE: Hip Hop Artist GROUP: Violative Cause www.violativecause.com Interview by: Bryan R. Ide '99
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S SCOTIA ARTISTNOVA IN
We normally hear of our grads going on to study Business, Law, or Medicine at university, so what compelled all of you to study Art? We were motivated by a passion for the field of Art and Design, combined with the influence of the outstanding Art Department at St. George’s. Of course, there was hesitation in each of our minds when making the decision to pursue a possibly less lucrative path, but we came to an important conclusion. It is love for what you do, and a devotion to your work that determines your success, whatever your work may be. This is the first time in Saints’ history where we have a significant presence at NSCAD. What drew you to Nova Scotia to study Art and what is it like having a bunch of you studying and living together? Through art teachers Nan Oliver and Rob Stickney, we learned that NSCAD has a reputation of being the most wellrounded and progressive of the few
universities fully devoted to Fine Arts and Design in Canada. Being on the other side of Canada took some major adjustment. A much smaller city than Vancouver, Halifax brought on a change of pace and a heightened sense of community. Despite being in separate grades at Saints, we have come together as a group of friends, developing a reputation here as the “BC Boys”. What would you suggest is necessary for aspiring artists to become successful? Success in the fields of Art and Design possesses some inherent uncertainties. But we cannot stress enough that success is relative to an individual’s work ethic and devotion to their craft. Love what you do, and the rest will follow. In what way did St. George’s School help you develop an appreciation for the Arts, and who at Saints inspired you the most and why? Events such as Portfolio Day, Arts Week, Student Art Sales, Rigg Scholarship
Exhibitions, and Grad Shows provided support and exposure to the artistic community. We found inspiration from our peers and Georgians, both practising artists and students in university. With all the different mediums of art, every member of the art department was a great source of motivation and encouragement: Mrs. Oliver, Mrs. LeBlanc, Mrs. Dian, Mr. Wilke, Mr. Stickney, and Mr. Clarkson. Why would you say it is important for students and Georgians to explore their artistic sides? How do you suggest they go about doing that? We encourage Saints students to explore all avenues of the education available at our privileged school where there is such diversity in course offerings. Explore your local art community, check out the galleries and artist run centres, and no matter what your line of work or avenue of education, never suppress your creative ambitions.
Spring 2008 • 47
SAYING GOODBYE TO A LEGEND For over three decades, Mr. Geof Stancombe has been a vibrant personality of great charisma at St. George's School; a person who could be, in his versatile manner, a coach, a teacher, a counsellor, a salesman, an advocate, or a friend to any student walking through these halls. Although none of the current students has had the good chance to experience him as a teacher, his legacy at the School continues to enrich them in the same way Geof Stancombe has made an impact on previous generations of students since 1970.
by Pat Palmer '80
DADDY a farewell to Geof Stancombe '62 Geof Stancombe was a student at Saints for ten years, beginning his career in Grade 4 and finishing Grade 13 in 1963. He was an outstanding student athlete; representing the School in Athletics, Basketball, and Rugby. On the track, he was one of our best, setting records (his 400 m record stood for more than 20 years) and ultimately competing at the national level. Mr. Stancombe also played rugby for the Georgians’ Rugby Club, and at a high level, playing for BC junior sides as fullback. If not for a major injury, he might have gone on to the national level. After graduating, Mr. Stancombe went on to the University of British Columbia, where he completed his bachelor’s degree and teacher training. While attending UBC, Mr. Stancombe coached Basketball, Rugby, and Track and Field at the School. He assisted with boarding and was involved in the Scouts programs. In 1970, Mr. Stancombe started teaching full time and he continued to do so until a major car accident in the spring of 2003. I have one story about Mr. Stancombe that some might have heard: in May of 1971, Mr. Stancombe distinguished himself by saving the lives of two men. They were in two canoes trying to negotiate the Similkameen River’s Bromley rapids in full flood. Mr. Stancombe saw their canoes overturn and dived in to pull one man out. He then jumped into his car, drove a mile and a half along the highway until he passed the second man floundering in the river. He dived into the freezing waters again, and pushed the second man to safety, breaking two fingers in the process. Given the conditions of the river, its speed, and cold temperature, this rescue was a most remarkable feat, and Mr. Stancombe was subsequently recognized for his heroism. Mr. Stancombe is one of the most powerful men that I have ever met. I mean powerful in
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terms of strength, as this tale has shown, but also in terms of character, personality, and heart. It is his life as a teacher we are honouring in this article and his achievements and legacy at St. George’s School. How do you capture in a few words the career of a man who has touched and impacted so many young men in so many ways? A huge number of Georgians have their own personal recollections of their time with “Daddy”, and the School community will not forget the efforts and commitment of this dedicated educator. But, first how did he acquire the name “Daddy”? At one dance in the early eighties, Mr. Stancombe was acting as chaperone when he was asked to help escort some unsavoury types off the premises after they had caused some trouble. His parting comment to one of the thugs was something in the order of “…and if you come back, you’ll have to deal with ‘Big Daddy’!” Well, this comment was heard by several students and over time Big Daddy was shortened to “Daddy”. The name stuck. It is very fitting that someone who helped and guided so many should be given such a warm and endearing nickname. One only has to look at the School’s calendar of events to see the legacy left by “Daddy” Stancombe. He was the motivating force behind a large number of School activities. Some of these were initiated by him and others developed through his drive and energy. For example, every February, 500 students and staff travel to Whistler/ Blackcomb to enjoy a day of skiing. Ski day was started by Mr. Stancombe some 20 years ago as an extension of his love of the outdoors and outdoor pursuits. This same love drove Mr. Stancombe to run the senior scouting activities at the School,
SAYING GOODBYE TO A LEGEND
which eventually turned into an extensive outdoor education program. Initially, the outdoors program took the form of weekend camping trips and an endof-year trip for the Scouts, Venturers, and Rovers. In 1979, he started the first grade-wide outdoors trip when the Grade 10 class went to Strathcona Park. A few years later the Sea-to-Sky program was developed and over the next 15 years more grades and trips were added. Eventually, this program was handed over to Neil Piller '85, one of Mr. Stancombe’s former students, and now the program caters to ten grades at the School. Mr. Stancombe was an active coach. He has been a key figure in organizing many rugby tours to various parts of the globe, helping develop a tradition that remains very strong today. For some 25 years, he coached the senior basketball team, keeping the sport alive in a School which, at that time, was concentrating more on other sports like Rugby and Track. After handing the senior team over to Mr. Dave Wilson, in 1990 he started a program for the other senior students who wished to play. This program and team was known for years as “Daddyball”. All basketball players, especially those who have played “Daddyball” owe Mr. Stancombe a great deal for his care and involvement in this sport for so many years. Mr. Stancombe is an avid golfer, and despite coaching track as well, he started a golf team in 1980. Since then, golf has been another successful program. The annual society golf tournament, the Stancombe Classic, recognizes his commitment to this sport. Moreover, Mr. Stancombe ran the tuck shop for years, giving senior students a place to buy snacks and satisfy a sweet tooth. The tuck shop has gone through several transformations over the years and has most recently been scaled up to Saints’ Café. Mr. Stancombe was the School’s first woodworking teacher and he established that course in 1975. He also developed the foundations of our current business courses. While veterans of Mr. Stancombe’s class will have their own memories, we hope the following items remind some Georgians of their time in room #25 later #212. • In Raymond Alberta, they grow sugar beets; you can remember this because Ray Stevenson is such a sweet guy. • In Cassiar they do “asbestos they can”. • 25 cent fines for “swinging” on your chair. • Eating in class? How about a free sample of Mr. Stancombe’s magic powder (a mixture of chalk dust, plaster of Paris, pepper, and chilli powder that would leave your mouth dry for a week). Perhaps Mr. Stancombe’s most significant achievement has been the initiation and development of the School’s Hamper Drive. This enterprise started as a scouting venture and involved about a dozen boys producing 20 or so hampers in the mid 1970s. No one would have imagined that those humble beginnings would have developed into one of the largest charitable Christmas drives in Vancouver. The initiation and growth of this wonderful program came from Mr. Stancombe alone. As you know, every December the Hamper drive unites the society, bringing students, teachers, past and current parents, and Georgians together. Over the past 30 years,
thousands of needy families have had their Christmas delivered in several large brown boxes from St. George’s. An article about Mr. Stancombe would not be complete without at least recounting a few of many the many colourful stories about him. I have been on several adventures with Mr. Stancombe, some as a student, and many as a friend. Many do not belong in this forum, some are too long, but three come to mind. At the end of each school year, Mr. Stancombe organized a year-end camping trip for senior students. Students would load up the “Country Van”, a green Econoline Ford van bought by Mr. Stancombe to be used for the burgeoning outdoors program. It was called the country van because the radio tuner was stuck on a countrymusic station. The country van had only 12 seats (although on many trips to Balaclava Park for track practice, Mr. Stancombe managed to squeeze in a few more—I think 22 was the record) so a trailer was needed to hold supplies. On this particular trip, Mr. Stancombe had come across a large rock that had some geological significance. It was picked up and put in the trailer to be brought back to the School’s geography lab. The trailer always appeared to be a bit rickety, but it did hold a great deal of camping gear, and on this occasion carried a 30-pound rock. Even more rickety was the trailer hitch. On a back road in the interior of BC, the country van was loaded with boys, the trailer was loaded, with “loaded” being the operative word, much like a catapult might be loaded. It was loaded and well balanced with camping gear and the rock. The road curved downhill and was a little bumpy, bumpy enough to shake loose the trailer from the hitch. Driving down hill, the van picked up some speed and so did the trailer, which was now operating independently from the tow vehicle. The van might have been travelling at 40 or 45 miles per hour; the trailer a little faster—fast enough to pass the van on the inside shoulder of the road! Now picture, if you will, the pastoral scene of a country road in the interior of BC on a warm, early summer’s day. This quiet road is winding downhill through pines and grasses and at the bottom of the hill is a little cabin; someone’s homestead or retreat from the hectic city. All of a sudden, a small camping trailer comes hurtling into the picture, running downhill with a mind of its own. Fortunately, as the slope diminished, so did the trailer’s speed, but only slightly. The bumpiness of the road did cause the load to shift, unbalancing the trailer, which began tilting forward. Short of the cabin, the trailer’s hitch hit the ground, and dug into the gravel, pitching the trailer and all its contents forward with the force of a small trebuchet. Tents, pots, pans, sleeping bags, I think a cooler, and its contents, and other camping equipment went flying, scattering across the front of the cabin. The rock however did have significantly more inertia than the other items. This rock shrugged off the binds of gravity and arched into the blue sky travelling ever higher and further. Imagine the resident of this cabin seeing this accident unfold before him; the charging trailer, the flying camping gear, and the granite projectile. Within a few seconds the peaceful scene from his front porch is transformed and his cabin in
peril. Every imaginable piece of camping equipment was scattered across the front of his property. Then there was a flying rock, a projectile of considerable force and apparent malevolence. Fortunately it had sufficient energy to clear the front of the cabin and land, with significant impact, in an uncluttered and uncultivated area of the property. Quickly, the trailer was recovered and repacked, with no significant damage to property, trailer, or equipment. The rock was recovered. A little chagrined and a lot relieved, the troop moved on. Camping with Mr. Stancombe was always a little exciting and very entertaining. Some people have a sweet tooth, Mr. Stancombe does not—he has a hot one. He loves hot peppers, hot sauce, anything spicy. I myself have fallen victim to his cooking and his random addition of chillies and hot sauce to seemingly benign food. On one occasion we were in Sydney on a rugby tour. It was very hot. On our travels we came upon a pepper bush growing in someone’s front yard. You will have noticed those ornamental pepper plants you can buy and place on a side table as decoration. They are not meant to be eaten, unless you are Daddy. This was a large bush, full of ripe peppers. Mr. Stancombe not only tried one, but he managed to get the majority of the touring party to try one. Mr. Stancombe found them very hot; the rest of the touring party found them to be life threatening! Bring out the water! We had none. The bus, driving our tour party to our next venue, was quite a sight. Every window that could open was opened and out of every such window jutted the head of one boy with his mouth wide open and his tongue hanging out trying to catch some breeze in a vain attempt to cool his burning mouth. A final memory of Geof speaks to his considerable abilities as a salesman. In 2000, we were crossing from Chile into Argentina on a rugby tour and we had been met by a border guard, who was preparing to have our entire bus unload—all the boys and all the bags off the bus and all the bags unpacked. Mr. Stancombe started talking to him in a casual way through broken English and Spanish. Common ground was soon established; we played rugby and so did the guard; we were from Canada and therefore harmless. Mr. Stancombe got more creative and somehow the guard got the impression that the boys were impoverished youths, possibly orphans, racing to catch a connecting train or plane donated to our use. The guard received a rugby tour pin and a hat (note: a single pin and cap!), and we were back on the road with only a quick passport check and little delay. The minivan with supporters and parents following us ended up getting through the border, but only after coughing up some $250 (US) to the same guard. Mr. Stancombe’s legacy will long be remembered. His long-term impact on the School, its teachers, and its students will be felt for a very long time and not forgotten. He has been a mentor to many and a friend to all and the School has benefited from his generous ideas and is richer for his energy and strenuous efforts in these halls. Long may his memory remain!
Spring 2008 • 49
SAINTS’ NOTES 1965 Jeff Goller completed a milestone of installing his 50th water feature. After a long banking career, Jeff wanted to try something different and is now in his 10th year of Goller Grade and Gravel LLC, which is an Envirostar-certified com-pany. This Christmas he installed a water feature in San Jose to help his eldest son get started in the business. He loves what he does and his webpage www.WeDoPonds.com, reflects these sentiments. Jeff enjoys spending his leisure time with family and friends at their Hood Canal beach house and plying the waters of the Puget Sound on his boat, the Alice Louise, named after his 28 year-old daughter. He also has three sons (13, 30, and 37), a wife of 19 years, artist Carrie Goller, plus three young grandsons. It doesn’t get much better than this. Jeff believes he received a good foundation at St. George’s School.
1967 Steve Housser writes: “Although I am not the official ‘biographer’ for the Class of ’67, I have recently bumped into a few mates from that fine year and am happy to pass on some bits and pieces. Recently four of us happened together for lunch at the Bengal Room at the Empress in Victoria. The sparkplug was Terry Burns, who, like me, left Saints for Shawnigan. Burns was in town for his youngest daughter's volleyball game. By coincidence, another travelling volleyball dad was Duncan Manson. Duncan and Terry tracked down Frank Gordon Rush, and I was summoned to join them for a quick catch-up. Manson is a successful Vancouver lawyer, Burns a thriving Vancouver special events consultant. Rush, of Victoria, is trying his hand at retirement after being a contractor in Vancouver and then Victoria. We traded news, which I will pass on here, but cannot vouch for its accuracy has apparently traded sides, going from the Prosecutor’s Office where he put baddies away to private practice and keeping them out. Rick Sterling is a space science engineer at UC Berkeley and big Al Hudson, another lawyer of several produced by the Class of ’67, was recently seen by me at the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. He was perched in the Grand Pooh Bah's box as one of the top 'adjudicators'—a senior referee watching the work of the onfield refs, ready to arbitrate any
50 • The Dragon
Jeff Goller '65 and family. accusations of incompetence or unfairness. Fraser Flemming was mentioned in dispatches—something about gold mines in Ghana. Craig Fleck plays a mean game of tennis and one of Clarke McKeen's five sons, Stanley ’00, is playing rugby for Canada. I am sure other names were mentioned but any report on them would either be too hazy or scandalous to print here. “
1975 After 13 years in Sweden as Dean of International Relations at Jonkoping University, Peter Hilton, together with his wife, Sofi, children, Emily, 14, and Nicholas, 10, are moving to Kamloops. Paul has taken a position as Associate Vice President of Enrollment at Thompson Rivers University.
1978 After a long professorial stint at the University of Cambridge and a short one at the University of St. Andrews, Markus Bockmeuhl moved again in 2007 to become Professor of Biblical and Early Christian Studies at the University of Oxford, with a Fellowship at Keble College. His wife Celia works as an art conservator at the Oxford Conservation Consortium. They live in a
beautiful village in Buckinghamshire with three daughters and two sons, born between 1996 and January of 2007. Paul Mitchell-Banks has returned to running Central Coast Consulting (www.centralcoastconsulting.org), a firm that he established back in 1989 when he left corporate banking. Focusing on environmental, business, First Nations, and forestry services, Paul works in areas such as environmental assessments, multi-party facilitation and mediation, socio-economic studies, strategic and business planning, regional economic development, land and resource management, and planning and international research. In April of this year he was invited as an expert on mountains and planning to participate in a European Strategic Workshop at Innsbruck, Austria. This month, he goes to Holland to participate in a workshop meeting on a large European research project on forests, trees, human health and wellbeing. In June, he is taking his father, William, to France for an International Forestry Symposium, forestry course, and forestry tour put on by ENGREF— France’s premier forestry institute. In August, he goes to Norway for another research meeting and to work on a book. He lives in Kitsilano with
SAINTS’ NOTES Catherine Leckie, two boys, two dogs, and a cat . He would welcome hearing from old school mates.
Christopher Patton’s book of poems, Ox, was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Prize for poetry.
Gordon Clark was recently appointed Deputy News Editor of The Province newspaper.
Peter Giles is currently working on an interesting job as an actor—voicing a regular part on an animated comedy series called The Life and Times of Tim which will air in June on HBO for 10 episodes.
Paul Harder recently released another fine funk album, Dee-Funked, featuring his sax playing and more great tracks including "Trail Of The Yellow Tail", "All Jammed Out", "Pulled The Plug For My Baby", "Box Spring Boppin'", "Goin' Down, Down, Down", "We Want The Scotch", "Dr. Jekyll's Jam ", "Don't Smell That Chig No More" and "Meet Ya At Bab"s".
Jens-Erik Walter has been married to Miranda for 12 years and has four children (Aidan, Chloe, Isabella, and Jack Elliott). He was recently appointed the Director of the Division of Urogynaecology and Pelvic Floor Reconstructive Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at McGill.
Malcom Stewart lives in the Boston area where he is a partner in a technology focused merchant bank.
1985 Ian Indridson is taking a few months' career break after nine years with the BC Government and six years in advertising. Most recently, he served as Manager, Writing and Editorial Services, overseeing the unit that produces speeches, statements, and other materials for Premier Campbell. He lives by the sea in Victoria and remains an avid cyclist, car nut, and ball-hockey goalie.
1987 Peter Black writes that after almost 21 years away from the School, it is time for his first class note. After medical school in Mainz, Germany and Urology residency at the University of Washington in Seattle and Urologic Oncology Fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, he is returning to Vancouver in July 2008 to assume a faculty position at UBC, Vancouver General Hospital and the Prostate Centre as a urologist focusing on bladder, prostate, kidney, and testicular cancer. He has been out of the country for 17 years and will return with his wife of 17 years, Carrie, and their three children: Anna 11, David 9, and Julian 6.
J. Jasper Lament has been living in the US for 15 years, but is moving back to Vancouver. After nine years working in wildlife conservation, he has accepted a position at BC Hydro. He will be working in the Safety, Health, and Environment group. Andrew Warren has a two-year posting to Cyprus, where he will be a company commander in the British Army. He will be accompanied by his wife and son, William.
1990 Michael Hungerford is a real estate developer with the Hungerford Group (www.hungerfordgroup.com), and lives near City Hall in Vancouver. After 10 years in the private sector with WCG International Consultants, Carl Jensen has joined the Public Service as a Project Manager for the Ministry of Small Business and Revenue. He has become a Scottish Highland Games athlete throwing cabers, stones, hammers, and weights and he sits on the following boards: Peninsula Recreation Commission, Central Saanich Advisory Planning Commission, Victoria Highland Games Association, and the Pacific Northwest Scottish Association. He lives in Victoria with his wife and three children.
1991 After 10 years in New York, Reyaz Kassamali has moved back to Canada and is now based in Toronto. He is Managing Director at Hilco Consumer Capital, a retail/consumer-focused private equity firm. Carl Laudan just completed his first feature film. It is called Sheltered Life, an ensemble-drama. He produced (with Lori Lozinski), directed, and edited the film. They were supported by Telefilm Canada, BC Film and the Federal and Provincial tax credits. They have been invited to Perspective Canada Cannes by Telefilm Canada, one of only ten films in the country to receive this honour.
1992 Jason Chan is at Blast Radius, a strategic interactive agency based in Vancouver and was working in the Toronto office for two years. Last fall, he was promoted to Associate Director of Strategy and transferred to New York to grow the US operations.
1993 Scott Earthy recently moved back to New York with his wife, Carolyn, to take a position with Ingleside Investors. Ingleside is an investment group that primarily manages money on behalf of the New York-based Israel family. He will be making direct company investments along with investing in private equity funds and building a private equity fund-of-funds business. He looks forward to reconnecting with all New York-based Georgians. Oliver Linsley is currently producing his first feature film, Machotaildrop.
1995 Andrew Carros is thrilled to share a few milestones in his life. He has been working in the real estate industry for the past five years and has just joined Sothebys International Realty Canada as a sales associate working with his father, Greg, who is now the managing broker for the Vancouver office.
Spring 2008 • 51
SAINTS’ NOTES Nicholas Harvey will complete his PhD in Theoretical Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2008. He will be a post-doctoral researcher at Microsoft Research for one year and then start as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in the fall of 2009.
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton and Garrison LLP in New York.
2004 Alexander Demner has graduated from the University of Calgary with a degree in Political Science, and a degree in International Relations (awarded with Distinction). In September 2007, he began studying law at Queen’s University. He hopes to specialise in International Law.
1997 Robert Carruthers and fiancée, Mollie Dahlgren, are graduating from the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. After graduation, they will move to Boston in order to start their medicine internships at Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard affiliate. Following an intern year, Robert will begin a neurology residency at Massachusetts General. After spending his formative years in New York on Madison Avenue, Nick Gudewill has returned home to Vancouver to apply his trade to something he's truly passionate about—adventure! Nick co-founded a new travel and tour operator called Exposure, which will be launched this spring in British Columbia. It used to be that one had to choose between highintensity and high thread count when booking a vacation. Now, travellers don’t need to decide between the thrill of off-the-beaten-path exploration and opulent accommodation, service, and dining. Exposure merges adventure and luxury while serving a niche group of high-end travellers. Nick believes that BC is the new frontier of adventure ecotourism. In an effort to keep it this way, Exposure is one of an emerging group of Green companies, so travellers can forget about their carbon footprint and focus on their trailblazing. For more info on how to book a trip see www.exposure.travel. Ben Remocker has qualified for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in the sport of sailing. More information can be found at www.49erskiffsailing.com.
1998 Rehman Campbell recently started a position as a Defence Policy Adviser with the Privy Council Office Afghanistan Task Force.
52 • The Dragon
Simon Dyakowski has graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BA in Finance.
Nick Gudewill '97 After stints in San Francisco with Grammy Award-Winning Acappella vocal group Chanticleer, and originating the role of Haldir in the world-premiere stage adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, Fraser Walters is involved with a new project called the Canadian Tenors. Following a cross-Canada tour with the Power Within conferences (where they shared the stage with such luminaries as Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, Anthony Robbins, and Hilary Swank), they will soon embark on tours of North America, Asia, and Europe. Their debut studio album was recorded both in Stockholm, Sweden, and Toronto with Grammy and Juno-winning producers and will be released in the fall. More information can be found at: www.canadiantenors.com.
Matthew Hayto has completed his first year at Columbia University, studying Financial Engineering. He is a member of the Global Recruitment Committee, which interacts with all prospective students from around the world. He is also on the rowing team. He hopes any Georgians visiting New York will contact him.
BIRTHS Andrew Carros ’95 and his wife, Lisa, a son, Tyler Alexander, born July 29, 2007. David Crerar ’87 and his wife Julia Lawn, a daughter, Isla Margaret Lawn Crerar, born March 3, 2008. Bryan Poon ’89 and his wife Kellie, a son, Dylan Alexander, born December 29, 2007
2000 David Hammond is graduating this spring from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto and will return to Vancouver to start practising this summer. Alykhan Sunderji was elected President of the Students’ Law Society at the University of Toronto. In May, he will be starting as a summer associate at
Dylan Alexander Poon
SAINTS’ NOTES Malcolm Stewart ’83 and his wife, Michele, a daughter, Claire Virginia. Bob Tinkess ’76 and his wife, Pam a son, Sean Alexander, born January 4, 2008.
Peter C. Claman ’47 on October 26, 2007 at Merritt, BC.
Congratulations to Emek Benny who received the Edith May Sliffe Award in 2006 for “distinguished teaching in mathematics” in preparing students to write the American Mathematics Competitions. This award is given annually to 24 North American teachers. Duoli Peng’07 and James Chen ’07 recommended that Mr. Benny be a recipient at the request of the Mathematical Association of America the School having achieved a very high team score.
Kathleen Crerar on February 25, 2008 at Vancouver, BC. Kathleen was a longtime kindergarten teacher at Athlone School in Kerrisdale, mother of former School Governor Tony Crerar, and grandmother of David Crerar ’87. William (Bill) J. Curran ’57 on October 12, 2007 at Vancouver, BC. Grant Wilcock Dominy ’46 on January 10, 2008 at Victoria, BC. Gordon (Buck) R. Gilley ’42 on December 31, 2007. Head Boy and a past Member of the Society Board of Directors. Father of Ross ’73 and Graham ’76 and grandfather of Spencer ’08, Patrick ’10, and Blake ’13. Sean Alexander Tinkess
Thomas P. Graham ’54 on October 13, 2007 at Victoria, BC.
Andrew Warren ’89 and his wife, Catherine, a son, William George Arthur, born October 7, 2007.
Andrew J.K. (Budge) Jukes ’38 on February 8, 2008 at Parksville, BC. Father of Andrew ’65 and grandfather of Mark ’00 and Jeffrey ’01.
Brenton Wilke, faculty, and his wife, Joanna, a daughter, Annastasya Lynn, born January 13, 2008. Brenton is a computer graphics and animation teacher at the Senior School.
Donald P. B. Napier on December 5, 2007 at Salt Spring Island, BC. Past Member of the Society Board of Directors and father of Christopher ’96.
Arthur H. Sager on September 22, 2007 at Victoria, BC. A former faculty member who received both a DFC and the French Legion d’Honneur during his time as a spitfire pilot during World War II, and father of Eric ’62.
Michael Hungerford ’90 to Jennifer Laderoute on September 8, 2007. John McCormack ’99 to Hannah Chapmanon September 29, 2007 in Vancouver BC. Groomsmen were brothers Brendan McCormack ’02, Liam McCormack ’06, and classmate Andrew Davidson ’99. Beau Chapman ’01 was head usher.
Mr. Christian Duhme, who is the School's Head of Biology, was awarded a 2007 BIOTE Canada–Biogen Idec Teaching Excellence Award by Peter Brenders, President and CEO of BIOTECanada, in recognition of his achievements in providing students with curriculum focused on biotechnology discovery. The award was presented during the BioPartnering North America conference recently held in Vancouver. The prize includes a $2,500 award presented to the winning teacher and their school. Visit www.biotech.ca for details on the 2008 competition. Eric Stewart is retiring after 29 years. See Page 27. Rob Stickney is retiring after 27 years. See Page 17.
Michael Hungerford '90 and wife, Jennifer
John McCormack '99 and wife, Hannah Wai-Shan Lam ’92 to Noelle Ho in May 2008 in Hokkaido, Japan. Eric Yau ’92 was one of the groomsmen. Spring 2008 • 53
NEWELL, JAMES CRAIG March 28, 1950–March 27, 2008
Craig stepped into God’s other country from Vancouver General Hospital in the wee hours of the morning after a difficult time with esophageal and stomach cancer. He was most grateful for the care given to him by the staff who did their best to find him some measure of comfort and was at peace in his final hours. Craig was best friend and husband to Gail, loving father to Jeremy (Erin), and Robert (Alexa) and proud grandfather to Joshua. Craig was most pleased that his father James (Mary) brother, Brian, and sister, Megan, made it from Ontario to say good bye, his other sister, Marcia, predeceased him. At the last, Craig had put away regrets and was celebrating his blessings. There were blessings in abundance. In addition to the joys of family, Craig had a life long passion for mathematics and education. He inspired his students to be able to do math and love it. He mentored and inspired his colleagues to excellence in teaching. He was
working on a PhD in Math education in his retirement and enjoyed teaching pre-service teachers. Craig also had a passion for sports. The teacher came out in him again as he coached generations of kids in track and field and cross country. Craig and Gail both loved the outdoors and spent many days, weekends and holidays in God’s creation, from the local river and mountain hikes to the heights of Mt. Killimanjaro. Craig also gave of his blessings, active in environmental action and peace and justice issues through the Anglican Church. A memorial service was held on Saturday March 29 at St. Anne’s, Steveston Anglican Church, 4071 Francis Road, Richmond, BC. In lieu of flowers and enabling Craig’s lifelong work and interest in mathematics education to continue, donations may be made to the Craig Newell Memorial Mathematics Education Scholarship Fund Care of Simon Fraser University, Advancement Office, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby BC V5A 1S6. From The Vancouver Sun. March 28, 2008
1932–1958 | 1963 | 1968 | 1973 | 1978 | 1983 | 1988 | 1993 | 1998 | 2003
DIRECTORY Want to know what’s going on at the School? Want to make sure that you get invitations to all of our exciting events? Then make sure to sign up on the Georgian Directory. By doing so, you will receive our email updates and our E-Newsletter, the Dragon’s Lair! Also, you can locate and contact other Georgians!
Reunion Weekend September 19 and 20, 2008 We invite all Georgians from classes ending in 3s and 8s, along with all Senior Georgians (those celebrating their 50th reunion and beyond) to enjoy a weekend of fraternity and reunion. Friday, September 19 6:00 pm: Reunion Weekend Kickoff Reception for all Participants St. George’s School, Senior Campus, Great Hall 7:30 pm: Class Dinners (organized by each class) Venues Off-Campus 7:30 pm: Senior Georgians’ Dinner for Those Celebrating their 50th Reunion and Beyond St. George’s School, Senior Campus, McLean Hall
Saturday, September 20 School will be open for those who wish to tour or to make use of the facilities.
-> Staying Connected -> Georgian Directory
Classes events are organized by each respective class.
For more information:
www.reunionweekend.ca 54 • The Dragon
HELP FIND AN OLD BOY! Not all of our Georgians worldwide are reading this issue of The Dragon. Thatâ€™s because we have lost touch with them over the years. Without current contact information, we cannot communicate with them about upcoming events or meetings in their local areas, keep them updated with what is happening at the School, or even send them this magazine. If you know the whereabouts of anyone on this list, please let us know how we can get in touch with them. Anything at all helps: an address, telephone number, e-mail, or work information. Please contact Bryan R. Ide â€™99, Manager of Georgian Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (604) 221-3885. THANK YOU! 1960 Barry F. Adams Nicholas Bazovsky David R. Beach Robert L. Beach Evan A. Burnett Richard B. Campbell Timothy J. Cummings Donald F. Dally Edward A. Emerson T. Michael Ferguson George E. Horsman J. Barry Hughes W. Peter Marshall John G. McCracken J.F. Ian Murray Richard A. Pearse Gary J. Pringle Ian A. Rogers Ross Y. Simpson William "Bill" R. Strachan J. Michael Vaux Keith A. Werner 1961 Bruce H. Arbo Christopher C. Atkins Douglas C. Brazier Harvey R. Brown William R. Copp John A. Currie Grant W. Ferguson Roderick D. Jermain Bruce M. Lambert G. Stephen W. Nicoll Douglas B. Robson Donald A. Shaw D. Michael Treloar Floyd A. Trotter 1962 J. Kent Barbour Brian Campbell Robin W. Carlsen Richard E. Gibbs Michael C. Gow Cecil Hahn John S. Kennedy Ian D. Lambert Donald B. Magor Donald G. McAndrew R. Moodie John A. Porteous Ross W. Porter S. Murray Sager J.W. James Torrance Earl E. Wilder J.S. Wright
1963 R.V. Warren Bell J. Arthur Clark Michael B. Cox Edwin E. Crawford Patrick F. Crooks Kenneth A. Edwards Douglas C. Gordon David F. Gow Patrick H. Gray Andrew M. Harper J. William "Bill" Mackie William "Bill" A. McCleary Norman G. Patterson Gerald W. Potter J. Woods Adrian J. Wright 1964 William E. Allan Brian R. Aycinena Michael A. Barratt David C. Brown Kenneth G. Brownridge Aidan P. Butterfield Ian M. Clay Bruce P. Dunlop Peter G. Ewart David W. Fladgate Paul Friser-Fredrickson Richard D. Gordon R. Shane Gordon William Hugh Lochhead Bruce W. McArthur Angus McDonald Nicholas J. McGowan David S. McPhee Blair R. McRae William "Bill" F. Morton Ralph D. Payne Donald A. Ratcliffe Robert J. Reynolds C. Kent Steele Benjamin A. Stevenson Peter Van Gelder Michael Vitins Wayne L. Wicks Donald A. Willan John H. Young 1965 David W. Ayre Robert W. Brown David D. Buchanan John M. Dean Douglas J. Ellis Paul H. Gilley N.A. Ranji Grewal
John F. Horsey Thomas Irwin William "Bill" B. Lewis David MacFarlane B. Neville George A. Norton P. Purdy Ronald A. Reinertson H. Alan Robitaille James S. Robson Christopher Rogers Paul S. Rogers Frank W. Skinner James P. Taylor A. West Philip M. Whitlock 1966 John C. Allan E. Dale Berry Christopher B. Blake P. Britton J. Brown Gregory H. Caple Donald N. Clay A. Crippen Alan W. Denis Robin M. Elliot Bryce G. Fleck B.J. Glendinning M. Robin Guss Douglas A. Hartt Roy M. Horie Brian T. Jackson Lionel R. Kent James "Jim" E. Macdonald Timothy I. McGee I.R. McClure John R. Nairn Timothy N. Richardson William "Bill" D. Ripley George B. Rush Robert L. Steele Arthur Van Gelder C. Andrew Wallace M. Warrior Bruce D. Waters G. Scott Williams 1967 Fraser M. Begg Robin A. Beukers James K. Bishop Richard Brenner Terrence Burns J. Chow Norman Clark Miles Clarke
M. Deacon Lee Dezendorf J. Doherty Grant Hadwin Brian Hardy J. Jongeneel A. Larkin J. McCarvill William "Bill" McCuaig Peter McGill D.I. "Mac" McLaren Richard R. Orr Peter B. Paine Michael Payne Richard Stevenson M. Vaughn N.R. "Deg" Whittall 1968 Richard C. Bell-Irving Daniel Bernstone Peter A. Bull John Burge Robert "Bob" H.J. Burgess Robert J. Cluff Nicholas P. Farr K. Hill Mark E. Huggard Brian A. Jones C. James K. Leedham Christopher B. McGill William J. Moore W. Clyde Morrison Wayne T. Naylor Marke A. Noble James J. Parker Robert "Bob" D. Phippen David Q. Potter George "Sandy" A. Ross Harvey F. Schroyen Robert "Bob" H. Scurlock David A. Shaw John P. Sigmundson Andrew L. Smith D. Stafford David H. Thomson
Duncan J. Thomson Robert J. Tyhurst Craig M. Walker Dana L. Wallace Rodney B. Wolfe William "Bill" G. Wright Timothy C. Yeomans 1969 Adrain Belshaw Paul Conway Lyall Davidson Robert Dodds Arthur Dunn Terence Dyke Robert Emerson Richard Farrant Kenneth France William "Bill" Fraser Robert Galpin David Harkness Douglas Jennings Douglas Jessiman Douglas Kerr Peter Leggat Thomas Luckey Marc McAllister Thomas McAndrew Charles Mitchell Alan Mitchell Michael Neilson Charles Parker Alistair Pollock Stephen Powell Michael Price Philip Schreiber Angus Stewart F. Alan Sweet Christopher Treasure Charles Tupper Jonathan Waddell Charles Woollett
For a complete list of lost Georgians, please visit our webpage at:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
please take your seat.
“ You need three thi ngs i n the theat re— the play, the actors, and the audi ence, and each m ust gi ve som ethi ng.” - K enneth Hai gh Here is your opportunity to make your mark on our beautifully renovated Performing Arts Centre by purchasing a seat, on the site of the original Woodward Auditorium. Your reasons for naming a seat in our theatre would be personal, but, no matter what they are, they would provide you and your family with an excellent opportunity to: • GIVE A UNIQUE GIFT • HONOUR SOMEONE SPECIAL • COMMEMORATE A SPECIAL OCCASION • PAY TRIBUTE TO ST. GEORGE’S SCHOOL
Great seats are still available for only $1,000. You will receive a tax receipt for the full value and you may name the seat as you wish. Not only is this a great way to recognize someone special or honour a significant event, your seat purchase will support the Endowment Fund for the Saints’ Players and ensure that the School’s stellar Theatre Arts Program continues to thrive for years to come. If you would like more information about the Saints’ Players or to reserve your seat, please contact: Sara Getz Office of Advancement Tel: 604.222.5884 | Email: email@example.com
RETURN ALL UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO:
St. George’s School 3851 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver BC V6S 1T6 Canada 40580507