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Character & Courage S H AW N I G A N AT 1 0 0


THIS VISUAL HISTORY OF SHAWNIGAN LAKE SCHOOL WAS PRODUCED TO COMMEMORATE ITS CENTENNIAL IN 2016. IT IS DEDICATED TO THE GENERATIONS OF ALUMNI, STAFF, PARENTS AND BOARDS OF GOVERNORS WHO HAVE CREATED SHAWNIGAN’S 100-YEAR LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE. IT IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF THE FOLLOWING: JAMES S. BAKER JR. ’83 — IN HONOUR OF HIS MOTHER, CARROLL, A FIRST SHAWNIGAN AWARD RECIPIENT. THE CHANG FAMILY — RICHARD ’74, ARTHUR ’03, DIANA ’06 AND EDWARD ’07. MR. AND MRS. GUI — PARENTS OF SHIDONG (NIKKI) ’16. IAN MCPHERSON ’85 AND THOMAS MCPHERSON ’88 — IN HONOUR OF THEIR FATHER, IAN MCPHERSON ’39, DFC, QC, SHAWNIGAN BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 1972–90. DIANNE STERLING — IN HONOUR OF HER FATHER, ROSS WILSON ’20, ONE OF THE EARLIEST SHAWNIGAN STUDENTS.

Centennial 2016


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CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

Ambition

Tradition

Character

Courage

Achievement


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143

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CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

Transition

Commitment

Transformation

Innovation

Evolution


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1. Boys of Form “Remove A” (Grade 8): (l–r) E.R. Larsen ’42, J.C. Milligan ’42 (aloft), C. Coe ’41 and K.M. Lightbody ’42. 2

2. Members of the 2012 graduating class on Closing Day.


The original school building, seen in 1916, with Valentine Jones ’23.


A lot can change in 100 years.

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n April 27, 1916, as the “War to End All Wars” raged on in Europe, a 30-year-old Englishman signed the first official register of Shawnigan Lake School, nestled across from the shores of the lake that shares its name, in the middle of a densely treed rainforest. Christopher Windley Lonsdale’s vision was an audacious one, to be sure; an enrollment of only six students made up the first class of a school that he dreamed would one day rival the legendary Westminster, his alma mater in London.

Surrounding the Learning Commons is a campus that rivals the very finest in the world. Stretching over three hundred undulating acres, our campus is dotted with facilities of a variety and quality that would exceed even the founder’s wildest imagination. It has become a vibrant community of talented educators and students from across Canada and numerous places around the world. The Shawnigan of today has been shaped by its past. Just like the generations of young people who have entered its gates, it has been on a journey of transformation. This book provides a photographic record of that journey, complemented by insights from many of the characters who make up our colourful history. However, ultimately, it is a tribute to a man whose one-hundred-year-old dream has been realized — and then some.

C.W. would face challenges that bordered on the unimaginable in those first few years, but he persevered. He rose to every challenge. From the ashes of a fire in 1926, the original schoolhouse re-emerged in just eight months as the much grander Main Building, which stood for nearly ninety years. It still exists, but in keeping with tradition it has just been reimagined as the impressive Learning Commons, the heartbeat of today’s Shawnigan. Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat


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Ambition “I ask you to consider very carefully whether it is wise to remain stationary when opportunity is so obviously waiting for us.” C.W. LONSDALE REPORT TO THE SHAWNIGAN BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 1928


Christopher Windley (C.W.) Lonsdale loved Western Canada, particularly the secluded, beautiful valley on Vancouver Island where his life’s purpose was set when he founded Shawnigan Lake School in 1916.

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t the School’s gates a plaque reads in part that Shawnigan was “founded to endure in all future time, and contribute to the welfare of Canada.” The Founder’s ambition included a long-term vision to develop future leaders of his adopted country.

means to achieve these goals have evolved, the focus on those values remains. Because of his decisive nature, Lonsdale would not have been comfortable with today’s trend toward building a “shared vision.” And yet he did convince succeeding generations to follow his ideals and develop the will to overcome seemingly insurmountable circumstances.

Shawnigan’s values were forged at London’s Westminster School in the shadow of the great abbey, where Mr. Lonsdale had been a boarding student. Having spent his formative years in the Lake District of Northern England, the attraction of Shawnigan Lake was understandable. Here the Founder built a school that would embrace the Anglican traditions he so cherished at Westminster.

The passion Mr. Lonsdale showed in realizing his vision has been sustained by the ambition of successive Headmasters, Board members, teachers and alumni. This collective belief in Shawnigan’s ideals has helped transform a small rustic school enclosed by a rainforest into an internationally acclaimed institution on a truly magnificent campus.

Mr. Lonsdale’s leadership style did not wear what the American President Woodrow Wilson (1913–21), called “the harness of compromise.” He was a decisive man. As Jay Connolly ’80 observed in Rough Diamond, Lonsdale had a very specific idea of what Shawnigan should do “to instill in its students beliefs in honesty, fair play and wisdom in order to create adults of character.” While the

In 1928, Lonsdale articulated his driving ambition to the newly incorporated Board of Governors when he wrote that “opportunity is so obviously waiting for us.” From six students in 1916 to more than four hundred and fifty today from across Canada and around the world, the first one hundred years have proven him right.


Shawnigan was founded to endure in all future time, and contribute to the welfare of Canada. BRITISH COLUMBIA SOCIETIES’ ACT, 1928


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As a man, he was a visionary. CEDRIC LONSDALE, TEACHER 1938–46, NEPHEW OF THE FOUNDER

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ecause Shawnigan was a successful school, staff who had worked long and loyally under C.W. Lonsdale were asked to take the winning formula elsewhere. Among others, this was seen most notably with Senior Master Chuck Curtis, who left Shawnigan and founded Cliffside Preparatory School across the lake, and Charles Twite, who moved from Shawnigan and became Headmaster of Vernon Preparatory School.

1. C.W. Lonsdale watching staff and students build structures for a sporting event, circa 1922.

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2. A scene from the 1918–19 school year (back row, l–r): R.J. (Jack) Musgrave ’23, C.W. Lonsdale, J. Kenneth Halley ’25; (sitting): W. Ludovic StewartMacLeod ’22.

Ambition • Page 15


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ome concern is felt for the state of repair and efficiency of facilities and equipment. Depreciation and obsolescence has taken its toll over a period of thirty years. G. PETER KAYE, 2ND HEADMASTER 1952–58 4

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aye’s appointment was looked upon favourably, both in Vancouver and in Victoria. The number of boys and the financial position of the School began to improve, until by September we could all feel that the School was in safe hands once again. DEREK LUKIN JOHNSTON ’28, BOARD MEMBER 1948–54 5

3. 1st XV player Guiseppe du Toit ’13 in front of the Hyde-Lay Pavilion on the Canada Field. The Shawnigan facilities became the Rugby Canada training centre for a number of years. 4. Boys looking at one of the latest cars in 1930 — some things never change! 5. Boys work hard to prepare the playing fields, circa 1925. 6. The original Copeman’s House, built in 1929, held 90 boys and had its own kitchen and dining room.

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Headmaster G. Peter Kaye (centre) with the School prefects of 1954–55: (back row, l–r): C.T. Battle, H.F. Mowat. (front): P.A. Nash, C.D. Brooks, Mr. G.P. Kaye, J.A. Kaye, H.D. Read


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he most important thing I learned at Shawnigan was to juggle and thrive in the face of many competing obligations. This stands me in good stead now as both a mother and a practicing lawyer. JACQUELINE (CROY) FLETT ’97, BOARD 2014–

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think Shawnigan was a happy place for the boy who was ideally suited to it, who had everything that Lonsdale was looking for — which was someone with great character, fine abilities and who was onside. The most perfect example of that probably was Ned Larsen. GRAHAM ANDERSON ’46, SHAWNIGAN TEACHER FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS

7. Sierra Farr ’14, member of the Sr. Women’s gold medal quad, CSSRA championships, 2014. 8. The diving tower was located just off the Shawnigan Lake School docks. 9. The earliest students, 1917, with C.W. Lonsdale (l–r): Gordon Toms ’23, Alan Robertson ’20, Frank Gooch ’20, Jack Musgrave ’23, Millward Harris ’20 (top of head), Kenneth Craig ’24, Charlie Phipps ’22, Edward Musgrave ’25, Bruce Robertson ’18 and Ross Wilson ’20. See page 2 for another photograph of this founding group, with dog Spot.

Ambition • Page 19


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he early idea of boarding school in classical times was to get adolescents out of the family situation and into a situation where they could be inspired, and trained to be philosophers or professionals. DR. PETER BANKS, OBC, BOARD OF GOVERNORS 1963–97, BOARD CHAIR 1985–93

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hat set Lonsdale apart in his dealings with us, I think, was his belief that there was a lot of grit in everybody — and that he could bring it out. GEORGE WILSON ’52

10. On the gym steps (back row, l–r): Fred Davis ’38, Douglas Newton ’38, Dudley Burchard ’38 and Art Smith ’37; (middle): Richard C. Day ’36, Bill Fowler ’37, David Oaks ’37, W. Norman Cooper ’39 and Richard M. Day ’36; (front): Pat Patterson ’37 and John Torland ’37.

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C.W. LONSDALE

If a boy is worth educating, I’m going to educate him. I don’t care if there’s any pay or not.


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When thou givest to Thy servants to endeavor any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not only the beginning but the continuing of the same till it be thoroughly finished which yieldest the true glory. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

long with the Founder, and legendary figures such as Derek Hyde-Lay and Graham Anderson, Horace had an enormous impact. This “Caring Commando” — he had been a regimental chaplain, for goodness sake — was a passionate teacher, rugby coach and “down to earth” Chaplain and Headmaster. WALTER VAN HALST ’84

LONSDALE’S PRAYER (PRAYER OF SIR FRANCIS DRAKE)

11. The Chapel, seen in the late ’30s with (l–r): Doan Hartnell ’39 and D.F.J. (Jim) McIntosh ’37. Both boys went on to the California Institute of Technology. 12. Rev. Canon W.H. Horace McClelland, MBE, Chaplain (1967–87) and Headmaster (1975–78).

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Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was the Visitor at “Big School” in 1954. A student wag asked him what he did, and he replied, “Coronations.”

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onsdale was a dreamer, and a far more progressive thinker than people might guess. He was interested that a boy had acquired self-discipline and the ability to think. THANE ROGERS ’35

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ight months after the Main Building was rebuilt, Shawnigan Lake School was incorporated. C.W. Lonsdale signed over his personal ownership of the School buildings, grounds and assets to the Shawnigan Lake School Society.

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Main Building foyer, 2012.


John Burr’s report is one of the few remaining original documents signed by the Founder. Part of a long tradition of American graduates from Shawnigan, John became an orthopaedic surgeon and, with his wife Katharine, created the Alumni Garden in 2009.


Many modern-day students consider the bust of Sir Percy Lake, founding Board Chair, a good luck charm.


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Tradition “Tradition does not form us automatically; we have to work to understand it. Tradition, while always old, is at the same time ever new because it is born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way.� THOMAS MERTON WRITINGS, 1955


Tradition sustains culture. Shawnigan has evolved to the point where it can be difficult to find physical links between today’s campus and the School of 1980, let alone connect to a solitary building in the middle of a rainforest in 1916.

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ome traditions, of course, have been abandoned as irrelevant to the modern world. Yet, while times and buildings and characters have changed, Shawnigan has carried its most significant traditions forward and opened the way to create new ones. One hundred years ago, the ethic of involvement in our students was born of necessity, as the School’s first students quite literally created a campus out of a tangled wilderness. They cleared the playing fields rock by rock. They explored the lake or built forts in the forest; they learned to be self-sufficient. From this outdoor experience grew the School’s commitment to steward the natural landscape. This long-held respect is seen in the creation of exciting new traditions, including viewing the campus as a Living Laboratory. To that end, in the past decade we have built an organic garden, replanted 40,000 trees and transformed stagnant Lake Omar into a fresh body of water that feeds the sustainable fen below it. It houses a salmon hatchery on its banks, while the trout it is home to delight the School’s fly fishing club! Westminster School traditions — from uniforms, to the prefect and house systems, as well as to the Pancake Greaze — were brought over by the Founder. Grads from the 1980s were the last ones to experience the Shrove Tuesday free-for-all that was the Greaze! The Word Shirt, a quieter tradition, began in

2004 to raise money for humanitarian relief in Thailand, and now continues in support of Cops for Cancer. Relieve, Unite and Commit were early themes. Community members wear their themed shirt each year with pride. Shawnigan boys and girls have learned to be adults by taking on responsibility for their peers, and helping staff run houses and School through an unspoken contract. Students mature, savouring a first taste of freedom away from home, while learning how to shake hands, look people in the eye and develop personal integrity. The Chapel, built in 1928, is the heartbeat of tradition at Shawnigan, where values have evolved through the decades. It stands as an oasis of calm, where students, staff and school leaders address values questions and build community through song. In today’s multicultural Canada, and equally diverse Shawnigan, the Chapel has an ecumenical role that is Anglican-based, while honouring other faith traditions. Shawnigan has prevailed through the enduring sense of tradition that is reclaimed, revived and renewed by each generation.


Shawnigan has prevailed through the enduring sense of tradition that is reclaimed, revived and renewed by each generation.


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espite Lonsdale being a soccer man who had played at Westminster as a student, in 1928 he agreed with teacher Capt. “Tiny” Levien that rugby should replace soccer as Shawnigan’s major fall sport.

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hether times were good or bad the students of Shawnigan received a fine education that came not only from the classroom but also from living fully immersed in a busy and productive community. SIMON BRUCE LOCKHART, 11TH HEADMASTER 1990–2000

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pon entering the Chapel, Lonsdale was like a one-man procession. He walked with great dignity and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Headmaster was present. You could have heard a pin drop in that Chapel. GRAHAM L ANDERSON ’46

1. The very first rugby team in 1928 is shown at left with John Larsen, captain. 2. Harold Robertson ’59 (son of A. Bruce Robertson ’18, the first Head of School) and Graeme Macrae ’59 sit in their fathers’ chairs in Chapel. 3. Girls represent the School in a soccer match, 2015.

Tradition • Page 33


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ne of the great social aspects of school life was having a fort, which was a great place to secrete illegal food. The forts were one of the great escapes from the routine of the School. TOM LADNER ’33

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hen Lonsdale first opened the School, there was a garden to the left as you drove in. It was all swamp, really. GEOFFREY OSLER ’27

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4. Boys in front of their fort in the woods, circa 1948. 5. The School, seen from the original driveway, with the new gym under construction to the left. The gym was the only building saved in the 1926 fire. 6. Cricket action in front of the old pavilion, a structure now relocated and repurposed on the campus.

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There’s a voice in the Wilderness crying, A call from the ways untrod; Prepare in the desert a highway, A highway for our God! The valleys shall be exalted, The lofty hills brought low; Make straight all the crooked places, Where the Lord our God may go! “THERE’S A VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS” THE SCHOOL HYMN CHOSEN BY C.W. LONSDALE

Tradition • Page 35


JESSICA WEAVER ’05

At Shawnigan I learned how important it is to be a well-rounded individual. If you had something to bring to the table, you were always welcome.


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7. On the Strathcona Lodge School dock (l–r): Alan Parke ’49, Stuart Milbrad ’48, John Pearkes ’49, Bill Day ’48, Gordon Parke ’48, Clive Randall ’48 and Tom Gowman ’48.

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8. Francois Elmaleh ’53, a prefect during C.W. Lonsdale’s last year and the first head prefect under the second Headmaster, G.P. Kaye.

Tradition • Page 37


The Chapel is a treasured space for many of our alumni and is often the first place on campus they visit upon their return: Many have been married here. For today’s students it is a place for community building, personal reflection — and singing!

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n the 4th of June, 1928, the School gathered in the Chapel for the first official service in that building and on the 1st of July 1928, the Bishop of British Columbia dedicated the building.

9. Chapel service, 1947, with C.W. Lonsdale in the Headmaster’s seat. 10. The Chapel in 2015 with Rev. James Holland, who continues a dedicated line of School Chaplains that includes Reverends Eric Detchon, Gordon Payne and Horace McClelland.

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We pray that our class has achieved numerous goals and successes. We give thanks for all the students whether or not they have been here for two years or five. We give thanks to our teachers, House Directors and many other staff members for helping us on our journey to be the students we are today. We pray for our graduating class and that their future is great. We thank the kitchen and laundry staff for taking care of us and providing us with our essentials. We thank Reverend Holland for putting so much time and effort in Chapel. We thank the staff in the admissions office for picking the perfect students to join our wonderful School. We also thank Mr. Samuel and Mr. Robertson for giving us the discipline that we need. We pray for all of the students and that their journey at Shawnigan is as great as ours. We now take a moment to reflect on our needs and the needs of others. Amen. 10

CENTENNIAL PRAYER COMPOSED BY THE CLASS OF 2016 DURING THEIR GRADE 8 YEAR

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here was something very tribal to putting on our blue paint and taking up our flags and marching down the hill, chanting war songs before the Round-the-Lake Relay. Rivalry aside, internal bonding and house identity were important. 11

DAVID CAPE ’03, HEAD OF SCHOOL

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fter visiting Mr. Lonsdale’s last resting place in a small, beautiful graveyard at St. Anne’s Church in Parksville, I was reminded of how the School had started, how far it had come and how thankful I was for his vision, which continues today and makes Shawnigan such a remarkable place. JULIANNE HENNIG ’12, HEAD OF SCHOOL

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s I drove through the gates, the butterflies of nervousness would not cease. There was absolutely no reason — everybody seemed friendly, helpful, always another smiling face. I snapped out of it, grabbed my bags and entered my new home with a great big smile. NOELLE DAIGLE ’99

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n Shrove Tuesday the Shawnigan cook would make a pancake up to 24 inches in diameter. Two strapping boys from each class were selected to represent each house and would gather at one end of the gymnasium, with the Headmaster and the cook in the middle, surrounded by a raucous throng of students. The pancake was ceremonially tossed into the air and the mad scramble began. The student who possessed the largest piece (or the most pieces) was awarded a prize to share with his class — afternoon leave in the village — and for the School a half-day holiday — no sea cadets!! PANCAKE GREAZE, A TRADITION FROM MR. LONSDALE’S ALMA MATER, WESTMINSTER SCHOOL

11. The Pancake Greaze in action, early 1970s. 12. Haydn Evans and Julianne Hennig, Deputy and Head of School 2012, visit the Founder’s gravesite. 13. This 1957 School photo captured pranksters — A. Camp, F. Waters, P. Pratt, R. McIntosh, H. Mould — sticking their tongues in their cheeks. Mr. Kaye was “not amused.”

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14. Challa (Saunders) Reisner ’93 approaches the main doors — a posed shot for Mr. Lane’s always popular grad slide show.

Tradition • Page 41


C.W. Lonsdale at his desk in the Headmaster’s Study, circa 1927.


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Character “As with photography, character develops in the darkness.” YOUSUF KARSH, 1950


In 1926 fire threatened to destroy Mr. Lonsdale’s dream, only a decade after it had begun. Denis Douglas ’26 recounted over fifty years later that “There is no better insight into character than the observance of the performance of a person under the stress of an emergency.”

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n the night of the fire, students witnessed grace under pressure. Lonsdale and his staff did not hesitate or retreat: they ensured everyone’s safety, then moved forward, unbowed, and worked tirelessly to secure the future. In just eight months the School’s Main Building was rebuilt. The Great Depression in the 1930s affected enrollment dramatically and choked the School’s growth. But this, again, did not halt Lonsdale’s vision of building a school to educate the whole person. In September 1939, what was to become the Second World War broke out. In the wake of reduced enrollment and an uncertain future, Shawnigan was forced to endure, remarshal, press forward and, in Winston Churchill’s words, “Never, never, never, give up!” Throughout its history, the School has stressed the moral grounding of responsibility and action. Choosing to remain on the sidelines to watch a fellow student break a rule has never been an option. Intervention in support of a fellow student or of a rule in jeopardy, while difficult, has always been valued.

Alumni will remember, sometimes wryly, the Gold Book of Rules and Regulations, Satis Cards, Defaulters, Wilberforce and other more rigid approaches to character development. Times have changed and social mores have developed to the point where inculcating values and producing confident young people are part of both the formal curriculum and all aspects of the informal curriculum. Tayanna Linden ’15, daughter of Paul Linden ’80, wrote in her Grade 12 year that “Whether I end up writing books, or becoming the second Dr. Linden in our family, only time will tell. Something Shawnigan has given me is the belief I am capable of either. Perhaps even both.” Visionaries such as C.W. Lonsdale and the line of School leaders following him extended their vision and took on implausible, often impossible, tasks that offered no predictable outcome, except the desire to enhance the School and the students. What they always brought back from such explorations was the stuff from which character is built.


Overcoming adversity is intrinsic to Shawnigan’s character.


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t is with heartfelt gratitude that on this Staff Appreciation Day, on behalf of the students and parents of the School, we thank the Headmaster and each and every staff member for doing such an outstanding job. LORI MOULAISON, CHAIR OF THE SHAWNIGAN PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION, 2014

1. The first edition of the Gold Book, which each student carries. By 2016 the first page lists Shawnigan’s core values: Honesty, Respect, Courtesy, Pride, Involvement, Hard Work and Success.

Page 46 • Character

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ll the dormitories and passages I polished and beeswaxed with turpentine, on my hands and knees! I don’t think there’s a single job in the School I didn’t do at one time or another. At 7:00 a.m. I was in the lake for my morning swim and still up past midnight darning the boys’ socks! ELEANOR “STANTI” STANTON, HEAD MATRON 1918–62

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e were Shawnigan boys and we were taught that meant something. Socks straight, tie on. Nothing could upset Lonsdale like bad behaviour in public. HUMPHREY GOLBY ’23

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run an establishment that creates people who take on responsibility and lead. I am very, very up on grades, but that is not the only thing I would like to see. C.W. LONSDALE 2. Matron Eleanor Stanton devoted her life to the School as a nurse, housekeeper, seamstress, gardener and even PE teacher. 3. Early dormitory, circa 1932.

Character • Page 47


Vancouver Sun Obituary, 2002: “His Honour Bell-Irving lived a life of service, honour and dedication. He was one of the great Lt.-Governors of this province.”

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e were in the dining room, our jackets on the back of our chairs doing prep after supper. With my normal gazing out of the window, I suddenly saw flames inside the changing room window, jumped up and yelled, FIRE! HON. H.P. “BUDGE”’ BELL-IRVING ’29, OC, OBC, OBE, DSO, 23RD LT.-GOV. OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 1978–83 6

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n December 24, 1926, exactly one week after the staff and students had stood in the quiet early morning and surveyed the ruins of the School, the Vancouver Sun reported that plans had been devised to replace the razed building.

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have a vivid picture of the Founder looking at the wreckage of the Main Building fire the following morning. Here was a man who had built a school out of virtually nothing, only to see it disappear in ashes. Despite everything, the Founder was calm and resolute, with a face that said, “This is a setback, but I am not going to be put down by it; we shall build again.” DEREK LUKIN JOHNSTON ’28

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4. Lt.-Gov. Henry P. “Budge” BellIrving ’29, speaking at the Closing Day ceremony, 1979. 5. Classroom building constructed in 1929, destroyed by fire in 1958. 6. The classroom fire. Fortunately, the adjacent Hobbies Building, Rifle Range and Chapel were saved. 7. The west wing of the Main Building under construction, 1927. 8. The campus buildings shortly before the December 1926 fire.

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9. The new School building occupies the same site. Boys were able to move into rooms in mid-May 1927.

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iving with people in a dormitory I gained a better understanding of the way people work and developed a feel for what was going on as far as morale was concerned. TOM LADNER ’33

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reatment was always equal. The rules were laid down very clearly, and if you followed the rules and regulations, everything was fine. JOHN LEY ’41

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y fondest memories of Shawnigan were always the people, from close friends to favourite teachers to the laundry and kitchen ladies. That’s turned into a lesson that’s helped me a lot in my career. Respecting and creating relationships with people at all levels is always good. MOLLY (DUIGNAN) MIDDLETON ’98


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look at the School now as a launching pad. They strengthen you, teach you basics in human behaviour, give you good academic grounding and let you explore your physical and intellectual self. Then you’ve got to go out and find out what you’re really like outside of all those constraints. PETER LADNER ’66

10. Denis Douglas ’33, followed his brother Robert ’30. His nephews Robin ’60, Tim ’65 and great-nephew Taylor ’00 continued the family tradition. 11. Boys horsing around (back row, l–r): Roy Sharp ’50 and David Waterman ’49; (front): Blaine Loughery ’49.

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12. They keep coming back! Some of our alumni staff, 2014 (l–r): Kelsey McDaniel ’97, Wes Plater ’97, Nigel Mayes ’89, Jay Connolly ’80, Stephen Lane ’67, Scott Noble ’75; (middle): Ian Manly ’06, Chris Brown ’97, Justin Wilke ’98, David Hyde-Lay ’81, Mark Hall ’69; and (front): Rayna (Bertagnolli) HydeLay ’91, Sarah Kingstone ’07 and Erica (Johnson) Plater ’95.

Character • Page 51


Wilberforce: This ironic term was coined in 1983 by students inspired by history lessons from long-time faculty member Rolf Grass. Wilberforce is normally a combination of exercise and service back to the community in the form of manual work. Defaulters: Defaulters may be given for minor breaches of the School rules, such as a lack of courtesy, untidiness of appearance, lack of punctuality, forgetfulness and so on. Defaulters may be given by members of staff and by School prefects and will be graded according to the seriousness of the offence. B — 1 hour manual work BB — 2 hours manual work BBB — 3 hours manual work

13. Mr. Stothard doles out Defaulters assignments in the ’30s. 14. A fine group of young men from 1990 assembled with tools for the school-wide Community Service Day. Students did yardwork, washed cars and cleaned up the provincial park. Proceeds brought an exchange student to the school from Kenya.

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15. I. Ross McDonagh ’56 and Senior Master Frank Duxbury, on the slope outside the Chapel.


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’ll go to an alumni event in Vancouver and wind up beside someone from 2005, and I’ll find that he’s like a mini version of one of our buddies. There’s a character to Shawnigan alums. ISABELLE CZERVENIAK ’98

16. Plaque on oak tree reads: “The Lonsdale Oak (Quercus Robur). The Founder of the School, Christopher Windley Lonsdale, planted this oak tree in the early 1930s. It grew from an acorn that the Headmaster brought from Sherwood Forest England.”

Page 54 • Character


JAMES O’NEILL ’15

Character is like the oak tree Mr. Lonsdale planted 85 years ago. That tree took many years to develop into the beautiful specimen it is today. As with character, it didn’t just happen overnight.


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Courage “Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.” EURIPIDES HELEN, 412 BC


In the 1940s, when faced with a war that threatened the foundation of our way of life, Shawnigan’s young men answered their nation’s call. Forty-four of them died in combat, defending values they knew were important. Lonsdale suffered with the parents as news of alumni fatalities filtered back to the School.

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o this day, our annual Remembrance Day Service on November 11 is one of the most moving occasions in the school year as we honour the Shawnigan fallen. In his address at 1999’s service, Ian McPherson ’39 reminded the School that half of the graduates from 1916–39 served in the Second World War and stated that, “I knew many of them, and have never known a finer group of men.”

Ramsay Milne ’39 produced a moving book of reminiscences called Shawnigan and the War, which recounts some of the experiences the Shawnigan boys — and they were just young boys straight from school — had to face. Dave Pownall ’38 says in Ramsay’s book that, “Shawnigan’s discipline really paid off in my year’s officer training at Sandhurst. Discipline we had, yes, but no more rigid than at Shawnigan, so I was well prepared!”

During the war years, Shawnigan became a place of refuge for parents desperately trying to protect their families. Children were sent across the Atlantic in hopes that Shawnigan would shield them from the chaos of war. Some even made the long journey with them.

At Shawnigan, courage has taken many forms: preparing for war-time service; leaving home comforts to live with strangers; pushing personal limits; becoming a pioneering female student; facing the intricacies of the scrum, or the searing pain of seven minutes in a rowing shell; conquering the fear of public speaking and the stage, or penetrating the mystery of calculus; extending care and compassion when no one else will; being truthful when any other option feels more comfortable.

Robin Ling ’44 was one of the boys to arrive safely from the UK. His mother, a physician in England, refused to just see her son off at the dock, and chose instead to travel with him until he was safe. This young mother and her three sons crossed the Atlantic through the perilous U-boat lanes to Halifax, and on by train to Vancouver. Dr. Ling first established Robin and his brothers under the guardianship of Walter Koerner and his family, who had fled Austria in 1933. Robin then came to board at Shawnigan into Mr. Lonsdale’s care. Only then did Dr. Ling return, exactly as she had arrived, back to England, back to war.

Lonsdale’s courage in keeping the School going exacted a toll. A rheumatic heart had seen him rejected from service in the First World War and this weakness was to result in his sudden death in 1952, only months after retirement.


At Shawnigan, courage has taken many forms: from leaving home comforts to public speaking and the stage.


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rom 1942 to 1945, I was a prisoner-of-war. Axes and shovels were handed to us and we were told to build a camp. I did pretty well with an axe, thanks to instructions at school from the Founder. People often ask me how I survived the POW camp. I’ve always said to people since, “If you can survive Shawnigan you’d have no problem there.” REAR-ADM. RICHARD (DICK) LEIR ’39

1. A sampling of letters about Shawnigan boys lost in WWII (clockwise from left): Francis Gregory ’36, Desmond Bradford ’31, T. Norman Beard ’38, Richard C. Day ’36 and John ’33 and Geoffrey Mackie ’34.

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2. Shawnigan Lake School Naval Cadet Corps (Barry Coates ’54 and Thomas Osvold ’52 foreground) presents its Colours to inspecting officer Capt. Atwood with, at far left, Cadet Commander and physics teacher Geoff Knighton, during the 1952 Annual Inspection.

Courage • Page 61


Discipline leads you to experiences you would not have had otherwise.

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think one of the great things about Shawnigan is that the sense of discipline leads you to experiences you would not have had otherwise. I’m not talking about “Thou shall not break the rules” discipline but discipline that pushed you to participate. DAN JOHNSTON ’76

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verybody played sports — good, bad or indifferent. We learned that if you were part of a team you could make a contribution. You didn’t have to be a star, but you could make a significant contribution. This is very important later in life because very few of us ever stand out as individuals; most of us have got to be team people. REX PEARCE ’33

Page 62 • Courage


Boys performing drill under the watchful eyes of C.W. Lonsdale and H.T. Ravenhill in 1917.


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ne day, shortly after I arrived at Shawnigan, I joined the choir and I was taught to sing. Then in 1942 … my ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Java Sea. A group of twenty or so of us clung to the remains of the ship and were floating for a whole day and into the night and nothing; nobody came. The first-class lieutenant in charge put his face close to mine and he said, “Leir, sing.” It was pitch black and I was cold. But I hit the note, and pretty soon all sorts of voices came out of the dark and spirits rose. Later the following day, an enemy ship came and picked us up. REAR-ADM. RICHARD (DICK) LEIR ’39

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he Chapel service for Remembrance Day was always a very special and serious service. Teacher and coach Capt. EDW (“Tiny”) Levien, MC, standing rigidly to attention, chin in, head back, arms straight at his side, fists clenched, tears trickling down his cheeks to the tune of the “Last Post” — it left an everlasting impression. J.H.R. ( JACK ) LARSEN ’29

Page 64 • Courage

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o this day, all the names of the boys who were killed in WWII, and posted on the Chapel wall, are to me faces. One of the most touching is Bill MacMullen, the School’s odd job man. Bill was an ardent pacifist, but when war was declared in 1939 Bill was the second to enlist in the district, and died at Dieppe. JOHN WINDLEY REYNOLDS ’33


3. Rear-Adm. Richard Leir ’39, with former Chaplain and Headmaster W.H.H. McClelland and his wife, Sheila. 4. E.D.W. (“Tiny”) Levien — teacher, coach and Housemaster, 1926–37. 5. Ian E. McPherson, D.F.C. ’39, regularly attended Remembrance Day services in the Chapel, here with Brig. Gen. Stephen Morres ’23.

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6. A reunion of Old Boy veterans prompted Ramsay Milne to write Shawnigan and the War (l–r): Arthur Smith ’37, Barney Hammond ’39, Ramsay Milne ’39, Ian McPherson ’39, Yates Hickey ’40, John Ley ’41, Malcolm Hickey ’43 and Hugh Wilkinson ’40.


SONJA LEVERKUS ’97

I learned discipline through the art and science of rowing through pain, both physical and mental.


Jason Hildebrandt ’88, Rhys Martin ’87 and Chris Cottrell ’87 enter the scrum.


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he Parliament Hill tragedy in 2014 really affected us, and steeled our backs, just like it did to other Canadians. BRIG.-GEN. DAN CONSTABLE ’80

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n many ways, Lonsdale became like my father. After graduation, I was more than ready for Oxford and then medical school, so I shall always be grateful that I went to Shawnigan. Lonsdale, I’m sure, would be proud of its achievements, and I hope of mine. ROBIN LING ’44, OBE

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7. Fencing team poses, including (foreground l–r): Tom Pearce ’40 and Ramsay Milne ’39.

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8. 1943 cricket team. Robin Ling (back row, second from left) became one of the first doctors to develop hip replacement protocols. For his pioneering work in this field, which became the Exeter Hip Method, Dr. Ling ’44 was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.

Courage • Page 69


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he Outdoors Program was a club back in the ’80s with no official status or allotted time in either the sports or fine arts programs. This made it particularly difficult to schedule trips, but we still made things happen. I remember taking the first group of enthusiastic novice kayakers to Long Beach to do some surf kayaking. PETER D. YATES, LONG-STANDING FACULTY MEMBER, 1981–2013

9. Faculty members Mark Hobson, Peter Yates and Nick Coghlan (standing, l–r) with the Outdoor Pursuits group scaling Mt. Baker in 1983. Two unsuccessful attempts in previous years made reaching the peak especially exciting for this group. 10. Having conquered his homesickness Billy Brooks ’32 remained at Shawnigan for six years.

Page 70 • Courage

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Achievement Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat Let the Rewards Go to Those Who Have Worked to Deserve Them THE SHAWNIGAN MOTTO, 1916


Achievement is an earned commodity. The School has always valued the essence of the hard work needed to produce results. This characteristic is enshrined in the School’s values, beginning with the choice of the motto by the Founder.

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o achieve its potential in the post-war years, Shawnigan found in current parent and noted Vancouver business leader Peter Kaye a stability forged through hard work and personal excellence. As a Repton School graduate from the UK, Mr. Kaye knew what was needed for a strong school; he retired the outstanding school debt, increased enrollment from 90 to 175 boys, created a waiting list and initiated a strong building program. Mr. Kaye’s place in the annals of Shawnigan’s history was in saving the School from what seemed like an inexorable descent, and by increasing expectations for the students both inside and outside of the classroom. Peter Kaye thus turned over a school on solid footing to E.R. (Ned) Larsen ’42, in 1958. This Headmaster appointment would have pleased the Founder, as Ned was one of Shawnigan’s own, mentored by Mr. Lonsdale when he was Head Boy, and a graduate both of the University of British Columbia and of Oxford University. Even so, Ned Larsen immediately faced a major challenge in October 1958 when the Classroom Block burned to the ground. The mood of confidence at Shawnigan, however, was not to be shattered. In fact, by the early 1960s Shawnigan was in a position to develop a strategic plan, and funds were invested in new classrooms and the Craig Science Block.

By the beginning of the 1960s Shawnigan was, in Jay Connolly’s words, “ready to roll.” The decade saw graduates achieve superior academic results on the provincial examinations with students often ranking in the top ten in the province on government examinations. Rowing began to get serious attention, including epic tours to Europe while also winning the 1959 Canadian High School Championship, and in seven years spanning the ’60s and early ’70s SLS rugby won the Independent Schools trophy five times — a hint of further triumphs to come. Such achievements have been mirrored in the modern era with a number of firsts: 2014 the girls winning the BC AAA Field Hockey crown; 2009–13 the boys 1st XV recording an unprecedented “five-peat” of the BC AAA high school rugby championship; 2008 the boys Varsity Eight capturing the prestigious Princess Elizabeth Cup at the Royal Henley Regatta on the Thames in England. Two outstanding academic honours came with the recognition given to the “two Stephens,” Cox and Lane, when they received the Prime Minister’s Teaching Excellence Award. Throughout the School’s history, achievement has been a fixture — born of student, faculty and coaches’ dedication to hard work and to striving for excellence.


Achievement has been a fixture — born of student, faculty and coaches’ dedication. Stewart Candelaria, long-standing faculty and administrator since 1985, with Head Student Meghan Ritchie ’00.


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Page 76 • Achievement

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1. The Boys Eight crew in 1959, Calder Cleland trophy winners at the Schoolboy Championships in St. Catharines, Ontario (back row, l–r): Bob Murdoch, Roy McIntosh, Malcolm McAvity, David Ross, Don Mowat, John Larsen, Peter Pratt and Michael Whittaker; (front): coach Laurie West, cox John Gibson and Rev. R.F. Stephenson, manager. 2. Arden Gill and Maylies Lang, Senior Women’s Double Scull winners, at the 2010 Canadian Championships. 3. Kip McDaniel ’00, seen here speaking at Closing Day 2006, rowed for Harvard, Cambridge and Canada. 4. Geoff Roth ’05 opens champagne to celebrate Cambridge’s win over Oxford in the annual Boat Race. 5. The 1987 Shawnigan Eight made it to the semifinals at the Henley Royal Regatta. (l-r): cox Tony Kaul, Ian Kennedy, Ken O’Kennedy, Mike Vopni, Mark Maier, Stuart Halliday, Rob Broadbent, Florian Tovstigo and Rolfe Swinton. 7

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owing taught me the value of hard work and perseverance; it’s opened doors for me to great schools and to travel the world. GEOFF ROTH ’05

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learned how to move a rowing shell through water faster than other people could. I also learned how to ask questions and to write. Both these elements led me to great schools in the US and in the UK, where I rowed for Cambridge in the Varsity Boat Race — and we won! I’ll always be grateful to Shawnigan for opening the world to me. KIP MCDANIEL ’00

6. The 1971 Shawnigan Eight at the Henley Royal Regatta, where they lost narrowly in the quarter-final race for the Princess Elizabeth Cup. (l–r): cox Rob Bourne, Roland Borsato, Rob Carere, Pat Healy, Ian Monford, Mike Robinson, Paul Elworthy, Murray Hein and Bob Oughtred. 7. The 2008 Shawnigan Eight, coached by Tim Coy, at the Henley Royal Regatta, “undoubtedly the best-known regatta in the world,” where they were victorious against Eton College for the Princess Elizabeth Cup. (l–r): George Halse, Lachlan Macintosh, Rory Reese, Alex Thorlakson, Jason Cartwright, Alexander Housser, Mark Elliott, Alexander Macintosh and cox Isabella Bourbon.

Achievement • Page 77


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8. With the 1st XV team, captain Ollie Nott ’13 holds the Woodward Shield, celebrating their fifth consecutive win of the BC AAA Rugby Championship under head coach Tim Murdy, assisted by Andrew Doyle and Jeff Williams. 9. The Varsity Girls Field Hockey team celebrate their victory as AA Provincial champions in 2013. They repeated this feat as AAA champions in 2014, coached by Benjamin and Kelly Koepp.

Page 78 • Achievement

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t has been an honour to be an ambassador for Shawnigan as a school prefect, and as First XV captain for such a great group of guys. OLLIE NOTT ’13

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ed Larsen kept hammering on the idea of commitment and school spirit. We really did have a respect and a pride that when you had your Shawnigan colours on or you were doing Shawnigan things, you just did it to the limit. PAUL BAYLIS ’65

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s the clock began ticking down in our field hockey provincial final, I thought we’ve got this. We had worked so hard, and there was so much excitement when we won. CASEY CROWLEY ’15, CAPTAIN


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Shawnigan possesses the most beautiful site.

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long with Hilton College in Natal, Shawnigan possesses the most beautiful [school] site. The chief beauty of the situation is the long lake itself, and around it the great forests of Douglas fir. Even in thirty years the fame of the School has spread in maintaining sound learning. There are Shawnigan graduates not only at Oxford and Cambridge, but also at Harvard, Yale and Stanford. F.B. MALLIN, MASTER OF WELLINGTON COLLEGE, UK, IN ALMAE MATRES: REFLECTIONS OF SCHOOLS AT HOME AND ABROAD, 1948

Achievement • Page 81


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enny was remarkably humble. When I told him he was first in BC on the Provincial Examinations he said, “No way, I didn’t expect that.” JOHN SARSFIELD, LONG-STANDING FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATOR, 1985–2011

10. Mabel Lonsdale taught music, mathematics and French for many years. With boys deemed to have skill or potential, she formed a choir and small orchestra. 11. Rugby team members, 1961: the first Stag Award recipients. The award was formulated by Headmaster Ned Larsen on this European tour. 12. The first Shawnigan Award recipients (l–r): Mary Hyde-Lay, Muriel Clunas, Carroll Baker and Frances Farrant.

Page 82 • Achievement


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he person who was probably never given the credit she deserved for the success of the musical program was Lonsdale’s sister, Mabel. She was a very dedicated person and she worked very hard at teaching music in the Chapel and in the choir.

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eter Kaye was obviously the absolute Headmaster — he had a command of the School and the environment in which it operated. And he managed in such a way that he never had to raise his voice. BRIAN MCGAVIN ’56

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he Stag Awards, established by Shawnigan Lake School’s third Headmaster, Ned Larsen, in 1961, recognizes all those “Who have so contributed to the life and well-being of the Shawnigan Lake School that it can be said that the School is a better place in consequence of the contribution they have made.” The similar Shawnigan Award for women was established by then-Headmaster Darrell Farrant in 1983. For many decades, Senior Master Graham Anderson wrote by hand the Award Citations.

TOM LADNER ’33

Achievement • Page 83


We had a great Reach for the Top team.

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urs was one of those strong classes and the results in provincial exams showed that. We had a great Reach for the Top team, a great rugby team, we were sending rowing teams to St. Catharines and winning. If all that points to Ned Larsen, he should take credit for that. He was definitely one of the best Headmasters. PETER LADNER ’66

13. The School’s 1984 Reach for the Top team on the set of the show. They placed second in BC, replicating the results of the previous year.

Page 84 • Achievement

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hawnigan gave me opportunities: to play field hockey, to row, take photography, do outdoors trips with Mr. Yates and then go to Middlebury College. As much as I missed being home, I just felt like I was at Shawnigan. TAYLOR SHEPARD ’08

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14. Boxing was introduced in 1918 and was a sport until the mid-1950s. Peter Kaye seen here judging ringside, 1955.

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15. As a junior, Bransten Ming ’15 was a Canadian Open Champion, and he was ranked third in the USA Squash under-19s when he graduated.

Achievement • Page 85


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o-Anne Kingstone was my Deputy Head from 2004 to 2013. She was a key figure in developing a sense of true co-education here at Shawnigan. DAVID ROBERTSON, HEADMASTER 2000–

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16. Jo-Anne Kingstone, Deputy Head 2004–13. 17. Stephen Owen ’66, PC, QC, became Ombudsman for BC, an MP and a member of the Federal Cabinet, before becoming VP of External, Legal and Community Relations for UBC, seen right speaking at Closing Day 2002. 18. Rowers load shells atop their bus during a 1969 European tour.

Page 86 • Achievement

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tephen Lane taught me to think laterally about problems and helped me find my love of science, and Stewart Candelaria pushed me to take on more advanced courses. VICKI STRONGE ’94

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r. Cox was my calculus teacher and advisor. His impact on me came through his confidence that the utmost in excellence was only ever yet another hour of prep away. RYAN KALT ’97

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he two Stephens — Lane ’67 and Cox — have each received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Both are longstanding faculty members since the 1970s.

Achievement • Page 87


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t Shawnigan I developed the perseverance needed to make dreams come true.

ZAC PLAVSIC ’01

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learned valuable lessons from rowing, and one of them is how to prioritize my time and how to take team work to move towards a common vision. GEORGE HUNGERFORD ’61, OC, OBC, QC

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19. The Read Crewhouse, donated by John Lecky ’57 in 1995, regularly hosts Canadian Olympic rowers practising on Shawnigan Lake. 20. Alan Roaf ’63 went on to coach Canada at the Olympic level and became the long-time technical coaching director for Rowing Canada. 21. While at UBC, George Hungerford ’61 won a Gold Medal for Canada in the Men’s Pairs at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. 22. Zac Plavsic ’01 represented Canada as a windsurfer in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Prior to London, he received this flag covered with student messages of support.

Page 88 • Achievement

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Matt Evans ’07 holding the ball, with current faculty member and coach Ander Monro, playing for Canada at the IRB World Cup in New Zealand, 2011. Other Shawnigan graduates who represented Canada in rugby include John Lecky ’57, Ian Hyde-Lay ’77, Eddie Evans ’81, Josh Jackson ’98, Brett Beukeboom ’08, D’justice Sears-Duru ’12, Guiseppe Du Toit ’13, as well as Hannah Darling ’14, Cynthia Orlandi ’97 for Canada and the US, and Eloise Blackwell ’08 for New Zealand.


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Transition “Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land And don’t criticize What you can’t understand Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is Rapidly agin’.” BOB DYLAN “THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’, ” 1964


The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a sea change in society, and Shawnigan was not immune to the rising tide. Schools bore the burden of perceived irrelevance, and boarding schools in particular seemed anachronistic.

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oung people began to question everything. The United States waged a controversial war in Southeast Asia, and a cultural battle was fought in homes and schools across North America. The result was a turbulent time of transition, reflected in hairstyles, clothing choices, musical tastes and personal revolution. In 1967, after nine years at the helm, Ned Larsen departed to lead Appleby College in Ontario. Senior Master Pat MacLachlan “backed into the job” of Headmaster, to use his own words. His mandate was to oversee the transition from a traditional English model boarding school to one that could address new realities. It was a Herculean task. Pat instituted various strategies to address the pervasive shift in the values of students under his charge, but social change was to overwhelm five successive Headmasters, whose collective tenures would last only a decade. In 1972, Hugh C. Wilkinson ’40, an Economics professor at UBC, was prevailed upon to take up the challenge of Headmaster. Without his business and marketing acumen Shawnigan might well have fallen. Across the lake, enrollment at Strathcona Lodge School steadily declined. Finally, at the end of the 1976–77 school year, Shawnigan’s sister school sadly closed its doors. Wilkinson took to the road and the airwaves and became one of the first marketers for boarding admissions in Canada. To commemorate BC’s one

hundredth year in confederation, a Centennial Scholars program was initiated by the Board of Governors. This has been mirrored in 2016 by the Shawnigan Centennial Scholars initiative, supported by an alumni group comprising original Centennial Scholars, Entrance Scholars and Head Students. While Hugh Wilkinson travelled, Horace McClelland ran the School on a daily basis. He had the tough task of combining his supportive role as Chaplain with the authoritative position of Headmaster. Horace’s compassion, laughter and humanity served to calm the waters, and many alumni returned to the School Chapel for Horace — and eventually his successors — to conduct their wedding ceremonies. Small steps to innovation were made with the introduction of Ski Week to address student morale in the winter gloom, dormitories were changed to study bedrooms and a robust scholarship/bursary program helped attract a broader student demographic. The tide of social change turned throughout the 1970s, enrollment edged upward and Shawnigan was able to imagine a broader vision. International students began to attend, with the first Asian students coming from Hong Kong. Over the next forty years Shawnigan’s attraction was to become global.


Social change was to overwhelm five successive Headmasters, whose collective tenures would last only a decade.


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1. Two- and four-person “studybedrooms” replaced the old ten-bed dormitories used since the beginning of the School. 2. L. Patrick (Pat) MacLachlan, Headmaster 1967–72. Pat later moved to Hong Kong and became the first recruiter of international students for Canadian boarding schools. 3. E.R. (Ned) Larsen, Headmaster 1958–67, in his study. Ned went on to become Headmaster of Appleby College, Ontario.

Page 94 • Transition

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his was the age of revolt. The late ’60s and early ’70s were difficult times for the entire institution of private education. L. PATRICK MACLACHLAN, 4TH HEADMASTER

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he great thing that we learned from the ’60s, of course, was that everybody does need to question authority. After the ’60s everybody realized that we had to start explaining and talking and communicating. DR. PETER BANKS, OBC, BOARD CHAIR

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aptain Groves, Mr. Copeman, Mr. Ripley, my father, Sir Richard Lake, and my uncle, Lieutenant General Sir Percy Lake were the first Governors of the reorganized School, and the first houses were named after them. COLONEL HARRY LAKE ’28


Three heads are better than one (l–r): Horace McClelland (1975–78), L. Patrick MacLachlan (1967–72) and Simon Bruce-Lockhart (1990–2000).

Transition • Page 95


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chools today have the attitude that you must not coerce a child into a certain type of behaviour. It sounds great, but it’s rubbish. The child who is not led by adults will be led by his peers, which is a much greater dictatorship. HUGH C. WILKINSON ’40, HEADMASTER 1972–75, BOARD 1975–90

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n Edinburgh native, educated at Aberdeen and Loughborough universities, David Robertson taught and coached at Merchiston Castle School and the Edinburgh Academy before immigrating to Canada. After seven productive years at Brentwood College School as English and French teacher, 1st XV Rugby coach and Housemaster, he moved to Shawnigan in 1993 as the Deputy Headmaster and was appointed Headmaster in 2000. David and Lynn’s children (Suzanne ’97, Russell ’99 and Struan ’06) are proud graduates of Shawnigan.

Page 96 • Transition


In Shawnigan of 2016, we collect, connect and then correct our students. DAVID ROBERTSON, HEADMASTER

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4. C.W. Lonsdale (in overcoat) with faculty members Charles Twite, James Stodhard and L.E. Jones on the sidelines of a rugby match, 1938.

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5. Current Headmaster David Robertson comforts a student after his head shaving for Cops for Cancer.

Transition • Page 97


Ski Week was first suggested in the winter of 1972/73. Norman Magee was consulted regarding logistics and feeding. Then I sold the plan to parents and the rest of the staff. In the middle of the Easter term the whole School and staff went for about a week to Green Mountain and had a great time. A valuable tradition was born, which has taken place at Manning Park since then. HUGH C. WILKINSON ’40, HEADMASTER 1972–75


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ki Week isn’t just a ski trip. It’s a week that lets kids shine in other areas. It’s an important community-building time, too, when students and staff come together in a more relaxed setting. WENDY (WOOLLVEN) MILNE, FACULTY SINCE 1997 AND ASSISTANT HEAD — ACADEMICS, SINCE 2014

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6. Cross-country skiers begin the 10K race during Ski Week. Helen Mayes ’91 (left) was the winner.

Transition • Page 99


Inter-house volleyball in the new gym.


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olleyball was my big sport, and rugby was something new to try. So I thought “Let’s see what this is about.” ISABELLE CZERVENIAK ’98

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ur scholarship and bursary program was soon the largest in BC, and then virtually the largest in Canada. HUGH C. WILKINSON ’40

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t is an honour to be Head of School, and I think it’s important that I get to know everyone in the School. Then the rest should take care of itself. KRISTEN (BENDICKSON) WEBB ’94

7. Supported by her teammates, a crunching tackle in girls’ rugby action, 2015.

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8. Following rowing tradition, teammates toss their coxswain, Kristen (Bendickson) Webb ’94, into the lake. Kristen became the first female Head of School.

Transition • Page 101


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trathcona Lodge School was founded by Minna Gildea in 1927 on the east side of Shawnigan Lake, and after a hiatus from 1951 to 1959, reopened under Nonie Guthrie ’32. It was very much a sister school to Shawnigan, with many siblings at each school. Sadly, Strathcona closed in 1977. To honour the relationship, the fourth house for girls at Shawnigan was named Strathcona Lodge School House.

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e ate vast quantities of food. The Shawnigan boys across the lake always wanted to get invited over for Sunday brunch because our food was so much better than theirs.

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JINNY HILLIARD ’64

9. The Strathcona Lodge School main building. 10. Strathcona Lodge School girls, circa 1933. 11. View of Shawnigan campus in the snow, with Hobbies Building in the foreground and Groves’, Lonsdale’s and Copeman’s Houses behind, 1973.

Page 102 • Transition

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Ray Carr, with Stuart Wright ’88 enjoying the Sonerai plane constructed by woodwork students. Carr had also taught, and was registrar, at Strathcona Lodge School.


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n 1971, I was awarded a Centennial Scholarship to attend Shawnigan. Working closely with others, being well-rounded from sports to music, were all vital skills acquired at Shawnigan. Then to see our two children have similar experiences at Shawnigan was a further joy. To this day, my circle of friends includes my Shawnigan “brothers.” ASH VARMA ’75

12. Kevin Gillett, Dave Harris, Peter Ladner (Head of School) and Tim Rendell (all ’66). 13. Carolyn Chan, Noah Crumb (Head of School), Tai Williams (Deputy Head of School) and Chris Lor (all ’16).

Page 104 • Transition

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riendships at Shawnigan are life-long relationships. When you see each other, it’s like no time has passed. You’re still kids in the dorm together. RAYNA (BERTAGNOLLI) HYDE-LAY ’91

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Transition • Page 105


Head of School and Board member Bob Cooper ’57, with Head of School Brian McGavin ’56, who went on to serve a record 44 years on the Board, seen here with then–Senior Master Ned Larsen’s dog.


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Commitment “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.” PETER DRUCKER PEOPLE AND PERFORMANCE, 1977


Students have always witnessed at close hand the 24/7 commitment made by Shawnigan teachers, while often living together through challenging times.

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hawnigan has benefited from teachers, alumni and parents who remained loyal to the School through the ups and downs of its history.

School House; Beth Hall has been a Shawnigan fixture in various roles since 1976, and was later joined in dedication to students by Sue Newns, Liz Leary and Erica Dalrymple (“Mrs. D”).

Derek Hyde-Lay began his teaching career under Lonsdale and DHL, as he was affectionately known, would invest more than four more decades of his life here. Whenever Shawnigan needed stability, he was there as Housemaster, teacher, coach, admissions director and interim Headmaster — twice. Perhaps more than anyone since Lonsdale, he represented for students the rock-solid values of commitment, integrity, honesty and fair play. He always had the effervescence of Mary at his side, while she cared for students in “sick bay.” Many alumni fondly remember the ever-ready saltwater gargle she had for them! The Hyde-Lay family influence remains long and deep at the School.

These staff members embody the commitment of countless others from multiple generations in a legacy of service to Shawnigan.

Graham Anderson ’46, teacher, Housemaster of Lake’s for 29 years and senior master, often began his orientation talk to new students by explaining that commitment was at the heart of the enterprise. “Shawnigan is a way of life,” he liked to say. Grads speak in awe of Graham’s encyclopedic knowledge, from arcane facts of Western civilization to the intricacies of building the Shawnigan Chapel pipe organ. His academic depth, moral leadership and lifetime of personal investment in Shawnigan Lake School inspired students for more than half a century. Since the advent of co-education iconic figures from our early history have been joined by female faculty who blazed paths of their own. Leslie (Reid) Carr and Lynne Grass established traditions as the first House Directors in

Alumni have demonstrated loyalty to their school, often through service on the Board of Governors, and as benefactors who literally changed the face of the campus itself. One need look no further than John Lecky ’57 or Jim Shaw ’77 to see profound examples of philanthropy that enhance the Shawnigan of today, and will do so tomorrow. Or, by recalling Brian McGavin ’56 and his unparalleled 44 years of service on the Board. Such legacies have been continued by Board Chair David Schieldrop ’82 and Campaign Chair Bob Murdoch ’60 through their leadership of the successful Centennial initiatives. Our parents share their children with us, both from near and far. In 2008, the Shawnigan Parents’ Association was formed to help parents and students in their adjustment to boarding school, and in supporting the School at special events. While the world rushes headlong at the future, Shawnigan steadies itself with a commitment to enduring values. The construction of an expanded facility base and development of a transformed curriculum for the 21st century have been achieved without abandoning the values-based education that Lonsdale began.


These staff members embody the commitment of countless others from multiple generations in a legacy of service to Shawnigan. (l–r): Derek Hyde-Lay, Lester Bullen, Hector McIntosh and staff circa 1953.


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s you may know, these spacious fields were cleared by hand and labour by Mr. Lonsdale and his students. This pioneering effort serves as an example of how great tasks can be accomplished by the persistence of a few people. JOHN LECKY ’57

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1. Erica Dalrymple in her role as librarian, here tutoring Andrew Pearson ’94. Most students will know Mrs. D. from her 19 years as the House Director of Kaye’s House — the longest-serving female House Director — and as a patient math teacher. 2. Darrin Austin and Gary Dukelow, long-serving staff members, supporting Duxbury House. 3. Janet Nielsen’s career at the School spanned 35 years, most as Head of Transportation. Students will remember her fondly from their many journeys on school buses.

Page 110 • Commitment

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ights out in Grade 6 was 7:30 — upstairs by seven o’clock. We had 15 minutes to get ready and then Graham would come in and sit down and have a chat with us for 15 minutes. Sometimes he read to us pretty well all of Edgar Allan Poe. He did that six days a week — put every dorm to bed up until ten o’clock. Looking back Graham was just like a good father — always around. PAUL BAYLIS ’65

Commitment • Page 111


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4. Graham Anderson, Lake’s Housemaster for 29 years and teacher of history for over 40, enjoying guiding students on one of many tours to Italy. 5. Headmaster Simon Bruce-Lockhart and members of the Board of Governors walk through the Hartl Farm property. 6. Derek Hyde-Lay’s impact on the School spanned nearly 50 years in roles as Headmaster, Housemaster, Director of Admissions, French teacher and rugby coach extraordinaire.To many generations he was Shawnigan.

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or my first 12 years as Housemaster I was the only member of the staff in Lake’s and had no assistance, no tutors, no advisors or whatever you might like to call them. I was on duty every day and I had one afternoon off a week from noon until bedtime. GRAHAM ANDERSON ’46

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n 1996 the Board negotiated a land swap agreement involving Hartl Farm. It means we were able to protect our rural heritage forever. Board members Tom Goodenough ’52, John Kaye ’54, Brian McGavin ’56 and John McIntyre ’60, with parents Barry Promislow and Peter Johnson, all played a part to ensure it happened. We are grateful to them all. SIMON BRUCE-LOCKHART

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y bond with Derek began in Grade 11 when I played on the 1st XV. He was a man who loved his rugby. I can remember him calling me into his office with the captain of the team and a couple of other guys and saying, “What do you think of this alignment? Should we try that?” There was a sense of inclusion that made you feel you were part of something important. MARK HALL ’69


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Shawnigan’s gardens and grounds have been an inspiring feature of the campus from Bernie Dinter in the 1950s and ’60s through to Ed de Melo in the Centennial era. The Kaye’s gardens remain a central feature that greets visitors to Shawnigan.

7. Bernie Dinter (far right) tended the grounds and created Shawnigan’s beautiful and celebrated gardens with seedlings grown in the campus greenhouse. Ed de Melo (right) continues that tradition today.

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8. Beth Hall has been engaged with students for 40 years, first as School Nurse and then as Director of University Guidance. 9. Mary Hyde-Lay, Head Nurse 1969–94, is fondly remembered for her ringing laugh, cure-all saltwater gargle and reluctance to issue “feeb slips.” 10. Graham Anderson ’46 was a true renaissance man. He rebuilt and expanded the Chapel organ into what is the largest pipe organ on the Island outside of Victoria. 11. Opening the new Renfrew House in 2012, David Schieldrop, Head of School ’82, graduated from Harvard, Board member from 1997, Board Chair 2010–15.

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othing is more important than giving our students a sound education based on a foundation of solid moral values BOB MURDOCH ’60, BOARD CHAIRMAN’S REPORT, 2002

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eter Banks was chair of the Board when I arrived, and had been a generous donor to the School, probably the most generous one. He gave the new front gates and the front doors to the Main Building, but there was no one on the Board experienced with large-scale philanthropy. SIMON BRUCE-LOCKHART

12. John Kaye ’54, at the opening of Kaye’s House, named for his father, G. Peter Kaye. John was a long-serving Board member, and chair from 1980 to 1985. 13. Dr. Peter Banks, who served on the Board of Governors for thirty-five years and as chair for eight.

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14. Bob Murdoch ’60 has served on the Board of Governors since 1994. He was Board chair 1998–2004 and is the Centennial campaign chair.

Commitment • Page 117


CLOSING DAY ADDRESS, 2014 CURT SIGFSTEAD ’85, BOARD MEMBER 2010–

Right now make a commitment to yourself and your class that no class in the history of the School will be more impactful, more industrious and show more leadership or compassion than you.


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arrell Farrant, first of all, brought to the School some solid perspectives. In my historical view, that is perhaps the beginning of stability, with Doug Campbell continuing that work and boldly championing the move to coeducation. Simon Bruce-Lockhart then came in to steer the refurbished ship. DAVID ROBERTSON, 12TH HEADMASTER 2000–

15. During his tenure as Headmaster (1978–83), Darrell Farrant also taught classes in English and refereed rugby. He went on to become Headmaster of Abbotsholme School in England. 16. Fine Arts Director Don Rolston has shared his passion for art since 1981 with Shawnigan students like Garth Friesen ’87. 17. An advanced French class of mixed grades in the old Classroom Building, circa 1954. 18. Mark Hall ’69 coaching girls’ rugby. “Hall Boy” has been a mainstay at Shawnigan as teacher and coach since 1976.

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Transformation “There are some stories you can’t hear enough. They are the same every time you hear them. But you are not. That’s one reliable way of understanding time.” ANN-MARIE MACDONALD THE WAY THE CROW FLIES, 2003


Transformation lies at the heart of the Shawnigan Experience. Change is not for the faint of heart, and transformation demands much of the people who take up the challenge.

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n some ways, the Shawnigan of the 1970s had been on the defensive, reacting to successive administrative changes and failing repeatedly to gather momentum. By the 1980s, the School was ready for proactive change.

One key person still needed convincing, however. Then–Board Chair Dr. Peter Banks was the product of an English boys’ boarding school, and was the last significant holdout against this potentially revolutionary change. Once Campbell convinced Peter Banks, it was full steam ahead.

The difficulties of the 1970s had made the logistics of a move to co-education formidable, though Derek Hyde-Lay, among others, had broached the idea with the Board of Governors. Darrell Farrant, Headmaster from 1978 to 1983, said that “Girls should have the opportunity to receive a top-class Shawnigan education, in facilities unrivalled anywhere.”

Dr. Banks swiftly initiated a Board vote on co-education — which came back a unanimous “yes.” Soon afterwards, alumni returned a 97 percent endorsement of the decision.

It fell to his successor to make this change happen. In 1983, on behalf of the Board, Chair John Kaye ’54 appointed Doug Campbell as Headmaster. Campbell believed that, while Shawnigan was a good school, co-education could make it a great one. He methodically canvassed teachers, Board Chairs and Heads of independent schools across Canada for their views on coeducation. The collective force of the responses led Doug and the Board to weigh tradition against modern social relevance.

Leslie (Reid) Carr, the first Director of School House, helped the girls manage their new environment with equal measures of grace and firmness. The first thirty-five girls arrived on campus September 6, 1988. As Carmen Zens ’90 described it, “In that first year, we all felt that we were part of something special — that we were pioneers.” They had been preceded two years earlier by Renate Grass ’89 when she had been allowed to attend due to the tragic loss of her mother. These young women form a unique group of alumnae in our history who paved the way for future generations.


“In that first year, we all felt that we were part of something special — that we were pioneers.” CARMEN ZENS ’90


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was exposed to many different cultures at the School: people from Mexico, from Italy, from Germany, from Africa — every country, every continent. I learned how they live in their countries, how their cultures are and what was normal to them. It was all so different from what I was used to. MIN JI SEO ’10

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peak amicably, eat courteously, show good manners at these tables and you will secure friendships to the end of your days. MARION MACMILLAN HAWLEY, JUNE 15, 2002, ON THE OCCASION OF THE OPENING OF MARION HALL WITH HER SON, JOHN LECKY ’57

1. The original dining room half a century ago. 2. Marion Hall, 2015: the School’s family Thanksgiving dinner.

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After the positive vote by the Society on coeducation, the vast majority of staff and Governors wanted to get on with it. Perhaps not since the days of Ned Larsen had there been such enthusiasm.

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hawnigan wasn’t co-ed at that time. One day, soon after my mother passed away, my dad brought up the idea of me attending Shawnigan. So we brought it up to Doug Campbell and at first he thought that it wouldn’t work at all, but then he talked to the Board and they accepted the idea.

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will always remember the standing ovation when Hugh Wilkinson announced the vote of 97 percent in favour of co-education and the students outside the assembly hall screaming. Then the mad preparation. I remember hanging curtains with Norm and Gloria Magee in School House — two hours before the girls were due to arrive! DOUGLAS J. CAMPBELL, 9TH HEADMASTER 1983–89. HE WENT ON TO BECOME HEADMASTER OF RIDLEY COLLEGE, ONTARIO

RENATE (GRASS) GEPRAEGS ’88

Transformation • Page 129


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hen the girls arrived, the first two days were crazy. There were a lot of television cameras, reporters and people touring through the girls’ dorms asking the girls a lot of questions. It was very hectic and time consuming, but it was also very exciting. LESLIE (REID) CARR, 1ST HOUSE DIRECTOR, SCHOOL HOUSE

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he thirty-five of us were like a family and we were all in one new house and when something happened, we dealt with it together. CARMEN (ZENS) DYER ’90

3. The first formal photo of School House, the original girls’ house located in the Main Building, founded September 1988.

Page 130 • Transformation

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“The first try in a girls’ rugby match was made by Tori Graham.”


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Page 132 • Transformation


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tudents are at Shawnigan for a relatively short period of time, but those years on campus are transformational. I wanted to help build a new Ritz where students are able to learn who they are through the friendships they form, in a place with some of the warmth and comforts of home. GARTH FRIESEN, HEAD STUDENT AND HEAD OF SCHOOL ’87

4. The Centennial Class, while in Grade 8, with the time capsule they stored in Rev. McClelland’s foot locker from his parachute regiment days. It contains their Centennial Prayer. This project was inspired by their social studies teachers Ralph Fraser, Lynne Grass and Susan Newns. Lynne and Sue were early House Directors after co-education was introduced. Seen here with Headmaster David Robertson, Rev. Holland and Centennial Director Phil Jarvis.

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5. When Marion Hall opened, the “Ritz” student centre moved into the original dining room. Thanks to a donation by Garth Friesen ’87, the space was redesigned into the large, light-filled Friesen Centre.

Transformation • Page 133


TARA SPENCER-NAIRN ’95

When I first arrived I didn’t have much confidence in myself. The reality is nothing is easy, but it’s all possible with hard work, perseverance and commitment.


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6. Tara Spencer-Nairn ’95 as Anybodys, in West Side Story. Tara went on to acclaim in CBC’s Corner Gas. 7. Edward Chang ’07 delighted the School with his playing, as did siblings Arthur ’03 and Diana ’06 before him. 8. Abbie (Bagley-Young) Vandivere ’97 holds a PhD in art restoration and is based in Amsterdam.

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9. Tim Campbell ’89, in Little Shop of Horrors. He later won a Dora Award for outstanding contribution to the Stratford Festival.

Transformation • Page 135


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e needed to convert one of the boys’ houses to a girls’ house. We had great debates about which house it should be. Eventually we decided to convert Groves’. I remember walking with Groves’ Housemaster Dai Williams into a house meeting in their common room to deliver the news. The silence in the room was deafening. SIMON BRUCE-LOCKHART, 11TH HEADMASTER, 1990–2000. HE BECAME HEADMASTER OF MULGRAVE SCHOOL, VANCOUVER, AND OF GLENLYON NORFOLK SCHOOL IN VICTORIA

10. A view from across the main garden of the “Hill Houses,” 1976. 11. H.M.S. Pinafore, Matt Arrott ’77 and John Hammond ’75. 12. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Jameson Parker ’06, SkyeBlu Cutchie ’06 and Hattie Guadagnuolo ’07. 13. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesse McCallum ’01 and Matt Luckhurst ’02 with admirers. 14. Anything Goes, Maggie Rogers ’06 and Alex Housser ’08.

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Transformation • Page 137


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ohn Lecky (shown here and opposite page) was a Canadian sportsman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, equally at home on both sides of the Atlantic. At the age of 20, while at UBC, he won a silver medal for Canada as part of the eight-man rowing crew at the Rome Olympic Games in 1960. He then went to Cambridge where he rowed at Number 5 in the winning boat races against Oxford in 1962 and 1964. At the same time, Lecky was a member of the Canadian rugby team which toured the British Isles, surprising his tutors by appearing on television in a match against England when they could not remember him asking permission to be absent from the university in term time. Lecky also won in record time the Goblets coxless pairs at Henley in 1964. John was Canada’s Chef de Mission at the 1980 Los Angeles Olympics, a successful Games where John’s ruthless attention to detail saw Canada winning 44 medals, its largest number ever at that time. FROM JOHN LECKY’S OBITUARY, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, UK, 2003

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Page 138 • Transformation


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ohn Lecky was a transformational giver. Things just kept coming. The Stag, the Chapel was rebuilt, then he gave us the Read Crew House. And then the Hyde-Lay Pavilion and the Canada Field — or at least the goal posts. He wanted those posts to be the highest in the world, which I believe they were at the time. SIMON BRUCE-LOCKHART

15. Marion Hawley christening one of the 11 rowing shells she donated (named for each of her grandchildren) at the opening of the Read Crew House. Both that building and her namesake, Marion Hall, were gifts to the School from her son, John Lecky ’57.

Transformation • Page 139


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e were delighted to offer our support for the Centennial. I know my time at the School had a profound impact on the man I am today. JIM ’77 AND KATHRYN SHAW

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im and Kathryn’s magnificent gift to our Centennial has set a new standard for philanthropy in Canadian schools.

DAVID ROBERTSON, 12TH HEADMASTER

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im started at the bottom working for his father JR Shaw, installing cable boxes and happily driving a commercial vehicle. The rest, as they say, is history. Jim moved up the ranks, proving himself at each new level, eventually becoming CEO of Shaw Communications.

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Page 140 • Transformation


Shawnigan is one of the top schools in North America. JIM SHAW ’77

16. Jim and Kathryn Shaw, with Headmaster David Robertson, framed by the Centennial Library, which is scheduled for completion in the Centennial year.

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17. As the Centennial Library will appear, viewed from Lake Omar, when construction is complete.

Transformation • Page 141


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Innovation “The roots of great innovations are never just in technology itself. They are always in the wider historical context. They require new ways of seeing.” DAVID BROOKS NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED, 2011


The rate of societal change during the early twenty-first century has been staggering. Technology provides people with the freedom to think expansively and attack challenges with a fresh world-view. In this period of change, Shawnigan has been ready as never before to adapt and grow with creativity and curiosity. After settling the School into a new co-educational culture, Simon BruceLockhart, Headmaster from 1990 to 2000, stressed the potential of our “location, location, location.” Aware that the bucolic nature of our campus was threatened by residential improvement in the Shawnigan area, BruceLockhart prevailed upon a key group of School supporters — many of them sitting Board members — to purchase the adjacent Hartl Farm when it went up for sale.

to include an understanding that the different learning styles of our students need to be appreciated.

Then, supported by Board Chair Tom Goodenough ’52, and led by Board member and parent Peter Johnson, the School engineered a land swap with local real estate developers. This bold transaction doubled the campus footprint to more than 300 acres, providing a buffer and giving the campus the land resources for further growth.

In the spring of 2005, Peter led an intrepid group to Phuket to help rebuild homes and lives. Ten years later, this compassionate response to need has grown into an important outreach program. Shawnigan students have journeyed to Thailand, China, Southern Africa and South and Central America to work alongside citizens of those countries in the service of positive change.

Since 2000, Headmaster David Robertson has encouraged staff to explore the boundaries of thinking in the delivery of programs. We see this both inside and outside of the classroom. The academic curriculum has been broadened

Serving the modern student in useful, inspiring ways is the driving force behind Shawnigan’s aim to cultivate outside-the-box thinkers and global citizens.

Outside the classroom walls we have tapped into the global conscience of our community. When the tsunami devastated Thailand in 2004, long-time staff member Peter Yates proposed that a group of staff and students from Shawnigan should go there and help.


In the spring of 2005, Peter led an intrepid group to Phuket to help rebuild homes and lives.


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1. Chapel has become a performance venue for many students. Here (l–r): Nick Minchau, Adam Morris and Morgan Barratt, all ’09. 2. Nigel Mayes ’89, Head of Science, shows students the universe through the donated telescope installed in 2015.

Page 146 • Innovation

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eople skills matter, too. You need connections, you need to be social, you need to communicate with people and you need to be willing to approach them. You can’t always wait for people to approach you. You need to reach out. MIN JI SEO ’10

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e succeeded, in a sense, in rebranding Chapel as a vital part of community building and a values forum without sacrificing or ignoring the spiritual traditions of the institution. DAVID ROBERTSON, HEADMASTER 2000–

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t’s not easy growing up at a school. Being determined to live and learn from your mistakes is no easy task. Try not to exclude people because of their differences. Learn about them. Understand how difficult it can be to adjust. We’ve all been there. MEREDITH (HAMILTON) HUTTON ’00


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fter my stepfather died in my second year, my mother was unable to pay the tuition. Headmaster Hugh Wilkinson took me under his wing and enabled me to stay. And thanks to Lance Bean, I then learned that music was my calling. CARL WRIGHT BRADLEY ’78, BOARD MEMBER 2008–

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3. The Recording Studio, sponsored by the Bradley Family Foundation in 2015, is part of our new approach to delivering the creative arts called C.A.S.E. (Communications, Arts, Science and Entrepreneurship). 4. Jazz Orchestra director Lance Bean reviews a music score with Carl Wright Bradley ’78. Lance later developed the School Museum. 5. Student Jazz Orchestra, 1977.

Page 148 • Innovation

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Innovation • Page 149


Life was simple, not complex, but it was intense. The teachers demanded attention to the work. JOHN BURR ’49

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he Shaw family is so pleased to be supporting the School today. It is so important to give back to society.

6. Kate (Hamilton) Snihur ’99 (Head of School) returned in 2005 to teach science. 7. Award-winning teacher Stephen Lane ’67 shares a physics lesson with Robin (Roth) McKenna ’92 and Nick Shepard ’93.

Page 150 • Innovation

JR SHAW, OC, SPEAKING TO THE STUDENTS AT THE OPENING OF THE SHAW SCIENCE CENTRE, 1999

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hawnigan’s culture of philanthropy was built from the top down. The first project was the initial expansion of the Chapel, which John Lecky backed. Then came the rebuilding of the Hobbies Building by an anonymous donor. The Shaw Centre was again a huge thing — a gift from the Shaw family. These were key individuals who were willing to invest a lot of money, time and effort into turning things around. These projects created momentum. John Davies was very good at shepherding that energy and generating excitement about future possibilities. SIMON BRUCE-LOCKHART, HEADMASTER 1990–2000


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y parents didn’t know I was applying to Shawnigan until I had permission from the School to write the scholarship exam. I called my grandma, who lived on the Island, and said, “I’m going to be coming out your way in a couple of weeks to write the scholarship exam for Shawnigan.” Only then did I tell my parents. KEVIN IMRIE ’08, FIRST SHAW SCHOLAR

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e’re interested in helping students. They don’t have to be top scholars or great athletes. They just have to be great kids. I also want to encourage them to give back to Shawnigan in the future, and pay it forward. JIM SHAW ’77

Page 152 • Innovation


Many alumni have noted the importance of the Hobbies Building, and the woodwork program in particular, and that skills learned there have saved thousands of dollars in home renovations over the years!

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30 saw two innovations tending toward the encouragement of vocational training. Firstly a drawing school, thus the artistic tendencies are being encouraged. Secondly, we have devoted a space in the attic as a temporary home for boys anxious to use tools for woodwork in the nature of wood modeling, fret work and kindred efforts. C.W. LONSDALE

Innovation • Page 153


8. Malcolm Hammond ’89, a member of the sailing team coached by Rolf Grass (shown above) and others. 9. Jenny Rolston ’01 focuses on charcoal drawing. 10. Opening of the Hobbies Building, June 1995: Simon and Joanne BruceLockhart, the Hon. Bob and Mrs. Jane Rogers, Tom Goodenough ’52 (Board Chair) and Brian McGavin ’56. 11. Kristina Driesen ’09 works on the pottery wheel.

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Innovation • Page 155


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The Shawnigan EDGE Program

itting on the Great Wall of China in silence was such an enriching experience. Being on the EDGE China trip has taught me that when we do take time to look outside and help others, we are subconsciously helping ourselves grow.

ENGAGEMENT of mind,

body and spirit that promotes understanding and compassion, and inspires passion and commitment.

TAI WILLIAMS ’16

DEVELOPMENT of individuals

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learned so much from the Thailand EDGE trip: be thankful to the people who care for you, be brave and put yourself out there to be a leader.

that is the foundation for building a better world. GRATITUDE that grows from

FREYA WU ’16

awareness and appreciation of the opportunities and choices that sustain a happy, meaningful and satisfying life. With privilege goes responsibility: pay it forward. 12

EXPERIENCE that is the most

powerful teacher. A well-rounded education comprises new, diverse and challenging experiences.

12. Alasdair Ritchie ’10 plants trees in a reforestation project that saw 40,000 trees planted on the campus. This initiative created a Living Laboratory concept for the campus. 13. The EDGE Program was pioneered by Peter Yates (faculty member, 1981–2013). The School has sent EDGE Program teams annually to Thailand starting in 2005, with trips to Africa and China following.

Page 156 • Innovation

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Long-time faculty member Scott Noble ’75 with members of the Environmental Club, outside the hatchery named after Hobson ’70, a renowned wildlife artist and former staff member.


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he requirements made of young people under the pursuits and projects section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award should teach them to fill leisure time with productive activities; the demands made by the expedition section should develop in them those qualities of selfreliance and initiative which leaders of the future more than ever will require. E.R. (NED) LARSEN, 3RD HEADMASTER 1958–67

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r. Larsen’s vision was developed while a boy at school when Mr. Lonsdale was his mentor. This vision still holds true today: developing resilience, promoting teamwork and leadership skills, be it through the Duke of Edinburgh Award, an EDGE service trip or an OuterEdge expedition, a Shawnigan education continues on outside the classroom. BARRY WELSH, DEPUTY HEAD 2012–

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14. Paul Robinson ’87 on his unicycle.

Innovation • Page 159


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e hired a company to create a landscape plan for the School, a strategic plan for the physical plant, to show how everything would fit into the overall plan. PETER JOHNSON, PARENT, PAST BOARD MEMBER

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ay Hollings, maintenance manager, began on the maintenance crew in 1971 and, with wife Kim working in the dining hall, has been a mainstay at the School ever since. Ray has restored buildings, and even moved them. His institutional memory of the campus is immense!

15. In the 1970s, Lake Omar, still an algae-covered sewage lagoon, looked like a smooth field behind the Main Building. A helicopter pilot once nearly made that mistake. (Luckily, he realized his error in time!) Today, the lake has been restored as a sustainable wetland stocked with trout enjoyed by students who have learned to tie their own flies.

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Evolution “The complexity of things — the things within things — just seems to be endless. I mean nothing is easy, nothing is simple.” ALICE MUNRO WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE, 2013 THE NEW YORKER, 2001


As Shawnigan enters its second century, we do so with much of the campus as densely wooded as in 1916, yet dotted with unmatched facilities for today’s students. Families from thirty countries and six continents attend Shawnigan, and the School has rewarded that trust by producing leaders who are making their mark in diverse professions across the globe. Shawnigan’s clarion call is the “Complete Education.” Its importance to the School’s mission and ethos is both complex and simple — well-rounded students become well-rounded people, armed with the knowledge and empathy necessary to make the right choice, which is not necessarily the most popular one. If we are to judge success based on the impact our alumni have in their careers, we must begin by evaluating our ability to prepare students for a job market that does not yet exist. Technology and innovation drive occupations, but advances occur so rapidly that it has become nearly impossible to predict where employment opportunities will be in two years, let alone five or ten. The question we face now as a school is numbingly simple: Where do we go from here? Educational evolution becomes less about facts and more about developing the characteristics required to be adaptable and responsive to the changing nature of employment. Students need to be actively involved in learning, and in the

outcomes related to creativity, collaboration and strategic risk taking, while understanding the evolving roles of men and women in all aspects of society. In so many ways, in 2016 we are already engaged in this style of education. From the success of the economics program that operates Lecky House as a working business, to the student-run Stag Café, to the scientific creativity of the robotics program, to insights into the humanities through the annual Holocaust and Genocide Symposium, to a vibrant Model United Nations and debating program, Shawnigan students learn the value of understanding theory and applying knowledge to real-world issues. David Robertson has written that “Our aim is to articulate a comprehensive approach to all features of Shawnigan’s success over the years, so we can create a legacy that will ensure the School flourishes for a very long time.” For Shawnigan students, truly experiencing education in facilities that enrich and inspire has transformed the traditional three Rs into the contemporary four Cs: collaboration, creativity, confidence and character. C. W. Lonsdale would be delighted!


Shawnigan students learn the value of understanding theory, and applying knowledge to realworld issues.


From our success and from our progress and from our example will spring up many schools of similar type, some of which will solidify and become adjuncts toward the training of Canadian citizens. C.W. LONSDALE


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he slang will change, the clothes will change, the media will change, but ultimately a teenager is a teenager, whether they were born in 1962 or 1982. Each generation has something to offer. LISA JANE DE GARA ’10

Evolution • Page 167


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ev Shafran ’74’s vision has students working on issues in the humanities through partnership with the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Shawnigan holds an annual Holocaust and Genocide Symposium with testimony from survivors and leading academics to educate students and others from across BC.

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n 1972, I left Hong Kong and became one of the first Asian students at Shawnigan. The School was such a great experience for me that I became an educator here in Hong Kong, then I entrusted my three children, Arthur ’03, Diana ’06 and Edward ’07, to Shawnigan. RICHARD CHANG ’74

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epresenting Shawnigan and my delegation at the Model UN, it was a great honour to speak at the United Nations Chamber. I was nervous, but was able to find a part of myself that I will take with me forever. GABY MORTON ’16 2

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riginally designed as “The Big School,” used for School gatherings, this space was used as the Library from the 1960s to 2013. It has now been transformed into the beautiful Mitchell Hall, an elegant social space and reading room, at the heart of the new Learning Commons. Mitchell Hall was made possible through the generosity of Brian Mitchell ’59, his wife Joan Mitchell and daughter Jennifer Mitchell ’97.

1. Ji Na Park ’08 and Min Ji Seo ’10 perform a traditional Korean dance for their classmates. 2. Roland Borsato ’72, Dir. Alumni Relations, with the symposium organizing team and Holocaust survivors, at the annual Holocaust and Genocide Symposium. 3. Shawnigan Lake School representatives at a Model UN event held at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Gaby Morton ’16 (left) was chosen to speak for her delegation. 4. Nikki Gui ’16 and Olivia Yau ’15, two young students from China.

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5–7. Mitchell Hall opening: Brian, Joan and Jennifer Mitchell with faculty and Board guests.

Evolution • Page 169


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8. Ice hockey action in the exciting new arena, opened on campus in 2015. 9. Outdoors trips have long been a hallmark of the School. Getting there is half the adventure. 10. Boys stand ready to climb ropes suspended from the rafters in the original gym, circa 1932. 11. Students in the Entrepreneurship class gain valuable life experience in the Stag CafĂŠ. 12. Gaynor and Rhodri Samuel, with combined service to the School of over 40 years, exemplify Shawnigan core values of caring and integrity.

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e had seven teams at the 2015 Provincial Robotics Championships in Burnaby. I am happy to say that the huge amount of effort we put into this was not in vain — because we won the tournament! We came home with three trophies and, more importantly, three of the eight available spots in the World Championships. Also we took part in the highest-scoring robotics match anywhere in the world so far this year!

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DAMIAN PARLEE ’15

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Evolution • Page 171


Renovated and rechristened the Learning Commons in 2015, the old Main Building remains at the heart of this magnificent campus.


Closing Days (clockwise from left): 1929, luggage loaded atop buses as boys prepare to leave; David and Lynn Robertson, 2012; grand finale of Closing Day, 2011.


A School for the Ages

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he success of a school is a complex blend of factors viewed from different perspectives. However, as you will have seen from this snapshot of our history, there is much to celebrate in the rich tapestry that is Shawnigan. We could undoubtedly fill another book, but I am proud of this chronicle of our first one hundred years. I have been fortunate to be Shawnigan’s 12th Headmaster in an era of unprecedented growth for the School. With the constant encouragement and steadfast support of Lynn at my side, it is with a sense of pride that I see Shawnigan take its place as a leader in Canadian independent school education and as one of the specialists in boarding on our continent. My role has been to balance the development of facilities and programs with the transformational experience of the individual, while preserving Shawnigan’s core identity. The campus is peerless, with world-class facilities that inspire our students to achieve excellence, yet we strive to continue the tradition inherited from Shawnigan’s early days of developing young people’s character. The Centennial Era is a time in which Shawnigan provides a vast array of opportunities for personal excellence rather than viewing students through the restricted prism of test scores. This was not Lonsdale’s view of young people, nor is it mine. Our admirable standards have been achieved through the visionary thinking and courageous commitment of the Board and the faculty. I firmly believe that we have built a School that will stand the tests of time. I would like to recognize and thank everyone at Shawnigan, and in our extended worldwide family, who has contributed to our journey throughout the last hundred years. Bring on the next century! Yours aye, DAVID ROBERTSON 12TH HEADMASTER 2000–

Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat


echo STORYTELLING AGENCY

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This book was designed and produced by

We thank the many alumni and others who have donated photographs, words and memories as background to this work. Although we could not include all things that are Shawnigan, we strove to find the essence of this special place. Shawnigan gives particular thanks to the following for their dedicated work on this commemorative book:

ECHO STORYTELLING AGENCY

COMMITTEE

1616 West 3rd Avenue Vancouver, BC, Canada V6J 1K2 www.echostories.com 1.877.777.ECHO Creating inspiring books, video and digital content since 1999. Design © ECHO

Editor: Centennial Director Phil Jarvis Writers: Ryan Panton ’97 and Jay Connolly ’80, with Rayna Hyde-Lay ’91 and Roy McIntosh ’59

Editorial Director: John Wellwood Art Director: Cathy Smith Designer: Cathy Smith Photo Editor: Jane Hope Production Coordinator: Eric Uhlich

RESEARCH

School Archivist: Lynn Rolston Communications: Maureen Connolly PHOTOGRAPHY

Staff: Stephen Lane ’67, Abigail Saxton and Jeff Kluge Commissioned: Nik West, Paul Tedrick. Photographs 12–14 on page 137 courtesy of Andrew Leong Photography Image on page 82 appears courtesy of the Vancouver Sun Images on page 128 appear courtesy of the Province With appreciation also to Echo Storytelling Agency

Printed in Canada. Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Character & courage : Shawnigan at 100. ISBN 978-1-987900-03-3 (hardback)

C016245

1. Shawnigan Lake School (Shawnigan Lake, B.C.)--History. 2. Boarding schools--British Columbia--Shawnigan Lake--History. 3. Private schools--British Columbia--Shawnigan Lake--History. I. Jarvis, Phillip J., 1948- editor II. Title: Character and courage. LE5.S46C43 2016

371.0209711’28

C2015-908310-9


WHEN YOU LEAVE, YOU ALTER THE SCHOOL FOREVER, JUST AS YOU ALTERED IT WHEN YOU ARRIVED. IT IS THIS CONCERT OF VOICES THAT WILL STAND AS OUR SHARED MOMENT IN HISTORY. JAY CONNOLLY ’80


Character & Courage