2023 Black & Gold Dinner

We Gathered, We Honoured Our Own, and We Sang

by Linda Baker, VHS 1969

Postponed for three years due to the COVID pandemic, it was a great relief to organizers, inductees and guests to finally gather for the 4th Black and Gold Dinner May 13 at the Naden Wardroom, as eight Vic High alumni were inducted into the Black and Gold Honour Roll. 140 guests, including some who travelled from as far away as Ontario and Oregon, reconnected, reminisced, and shared stories and laughs and the views from the beautiful Signal Hill venue at the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour.

Some extraordinary Vic High students, leaders in their fields, helped alumni present each honouree to the assembled guests and other students also attended, all as guests of various alumni who donated their tickets. Nyla Sproule, VHS 2023, was surprised at how much enthusiasm attendees still have for Vic High saying, “I guess this proves that we really are all a Vic High family”. And of course, the evening ended with a rousing singing of the school song, Come Give A Cheer.

Three inductees attended in person. Pamela Madoff, VHS 1972, said later, “I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the video presentations were absolutely fascinating. Thanks again to everyone for honouring me in this way and bringing back some wonderful memories.” Sylvia Hosie, VHS 1961, was thrilled that her presentation video and display board contained wonderful photos of her late husband, Bill Hosie, and his late sister, Dorothy Hosie, as all three had met at Vic High and performed together throughout their lives. Mohammed Elewonibi spoke from the heart about his football experiences and about how Vic High teachers made him feel so welcome when he transferred there from St. Michael’s University School.

Two alumni were inducted posthumously – Lawrie and Jill Wallace, two were unable to travel – Ian McDougall and Ann Kipling, and Timothy Vernon was sidelined by health issues but sent a warm message to guests and organizers. Distinguished guests included past inductees Stew Smith, VHS 1955, David Day, VHS 1966, and Carole Sabiston, VHS 1957, Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Hillside, and School District 61 Superintendent Deb Whitten and Board Chair Nicole Duncan.

Here are links to the inductees’ videos:

Mohammed  Elewonibi, VHS 1983       Sylvia Hosie, VHS 1961     Ann Kipling, VHS 1951     Pamela Madoff, VHS 1972

Ian McDougall, VHS 1956                      Timothy Vernon, VHS 1963         Lawrie and Jill Wallace, VHS 1930 & VHS 1966

And here, in no particular order, are some photos of the event.