Esquimalt High Alumni Loves Ribfest

Esquimalt High Alumni Loves Ribfest

by Linda Baker, VHS 1969

Vic High was 39 years old when Esquimalt High School was founded in 1915 in a classroom at Lampson Street Elementary School, with the Esquimalt School Board announcing students would follow the same curriculum as Vic High. It wasn’t long before the school was racking up firsts, notably the appointment in 1926 of Gwendolyn Nora Hewlings as the first woman principal of a B.C. high school. Students in her Latin class chose the school’s motto: Esse Quam Videri (It is better to be, rather than to seem.) In 1946, the school joined the Victoria School Board.

The Esquimalt Alumni was founded in 2006 by a dedicated team of grads, who were helped by friends active in the Vic High Alumni. “We decided to generally mirror the Vic High Alumni’s operational structure,” says Dave Allen, a Director-at-Large and former principal of Esquimalt High School. “And we’ve grown a lot in the last 18 years.” The Alumni began providing scholarships to deserving Esquimalt students in 2006, and now gives out three, $1000 scholarships, drawing from funds they’ve raised and invested to yield annual awards.


Rod (VHS 1968) and Marilyn McCrimmon (EHS 1971)

The Alumni charges a one-time $10 membership fee, and currently has 620 members. EHS 1971 grad and Alumni Secretary Marilyn McCrimmon, wife of Vic High alumni Rod McCrimmon, VHS 1968, publishes the Alumni’s newsletter. Events, meetings, reunions, and more – there’s plenty of information on the Alumni page of the Esquimalt High School website.  Alumni – Esquimalt High School ( In 2015 the school celebrated its centennial, and Marilyn wrote a special piece for the Times Colonist about the school. Esquimalt High School looks back at 100 years – Victoria Times Colonist

The Alumni also set up a Foundation with the sole purpose of raising funds for the school, and does so every year at Esquimalt’s hugely popular Ribfest at Bullen Park. “We partner with the Rainbow Kitchen and the Esquimalt High School Leadership students to run a food booth selling langos and drinks,” says Dave, “and we split the profit three ways.” Rib Fest itself also raises funds, and is leading the charge for a turf upgrade at Esquimalt High School.

The school posts a great newsletter on its website for students full of info about what’s going on that week. Esquimalt_High_School_Docker_Newsletter_Apr-8-12-2024.pdf (  Mark your calendars for their upcoming production of Mean Girls, April 26-28 and May 3-5. And in case you’re wondering where former Vic High Vice-Principal Chris Koutougos went, he’s at Esquimalt High, contributing, we’re sure, his great ideas and his enthusiasm to the culture there.

So if you know someone who went to Esquimalt High School, now École Secondaire Esquimalt High School offering French Immersion, encourage them to join the Esquimalt High School Alumni Association. And definitely tell them about those crowd-pleasing langos every year at RibFest.