Fergie Andison, VHS 1968, Vic High All the Way
He may have ended up graduating from Oak Bay in 1969, (!) but his two years at Vic High have redeemed him, and he remains a Vic High alumnus through and through. A member of the 1968 Totems basketball team, and despite working in Ottawa for many years, he remained connected to his Totems teammates. The 1968 Totems went on to fame and glory in 1969, beating Oak Bay to become the BC Basketball champions, but we’re sure it was Fergie’s time with them that helped them prepare for that big win.
Fergie moved back home to the family home in Chemainus after he retired, and four summers in a row drove up and down the Island daily to record in images, video, and 360 degree video, every part of Vic High. “Nobody knew then if Vic High would stay or be torn down,” he says, “and I wanted to ensure it was well documented.” Those images are all on file, some of them published in the Alumni’s Vic High 2020 photobook. And of course, Fergie made sure the iconic Vic High attic was well photographed.
Thankfully respect for this iconic Vic High building prevailed, and a massive seismic upgrade and updating is underway. (ETA re-opening 2023) While some of the autographs in the attic will remain, some will be removed as seismic upgrades shift the placement of HVAC pipes and more. Vic High is hoping at least some of the plywood panels that need to be removed can be reused or retained for display.
Generations of future Vic High students and staff have Fergie to thank for such a thorough collection of photos of our extraordinary school. And the Vic High Archives & Museum volunteers are very grateful for Fergie’s work producing a book about the Vic High boilers, creating a booklet of the blueprints of the original 1914 school, and continuing to support the preservation of Vic High’s stories and history.