Vic High Alumni 2022 Annual Report
by Vic High Alumni Board of Directors (Read more here about the Alumni and the volunteers who do the work)
The Vic High Alumni is a totally volunteer-run Association officially founded in 1975 when Lawrie Wallace (former teacher and at the time deputy minister to the premier of BC), Duncan Lorimer, (Principal) and Reg Reid (Vice-Principal) gathered many of us together to produce the incredible Vic High Centennial Celebrations in 1976. What a gathering that was!
47 years later, we’re proud to say we’ve had tremendous growth and development in many areas in the last year. Nothing – not even Covid or the gutting and rebuilding of our beloved school – can hold down the Vic High spirit!
Archives & Museum
The award-winning Vic High Archives & Museum, which is completely funded and managed by Vic High Alumni volunteers, is a remarkable resource.
- To Vic High – for rotating displays, research projects, and particularly Remembrance Day ceremonies
- To authors, researchers, alumni, people looking for family history
- To government and non-government agencies – military, heritage, and more
- And – we’re proud to say – we worked closely with the heritage architects involved in the current seismic upgrade, helping ensure as much of Vic High’s physical heritage as possible could be re-purposed or archived
In the last year –
- A GoPro camera has been donated to record oral histories
- A $10k donation has been received to build new shelving and equipment for the Archives Room
- Over 6,000 items in the archives are now searchable electronically by volunteers, helping make the collections more accessible
- Two volunteers are assisting a Vic High team with heritage, décor & recognition elements in the ‘new’ Vic High
Read more here about the Vic High Archives & Museum
- We’re so pleased you’re enjoying our monthly e-newsletters, and that alumni are sending great stories & photos we can share
- Our Facebook page has almost 1000 followers and we do our best to post often, to share posts from Vic High, and to post and answer questions on the various grad years’ Facebook pages
- E-mail is the way we communicate with alumni, though we still postal mail to a handful of donors who don’t have email
- New information and stories are added monthly to the website. Digital, searchable copies of the Camosuns are popular.
- Suggestions to improve the website are always welcome.
Click here for all Alumni newsletters, 1997 to the present.
- We produce alumni lists by school year for Reunion Organizers, and ask them to provide any updated contact information so we can maintain accurate records
- 14,500 alumni are listed on our website, 4000 with email addresses. Volunteers phoned approximately 2500 alumni this spring and collected 400 email addresses
- A few reunion lunches have been held, and now with pandemic restrictions lifted, numerous classes are organizing reunions. Finally we can start gathering again!
More info on reunions here.
Black & Gold Dinner
- This popular event has been postponed twice, but is now scheduled for May 13, 2023. We will be honouring some Illustrious Alumni and raising funds as well.
More info here.
A team is developing strategies to solicit in-kind and financial donations for items needed at the ‘new’ Vic High, scheduled to open to students September 2023. If you can help, or know any alumni with connections or resources, please contact us. Vic High needs –
- Broadcast Media Lab equipment
- Pre-Engineering Robotics Lab equipment
- Benches and planters for the new rooftop outdoor classroom
- Our two world war memorials need cleaning
- Grad class photos need refurbishing – a list will be in the July newsletter
- Interior signage is needed – blending the old and the new
- One 1914 stained glass window (stairwell) needs replacing
That list will surely grow – the more we can help, the better.
2026 – Vic High’s 150th
A team has begun work collecting stories and information and Vic High Alumni 1st Vice-Chair Helen Edwards, noted local ‘heritage detective’, has volunteered to write Vic High’s next history book – 1976 – 2026.
We’re working on migrating into the digital world, making it easier for volunteers to operate and to co-ordinate activities.
Scholarships & Bursaries
- Vic High Alumni contributed $21,600 in scholarships/bursaries for 2022, more than any other high school alumni in BC that we are aware of
- Victoria Foundation investment yields were up
- Two recent awards are now fully vested: Dorothy Evans Bursary for Music, and Reg Reid Leadership Cup Award. And just weeks ago, a generous alumnus has offered to make an annual donation so the Reg Reid award, Vic High’s premier award, can be doubled to $2000.
- The Class of 1968 Spirit Scholarship has almost reached its $25,000 goal with fundraising events and individual donations.
- Two new awards were added this year – funded by individual and family donations
- Ken McCulloch Memorial Bursary for Higher Learning
- Georgina (Lim) Harrison Bursary for studies in accounting, office admin, marketing, or hospitality management
- Fundraising continues to create the Helen Maxwell Bursary, a former teacher who passed recently.
- We oversee two awards which are direct-funded annually by their founders:
- Chelsea & Jazelin Maskos Bursary for Social Activism
- Leduc-McQueen Award for tenacity & resilience in pursuit of goals
Click here for more info, and current and past winners of Alumni scholarships and bursaries.
And finally – there simply is no Alumni Association and none of this could happen – without you.
To Our Donors: THANK YOU!
- Your response to our annual funding appeal is critical to the Alumni’s existence
- Donors from the 1960s grad years lead the pack, but we have strong support from the 1950s and 1970s.
- And many Alumni continue to reserve future auditorium seat plaques with their $250 donations. Available seats are projected to run out within a year or two, so you might want to donate and reserve asap.
Click here for Ways to Help and lists of past donors.
And To Our Volunteers
- We’ve had 10 new volunteers come forward in the last year, alumni from the 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, 1970s, and 1960s. I’m sure that’s a record! THANK YOU! It’s exciting and very encouraging to see so many wanting to help with all the work the Alumni does to support Vic High.
- And my heartfelt appreciation to the Directors on our Board and to all the active volunteers who contribute so much time and so much heart to support Vic High
- You do know, of course, that we are always keen to have more. Contact us, and we’ll match your skills and time and passions with the projects and the work to support Vic High
Click here for Volunteer Opportunities
We also extend a generous thank you to the current Principal Aaron Parker and his staff who show such respect for Vic High and its history, and who ensure the Vic High spirit and the values of acceptance, diversity, and inclusivity remain strong.
In closing –
Thank you for your patience with this report – but we simply had to share all this good news. We’ll post it on our website and put something in the next newsletter – it’s time to celebrate all these extraordinary volunteer efforts and contributions.
We have so much to look forward to and to build towards
We will continue to fulfill our purpose as the Vic High Alumni
- Connecting alumni and supporting reunions and events that bring people together
- Preserving the history of Vic High through the Archives & Museum,
- Supporting Vic High and students with equipment and resources, with bursaries and scholarships
And we can’t wait to be welcomed into the ‘new’ Vic High, scheduled to re-open September 2023.