Vic High Sweethearts – The List Keeps Growing
Updated March 2022
Joanne Dark & Keith Hart, VHS 1960
The best part of going to Victoria High School was meeting my future husband Keith in grade 10. In May 1958, I put on a surprise 16th birthday for him and that helped cement our friendship. After graduating I went into nurses training at Royal Jubilee Hospital. Keith moved to North Vancouver with his family so we carried on a long distance romance and married on Aug. 28th, 1964. I worked at Vancouver General Hospital and Keith worked for a Retail Credit Co. and a Marketing Research Co. before returning to UBC. We did reports for the White Spot, so being poor, we ate there twice a week. White Spot raised their prices so I asked for a 25 cent raise for each report and they fired us.
Keith went to UBC and completed his B Ed degree majoring in Physical Education and Business. With Joanne’s support, he graduated in 1968, the year our daughter was born. Keith began his teaching career at Semiahmoo Sec. in White Rock, grades 11,12 and 13. What a dream job for a first year teacher. Keith loved teaching and coaching and was fortunate to take his 1989 basketball team to the Provincials where the team finished 8th in the province. While at Semiahmoo Keith started a Community Recreation Course, for grade 12 students, to introduce them to activities outside the gym. This was the first such program in Surrey Schools.
Our son was born in May 1970 on Keith’s birthday. We had 10 house moves in 8yrs and finally moved into our first house in 1972 in South Surrey. Four houses later we live in a gated complex in a rancher townhouse close to White Rock. We winter in our house in Mesa Arizona in sunshine and blue skies which is wonderful for Joanne who struggles with arthritis.
Keith received his Master Degree in Education Administration from Western Washington University and worked as a Vice Principal at various high schools in Surrey, for 21 years. For 25 years he was chairman of the All Star Committee at the BC Boys Basketball tournament. He served on the executive for over 30 years and was President of the Association in 2006. Keith and Joanne volunteered for many years for the Woman’s Fast Pitch Tournament in South Surrey. Keith also volunteered for the 2010 Olympics. Joanne worked part time at Peace Arch hospital, Surrey Memorial hospital and Home Nursing in Surrey. She has also volunteered for many years for Peace Arch Hospice.
After retirement Keith worked at Morgan Creek Golf Course for 18years, as a marshal and starter. Keith has been a wonderful support to Joanne through her numerous surgeries – the last in June of 2021 when she had an accident on her e bike and fractured her tibia. We have taken many wonderful trips and cruises to many different countries. We are fortunate to have six grand children
Keith’s favorite teacher was of course Mr. (Porky) Andrews. He has many fond memories of being on the Totems. Joanne’s favorite teachers were Mr. Hartley who taught English for the exams and Miss Bassett, PE teacher who was so nice to the girls.
So a love story that started in 1958 continues with wonderful memories of Vic High, family, friends and travel.
Maple Melder & Mike Crozier, VHS 1976 and 1974
Mike and I met before Vic High through my good friend, his cousin. We started dating while he was in Grade 11 at VHS and I was in Grade 9 at SJ Willis Junior High. There was a janitor’s strike that year so we got to spend a lot of time together with our mutual friends. We traipsed all over Victoria and along the wild beaches along the west coast of Vancouver Island. It was obvious to our friends and families that we were completely in love. I painted that fact on the attic wall at Vic High, and after Mike died, on the wall of my son’s shop. Though I had many scholarships offered to me, we married soon after I graduated in 1976, with Principal Lorimer doing a toast to us at our wedding. (My parents said “I chose love”.) I loved Vic High so much, I had a room in our first apartment decorated in black and gold with VHS memorabilia.
We had our first son (who also left sports scholarships for love and married his high school sweetheart) while Mike went to Camosun College and BCIT, graduating top in his class. He was recruited to a job in California and finished his education at UC Berkeley as a Civil/Structural Engineer, seismic specialist. I went to university for the next many years, becoming a biologist, then counsellor, and completing a Doctorate in Education which led to my career as a professor. In 1991 we moved back to Canada, settling in the Fraser Valley after 10 amazing years in the San Francisco Bay area of California.
Two more kids came along and later, 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. We travelled much, we lived well, and laughed often with our wonderful families and friends. We celebrated 41 love-filled years together and had crazy, exciting adventures. Mike was on one of his adventures in 2018, hiking the West Highland Way in Scotland, where he suffered a massive heart attack and died instantly. Victoria High School was an integral part of our lives, and I will be forever grateful for all the memories. Maple is featured in the Alumni’s March newsletter. Click here for her story.
Lyle Keewatin Richards & Alison Dobie, 1977
Lyle and Alison became ‘we’ July 25, 1976, the summer before their Grade 12 year. Lyle asked Alison if she thought they should share their story, saying, ‘It happened, kids, move, then like so many others we split, move back, c0-parent. But I don’t want to write it.’ But Alison decided it was a compelling one. She begins: Lyle’s right, it was our life, and though apart for almost 30 years now, we shared 16 years, three children, a fair amount of strife, but also lots of family, love, and fun. At our first apartment together in Victoria, we were forced out in the middle of the night as it went up in flames – a fire that made the front page of the paper then and is still talked about today, much to my surprise just recently on Old Victoria.
After moving to Red Deer in 1979, we worked for a time, became pregnant, and later, to our utter dismay, lost our eldest child Benjamin as an infant. We went on to have two more wonderful children, Rory (Logan) and Lucas. During our time together Lyle was instrumental in beginning the process of bringing to light some of the lost Indigenous children forced to attend the Red Deer Indian Industrial School, which was recently featured in McLean’s magazine. Lyle lives in Red Deer and is married to his long time love, Pat, with whom he has a daughter Mari. I returned to Victoria permanently in 1995 where I had a long career in Clinical Research. In retirement I’m indulging my artistic side. We were, indeed, Vic High Sweethearts.
Sylvia Mobey & Bill Hosie, VHS 1961
Bill & Sylvia Hosie met while acting in the 1959 Vic High production of Lust For Life directed by Tommy Mayne. Bill was playing the role of Vincent Van Gogh & Sylvia the role of his sister, Elizabeth Van Gogh. Their scenes together were filled with shouting because Elizabeth did not approve of Vincent being an artist.
Bill asked Sylvia to ‘go steady’ around Christmas 1959. They were both in the 1960 VHS production of Song of Norway, and, of course, performed in many Calamity Players’ sketches, danced in the Square Dance Club under Mr. Wallace, sang in the Choir under Norma Douglas & attended Thespians, school dances & Totems basketball games. At lunchtime, Sylvia often watched Bill playing Volleyball, and after school, Bill would watch Sylvia dancing in the VHS Modern Dance Club.
They were married June 30th,1965. Bill already had an established professional actor/singer career both on TV and live stage and that took him all over Canada, New York, Scotland, Japan, Germany & Cyprus. Sylvia graduated with distinction from UVic, taught in both primary & high school with a lengthy 2nd career as a dancer/choreographer/director/performing arts instructor. She directed, choreographed & co-wrote, with Dr. Peter Smith, ‘Come Give A Cheer’, the Victoria High School Celebration of its 100th birthday, a show that was staged at the Memorial Arena. Bill & Sylvia have three children and three grandchildren.
Donna Fleming & Ray Graham, VHS 1969
Ray and I met on Gonzales Beach the summer after grade 10. Ray had gone to Central Jr. High and I had been at Lansdowne. Starting at Vic High, we both lived in James Bay, and walked home from school together so we could save our bus fare money to buy cigarettes at the Tuck Shop near Vic High.
Teacher Mr. Jamieson caught us a number of times holding hands in the hallways and sent us to Vice Principal Reg Reid’s office. Mr. Reid would say ‘you guys again’ and send us off to our classes. In Grade 12 we were locker partners.
We got married in 1972, and have two sons and two granddaughters. We will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary this year! PS Our eldest son also married his high school sweetheart!
Amber Barrs & James Mallach, VHS 2002
It all started spring 2000, when James, who was hanging out with his buddy Vince Cox, noticed me at the end of the hallway, decked out head to toe in Adidas. James, too, was decked out in Adidas. He turned to Vince and said, “I’m going to marry that girl one day.” it was love at first sight for James. However for me, the feeling was not mutual…at first. After months of wooing – poutines from the George & Dragon, pizza slices from Thin Edge of the Wedge in Fernwood Square, and plenty of chocolate chip cookies and focaccia bread from Breadstuff Bakery – James finally made his big move. H kissed me at a rave we both attended at the beginning of summer – Summer Skool at Memorial Arena. Aaand…we’ve been together ever since. We’ll be celebrating our 22nd anniversary July 2022, and will be married 12 years December 2022.
PS We both ended up staying an extra year for ‘Grade 13’, and graduated in 2002 instead of 2001. Neither of us is in the 2001 yearbook, tho we have a copy. Neither of us have the 2002 yearbook.
Hey Amber – we found you in the 2002 Camosun, but sadly, not James. Click here to search your 2002 Camosun.
Gwen Eekman & Rick Acres, VHS 1961, 1962
Rick took me out once in high school. His claim to fame was as a drummer in the Vic High band, and he played gigs outside of school. I was into music at Vic High and belonged to various high school choirs and the Madrigal Singers, and accompanied various high school vocalists on piano. Apparently it was an unremarkable date. We went to a movie, then to Paul’s Restaurant for something to eat. And that was that.
We met again in 2001 at the Vic High 125th anniversary celebrations. I’d graduated from the Jubilee nursing school and moved to California, but came home for the gala Vic High event. Something must have clicked then, because we ended up getting married in 2003. I worked for VIHA and Rick continued as a BC land surveyor. We’ve been living in Qualicum Beach since 2003.
Victoria George & Eddie Hart, VHS 2014, 2015
Eddie and I met years before Vic High, but we reconnected in 2012 when he was in Grade 9 and I was in Grade 10. We would play footsies in Mrs. Pugh’s art class, and we’ve been together since then. 9 1/2 years and still going strong! I graduated with Honours in 2014 and he graduated in 2015. He works hard as a landscaper in Victoria and I work as an MOA. We enjoy hiking and camping, and we’re proud cat parents with two fur babies.
Fred Packford & Doreen Dalziel, VHS 1949, 1946
On April 6, 2022 Fred and Doreen Packford, celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary.
They weren’t together at Vic High but met on a blind date. Fred recalls the plans to go sailing were curtailed by a storm, so they went dancing at the Crystal Gardens. The admission was $5 a couple and there was a nine-piece band. “I thought I’d better make the best of this night,” Fred added, “as she probably wouldn’t ever go out with me again.”
Fred, who is 90, went on to apprentice in sheet metalwork before starting a 25-year teaching career at Vic High in 1957. Doreen, who is 93 and is affectionately called “Deen” by Fred, attended Victoria College (forerunner of the University of Victoria) for two years before she started working at the law firm now known as Straith and Company.
Both have worked tirelessly for the Victoria High School Alumni Association for more than three decades, and are still relied upon for their wisdom and guidance. Fred particularly remembers a 1991 annual Vic High Alumni dinner where he spearheaded the idea of a membership drive targeting 500 former students at $10 each to regenerate interest and scholarships in the Alumni Association.
“There’s something about Vic HIgh that ties everything and everyone together,” said Fred.
Jeff MacKenzie & Nicki Franke,VHS 1975, 1976
Jeff and I met on a Central Jr./Vic High joint trip to Russia, April 1973. Jeff went to Vic High, I was at Central. Vicky Raptis, Mike Irwin and I sat together on the plane, until Mike asked to switch with Jeff because Mike was interested in a girl in Jeff’s row. Seeing me, Jeff agreed to switch, so Jeff and I were seatmates all the way to Moscow. I pretty much got Jeff’s life story and all I wanted to do was sleep! Anyhow, we hit it off. Jeff pursued me madly on the trip, and by the time we got home we were an ‘item’. Despite the ups and downs we both graduated, navigated young adulthood, and married in 1982 nine years after we’d met. A couple years later we had our first child, then another, and 2022 we celebrate our 40th anniversary. 2023 we celebrate 50 years together. We still love each other to bits, put up with each other’s BS, and just like being together at home, on road trips, or vacations.
Della Jablonski & Rob Jansen, VHS 1981
I met Rob in Grade 10, and we married in Grade 12. Friday the 13th because we couldn’t find a Justice of the Peace for Valentines Day. We had our own apartment with furniture given to us by my aunt, Rob quit school to join the navy while I stayed and graduated. He bought a 1969 Roadrunner that I drove to school while he was out at sea. I never went to my grad, waiting instead for him to come home from a three-month tour. We had our first child three months after school finished. We moved a lot – good times and bad times. Still together and our 41st anniversary is February 13, 2022.
Ina Foubister & William Sluggett, VHS late 1920s
William Sluggett took the electric tram from Brentwood Bay to Vic High every day – it being the only high school at the time – and that’s where he met future wife Ina Foubister who lived in town. Both played basketball at Vic High. They were married January 22, 1937 at Central Baptist Church. William joined the RCAF during the war and was stationed in various Canadian cities, Ina always going with him. They built a home on Saanich Road, and in 1949 daughter Sandy came along. 1987 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Ina passed in 1990 and William in 1994.
Thanks, Sandy Sluggett-Engels, VHS 1967, for the photos and story about these Vic High sweethearts.
Garry Bellagente & Andrea Bell, VHS 1964
Certainly some great memories of VHS. Number one would be meeting my wife Andrea Bell. Life was a challenge for me and I missed a chunk of Grade 11. Fortunately I met Andrea late that year but never recovered my studies. Gudy Gudmundseth was the matchmaker, and later the best man at our 1967 marriage. Andrea worked at the Victoria School Board and her supervisor tutored me so I could graduate. I then worked 37 years with BC Tel and Telus. We live in Nanoose Bay and have two children and four grandsons. We have such fond memories of our Vic High years and the friends we made.
Sharon (Micks) Cipp & Nathaniel Daggett, VHS 1972
This is me and my high school sweetheart, Nathaniel Daggett, ready to leave for grad, me in my Romeo & Juliet-inspired dress (the movie was very popular at the time). Nat and I met in Grade 11, we were both Art Majors, under the inspiring art teacher Michael Hemming. He was shy to approach me but our friends encouraged him and our relationship began. We both ended up happily married to others, but around 1979/80 I ran into him at a local optometrist’s on Yates Street. We laughed, reminisced, and got caught up. In 2014 I travelled from my home in Whistler to attend the 100 year anniversary of the current building, and friends surprised me by enlisting Nat as my surprise date to the dance at the Crystal Gardens where the Vic High R & B band played.
Nat & I were never concerned with getting married…it was just that special friendship at the best of times. But Nat wants to do a remake of Grad…all dressed-up and pull-up in the Limo…for our next Class of 1972 reunion. It sure is nice to enjoy the company of old friends. More info and photos here.