YHS Alumnae Chapter Lunch in Kelowna

 

Fifteen alumnae from 1949-2016 came together for our annual lunch in Kelowna in early April. It was wonderful to see everyone and stories were told and memories shared around the tables.  Our three recent grads were able to get time off university to attend and were welcomed by their teachers, Spencer Bach and Mary Keitel.
 
 Meg Walwyn ’15, Bree Tsui ’16 and  Arizah Karim ’15 together for lunch in Kelowna.
Later that day, a small group gathered at the BNA Brewery for after work refreshments. Tianna Alexander ’11 exchanged memories with sisters Suzanne and Janette Harrington and compared notes about their time at YHS.  Janette from the Class of 1989 proudly showed off her school Chronicles and Suzanne (Class of 1987) told us how she was looking forward to her 30th alumnae reunion at the end of May.  Tianna who is also our Kelowna co-chair will be joining faculty as an intern at York House School in September.  She passes the co-chapter position to Katherine (Mortimer) Pisiak ’79 who will share it with Bobbi (Pritchard) Coates ’52.

Celebrating Class Anniversaries

Each year, the YHS Museum & Archives has an exhibit of photos to honour graduation anniversaries of alumnae classes.

Whether your class celebrates at the school as part of Alumnae Day or the Golden Luncheon, or gathers at another time, holding regular reunions is one of the ways that YHS alumnae stay connected and create a strong community of lifelong friends.

This year’s exhibit is now installed in the museum for the classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, and 2002.

Class of 1987 is up first with their May 27th reunion. Let the celebrations begin!

Preparations for the Class of 1987 Alumnae Reunion

Class reps Lisa (Granger) Cunliffe ’87 and Anitha (Gondi) Vasireddi ’87 found their class names on the staircase glass panels while on a tour of the Senior School and YHS Museum & Archives last month.  Lisa commented, “The school looks spectacular!  We were especially touched by how well all of you have linked the past with the present (and the future!).  It’s truly a special
place and something to be immensely proud of.” Anitha added, “I’m so proud to have graduated from such an awesome school. A big shout out to YHS for building such a beautiful campus and constantly improving to make it an even more warm and caring environment for the girls.”

Lisa and Anita have been very busy preparing for their 30th reunion, which will take place on Saturday May 27 at 4 pm. Festivities will begin with a reception at TELUS Rooftop Garden on the 23rd  Floor. At 5 pm all will head downstairs to Glowbal for dinner followed by dessert back at TELUS Rooftop Garden. A number of teachers are expected to join the class. “We look forward to talking, laughing and sharing memories with you all on May 27th!”

Alumnae Reunion Visits Across Canada – Part 2

The Yorkies in Kingston were delighted to see us and it was great to catch up with everyone over a delicious dinner.  The new grads are settling in well and thankful to have each other.   Our Chapter Chair, Vanessa Samuel ’13 has done a fabulous job of hosting events over the past few years for the new grads and it was great to see her.  Vanessa has plans to apply to medical school at UBC so this is most likely her last term as chapter chair.

The train journey to London seemed very long the following day and it was a relief to get there and enjoy dinner with our small group of Yorkies. Skylar Gordon from the Class of 2014 has kindly taken on the role of chapter chair and we’re very grateful to her. The new grads haven’t had a get-together yet but Skylar is planning one very soon. Skylar talked about her community service work with the Habitat for Humanity organization and her annual trips to New Orleans with a group of students from Western.

From London, we headed to Toronto and to Golnar Khosrowshahi’s home for the YHS reunion. Golnar from the Class of 1989 always does an amazing job hosting this event and we always feel very welcomed and cared for.  She’s a very humble person and doesn’t like to talk about herself.  We had to fill in the gaps for everyone!

 

Laura Edwards ’74, Executive Director Advancement joined us in Toronto and it was also wonderful to see Maxine Bass ’65 and everyone else who came along that evening.  The Class of 2016 girls bravely paid tribute to their friend Kendra who had passed away recently.

Onto Halifax I went for the very first get-together of the YHS Alumnae Chapter – Maritimes.  Alix Lammie ’11 kindly met me at the hotel before heading to our gathering and we were able to catch up.  Alix is doing a Master of Science, Pharmacology and enjoying it. It was fantastic to see the girls and hear about their lives in Nova Scotia.  Miranda MacDonald ’14 talked about her interest in applying for the veterinarian program at the University of Saskatchewan while Janet Suen ’13 is looking forward to finishing her degree and moving back to Vancouver.  It was also so lovely to chat with Laura Abrioux ’14, who talked about her interest in public health policy.  It was a short and sweet visit but a very worthwhile one.

Alumnae reunion visits across Canada

Ita Kane-Wilson and Ellie Zygmunt, admissions counsellor/mentorship coordinator travelled to Ottawa on January 23rd for dinner with alumnae.  Chapter Chair Gillian (Johnson) Cartwright ’03 and Madeleine Lyons also from the Class of 2003 hadn’t seen each other since graduation so they had a lot to catch up on.

Madeleine was in flying form and regaled us with fascinating stories about her work with the Red Cross.  She talked about her emergency preparedness kits and how she has three backpacks ready to go at all times; one in her car, one at home and one at work.  She talked about how little containers of skin cream and lip balm are important as they make you feel semi-normal even though you’re in a crisis.  Helen Cassie ’16 also joined us and she’s enjoying life in Ottawa and interning currently with Dr. Hedy Fry, MP for Vancouver Centre.  It was also wonderful to see Taneisha Dunham ’15 and hear about her continued involvement with her sorority at Carleton.  She also loves her volunteer work and feels blessed to have found her community there.

Onto Montreal from Ottawa and the weather was starting to deteriorate.  The city endured a winter blizzard that morning but we were impressed with how quickly streets get cleared there.  We met our recent grads at an Indian restaurant on Boulevard St. Laurent and after a delicious meal (along with the necessary leftover takeout bags!) and lots of chatter, we bundled ourselves back out into the cold and onto Kingston.

The Yorkies in Kingston were delighted to see us and it was great to catch up with everyone over a delicious dinner.  The new grads are settling in well and thankful to have each other.   Our Chapter Chair, Vanessa Samuel ’13 has done a fabulous job of hosting events over the past few years for the new grads and it was great to see her.  Vanessa has plans to apply to medical school at UBC so this is most likely her last term as chapter chair.

The train journey to London seemed very long the following day and it was a relief to get there and enjoy dinner with our small group of Yorkies. Skylar Gordon from the Class of 2014 has kindly taken on the role of chapter chair and we’re very grateful to her. The new grads haven’t had a get-together yet but Skylar is planning one very soon. Skylar talked about her community service work with the Habitat for Humanity organization and her annual trips to New Orleans with a group of students from Western.

From London, we headed to Toronto and to Golnar Khosrowshahi’s home for the YHS reunion. Golnar from the Class of 1989 always does an amazing job hosting this event and we always feel very welcomed and cared for.  She’s a very humble person and doesn’t like to talk about herself.  We had to fill in the gaps for everyone.

Laura Edwards ’74, Executive Director Advancement joined us in Toronto and it was also wonderful to see Maxine Bass ’65 and everyone else who came along that evening.  The Class of 2016 girls bravely paid tribute to their friend Kendra who had passed away recently.

Onto Halifax I went for the very first get-together of the YHS Alumnae Chapter – Maritimes.  Alix Lammie ’11 kindly met me at the hotel before heading to our gathering and we were able to catch up.  Alix is doing a Master of Science, Pharmacology and enjoying it. It was fantastic to see the girls and hear about their lives in Nova Scotia.  Miranda MacDonald ’14 talked about her interest in applying for the veterinarian program at the University of Saskatchewan while Janet Suen ’13 is looking forward to finishing her degree and moving back to Vancouver.  It was also so lovely to chat with Laura Abrioux ’14, who talked about her interest in public health policy.  It was a short and sweet visit but a very worthwhile one.

Eastern Canada Alumnae Reunion 2017 Tour

Time is ticking and it won’t be very long before the alumnae team heads east to the cold and snowy weather once again! Starting in Ottawa on January 23rd, we will also visit our alumnae in Montreal, Kingston, London, Toronto and for the first time in a long time, Halifax. We are looking forward to seeing as many alumnae for dinner as possible. Hurry up! If you haven’t sent us in your RSVP, please do so now to alumnae@yorkhouse.ca

Always a Yorkie – Golden Alumnae Return to York House

 

Alumnae from classes of 1942 – 1966 were welcomed back to school by Head of School, Chantal Gionet on September 30 to celebrate 50th – 70th reunions. The day began with a tour of the Senior School and for some it was the first time back since graduation. Much excitement ensued as classmates were discovered in grad photos and on the honour roll board in the Alumnae Art and Photo Gallery. They were thrilled to see how York House has grown since their days at the school. “We ‘Old Girls’ will never cease being in awe of the ‘new’ York House!” “The school has changed since we walked the halls of history and having that transcribed onto the current walls is very special and shows we aren’t forgotten! We were and are still so proud to be Yorkies.”

A highlight in the gallery was an exhibit of marionettes and puppets from the collection of former art teacher and founder, Virginia (Moore) Mackay who taught at York House for 38 years. All recalled making marionettes in art classes and there was great appreciation for this gift from Virginia’s step-granddaughter, Catherine (Carter) Nightingale ’76. Catherine commented, “It was delightful to talk to the women who went through school in the original buildings and to hear their memories of my grandmother and the marionettes.”
On visiting the YHS Museum & Archives, alumnae travelled back to their time at York House through the many exhibits of past uniforms, the original old houses where their classes were held, and class reunion photo boards prepared by archivist and curator, Susannah Smith.

The tour culminated with the unveiling of a new museum display case in the Gail Ruddy Foyer. This most thoughtful gift from Margaret (Shepard) Walwyn ’55, celebrates three generations of proud Yorkies including her daughter, Head Girl and past YHS Foundation Chair Catharine (Walwyn) Turner ’84, and granddaughters Megan (Class of 2015) and Claire (Class of 2017). The family recognition plaque reads “Always a Yorkie” and now treasures from the archives can be brought out for display to share YHS history and traditions with the whole community.

At the luncheon, Ragazza, the Senior School ensemble performed the old school hymn “Unto the Hills” and alumnae were invited to sing along with them for the school song, “Onward and Upward.” Fiona (Gr. 12), Saskia (Gr. 11), and Jasmine (Gr. 11) sang solos from their own repertoires. Grade 4 presented a lively rendition of the much loved “York House School March“, which was composed by the late Patty (Cochrane) Bennett ’49. Golden grads commented how they “loved seeing the junior students playing outside” while they enjoyed their luncheon. Senior School Head Girl, Maggie, and Junior School Head Girl Risa shared their favourite school experiences and the ladies let us know that “we all enjoyed it so much, especially the performances and speeches by the girls.”

Lisa (Greczmiel) Roberts ’82, President of the Alumnae Association presented Helen (Larmonth) Hughes ’50 with the 2016 Alumnae Lifetime Achiever award. Helen was nominated by her class and is the first recipient of this new Association award. Although officially retired after 18 years serving on the Victoria City Council, Helen continues to volunteer and still follows the school motto “Not for ourselves alone.” She has received numerous accolades throughout her life for her community service including the Order of Canada, YHS Alumnae Special Achiever for Community Service, honorary degrees from the Universities of Saskatchewan and Victoria, the Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award from Royal Rhodes, the Maclean Award for Outstanding Service by a Woman in Municipal Politics, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Leadership Victoria, a Generosity of Spirit Award sponsored by the Victoria Foundation, a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal among others.

50th, 60th, and 70th pins were presented and class reps and volunteers were recognized for their work in bringing their classes together and organizing class reunion gifts. The class celebrating 50 designated the Alumnae Scholarship and the class celebrating 60, the Founders Scholarship. The luncheon came to a close with the precious delivery of green and gold wrapped Yorkie chocolates by Grade 1 and 2 students.

Click here to see all the photos from the Golden Alumnae Luncheon.