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.

“Be kind to one another. Look for the best in each another.”

Yorkies in the 1942-43 Chronicle

This month, as we’ve been celebrating love in all its forms through Valentine’s Day and Pink Shirt Day, it’s heartening to remember that our school was founded on the values of kindness, friendship and appreciation of others.

When York House opened on September 7, 1932, Vice-Principal Janet Mitchell’s address from the founders to the students included the following words:

“We are particularly hopeful that you will be a friendly group, and that you will cultivate friendships with one another. This is essential to the growth of a school spirit. Let there be no lonely girls in our midst. Be kind to one another. Look for the best in each other — and you will be surprised how much happier you will be yourself.”

Janet Mitchell’s handwritten 1932 address

These words have just as much, if not more, relevance now as they did 85 years ago. Here’s to the enduring wisdom of our founders in emphasizing the importance of values that act as glue for our strong community and a recipe for happiness!

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.

Alumni Parents’ Breakfast

Come and have breakfast with your fellow alumni parents! This is the YHS Alumnae Association’s 2nd annual alumni parents’ breakfast event and they are excited to see you.

If you’re a current parent and also a Yorkie, an alumna/alumnus who went to school here, you’re invited. Check your email. The invitation is there.
Send your RSVP to ikane-wilson@yorkhouse.ca

 

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.