News Archive

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< 2022


  • November

    Reflection – Remembrance Day 2022 – Gathering in Chapel on 9th Nov 2022

    During our Wednesday Gathering in the Chapel, the Shawnigan community took time to reflect on Remembrance Day in advance of our ceremony on Friday, November 11. What follows is my address to the School.
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  • October

    AGM Message from the Chair of the Board

    Shawnigan Lake School’s 2022 Annual General Meeting was held at the School on Founder’s Day, Saturday, October 22. The following is the address delivered at the AGM by Fiona Macfarlane, the Chair of the Board of Governors, shared here with her permission.

    I am delighted to give the Chair’s address in person this year instead of Zooming in.

    The School is in fine form; financially, we are on very solid ground, admissions are strong, and the School is abuzz with many of the traditional rituals and activities, like Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, sports events, the Model UN Global Goals Conference, and others. It almost feels like we are back to normal.
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  • Opening Address – Sustainable Development Goals’ Conference 2022

    On Thursday, October 20, Shawnigan hosted the Model UN Global Goals Conference, providing students from our School and several others across Vancouver Island to engage in conversation on how to accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, to raise awareness, and to drive action and change.
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  • September

    Reflection at the Gathering in Chapel in advance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

    On Friday, September 30, Shawnigan will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which honours the children who never returned home and survivors of the Canadian residential school system, as well as their families and communities. On Wednesday, September 28, students and staff gathered in the Chapel to reflect on the importance of the day. This was my address to the students and staff present.
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  • Reflections on the Queen and the notion of duty

    On Monday, September 19, Shawnigan students and staff were invited to a special Chapel service to honour Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's lifetime of service and duty. During the service, The Rev delivered a poignant address about the Queen and the notion of duty to our School community, which I am sharing here in my column today, with his permission.
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  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    Today, Shawnigan marks the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest serving monarch. She also served as Queen of Canada for 70 years, given our country’s Commonwealth status.

    The Queen held a special place in her heart for Canada and made more than 23 formal visits to this country. Her last visit to Vancouver Island was in 1994 for the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, named after Queen Victoria (her great great grandmother).

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  • July

    Closing Day Address – Shawnigan 2022

    The commission for me to give a short Head’s Address at this Closing Day no doubt fills you all with dread: “he’s going to talk about trees on campus at length again… once was enough at Grad!”

    But never fear: not today!

    And you’ll be pleased to hear that Kathini took a ruthless red pen yesterday to my closing address, mindful of the blazing sun and possible heat stroke!

    But it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t some Latin thrown into a speech.
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  • June

    University Horizons

    This afternoon it was my great pleasure to deliver a presentation for all Grade 11 students (and any interested Grade 10s), alongside Craig Brown, Director of University Guidance, on university horizons and current trends at universities.
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  • May

    Grad 2022 - Head’s Address for the leavers

    This is the Place you were Made

    Amongst the swirl and glamour of Grad 2022 in Whistler, I wanted to send you a graduating message grounded and rooted in our Shawnigan campus, your home-away-from-home.
    My team (well, in truth, the tyrannical Mrs. Miranda) has asked for a graduating message which is compelling, heartfelt and unforgettable. A tall order but, as ever, her wish is my command.
    I will save a more playful approach for the last week of term and one of our final gatherings.
    A few weeks ago, a grade 12 dared me to subtly slip in as many of the family names of your graduating class as possible into my speech for a little bit of mischief. Listen carefully and try to count how many times I do. There’s an individual prize tonight if you hear your family name in this speech, and then there is the main prize of a homemade dinner for you and a friend at the Head’s House - served by the Head in a tuxedo - for the student who gives me the total number of names used before the end of tonight.
    Here goes….
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  • Cowichan District Hospital Foundation's Champagne Dinner Auction & Gala

    On Saturday, April 30 the School hosted the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation's Champagne Dinner & Auction Gala, one of the Cowichan Valley's premier fundraising events. We have been proud to welcome the hospital community and its supporters to campus over the years. I was delighted to address those in attendance and I have shared my welcome message here.
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  • April

    Reflections on Sacrifice

    In Chapel on April 9, the Reverend Holland gave a powerful address to students about the nature of sacrifice. I have shared his address here, with his permission. 

    These next few weeks are important holy days for three of the world’s main religious traditions: Ramadan for Islam, Passover for Judaism, and Easter for Christians. These three traditions have been formative for western civilization and have had a significant impact on cultures throughout the world; in some very good ways and some not so very good ways.
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  • New Deputy Head of School

    I was delighted to welcome to campus Bill Nicholas, our new Deputy Head, at the start of this week. Bill has joined us directly after the conclusion of the winter term at Marlborough College, his former school in the UK, and has had a busy first week familiarizing himself with the rhythms of the School and meeting Shawnigan students and staff. Bill’s wife, Sheryl, will be joining us in the summer after the conclusion of the academic year at Marlborough, where she is currently Executive Assistant to the Master (Head of School). She will be joined by their son, Jonty, who we were thrilled to learn will be joining us for his Grade 11 year. Their daughter Georgie is currently studying for her Master’s at the University of Edinburgh.
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  • January

    Opening of Term January 2022

    First and foremost, I hope that you and your family have had a wonderful winter break.
    We finished the end of last term impressively with a delicious Christmas dinner and a magical candlelit carol service – and with the proud and remarkable record of no student COVID cases on campus over four terms.
    And then Omicron entered the picture.
    The next month may well be one of the more challenging periods of the pandemic.
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We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.