Alumni Notebook - April 2023

Latest Alumni Profiles

See below for excerpts from two of our latest alumni profiles to be published on the website. Do you know someone who we should be featuring? Let us know here!

Change-maker Alumni Profile: Lisa Jane De Gara ‘10 (Strathcona)

This Change-maker Alumni profile features a conversation that took place last year with Lisa Jane De Gara ’10 (Strathcona) who has had a career in political science, has worked with government institutions and in public policy, was a key part of a COVID response effort, and who currently leads a team that provides supports to immigrants and refugees in Northern Alberta communities. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

"I think on health care, there’s a story I feel quite proud of. One of the communities that we serve has no physicians currently accepting new patients. Not a single one. We went through all the conventional modes of trying to seek support, but unfortunately in rural Alberta right now there just are not enough doctors and there’s not a lot we can do.

You know, maybe I could credit my time at Shawnigan; I said I’m not gonna take no for an answer, I don’t think that’s acceptable, I’m gonna continue to push. So I reached out to one of our independent providers, and I said, I know you’ve been able to deliver vaccines to newcomers – are you able to do other family medicine? Would you like to drive down for the day just to do a family medicine clinic? Much to my delight, she agreed."

Read the entirety of the interview here: Change-maker Alumni: Lisa Jane De Gara ‘10 (Strathcona)
Board Member Alumni Profile: Rick Bourne ‘69 (Copeman’s)

Rick Bourne ’69 (Copeman’s) connected with Harriet Klumper ’09 (Renfrew) as part of an ongoing series featuring the stories that make up the legacy of Shawnigan alumni. As our selected Board Member Alumni feature, Rick shared his experiences at Shawnigan as well as his time since graduating, which has included founding the successful Langara Fishing Adventures, representing Rugby Canada as Chairman, serving on the Shawnigan Lake School Board of Governors, and most recently returning to Shawnigan as a parent. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

"At one point, I became Chairman of Rugby Canada, and for about four years I traveled the world, representing Canada with the team. When they built the Derek Hyde-Lay Pavilion, I actually was there to help open it because I was Chairman of Rugby Canada at the time. It was great for me to be there because Derek Hyde-Lay was my hero. To have a plaque with my name on it for Rugby Canada on a building named after one of my heroes, it was a big full circle.

My son Jacob played rugby for St. George’s, and my daughter MacKinley played rugby for Shawnigan. Now Jake is at UBC playing on the top team and I don’t miss a game. So rugby was a big part coming out of Shawnigan. I’m 71 years old now, and I’m still pretty actively involved in it."

Read the entirety of the interview here: Board Member Alumni Profile: Rick Bourne ‘69 (Copeman’s)

Alumni Updates

Spring Alumni Events

This spring, the Shawnigan team has been busy on the road to connect with alumni far and wide! With gatherings in Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, London, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Victoria, San Francisco, and Saskatoon, we were thrilled to connect with more than 300 alumni, parents and community members along the way. With alumni represented from all years, the Shawnigan spirit was out in full display as our community was able to connect (in some cities for the first time since 2019 or earlier) once again.

The full album of photos is available on Shawnigan Connect, our alumni networking platform.

Rugby Sevens
The Shawnigan Lake School community arrived in full force once again at this year’s Canada Rugby Sevens hosted in Vancouver March 3rd to 5th. This year was the first in which the men’s and women’s rugby teams competed in BC Place together, and the atmosphere was fantastic in the Goalpost Lounge all weekend.

With over $70,000 raised, and all proceeds from the event going to scholarships, rugby programs, and community partners Thunder Rugby – it was great to see so many alumni, parents, and Shawnigan community members out to support rugby at Shawnigan and the sport as a whole!
Thank you to our amazing sponsors who made the event possible!
Noah Leibl ’20 (Lake’s)
Noah Leibl ’20 (Lake’s) was recently featured in the Times Colonist after being named B.C. Hockey League first-star of the week in February. Noah has also recently committed to play hockey at Hamilton College in New York. Congratulations Noah!

Kei Lowes ’17 (Ripley’s)

Alumnus Kei Lowes ’17 (Ripley’s) was featured last November in Maclean’s for opening a new food spot in Tofino. Read the article in its entirety here. Kei shared the following update with the School:

Late last year Madi (my wife) and I found out the ramen restaurant we were running was going to go up for sale. Luckily we were approached by our friends at the Tofino Brewing Company, with the opportunity to open a new restaurant concept in a 1984 Airstream, located on their property. This Airstream had been lying dormant for many years due to difficulty with zoning bylaws, but my brilliant wife found a loophole and a few months later we opened Toki Doki.

Toki Doki is a Japanese street food/diner setting, with okonomiyaki as our main staple that we offer. It is risky putting something on the menu that people may not recognize but it's important to us that we bring something different to the community that is also different.

In addition to contributing to Tofino’s food scene, Toki Doki also takes part in a number of initiatives to support the local community. We are certified living wage employers, and include a one percent fee on all orders, which we donate to the Tribal Parks Guardians, a program that aids the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in ecological upkeep and restoration.

If you’re in the area, please drop by and say hello. :)
Lance Bean Celebration of Life
On March 11th Shawnigan hosted a Celebration of the life and music of Lance Bean. Lance was an inspired educator and mentor of young people both at Shawnigan Lake and at Brentwood College Schools. Some 90 Shawnigan and Brentwood alumni and former staff attended. There were many remembrances, both touching and funny, interspersed with music and a special photo of “the boys in the band”. At both schools, Lance put together many jazz groups who toured the west coast and produced several recordings. Apart from the many personal memories, Lance will be forever remembered as the creator of the Shawnigan Lake School Museum.

Organizers Carl Bradley, Mike Kaumeyer, Jerry Kusters, Romy Dolman, and David Robertson were all present to honour this much-loved teacher from both schools, and attendees were treated to a display of Lance’s extensive and meticulously preserved collection of memorabilia from school and world events throughout his life. Funds are being raised in support of an award, scholarship, or other recognition of Lance’s impact at both schools.
If you are interested in contributing, please contact Rosemary Dolman at or by phone 250-743-6233.
Cassie Chang ’16 (Renfrew)
In 2022 Cassie Chang ’16 (Renfrew) contacted Chelsea Gladstone ’15 (Renfrew) about composing a song in the spirit of reconciliation to share her gratitude for her time on Indigenous lands in Vancouver/Vancouver Island. Recently, Cassie published said piece which includes elements of Indigenous landscapes and Haida culture which was inspired by their friendship. We invite our community to listen to the song above.

Of the piece, Chelsea shared the following: "I think the song is a good representation of the impact that diversity and inclusion has at SLS. A portion of the song represents how curiosity about culture can spark relationships and allyship. Cassie and I spent our time at SLS sharing about each other's culture and learning about each other's history."

In addition to publishing this piece, Cassie has recently received an invitation to be a part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Summer Intensive this upcoming August. She will be one of the ten singers selected to sing and workshop with the most prestigious opera company in Canada. Congratulations Cassie!
Visit to Alumnus Grave in Hong Kong
While on a recent Shawnigan trip to Hong Kong, Head of School Richard (Larry) Lamont visited Sai Wan Cemetery and laid a wreath on the grave of alumnus John Lander 1920 on behalf of the School. John Lander was an Olympic gold medalist in rowing at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, and lost his life in the Second World War serving as a gunner in the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps.

Campus Visits

Vince Chui ’76 (Groves’) and Robert Moeser ’76 (Ripley’s)
In December, Vince Chui ’76 (Groves’) was visiting Victoria when he and his old friend from Shawnigan Robert Moeser ’76 (Ripley’s) decided to stop by campus. They had the opportunity to see the museum, walk around campus, and even enjoy a quiet meal in Marion Hall with all the students away for winter break.
Marc Raven ’04 (Lonsdale’s)
Marc Raven ’04 (Lonsdale’s) and his family stopped by campus for a tour with current faculty member Galen Loiselle in early January and had the opportunity to see the newest version of Lonsdale’s!
Joe McDonald ’79 (Groves’)
Joe McDonald ’79 (Groves’) stopped by campus for a visit in February and toured the campus with Director of Alumni Relations Rhod Samuel. Having only attended Shawnigan for one year in 1974, he could not believe how the campus has changed!
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.