UVic Torch -- Autumn 2007
Autumn 2007,
Volume 28, Number 2

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Dancing Frosh Step Forward

The Centennial Year photo featured in the Spring 2007 edition (“Dance, Frosh!”, see photo below) pictures six frosh students in a chorus line. Although this photo was likely chosen for its comic appeal it should be recognized that one of these students went on to dance with the Joffrey ballet. Another became the understudy for Sammy Davis Jr. during a 20-year Las Vegas stage show run that saw our frosh filling in for Sammy three of seven nights of the week. I am the wingman on the far right of the photo and further success in “the business” has eluded me.

The remaining three dancers ultimately found fame and fortune as “boom chukalukula” girls backing the Tina Turner comeback in 1983. Sadly one of them broke one of his (her?) heels during a particularly stirring rendition of “Proud Mary” at the Seven Cedars Casino in Sequim, suffered a compound fracture of the distal tibia/fibula and had to be put down. I may be a little fuzzy on the details but I think that's what happened to the six of us.

I suppose the other “for sure” is that neither the beanie nor the dance were voluntary activities. When my adult son saw the photo he asked, “Why did you do it?” Suffice to say the times were different. Not better or worse, but different and I was happy to be part of it all back then while the earth was still cooling. Thanks for the little shot of nostalgia.

David Naysmith, BSc ’71

I’m the guy second from the right, wearing the dark large-check shirt. It was a great band, by the way, with lots of volume. I left in 1970 for University of Calgary med school. Now I’m a pediatrician, practicing in Stratford, ON. I became a Baha’i in ’77, married in ’80 and have three grown children. I have often returned to Victoria to see family and during my last trip I was up to UVic—so many changes.

Phil Squires
Stratford, ON

On a Wrong Note

Many superlatives and laudatory phrases in Mr. Moyes’ article (Gould'n Year, spring 2007) attest to the ongoing public fascination and adulation of Glenn Gould. What Mr. Moyes fails to do in his article, however, is to give any indication to the reader why Gould was “...the most influential Canadian artist in history.” Even the selected quotes from Gould's biographer, Kevin Bazzana, give the reader unfamiliar with Gould little understanding of what he represents in the world of Canadian arts. In a university publication such as the Torch we really don’t need more “possibly apocryphal” anecdotes about Gould's eccentricities or lists of objects his “cult followers” may be trying to collect.

While Gould was an eccentric by most conventional standards, he was above all a pianist of unquestioned status; his recordings of the Bach Goldberg Variations are still considered among the most influential—if controversial—recordings of that great opus. A look at his status as an intellectual pianist would have been much more informative and interesting.

R. Bruce Dutton, BA ’69

Gould’s Sneeze

Your article includes an anecdote about the hypochondriac Gould fearing germs from a sneeze over the phone. The anecdote is not “apocryphal,” as you put it, but entirely and inspiredly fictional. It originated in a blackout sketch in a Toronto stage revue of the 1950s, whose two characters represented Gould and a flu-bitten caller, Van Cliburn.

John Beckwith, Victoria College ’45, Hon. DMus ’99

Not Recycled Enough

Thank you for your Spring 2007 edition. I was grateful to read the editor’s section where it is stated that the magazine now contains 30 per cent recycled material. Based on the calculations listed this means that you now only use over 90 trees, over 34,000 litres of water, and more than 6,600 kg of greenhouse gases in producing one single issue. This is in my opinion a vast amount of resources. Please stop delivering your magazine to me. I would like to keep in touch via the web.

Todd Turik, BA ’90

Memories of Moss Rock

Your last issue included some memories of Moss Rock (“Textures of Time”); these are some of mine. I started at Sir James Douglas School in 1930 in the building where the community centre is now housed. Moss Rock became our playground. In 1939 when Queen Elizabeth and King George visited Victoria we all went >> up to Moss Rock to watch them sail from Ogden Point for Vancouver. And when I introduced by fiancé Donald Davey Wilson to my parents in 1948 we climbed to the top of Moss Rock. Don and I just celebrated our 57th anniversary on the 10th of June.

Frances P. Wilson (née Nickerson), Victoria College ‘41

I enjoyed Theresa Kishkan’s evocative sketch of Fairfield from her childhood memories, maps and dreams. I came to Victoria to the university at the age of 17 while the campus and surrounds still had a semi-rural feeling. I explored an overgrown water tower in Finnerty Road and a derelict mansion in Rockland Ave., relished the view of Mount Baker on clear winter days and walked under the trees in Mount Douglas Park in the sun and mist. Although I have made my life in Australia for over 25 years I too revisit these places in my dreams.

Del Smith, BSc ‘70
East Hawthorn, Australia

Poem for the Class of ’07

I’ve enjoyed reading my mom’s copies of the Torch in the mail and now that I have graduated I’m excited to look forward to my own copy. In the spirit of celebration for all alumni, I would like to share a poem of mine with you. Through my poem, I hope to give my best wishes to the Class of 2007, to thank UVic, and to celebrate our UVic community. It’s meant as a tribute to everyone, not just my UVic experience, and I hope when readers read my poem, they can relate to it as capturing their overall celebration at UVic.

Thank you UVic
We convocate.
We show the world what we can do.
We celebrate how UVic has helped us to

“U”nleash our potential,
“V”ault us into the essential,
“I”gnite our passion,
“C”ultivate our compassion.

We’re set to spread our wings,
Soar to new heights, beyond the Ring,
Chase our dreams, the dream to dare,
Live the pulse that beats everywhere.

Be the UVic bunny,
Leap for it!

Yichuan Wang, BSc ’07

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