A Couple of Things…

SMUS-Views-Bob

I missed out a few blogs while travelling during October, so a backlog has accumulated behind the dam of my blogflow, you could say.

Sporting notes

First of all: congratulations to our Senior boys soccer team, who this week won the Provincial AA Championship with an undefeated run through the tournament, winning their pool and then going on to defeat Sa-Hali of Kamloops. I last referred to this team more than a month ago when they were mowing down their opposition in the City league and in the Independent Schools league. The players and coaches did a great job, and we all feel well-represented.

On another note, our Senior girls field hockey came second in the province, losing 1-0 in the final after a number of close games.

Theatre

Our drama year has kicked off with a wonderful production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”. SMUS families and students can still see it – it runs two more nights in what is normally called the “Drama Room” in the Crothall Centre, but which has been redubbed the “Actors’ Studio” for this performance. “Our Town”, in its time, was an original and striking play in its form, while traditional in its theme of portraying the life and after-life of a small New Hampshire town. The challenge of the play is that much of the activity with “imagined” props is mimed, a fascinating overlay on the dialogue. The student actors have done a great job – as a learning exercise there are many acting and theatre lessons in this play. For the audience, the show is moving and effective, and we applaud the inaugural work of our new Director of Drama, Ian Collett. Bravo!

Honouring Paul Merrick

Last night in Vancouver I attended an event in which the Architectural Institute of British Columbia honoured Paul Merrick with a lifetime achievement award. Paul Merrick is the architect of our facilities redevelopment on the Richmond Road campus over the past twelve years: the designer of the Crothall Centre, Schaffter Hall, the Monkman Athletic Complex and the restoration of School House. It was his vision and interpretation that compelled us to approach the rebuilding of School House as a restoration rather than a gutting and renovation. He is the designer of our new Junior School and our new Dining Hall and Student Centre, two facilities that will be built over the next few years. Both of these projects, when they see the light of day, will be at least as dynamic and uplifting – if not more so – than the projects he has already done. In conceiving the redevelopment of the School, Paul’s inspirations – in addition to modern examples, some of which he has built himself – have also been the stately and inspiring architecture of old cities and universities. These are places that bring people together rather than separate them. One of his most memorable phrases is: “buildings don’t fill space, they create it.” A walk around our Richmond Road campus bears out the truth of that statement.

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Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden is Head of School at St. Michaels University School.

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