A New Life for an Iconic Place

Work has begun on our Wenman Pavilion renovation project. This iconic building is an integral part of our shared history, as it recognizes the contributions to our community from Reg Wenman, who was a University School student who subsequently taught at our school for nearly 50 years. Since it was built in 1986, the building has been enjoyed by thousands of students and alumni, for a wide variety of activities and sport.

The 2016 Senior Boys Rugby team gathers ahead of the 2016 Boot Game.
With our return to competitive sports this school year, the return to the legendary Boot Game this spring is much anticipated! This photo is from the 2016 game, which SMUS won.

While I can’t help but think about the many Alumni Weekends I have been privileged enough to attend on the fields beside the Pavilion, by far my favourite event is the Boot Game. A friendly rugby match between our local rivals Oak Bay High and our Senior Boys Rugby team. The coveted “Boot” trophy is a significant honour and brings many fans back to watch these two teams compete. Over the years, the Boot Game has been fought on Centennial Field at UVic and our SMUS sports fields, with spectators travelling to support their favourite team. Regardless of location, the crowd, always loud and enthusiastic, sings school songs and historic chants resonate from either side of the pitch. Despite being relatively evenly matched, each school swears they hold the record (the truth is Oak Bay has 12 wins, we have 11 wins, and there was one tie). The Boot was named for another alumnus, Gareth Rees ’85, who played in four World Cups and captained Canada in two of them.

Our renovated Wenman Pavilion will see new and expanded viewing decks for spectators, improved access to the building, and renovated washroom and change facilities. We hope to also renovate the kitchen and to create a clubhouse feel where generations of SMUS alumni can return to join our students in celebrations.

Speaking of alumni returning to campus, I am constantly inspired by the efforts of so many alumni to contribute to their “old School,” as many of them call it. Tom Rigos ’61 has offered to match all donations in support of the Wenman Pavilion construction project up to $50,000. To learn more about this renovation, please visit our Annual Appeal website. If you would like to support the Wenman Pavilion renovation project, please join us by donating now.

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