A Very Successful Boat Race Celebration


The Vancouver Island Oxford and Cambridge Society Boat Race Celebration held on May 10, 2013

For the second year in a row Sigrid and Gordon Walker (Caius College) graciously hosted the annual VIOCS Boat Race Celebration in their lovely home in Oak Bay.   As the weather was clement the seventy guests were able to enjoy mingling in their lovely garden as well as in the spacious house, whilst sampling tasty canapés from Cook’s Day Off and sipping ‘on tap’ beer from Hoyne’s brewery or fine wines from the Tuscany Liquor store.  A special thanks to David Wood (Exeter College) of Salt Spring Island Cheese for providing many artisan goat cheeses which were delicious and provided extra sustenance, in addition to contributing a tasty selection reserved for our silent auction.  Many thanks to the beverage merchants for their discount and to David Wood for his generous gift.

There were a number of speakers before the boat race video began.  Dominic Seiterle first discussed the requirements of rigorous training and stamina that are needed to compete in rowing championships.  Barney Williams (Jesus, Oxford) told us that his objective in going to Oxford was primarily to get a degree (although he managed also to get a Blue) and also pointed out that the boat race is now an ‘elite’/international event rather than the amateur one of the past. Malcolm Howard (Oriel) , the Oxford Stroke and one of Canada’s finest oarsmen, was not able to be present but his mother Anita Salmon spoke instead and recounted with great delight her attendance at the race to witness the success of her son and his crew mates, including Oxford’s high-spirited cox.

After a small problem with the sound system a video of the boat race was shown, followed by a toast to Oxford given by Colin Scarfe (St. Catharine’s College) and one to Cambridge by Fiona Hamersley Chambers (Linacre).

The evening ended with a silent auction of a number of gifts including wines, spirits, books, trips, a potted plant, one night in a B & B and more.  The committee is very grateful to the donors for these gifts as the proceeds have enabled them to turn a deficit into a surplus!

Our thanks to all mentioned here who made a contribution to the event and also to the guests themselves who, by participating so enthusiastically, made this year’s party a great success.

Photographs of the event can be found on our website, www.viocs.ca, in the “Members Area”

Members are invited to make suggestions to the Committee for future events that they would be interested in attending.

Patricia Kongshavn on behalf of the VIOCS Committee.