The First World War and the Arts and Archaeology of the Middle East

This event was held on 20th November, 2014

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Place: Walter Mearns Learning Centre (McPherson Library), UVic, Room A003

Time:  5:30 p.m., with reception (by donation) following the talk

Program: Professor Marcus Milwright (St Cross, 1992) will be presenting his talk:

The First World War and the Arts and Archaeology of the Middle East.

The Mesopotamian campaign (1914-18) and the Sinai and Palestine campaign (1915-18) led to considerable loss of life, both military and civilian, and extensive damage to infrastructure and to urban and rural settlements. The partition of the territories of the Ottoman empire in 1920 helped to shape the political history of the modern Middle East. This talk considers the ways in which these events affected the traditional arts of Syria and Iraq in the early twentieth century. Also examined is the increasing importance of archaeology in the study of the cultures of the Middle East.

This talk is being presented in conjunction with the exhibit “The Arts of WW1,” curated by Marcus Milwright and on display 7 November to 2 March 2015 in the Special Collections Division of the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library. (See:http://ring.uvic.ca/news/history-mystery-central-first-world-war-exhibit)

Professor Milwright is Professor of Islamic Art & Archaeology in the Department of History in Art, University of Victoria.

Join Marcus for discussion and a VIOCS-hosted reception (by donation) in Room 025 of the library following his 20 November talk.Please R.S.V.P. ([email protected]) so that we have an idea of the numbers, though all are welcome who show up at the door.

VIOCS would like to extend special thanks to University Librarian Jonathan Bengtson (Exeter, 1992) and his staff for their generous help in facilitating this event. For further information contact [email protected] or call Dorothy Kennedy at 250-384-4544.  

Grannies Grow the World

Grannies Grow the World – is the working title for an important film project by a team with Oxford connections.

UVic historian Elizabeth Vibert and filmmaker Christine Welsh are making a film about older women innovating for food security in challenging settings – rural South Africa and an Indigenous community in BC.

Elizabeth did her DPhil at Oxford and Christine’s sister Jennifer Welsh was a Rhodes Scholar and is Professor of IR at Oxford.

The film team is in the midst of an online fundraiser. For more information and to watch the short, inspiring video, please visit http://igg.me/at/granniesgrowtheworld

Another Successful Boat Race Celebration

The Vancouver Island Oxford and Cambridge Society Boat Race Celebration was held on May 9, 2014.

groupWe were fortunate to be able to celebrate the annual VIOCS Boat Race Celebration in the home of Sigrid and Gordon Walker (Caius, 1958) for the third year in a row.  We are most grateful to the Walkers for once again hosting our celebration.  Some fifty-five guests met old friends and acquaintances as well as new ones whilst sampling canapés, cheeses, and home made sweets.  David Wood (Exeter, 1963) of Salt Spring Island Cheese again furnished many delicious artisan goat cheeses to add to the fare as well as contributing a tasty selection reserved for our silent auction.  As usual, drinks were plentiful, and the wines from the Tuscany Liquor Store were outstanding, especially the red.  Many thanks to the wine merchants for their discount, to David Wood for his generous gift, and to Cook’s Day Off for again providing and serving delicious canapés.

The videBarney Williamso showing of the Boat Race, won all too easily by Oxford, was introduced by Barney Williams (Jesus, 2004), a former president of the Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC).  Barney noted that, on this occasion, the Cambridge men’s boat was ‘massively overpowered’ by Oxford.  There was also an unfortunate incident in the Cambridge boat, resulting in one oarsman catching a crab and almost falling out.  As Justin Fryer (Christ Church, 1958) pointed out later when he gave the toast to Cambridge, this resulted from one oar cutting sideways whilst the boat was travelling at high speed (20 kph), which projected the rower right out of his seat.

The video of the Boat Race was followed by a short clip of the women’s 2 km race, also won by Oxford.  Next year, for the first time, the women’s race will also be held on the famous 6 km tidewater course, rather than the 2 km Henley course.  According to Barney Williams, the women’s teams have a strong presence and are coming of age.

ToastersThe toast to Oxford was given by Peter Clarke (St. John’s, 1960, and former Master of Trinity Hall).  It included a witty speech in which Peter subtly pointed out that the losing team could boast of a number of famous scientists – Rutherford, Darwin, the Eagle Pub duo who solved the DNA mystery – whilst Oxford’s equivalent appeared to be Frank Cooper of marmalade fame!  Following this, Justin Fryer gave the toast to Cambridge, without challenging the marmalade jam-session, as Oxford had already risen to the occasion.  He noted that, in recent years, the winning boat tended to be the one that held the larger number of Canadian oarsmen.  Two Canadians, Tom Watson and Malcolm Howard (the current president of OUBC) powered Oxford to victory this year.

Lisa, Krissi and Zed

The evening ended with the now customary silent – and not so silent – auction, the proceeds from which help to finance potential cost overruns on the Boat Race event, and other events that the VIOCS organizing committee may arrange during the course of the year.  We are grateful to all those who donated items to the auction process, and to various high bidders!

 

 

The VIOCS Organizing Committee

2014 VIOCS Boat Race Celebration

 

FRIDAY 9th MAY – 6:30 to 9:30 pm

Dear Oxonians and Cantabrigians,

Once again the Vancouver Island Oxford and Cambridge Society invites all those with Oxford or Cambridge affiliation and their guests to attend an evening of celebration marking the 2014 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, which was held this year on Sunday, 6th April.

This year’s boat race was the 2nd victory for Oxford boat club president Malcolm Howard of Victoria who was joined this year by fellow Canadian and University of Victoria graduate Tom Watson.  Liz Fenje, also of Victoria, was a member of the winning Oxford crew in the women’s event. This link will take you to the Times Colonist article.

Gordon and Sigrid Walker have once again very kindly offered to host this year’s event at their home, in Oak Bay on Friday, 9th May.

The celebration will provide an opportunity to meet up with friends old and new as well as a chance to watch the video of the race and hear toasts to each University and their rowing crews while enjoying hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and drinks.  The cost of the event is $33 per person.

An invitation email with full details has been sent to all those on our mailing list.  If you have not received an invitation please contact  [email protected].

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Events held by the Victoria Island Oxford and Cambridge Society in 2013

The activities of VIOCS in 2013 started with the annual VIOCS boat race celebration held in the lovely home of Sigrid and Gordon Walker (Caius Cambridge) in Oak Bay, and attended by seventy guests.  Drinks and canapés were enjoyed as well as artisan cheeses donated by David Wood (Exeter Oxford) of the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company.  A video of the boat race was shown, preceded by thoughtful short addresses by champion rowers Dominic Seiterle and Barney Williams (Jesus Oxford).  A silent auction of generous gifts given by various members of the society ended the evening.

A Family Picnic event took place on a particularly warm summer day in August at the organic farm owned by Fiona Hamersley Chambers (Linacre Oxford) in Metchosin.  Some people competed for the “Dolly Cup” in the “Aunt Sally” tournament while others preferred to spend time relaxing and socializing.  The main event was a barbeque accompanied by a plentiful supply of interesting “potluck” dishes as well as drinks, followed by ice cream.

In September we were privileged to hear an engaging talk by Dr Mark Purcell (Oriel Oxford) when he visited the University of Victoria as a guest of the head librarian Jonathan Bengtson (Exeter Oxford).  Mark is head librarian of the Libraries of the National Trust and, as such, has visited every single one.  He showed beautiful pictures of various National Trust buildings and libraries and spoke about particularly interesting books and manuscripts held in some of them.  We had the opportunity of meeting Mark for drinks in the Graduate Students lounge before he gave his talk.

The Libraries of the National Trust

Mark Purcell, a fellow Oxbridge member, will be giving an engaging talk at the University of Victoria on Friday, 27th September 2013 (see link below). If enough members express an interest, we’ll see if we can join Mark for drinks before his presentation. Please contact [email protected] should you be interested. This talk is a free event, hosted by UVic and Head Librarian Jonathan Bengston (Exeter 1992), and a good turnout from VIOCS members would be most welcome.

The Libraries of the National Trust

2nd Annual Vancouver Island Oxford and Cambridge Society Family Picnic

Dear VIOCS Members:

As an alumnus/a living on Vancouver Island, we thought you might be interested to know about the Family Picnic event of the Vancouver Island branch of the official Oxford and Cambridge alumni association, VIOCS.

Date:  10 August 2013

Time: 3:00 to 8:00pm

Venue:   Metchosin Farm (owned by Fiona Hamersley Chambers, Linacre 1998), 542 Wootton Road (near the corner of  Happy Valley and Metchosin Roads) in Metchosin [click this link for Map]

Metchosin Farm specializes in organic vegetables and fruits including heirloom tomatoes (60+ varieties) and soft fruits (17+ varieties), as well as Native plants. The farm stand will be open and Fiona and her young boys will be happy to show you the gardens.

Cost:  Free to all members, children and guests.  Ice cream will be served, compliments of VIOCS, so please R.S.V.P. so that we have some idea of the numbers.  Adult drinks will be available at a small charge.

Bring:  something to barbeque and something to share (salad, fruit, baked goods), as well as a chair

 

In addition to the opportunity to meet other Oxbridge alumni, you and your family are invited to participate in games of badminton, croquet, and horseshoes.  Oxford and Cambridge will also be vying for the coveted “Dolly Cup,” awarded to the highest scorer of the “Aunt Sally” tournament.  You are also welcome to do absolutely nothing.

Let us know if you need help with transportation. Contact [email protected] or call Dorothy Kennedy (Exeter 1997) at 250-384-4544 and we’ll try to assist.

 

We’d love to stay in touch if you are interested in hearing about our future events. If you would prefer not to be contacted by VIOCS by email in future, please contact [email protected] with the word “UNSUBSCRIBE” to have your record amended.

Please see our website “VIOCS.CA” for information on our future events and reports on the highly successful events of last year.
_______________________________________

Vancouver Island Oxford and Cambridge Society
www.viocs.ca

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.

2013 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race Celebration

2013 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race Celebration

FRIDAY 10th MAY 6:30 to 9:30 pm

Dear Oxonians and Cantabrigians,

Once again the Vancouver Island Oxford and Cambridge Society invites all those with Oxford or Cambridge affiliation and their guests to attend an evening of celebration marking the 2013 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, which was held this year on Easter Sunday, 31st March.

The celebration will provide an opportunity to meet up with friends old and new as well as a chance to watch the video of the race and hear toasts to each University and their rowing crews while enjoying hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The cost of the event is $32 per person.

We are also planning to have a silent auction of donated items in order to raise funds for our society. If you would like to donate something (such as gift certificates, vintage spirits, bottles of wine, professional services, plants, etc.) please indicate on the form below.
Gordon and Sigrid Walker have once again very kindly offered to host this year’s event at their home, 1234 Hewlett Place, in Oak Bay. There is some parking on the street at their home, with additional parking in the church parking lot or along Brighton Avenue. If you need a ride to the event then please let us know, and we will try to find one for you.

Of particular note this year was the participation by two‐time Olympic medalist Malcolm Howard from Victoria as Oxford stroke. This link will take you to a race day article noting that Malcolm is the most decorated oarsman in the event’s history.

If you know of someone we have missed in this mailing, please don’t hesitate to send this invitation to them.

If you are able to join us, please let us know as soon as possible so that we are able to confirm numbers with the caterer. The cut off date for confirming attendance and mailing your cheques is Friday 3rd May. You can confirm your attendance by email to [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Canada’s Own Crisis: 14 November 2012 Talk and Lunch

Invitation to VIOCS Members:

The VIOCS organizing committee invites you to register for a Wednesday,  November 14th talk by Harry Swain, author of Oka: a Political Crisis and Its Legacy, nominated for the 2010/2011 Donner Prize for the best book on Canadian Public Policy.  A light lunch will be served.

 

Canada’s Aboriginal Crisis Called Oka

In 1990, a land dispute between residents of Oka, Quebec, and the Mohawk community of Kanesatake, led to a 78-day standoff between Mohawks and Quebec police and Canadian troops that shocked the nation.  Harry Swain was deputy minister of Indian Affairs throughout the affair, and his recounting of those events is dramatic and opinionated.  In Oka, Swain writes of his own role and offers rare insight into the workings of government in a time of crisis.  On 14th November, Harry will enlighten VIOCS members with tales from this time and will discuss the rapid and far-reaching changes in public policy regarding Canada’s Native peoples that have been stimulated by the Charter, the courts, and an increasingly-vocal First Nations’ polity.  Nevertheless, Swain says, Aboriginal affairs in Canada continue to be in difficulty.

Come join Harry and fellow-VIOCS members for lunch and hear Harry Swain’s views on how Canada can reconcile this shameful situation.

 

Venue

The Begbie Room, Victoria Union Club, 805 Gordon Street, at noon, November 14th, 2012.

Lunch: “Build Your Own Sandwich,” salads, dessert squares, beverage

Cost of this event is $30.00. Please register at [email protected]. Attendance is limited to 50.

We hope to hear from you by Friday, November 9th, 2012.  Please mail your cheque in the amount of $30.00 made out to Brian Scarfe, our treasurer, and NOT to VIOCS, as follows: Dr. Brian Scarfe, Suite 416, 21 Dallas Road, Victoria, BC, V8V 4Z9.