Food and Pop Clothes Donations on the Downtown Eastside! During Christmas approximately 30 Brit students prepared meals, packaged them and delivered them to needy people at Oppenheimer Park. On another day they set up a Pop Up Clothing store in support of former Britannia students and helped the needy to choose clothes. Clothing racks and clothes supplied by Walmart created a festive atmosphere. Great examples of Brit students giving back!
Can you believe it? Frank Liao, in grade 12, is the #1 ranked provincial male table tennis player in BC; he was the silver medalist in last year’s provincials; his sister Ivy, Liao, (grade 10) recently played for Canada in the senior (open) World Team Championships in Cape Town, South Africa. Ivy also played for Canada last Feb in the World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur as well the World Juniors in Cairo, Egypt the year before that; she is short listed for the 2020 Olympics; Ivy won three gold medals in table tennis in grade 8 (in grade 9, she did not compete as she was playing at the World Tournament); Rose Huang (grade 10) recently competed in the US Open Table Tennis Championships in Las Vegas; she has won gold and bronze in the last two provincial championships.
Our boys and girls teams this year are undefeated to date in league play.
Britannia Bruins Senior Girls Basketball team showed that they come first in more than basketball in the Cascades Classic International Basketball Tournament held over the Christmas break in Sammamish, Washington. This tournament draws top teams from Los Angeles and from throughout the Pacific Northwest who want to do more than score baskets! Britannia placed 5th in the basketball competition but won gold not only in the “Brain Game” but also in the Joyce Walker Spirit of Sport team contest.
The Brain Game is a team against team competition in which Britannia faced three different opponents in trivial pursuit style knowledge plus specific questions from specific academic disciplines. Each round featured different academic disciplines such as Shakespeare, Mathematical Operations, European Countries, Geography, Human Anatomy, Biology, etc. All of the players were required to take part and rotated throughout the game in a kind of “jeopardy” format. The games were 20 minutes in duration and teams had 20 seconds to answer questions, call time out to consult or try to answer questions that the other team could not. Points were awarded by the MC and questions and scores were displayed on a giant screen above the stage. It was fun but there was pressure as the clock ran down in front of a crowd of spectators! The Bruins prevailed as players displayed knowledge and poise under pressure!
Joyce Walker is perhaps the most famous female basketball player in the history of basketball in the state of Washington. She was a top high school player at Garfield High School in Seattle, All-American University player at Louisiana State University, Olympic gold medalist for the USA, outstanding professional player, one of only three women to ever play with the Harlem Globetrotters as well as one of the winningest coaches in high school history. More than that she believes in sportsmanship, respecting opponents, playing hard, having fun and competing with spirit and joy through basketball. Coaches and tournament committee members voted to award Britannia with the first annual Joyce Walker Award! It was both a rewarding and humbling experience for Britannia players as they met Ms. Walker and accepted the trophy. Lucy Guan and Jennifer Hoang, Britannia captains spoke passionately to the crowd at the awards ceremony as they thanked the tournament committee, other volunteers and other teams and coaches.
Britannia team members: Shemaiah Abatayo, Karalee Antoine, Lucy Guan, Devon Herrin, Jennifer Hoang, Malena Mokhovikova, Surprise Munie, Donna Pham, Saffron van der Linde, Alice Pham (manager), Luk Pham (manager)
Coaches and Sponsors: Mike Evans, Trevor Stokes, Mitra Tshan, Ron Suzuki
Streetfront is a small Alternative Program at Britannia situated on the eastern fringe of the Britannia campus. We teach 22 kids each year. We usually have between 14-16 boys and 6-8 girls each year and approximately 75-80% of our students are Aboriginal. 80-90% of our families are on social assistance and we usually have 4-10 kids in foster care. 40% of every day is spent on physical activities (whether that be our mandatory running program of 3 – 5 km runs per week; over 30 out-trips throughout the school year; 3 full camp trips; 2 backpacking trips; or our daily PE class to start everyday).
Once the students finish grade 10 with us, they hopefully have developed the skills needed to transition to their senior years of high school by either re-integrating back into a traditional high school; moving onto a senior Alternative Program or entering into a pre-apprentice program. We have been fortunate at Streetfront to watch many of our students move onto post secondary. Currently, we have 8 students enrolled in University around the province.
Streetfront students have found incredible success through our program. We are internationally recognized for our efforts in our marathon program. We have created the largest cohort of high school marathoners in the world. We then started the Street2Peak Project which will become arguably the largest field study project in Canadian high school history. We will take 15 youth every 2 years to a different continent and engage in a rigorous exploration of the country’s wilderness.. In 2015, with our 1st instalment of the Street2Peak Project, we became the first school in Canadian history to climb Kilimanjaro. The experience was incredible for all involved.
In March 2017, the 2nd phase of the Street2Peak Project will commence: Street2Peak Patagonia. Like before, we will take 15 youth from the inner-city and embark on a life-changing expedition through Patagonia’s world famous Torres del Paine National Park. We will backpack through the glaciers, peaks, mountain passes and rivers of the Southern Andes. Our youth will be sharing and interacting with Chilean youth, building up meaningful and lasting cross-cultural friendships. Once the trek is completed we will be visiting schools and villages throughout the region, exposing our students to this very unique part of the world.
Aside from the 3 Streetfront staff (Trevor Stokes, Gord Howey and Barry Skillin) the team consists of Constable Brandon Steele of the VPD (long term volunteer with Streetfront and member of Street2Peak Kilimanjaro), Dr. Andrew Schofield (Principal of Britannia Secondary and member of Street2Peak Kilimanjaro), Dr. Rod Tukker (Emergency physician and member of Street2Peak Kilimanjaro), Jesse Costucci-Phillips (current UBC student and former Streetfront student and member of Street2Peak Kilimanjaro), Mitra Tshan (Britannia community schools assistant and the Saint of Strathcona and member of Street2Peak Kilimanjaro) and Crystal Li (long term Streetfront volunteer and RayCam Community Centre Youth Worker). The breadth of dedication and commitment to these youth is unsurpassed. They will bring the positive change that awaits these fortunate young men and women.
– Trevor Stokes
Closing Brit – NOT! Special thanks to alumni who stepped up – voted on-line, attended VSB public meetings, attended the Save Brit Rally (400 showed up). The entire process seemed to be a celebration of Britannia. Comments by the government appointed VSB Chair Diane Turner ( former Vice-principal at Brit) plus the Canada Supreme Court victory by BC teachers seem to say that schools will not be closed. Well perhaps an annex or two! But certainly not Britanni
Actions speak louder than words. Thankful for these amazing young leaders who gave up their long weekend to feed over 100 folks to honour their beloved Eric J.j. Ming!
Shoutout to Ms Isomura for the use of her room and to Wayne Hoang for his guidance around those stoves!
Greetings all Brit Alumni.
The day started with some heavy rain but for the 7 golfers who braved the weather, the clouds parted and they were treated to a cloudy but rainfree day.
A delicious meal was served by Meadow Gardens Golf Club followed by dancing. Those in attendance regained their youthfulness as hips swayed until past 12 midnight.
A huge “Thank You” to Gloria Lim Russell, Rohit Lal and Willy Quan for donating door prizes. The lucky 50/50 winner was Art Nishi.
Past honoree John Minichiello attended and former students enjoyed the evening having a chance to reconnect with him. He looked well.
This year’s Dinner Honoree was Bob Fitzpatrick who retired from teaching at Britannia after 42 years. The Alumni donated two bursaries of $500.00 in his name at the 2016 graduation ceremonies in his name. We also donated $2,000.00 towards a tea/coffee get together for the grads and their relatives after the graduation ceremonies at the Italian Cultural Centre. This grant was made in the names of the past Honorees, Bill Vance, Jack Schreiber, Rose Marie Voakes, George Rapanos, Mike Evans, Adele Case and John Minichiello.
This year, the committee has announced that Grant Hulme will be recognized for his long teaching career and commitment to the students. Grant also retired this year.
Two bursaries for $500.00 each will be awarded in Grant’s name at this year’s graduation ceremonies. Thank you Grant for your contributions to Britannia. We will also be making a monetary contribution towards this year’s post graduation ceremonies in the names of all past Honorees.
Take a look at the photographs taken at the Dinner Dance. Everybody looks great and honestly, no photoshopping was done. Thank you all for attending and for your generous donations, this year and in the past.
We will keep you informed as to the 2017 event. Stay well, everybody.
On June 20, 2016, VSB senior management staff announced a preliminary list of schools that could be considered for closure and notifications to potentially affected schools have been sent to school principals and PAC chairs. Britannia is on that list.
If you want to help save Britannia, there are a number of things that you can do.
Chloe Gray has started a petition to save Britannia Secondary School. You can sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/the-community-saving-britannia-secondary-school
Before you do, however, you should read the following from Mike Lombardi, a Britannia Alumni and chairman of the Vancouver Board of School Trustees
The committee to save Britannia have put together a press kit so that you can familiarize yourself with the issues.
There is a Trustee Public Meeting on Sept 15 at 5:00 pm aat Charles Tupper High School. Trustees have a number of previously submitted questions.
We are trying to fill the place with “Don’t Quit on Brit” supporters! See you there. Wear Brit colours!!!!
Prior to making any decisions trustees will review a detailed report on each school presented by staff in September 2016. Once this has occurred, trustees will then make a decision about whether any schools from the preliminary list should be considered for closure. If so, the VSB will then conduct significant communication and public consultations with affected school communities in October and November 2016. Following a report on the consultation and staff information, trustees will decide about school closures at a public VSB meeting in December 2016.
Information about these consultations will be widely publicized, but if you would like to receive information directly you are invited to fill in a contact form here.
Additionally, the VSB continues to advocate for the elimination of the arbitrary Ministry of Education-imposed 95%. District-wide capacity utilization formula that is the ministry required foundation for the VSB Long Term Facilities Plan.
The VSB also continues to advocate for adequate and stable funding to address our $21.8million 2016-17 budget shortfall resulting from years of chronic underfunding and downloading of costs from the provincial government.
You are encouraged to support the VSB in its advocacy efforts to secure additional funding and to eliminate the arbitrary 95% capacity utilization target.
Please communicate with the Premier, Minister of Education, and your MLA about these matters. I would also encourage you copy VSB trustees on your messages.
-Contact information for the Premier, Minister of Education, and Vancouver-area MLAs:
Contact information for Vancouver-Area MLAs:
Contact information for VSB trustees:
Also, here is great information from the East Van Education Network (EVEN).
6 points, or key themes from the presentation
A timeline for those wanting to be more active and take part in:
September 6 (1st day of school) Information flyers distributed to parents at elementary and also to Brit students at High School.
September 9 – 10:00 am MEDIA EVENT at Britannia Carving Pavilion.
September 15 – 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Town Hall style meeting at Astorino’s. We hope to fill the place with Brit families, Brit alumni, students, etc.
A fun filled community event.
This year we are doing it OUTSIDE on Thursday, July 7th, 5-9, in the garden itself and the adjacent grass field of Britannia Secondary. (if raining, we’ll be in the cafeteria which is next to the field).
This year, we are very excited to take the event outside! The garden is all spruced up and is looking beautiful. Chef Larissa Grieves is back, with an even more varied menu than last year, including a meat option for the entree (free range slow cooked pork shoulder). The rest of the meal is vegan and vegetarian. We also have lined up a big selection of pies for dessert! (menu attached)
Besides the great food, we have 3 local musicians and a storyteller lined up for entertainment. There will be picnic-style games and activities for adults and children. And we have over 50 items on offer in the Silent Auction, mostly from merchants right here on Commercial Drive, East Hastings and Strathcona.
Tickets are $30 for adults, half price for ages 6-12 and under 6 are free. Tickets can be bought at the Britannia Community Centre front information desk, or call Ian Marcuse directly at Britannia, 604-718-5895. (or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
This fundraiser benefits youth and young children’s gardening programs in our community and also all the way in Tanzania, to the SEGA Girls School, whose garden is twinned with the Britannia Secondary School Garden. Eastside Family Place is also a partner in the fundraiser, for their “Little Sprouts” and “Kids in the Kitchen” summer gardening and food skills programs. This is the only fundraiser for our respective programs.
We are very, very excited to announce that the Commercial Drive Scotiabank branch is offering MATCHING funds, so your $30 will turn into $60! They did so last year, and we are very happy they have decided to support us so generously again.
Please help us get the word out, even if you are not able to come, by sending the attached poster and menu to people you know. We have a Facebook page, and if you are on FB, could you Like and most importantly, Share our page? Please and thank you.