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UBC Publications

Trek [2013-06]

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 GIANT        ,
-•I days
at sea in
a rowboat
The lab  \
up Eve rest
In charge
at a Boston
Charlie Crane: Canada's Helen Keller
The Double Life of Doctor Lu i ^^^"""                   •   -<-i^a^^^^^^-
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Four men, one boat, 51 days, and an angry
Tasman Sea.
Researchers trek halfway up Everest to double as
subjects in a series of experiments on the effects
of oxygen deprivation.
Charlie Crane lost his sight and hearing aged
one, but through his fingertips developed an
insatiable love of literature and learning.
She practises medicine. She acts. She explores
at the interface of stories and science.
Ron Walls, MD'79, led an emergency department
response to the Boston Marathon bombings.
Q & A
Q: What or who makes you laugh out loud?
A: Spooky-eyed horses get me right in the
funnies for some reason.
Susan (nee Becker) Davidson, BA'64,
sent in the winning caption for a
cartoon published in the fall 2012
print issue of Trek.
"Well, it sure beats flagpole-sitting!"
In Short
12   N =
Alumni Departments
46 IN MEMORIAM editor's note
I'm not exactly the adventurous type. Like actor Torrance Coombs, bfa'05
(see page 52), I fear bears. Even a gentle hike through the BC countryside
reduces me to a highly-strung, pepper-spray-clutching phobic (minimum
of two canisters, because I read somewhere that one in three fail) who
is not so much communing with nature as wishing she could be looking
at it from behind a nice window instead.
I'm a pasty-faced editor who prefers to adventure vicariously from the
comfort of home - and more likely to die as a result of Vitamin D deficiency
than a bear attack. Perhaps that's why there's no shortage of adventurous
types to read about in this issue
We're talking about UBC folk who have trekked halfway up Mount
Everest, spent 51 days at sea in a rowboat, or lived for a week in a temporary
city in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Their stories all involve challenge and
excitement, sometimes too much excitement, but they have something else
in common too - there was purpose to the adventure. From championing
the environment to conducting health research to creating memorable
art with a message, these adventurers were in it for more than the thrills
By far the most impressive story in this issue, though, is that of Charlie
Crane. I've worked on campus for more than 10 years. I've walked past
Brock Hall more than a thousand times. But I've been only vaguely aware
that somewhere inside is the Crane Library for the visually impaired, and
until recently knew nothing at all about the man it's named after.
Charlie Crane lost his sight and hearing before he reached the age of one
He didn't learn to speak until he was 10 and experienced the world mostly
through his fingertips. Despite the obstacles, Crane developed an insatiable
ove of literature and learning that led to his being accepted at UBC as
a student - the first deafblind person to study at a Canadian university.
He earned the respect and affection of his fellow students and was easily
the boldest adventurer you'll read about in these pages
And lastly... SURPRISE! In case you hadn't noticed, Trek has had a bit
of a facelift. We hope you enjoy the changes. Your feedback is welcome
Vanessa Clarke, Editor
EDITOR Vanessa Clarke, BA
ART DIRECTOR Keith Leinweber, BDes
Michael Awmack,B/\'01, MET'09
Elizabeth Powell, BSc
VICE CHAIR Dallas Leung, BCom'94
TREASURER Ian Warner, BCom'89
MEMBERS AT LARGE [2010-2013]
Michael Lee, BSc'86, BA'89, MA'92, LLB
MEMBERS AT LARGE [2011-2014]
Ernest Yee,BA'83, MA'87
Brent Cameron, BA MBA'06
Blake Hanna, MBA'82
Robert Bruno, BCom'97
MEMBERS AT LARGE [2012-2015]
David Climie, BCom'83
Kirsten Tisdale, BSc'83
Faye Wightman, BSc'81
Barbara Miles, BA, Post Grad in Ed.
Prof. Stephen J. Toope, AB, LLB & BCL, PhD
Sarah Morgan-Silvester, BCom'82
Jeff Todd, BA
Trek magazine (formerly the UBC Alumni
Chronicle) is published two times a year by the
UBC Alumni Association and distributed free
of charge to UBC alumni and friends. Opinions
expressed in the magazine do not necessarily
reflect the views of the Alumni Association or
the university. Address correspondence to:
The Editor, UBC Alumni Affairs,
6251 Cecil Green Park Road,
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T1Z1
email to trek.magazine@ubc.ca
Letters published at the editor's discretion
and may be edited for space
Jenna McCann, BA'03
jenna.mccann@ubc.ca 604.822.8917
Address Changes 604.822.8921
via email
alumni.association @ubc.ca
Alumni Association 604.822.3313
toll free 800.883.3088
UBC Info Line 604.822.4636
Belkin Gallery 604.822.2759
Bookstore 604.822.2665
Chan Centre 604.822.2697
Frederic Wood Theatre 604.822.2678
Museum of Anthropology 604.822.5087
Volume 68, Number 1 | Printed in Canada
by Mitchell Press
Canadian Publications Mail Agreement
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:
Records Department
UBC Development Office
Suite 500 - 5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T1Z3
Paper from
_,     responsible sources
ESS    FSC*C011267
I despise Twitter, truthfully. I think it's one of the worst things that's
been created in my lifetime, and so there's no way I'm going to go on
it. I dislike everything about it. I think that the notion of the immediate
reaction to something without any reflection, the idea that you can
say anything that matters in the limited number of characters you're
given, and that you have to do it immediately,
and everyone will respond immediately with no
reflection, I think it's the worst of our society, so no.
UBC president Stephen Toope on being asked by The Ubyssey why
he doesn't have a Twitter account.
I'd love to see the creation
of a course geared
towards multicultural
cuisines. I believe when
you eat food from all over
the world, you become
more tolerant towards
other human beings.
Vancouver chef Vikram Vij, who
has contributed $250,000 for
the extensive makeover of a UBC
culinary lab originally built in 1982
(UBC Reports, November 1, 2012)
She's brought so much experience.
She'll say something amazing
and all 23 eyes will be on her.
UBC senior hockey captain Kaylee Chanakos
on Danielle Dube, a former Team Canada hockey
goalie who at age 36, is back in the game as
a university freshman. (Globe & Mail, March 6)
The two things that struck me
the most were the incredible
calm of the victims, even
though they were obviously
experiencing something no
human being should ever
have to experience. Incredibly
calm and able to help us take
care of them.
Alumnus Ron Walls, MD'79, quoted
in the aftermath of the Boston
Marathon bombings. He is chairman of
the Department of Emergency Medicine
at the stricken city's Brigham and
Women's Hospital. (The Boston Globe,
April 16)
In a tournament, you would
never play on a surface like
this. This was almost like
playing on ice.
He can't just stand there and say 'I am the
Mini-Me of Chavez and now you have to
follow me.'
UBC professor Maxwell A. Cameron quoted in an article on
whether newly elected Venezualen president Nicolas Maduro
will continue to imitate the style of recently deceased mentor,
Hugo Chavez. (New York Times, March 6)
Italian tennis player
Andreas Seppi on the
tennis court surface
in the Doug Mitchel
Thunderbird Sports Centre
at UBC, on which he
lost against Canada's Milos
Raonic in the Davis Cup
Quarterfinals. The result
meant Canada is advancing
to the semi-final for
the first time. (Globe &
Mail, April 7)
ftiraii i
These comments were sent
in by readers or posted on
the Trek magazine website,
and some have been edited
for length. Online comments
can be read in full at
trekmagazine. alumni, ubc. ca
TREK, Fall/Winter 2012
Wallace Chung donated an outstanding collection
of Western Canadian artefacts to UBC
am delighted to learn that Dr. Wally Chung's collection
of Canadian Pacific shipping memorabilia is to be the
subject of a book. Had I known sooner, I could have
told the author how my father, C.H. Edmond, came
to acquire the artifacts of the first Empress of Japan
When the ship was being broken up in North Vancouver,
he was horrified that only the steel was considered
of value, and managed to secure the wood, brass and
other items that Dr. Chung acquired in 1963. In fact,
my father was quite active in conveying these items
to Dr. Chung, and died only in 1970. I later donated
one or two remaining items to the collection
In addition to those mentioned in the article, the
relics included a "chart desk," in which marine charts
were stored, the hinged top of which holds three
round side-by-side brass-framed ports through which
chronometers, critical to navigation, could be viewed
My father used to jokingly wonder how many officers'
"waistcoats" had been worn out in the process, because
the front edge of the top was concave from wear caused
by viewing the chronometers directly downward
Thomas Dunbar, a Scottish-trained master cabinet
maker, built for my father a drop-leaf table from
Empress teakwood, still in my possession, and I also
have a small glass-front wall cabinet, said to be from
the chief officer's cabin. I hope someday to arrange
to add these items to the Chung collection
am extremely pleased that the result of my father's
initiative of over 80 years ago has found a permanent
home owing to Dr. Chung's life-long dedication to
his passion
John Edmond, BA'64
Thank goodness for generous folks like Wallace Chung
hope to see some of his gift to UBC, especially the
model of the Empress of Asia, the next time I am in
Vancouver. While attending UBC I spent some summers
working on tugs and will never forget the ships from
all over the world that came in to Vancouver.
Michael A. Williams, BCom'56
TREK, Fall/Winter 2012
Clinical orthopaedics professor Shafique Pirani has
dramatically improved prospects for thousands of
children born with clubfoot.
Great article. I volunteered with Hip Hip Hooray Orthopaedic
Walk for many years. Thanks to Dr. Pirani, children in Canada
as well as other parts of the World will see a brighter future
Dr. Pirani is inspirational, caring and dedicated. It is great to
hear about the Uganda Clubfoot project and where it's at today
Trish Silvester-Lee, BPE'83
trained at the UBC Medical School and Dr. Pirani was
one of my instructors. He was humble and had a limp just
ike the article says, but I never knew any of those other
things about him. Orthopaedics is my passion. I work as
an emergency physician at the Whistler Health Care Centre
and have the privilege of treating many acute orthopaedic
injuries even though I never completed a specialty in
Orthopaedic Surgery. I feel very blessed to have had
Dr. Pirani as one of my instructors
Monika Rempel, MD'92
Trek Note: On March 15, 2013, we learned that CIDA will provide
$4.3 million to Sustainable Clubfoot Care in Bangladesh, with
Shafique Pirani and Richard Mathias, a professor in the School
of Population and Public Health, leading the project.
Trek Online, February 2013
For 75 years, CiTR radio at UBC has been launching
successful careers and lasting friendships.
CiTR was an important part of my time at UBC. I volunteered,
was traffic director and a radio host (Meet Ida Been show,
1990-94). I enjoyed your historic recount, but can't understand
how you could not mention Nardwuarthe Human Serviette,
a mainstay for almost 30 years! Everyone likes to talk about
Pierre Berton's involvement. However, no one has had more
of an impact on "the little station that could" than Nardwuar
Kerry Kotlarchuk, BCom'94
have great memories of my affiliation with CiTR in the late
70s and early 80s. It was an exciting time of expansion for
CiTR and the emergence of punk, new wave and a vibrant
ocal music scene. CiTR played music of bands which have
become legend and that commercial radio would not play
at the time, such as the Stranglers, XTC, Clash, U2, and
the Specials. Local bands aired included DOA and Pointed
Sticks. I remember the "Rebel without a Pause." I made
asting friendships at CiTR with people who have gone on
to have creative and impressive careers. Happy 75th CiTR
Ron Walls, MD79, led an emergency
department response to the
Boston Marathon bombings.
Dr. Ron Walls had rehearsed his hospital's response to disaster 73 times
since 2006. But when his cell and office phones began ringing just after
3:00 pm on April 15, the BC native discovered just how valuable those
drills were
Ten minutes earlier, eight seconds apart, two bombs had exploded at
the finish line of the Boston Marathon. They killed three people and injured
more than 175. Victims were headed to Brigham and Women's Hospital,
where Walls, former head of the Division of Emergency Medicine at UBC,
is now chairman of the emergency department
Seconds after he'd hung up and read a banner report of the bombing that
slid across his cell phone, Walls, 58, heard the wailing. "I've never heard
anything like it," he says. "It was as if every vehicle with a siren turned
its siren on and started moving at the same time." Brigham's emergency
department is a block from Walls' office. He started up the hill towards it
At the bomb site, paramedics triaged patients, coordinating care and
dispatching the injured to Boston's five level-one trauma centres, including
Brigham. As Walls reached the ER, the ambulances began pulling up
His first job as coordinator of response was to clear the existing patients
Simultaneously, he began preparing capacity in the hospital's 42 operating
rooms and assembling 10 trauma teams
Within the next hour, 28 patients arrived. Many had severe blast wounds
to their lower bodies and partial amputations. Others had shrapnel wounds
- including a penetrating neck injury that threatened the patient's ability
to breathe - a head injury, blown ear drums, smoke inhalation, and burns
The most serious injuries were life-threatening. All were life-changing
"We had patients with... large pieces of their muscle and skin and
bone missing from the blast," says Walls. "Very bad fractures - the type
f Explc
ilosion at the
finish line. We are
I   OK but Boston is
I   a mess right now.
of fracture you can only get with a tremendous
amount of force."
Three more patients arrived subsequently. Nine
of the patients needed immediate surgery. Walls
had seven operating rooms and surgical teams ready
within minutes
At 3:25, in the thick of Brigham's response,
Alexa Walls texted her father. Unbeknownst to him,
24-year-old Alexa and her boyfriend had spent the
Patriot's Day holiday watching the marathon runners
cross the finish line. "Explosion at the finish line. We
are OK but Boston is a mess right now," Alexa texted
Walls was alarmed but relieved she had survived. Later
both his sons - one a medica
student in the city, the other
in New York - sent reassuring
messages of encouragement
His wife, Barbara, who's
a nurse, also texted to offer support
At the peak of the incident, Walls had another five trauma teams
gowned and ready. He knew the hospital could become a secondary target,
or another bomb could explode and send more casualties through their door
During a city-wide drill in 2010 dubbed Operation Falcon, Walls had
rehearsed that exact scenario: the explosion of a bomb during a mass
gathering. On the day the drill became reality, Walls moved amidst the
controlled chaos of medical personnel, paramedics and police officers
As he circulated, he reassured patients. "The most severely injured patients
were very traumatized by this, as you would expect," he says. "But also very
stoic. They were remarkably brave, given that they were ordinary people
to whom something truly extraordinary has happened."
The less injured were overcome with survivor's guilt. They worried they
were taking up space for those more seriously hurt. "They knew they were
not badly injured, and they had seen people's limbs come off, they had seen
all the blood," Walls says. "They were saying 'I'm so lucky' - because they
saw what happened to people who weren't lucky."
All told, Brigham and Women's treated 31 patients aged 16 to 65. Not a
single patient who made it to hospital alive died, Walls reports at press time
He attributes that to the
spectators who staunched
wounds and paramedics
who applied tourniquets
at the bomb site, as well
as to the emergency
physicians, nurses, trauma
surgeons, physicians'
assistants, housekeepers,
orderlies and other hospital staff. "That was the power of teamwork- rea
teamwork that actually works," he says. Walls' take-home message is the
responsibility every hospital owes the public to be ready by participating
in drills, no matter how complicated or disruptive
He is grappling with the memories of the nails and metal pellets his
surgeons dug out of patients' bodies. "We are always prepared to take
care of people who have suffered from some freak thing, a lightning strike
or an earthquake. But this was deliberate, and it didn't have to happen." D
Professor Stephen Toope, the 12th president of UBC, will leave his post
on June 30, 2014, to pursue academic and professional interests in
international law and international relations. Professor Toope was named
12th president and vice-chancellor of UBC on March 22, 2006, and began
his second five-year term in July 2011. Board chair Bill Levine lauded the
accomplishments of Toope during his tenure, and said an internationa
search for UBC's 13th president will begin shortly with the establishment
of a search committee that will include a broad representation from the
university community.
The genome of the mountain pine beetle - the insect that has
# devastated BC's lodgepole pine forests - has been decoded
by researchers at UBC and Canada's Michael Smith Genome
Sciences Centre
"We know a lot about what the beetles do," says
Christopher Keeling, a research associate in Professor Joerg
Bohlmann's lab at the Michael Smith Laboratories. "But
without the genome, we don't know exactly how they do it
Sequencing the mountain pine beetle genome provides new
information that can be used to help manage the epidemic in
the future."
It is only the second beetle genome ever sequenced and
revealed large variation among individuals of the species - which
could allow them to be more successful in new environments. Isolating the
genes is helping scientists understand how the beetle gets nutrients from
the tree and protects itself against the tree's defences
Family doctors receive little or no information about harmful effects of
medicines in the majority of drug promotions during visits by drug
company representatives, according to an international study
involving Canadian, US and French physicians.
Yet the same doctors indicated that they were likely
to start prescribing these drugs, consistent with previous
research that shows prescribing behaviour is influenced by
pharmaceutical promotion.
The study, which had doctors fill out questionnaires about
each promoted medicine following sales visits, shows that sales
representatives failed to provide any information about common
or serious side effects and the type of patients who should not use the
medicine in 59 per cent of the promotions. In Vancouver and Montreal, no
potential harms were mentioned for 66 per cent of promoted medicines
"Laws in all three countries require sales representatives to provide
information on harm as well as benefits," says lead author Barbara Mintzes,
an assistant professor in UBC's School of Popualtion and Public Health
"But no one is monitoring these visits and there are next to no sanctions for
misleading or inaccurate promotion."
UBC is to offer teacher education programs in the Dadaab Refugee Camps
in Kenya in order to increase access to education for resident children
and youth
The first refugee camps were established in Dadaab in the early 1990s
during the civil war in Somalia. Since then, Dadaab has become the
argest refugee complex to the world, providing shelter to more than
460,000 people.
With $4.5 million in funding from CIDA, UBC's Faculty of Education
has partnered with York University and three Kenyan institutions - Kenyatta
University, Moi University and the African Virtual University - to form the
Borderless Higher Education for Refugees project
The refugee community hopes students will perform better on Kenyan
national exams and have a better chance of leaving the refugee camp for
post-secondary education
Beginning August 2013, UBC and Kenya's Moi University will jointly offer
a two-year teacher education diploma program to volunteer secondary
school teachers in the camps
Most Dadaab teachers have only completed secondary school and have
no access to higher education. UBC and Moi University professors will be
traveling to Dadaab to deliver some courses in person, although some of
the curriculum could be offered online
A new UBC study reveals that North American service workers are more
likely to sabotage rude customers, while Chinese react by disengaging
from customer service altogether.
"Our research shows that culture plays a significant role in how frontline
workers deal with customer abuse," says Sauder School of Business
professor Daniel Skarlicki, who co-authored the study with former Sauder
PhD student Ruodan Shao
"In North America, employees tend to retaliate against offensive
customers - doing things like giving bad directions or serving cold food
In China, workers are more likely to reduce the general quality of service
they provide to all customers - nasty or nice."
"North Americans take a surgical approach to abuse, zeroing in on
individuals who mistreated them," says Skarlicki, noting that managers must
be mindful of these cultural differences when expanding operations across
the Pacific. "Chinese don't blame the transgressor. They blame the system -
the company or customers they serve."
Babies have a dark side under their cute exteriors, according to a UBC-led
study that finds infants as young as nine months embrace those who pick
on individuals who are different from them
The study involved having babies choose which food they preferred
graham crackers or green beans. The infants then watched a puppet show
in which one puppet demonstrated the same food preference as the infant,
while another exhibited the opposite preference
In the experiments, other puppets
harmed, helped or acted neutrally
towards the puppets with different
or similar food preferences
Prompted to pick their favourite
puppet, infants demonstrated a
strong preference for the puppets
that harmed the "dissimilar" puppet
and helped the "similar" one
The lead author of the study,
psychology professor Kiley Hamlin,
describes the behaviour as an early
form of the powerful, persistent
social biases that exist in most
adults, who favour individuals
who share their origins, languages,
appearances - even birthdays and
sports affiliations - over people
with whom they have fewer things
in common
UBC researchers have found
a new potential use for the
over-the-counter pain drug
Tylenol. Typically known to relieve
physical pain, the study suggests
the drug may also reduce the
psychological effects of fear and
anxiety over the human condition,
or existential dread
"Pain exists in many forms,
including the distress that people
feel when exposed to thoughts of
existential uncertainty and death,"
says lead author, psychology
professor Daniel Randies. "Our
study suggests these anxieties
may be processed as 'pain' by the
brain - but Tylenol seems to inhibit
the signal telling the brain that
something is wrong." D
As Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield floats
through the cosmos, a UBC psychology student
is working to keep him connected to Earth.
By Bos/7 Waugh, BA'04
Eva Kwan is part of the Canadian Space
Agency (CSA) team helping Hadfield meet
the psychological challenges of life in space.
In a long-distance relationship like few others,
Kwan serves as Hadfield's lifeline home from the
International Space Station (ISS), thanks to the
marvels of technology.
Kwan, who grew up with a passion for space and
psychology, performs a variety of jobs designed to
keep Hadfield happy and healthy. Her favourite task
is helping his family prepare care packages, which
are blasted into space on unmanned supply ships.
"Nothing is more surreal than touching
something you know is going into space," says
Kwan, 21, referring to the Canadian food specialties
she's helped send, including tubes of maple syrup
and salmon.
To keep the astronaut abreast of planetary
happenings, Kwan arranges regular web
conferences with family, friends, celebrities
and public figures. She also serves as Hadfield's
personal culture shopper, uploading news and his
favourite podcasts, movies, music and TV shows
to a personal website for his downtime.
Kwan works with a host of experts - doctors,
psychologists, nutritionists - as part of CSA's
Operational Space Medicine team, which has spent
years preparingfor Hadfield's mission. Theirgoal
is to help him withstand the mental and physical
challenges that come with five months in orbit: lack
of privacy, confinement to small spaces, isolation
from family and culture - even muscle and bone
loss from microgravity. Without training and
support, these effects can hinder performance
and eventually jeopardize a mission.
"We want Chris and his crew to feel connected,"
says Kwan, who proudly sports her UBC t-shirt
around Montreal and its suburbs, where CSA
headquarters reside. "Care packages, movies and
shows are important for fostering group relationships
and crew bonding," she says.
Kwan, who is researching crew cohe~'
Tomi, CSA's Human Behavio
says her co-op experience
has truly been out o
world. "I grew up lo\
space and psychology,
but wasn't aware space
psychology even existed,"
she says, crediting a (
UBC Arts co-op program
mentor, alumna Jeanie ' -:
for suggesting CSA.
who had worked at CSA,
was able to provide Kwan with a thorough overview
of the position and interview advice. "It showed me
the power of university alumni and networking. Now
I can work towards becoming the first Asian-Canadian
space psychologist."
As a young girl, Kwan idolized Canada's first female
astronaut Roberta Bondar, and still finds old space
articles she clipped at her parents' home in Vancouver.
"She symbolized how women can achieve anything
and is a personal hero of mine," she says.
Her relationship with psychology is equally personal.
"I saw a psychologist when I was younger, and I was
amazed there was someone whose job it was to make
me happy. I wanted to be that person for other kids
when I grew up."
Kwan will return to UBC in September, but is focusing
on seeingthe current mission through to Hadfield's
safe return to Earth, scheduled for May 14. Until then,
she will enjoy the personal growth and camaraderie -
and of course, the undeniable coolness of space. "I love
getting emails from Chris," she says. "Email is way
cooler when it comes from space!"
(First published in UBC Reports, April 3)
Watch Hadfield talk about eating in space.
Sign up online for weekly UBC Reports e-mails to receive the latest news, features, expert spotlights,
and campus videos.
Subscribe by May 24 and be entered to win a UBC weekend package (night at West Coast Suites,
brunch at Point Grill, passes to museums and gardens).
Dr. Weihong Song gets a front-row seat
at the Chinese People's Conference
By Brian Lin, MJ'01
The odds may be smaller than winning the
lottery, but Weihong Song's selection to the
12th National Committee of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)
is anything but chance
Song was one of only 39 invitees from
24 countries - chosen from more than 50 million
eligible overseas Chinese expats - to participate
in one of China's most anticipated politica
gatherings in recent history.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,"
recalls Song, who is UBC's Special Advisor
to President Stephen Toope on China
"Simply amazing."
Raised in the southwestern province of
Sichuan, the UBC psychiatry professor and
Canada Research Chair in Alzheimer's Disease
was one of the first Chinese nationals to go
to medical school after the infamous Cultura
Revolution - at age 14. He recently received
China's highest honour for foreign experts -
the Friendship Award and was elected Fellow
of the Canadian Academy of Health Science
The CPPCC, similar to the upper house or
senate in the western system, has approximately
2,200 members from various officially
sanctioned political parties, ethnic, religious
and other special interest groups. It was held last
month in conjunction with the National People's
Congress, which saw the election of the country's
president and premier - an occasion that has
only happened once before
"It was really a changing of the guard," says
Song, who witnessed the election and swearing
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alumni groups which have an agreement with and are entitled to group rates from the organizers. Contest ends on October 31, 2013. Draw on November 22,2013. One (1) prize to be
won. the winner may choose between a Lexus ES 300h hybrid (approximate MSRP of $58,902 which includes freight, pre-delivery inspection, fees and applicable taxes) or $60,000 in
Canadian funds. Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Complete contest rules available at melochemonnex.com/contest.
@/ The ID logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.
in of president Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang
There was a palpable atmosphere of change
in the air and the message from the top - reduce
pollution, minimize waste and close the gap
between the rich and the poor - was loud and
clear, says Song
"There were no elaborate flower
arrangements, no lavish banquets, no alcoho
served. We were given refillable water bottles
to use for the duration of the conference
"It felt like times have changed," says Song,
who emigrated from China 23 years ago
Seizing the rare opportunity, Song made an
appeal for investment in Alzheimer's research
"There are over 200 million people over the
age of 60 in China," Song told the CPPCC
"Research will not only benefit the Chinese
but people around the world." D
(First published in UBC Reports, April 3)
A crowd-pleasing piece
of controlled drama
Since its official opening on September 18, UBC's new
Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (designed by Montreal's
Saucier & Perrotte Architectes and Vancouver's Hughes
Condon Marler Architects) has picked up the following awards:
Ontario Association of Architects 2013 Design Excellence Award
Canadian Architect Award of Excellence
Architizer A+ People's Choice Award
Lifestyle magazine Wallpaper*'s 2013 Best Lab Award
ll- f
ii   it
Photo: Saucier + Perr
s/ Hughes Condon Marler Architects PRESIDENT'S COLUMN
' BflHIH
If 1 were a gambling man, these would be my numbers. Emblazoned on
the fronts of buses that carry more than half of all travellers to and from
UBC Vancouver now, they've transported us a good deal closer to the
sustainability jackpot. But what's at stake now is bigger than UBC, and
our lucky numbers can't get us where we need to go on their own steam.
Allow me to set the scene...
We're standing on the UBC-Broadway corridor, waiting for the
99 B-Line. Stretching from Commercial Drive westward to the
University, the corridor is BC's second-largest employment district,
providing more jobs than the next eight largest town centres combined.
That includes a quarter of Vancouver's tech sector employment and
40 per cent of the city's health care jobs. It's Western Canada's largest
health care precinct; millions of British Columbians visit VGH, UBC
Hospital and the BC Cancer Agency every year. And the economic
potential here is enormous. Linking health care, life sciences, the
technology industry, and UBC's research enterprise, the corridor has
the makings of a technology hub on par with Toronto's MaRS district,
San Diego's CONNECT, or London's Tech City. Already, BC's tech
industry is the second-fastest creator of new private-sector jobs
and growing more than twice as fast as the rest of our economy.
Here comes the 99. Better stand back: it's not slowing down.
The size of two regular buses, it's packed to capacity. The next
one's not stopping either. Or the next. We might be here a while.
The corridor is the busiest bus route in North America. Every day,
110,000 people travel it by transit, half of them from outside Vancouver.
And every day, 2,000 of them are passed by full buses. That's half
a million pass-ups a year. Factor in the additional 150,000 residents
and workers expected over the next 30 years and, well, you get the
picture: an exploding hub of innovation and creativity with the capacity
to attract talent, businesses, and venture capital to this region; home
base for our technology industry; the health sciences hubforthe
whole province; and the main artery connecting the city to UBC's
$10 billion economic clout, 150+ spin-off companies, research power
and knowledge capacity... all choked off for want of a way to get
from A to B.
The solution? Rail-based rapid transit running from Commercial
and Broadway to UBC, connecting the Expo, Millennium, Canada, and
Evergreen Lines to the corridor. Car traffic and bus capacity are maxed
out now, and the streetcar some are suggesting wouldn't be able to
handle the growth that's coming. On the day it opens, a UBC-Broadway
line will have more riders than the Canada Line. With the future of BC's
economy top of mind, the decision is as clear as the need. The numbers
speak for themselves, and whatever happens next, luck will have
nothing to do with it.
[ ThjJ UBC-E
Note: Area of job centres and educational institutions is proportional to the number of jobs or students
Source: Census 2006, YVR 2011 Economic Report, UBC Our Place in the Region 2009, f>"
(based on Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology 2010)
Vancouver's central business district, UBC, and
regional business centres and communities in
Metro Vancouver.
The corridor already has many of the attributes
CENTRES - proximity to a leading university,
nearby business and financial services, a
technically-skilled workforce and a high quality
of life. However, it is MISSING
Source: KPMG study released by the City of Vancouver
and UBC on February 28.
An analysis on UBC-Broadway Corridor
transportation usage has found that
40 PER CENT of UBC'S 60,000 DAILY
COMMUTERS start their trips in communities
outside of Vancouver, underscoring the regional—^
need to improve the corridor's STRUGGLING
Source: AMS Press Release, April 112013.
Alumni first
Jeff Todd
Executive Director, Alumni Association/AVP Alumni
You may have read in the previous edition of Tre/cthat your alumni
association has been undergoing a strategic re-positioning so as to
provide our alumni with the intellectual stimulation, the services and
the support networks they need as they make their way in the world.
As part of this initiative, Trek itself has been re-designed to
be more open, visually inviting and relevant to a broad alumni
audience. As a broad-based magazine, it needs to span all of our
290,000 alumni from those in their early 20s to those in their 90s
and beyond!
In tandem with the Trek re-design, our branded communications
materials as seen on the website, in brochures and emails have
been completely re-designed under the new name of alumni UBC.
In this fresh approach, alumni literally come first, representing the
Alumni Association's member-driven approach.
You will see the new look everywhere in our communications
from this point onwards. We have also adopted a tagline to be used
with the logo where appropriate: "It's yours." Of course this is a
translation of the university's Latin motto "Tuum est", but for alumni
it also means that this is your association. You don't belong to the
association, the association belongs to you.
And because alumni UBC is a self-governing alumni association
alongside the university, it means your voice as an alumnus can
and will be heard.
In line with the new strategic vision and brand, we look forward
to continuing the enhancement of communications, services and
events to better help you on your journey through life as UBC alumni.
It's yours!
The Nominating Committee is seeking recommendations from
the Alumni Association membership of alumni to be considered for
nomination to the Board of Directors. In particular, the committee
seeks candidates who have the skill sets and experience necessary
to effectively set strategic direction, develop appropriate policies,
and ensure the Alumni Association has the resources necessary to
effectively fulfill its mission and vision. Please send suggestions to
Brent Cameron, chair - Nominating Committee, c/o Sandra Girard,
manager. Board Relations, 6251 Cecil Green Road, Vancouver BC
V6T1Z1 email: sandra.girard@ubc.ca no later than June 15.
All change
Judy Rogers, bre'71
Chair, UBC Alumni Association
When I learned of UBC President Stephen Toope's decision
to step down from his post, effective June 2014,1 was both sorry
to hear it and proud to think of all that has been accomplished
under his presidency. UBC is losing a skilful and dedicated leader
whose voice commands respect and attention in the world of
post-secondary education. Over the past few years of his tenure,
the stature and influence of alumni has grown on campus. And
alumni will be on hand to help choose a new president overthe
coming months, with two seats on the search committee reserved
for representatives of alumni UBC, your association.
UBC is also losing a chancellor. By next summer, Sarah
Morgan-Silvester, BCom'82, will have completed two stellar terms
in the role. She is a tireless champion for the university and an
advocate, too, for the importance of a long-term commitment to
the active engagement of alumni. In fact the Alumni Association
board chair is charged with leading the committee that identifies
and submits a nominee forthe role of chancellor- after consultation
with the Council of Senates - to the Board of Governors.
UBC's new president and chancellor will need stamina, resolve
and vision to continue the sterling work of their predecessors.
Next year's new incumbents can rest assured that alumni UBC
will continue to provide an important source of wise and balanced
advice and support, especially with regard to the university's biggest
constituent group. Our board's work over the past years has been
geared toward exactly that.
This all bodes very well for the future of our university and its
place in our lives.
It's all about alumni making change in the world. Come learn about the
impact your Alumni Association is having and listen to a conversation
between Professor Stephen Toope and two alumni who have made an
impact in the community. If this is your first AGM there will be a special
AGM 101 seminar to help you make the most of your experience.
Thursday, September 26,2013, at the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel,
1128 W Hastings St, Vancouver.
4:00 - 5:00 - Pre-event seminar on AGM 101
5:00-5:45 -AGM Pre-reception
RSVP details will be on our website soon. For information, please contact
Christina Larson at Christina.larson a ubc.ca or 604 822-9977. DIN
With the rise of mobile technologies, there's an increasing
expectation for employees to be connected 24/7. How
do you make time for yourself, your relationships and
your family while keeping your career moving forward?
Following are five of many tips the audience picked up at an event held on March 26
- part of an ongoing series called The Next Step that offers advice on life and career
for more recent grads.
Moderator: Miyoung Lee, BA'OO - Host, CBC News Vancouver at 11pm
Panelists: Susanne Biro, BA'95 - Leadership Coach, Author and Workshop Facilitator;
Matt Corker, BCom'08 - International Operations Specialist, lululemon athletica;
Joanna Dawson, ID'11 - Associate, Miller Thomson
1. Learn how to say, "No." You can't do everything, so figure out your priorities for
this stage of your life and base your decisions on whether they make you happy.
Re-evaluate these priorities often.
2. Set some boundaries, but stay flexible. Busy days are unavoidable, but step
back and take a breath when things slow down. Learn to identify the warning
signs that indicate your life is becoming unbalanced and make a change.
If you have ideas about how to create a better balance in your career (for
example, telecommuting or flex hours), it rarely hurts to ask.
3. Take some time for yourself. The fact that you don't have a morning meeting or
plans for a weekend doesn't mean that you're free to make other commitments.
Communicate this to your friends and colleagues. They'll probably understand.
4. A cluttered mind (or inbox) leads to stress, so write things down. Stay organized
by making to-do lists, recording deadlines in a calendar with reminders, and
dealing with emails right away, even if it simply means addingthem your
calendar for follow-up.
5. Make friends at work. You spend lots of time with them already, but if
you actually want to see them when the work-day is over, isn't that saying
something? But after work, find other things to talk about. Nobody likes
"shop talk" on a Saturday night.
Suggested reading: Getting Things Done by David Allen
Event Podcast
Number of dollars it will
take to build a new centre for
engineering undergraduates
to replace the "Cheeze,"
which has fallen into a state
of disrepair.
A paper recently published
by UBC experts estimates
that China's foreign catch of
fish is 12 times larger than
the catch it reports to the
United Nation's Food and
Agriculture Organization.
In February UBC women's
volleyball won 25 games
in a row to clinch the CIS
championship title for the
6th year straight.
UBC's rank among the world's top
universities in the 2013 Times Higher
Education Reputation Rankings, one
of only three Canadian institutions to
make the top IOO list.
Pay rise awarded to UBC female faculty
members after 2007 and 2009 studies out
of UBC's Equity office both indicated that
women were being paid less than male
faculty members.
tasman sea
Tasman Sea meets Pacific Ocean.
Photo: James Blake
Martin Berka, PhD'05, experienced
onotony, claustrophobia and
When Martin Berka sat down for an interview with a New Zealand
radio station in December 2011, he didn't have to go far to find a chair.
He was aboard a 10.5-metre rowboat in the middle of the Tasman Sea
The interview, conducted over satellite radio, was the first substantia
contact he'd had with the outside world since setting off from Sydney
Harbour 18 days earlier, and he was excited to report good weather.
"The forecast for the next few days looks quite good," he told the
show's host. "Hopefully we don't have to make any more stopovers
with the weather beating us down, as we had in the first two weeks."
"Stopovers" was a nice way of putting it. The journey, a four-man
adventure dubbed the Team Gallagher Trans-Tasman Rowing Challenge,
had already suffered a series of delays before the first oar struck the water.
The initial idea was floated in 2006: put together a New Zealand team to
make an unassisted crossing of the Tasman Sea that separates Australia
and New Zealand. The team, consisting of Berka and fellow Kiwis James
Blake, Andrew McCowan, and Nigel Cherrie, planned to row from the
Harbour Bridge in Sydney to the Harbour Bridge in Auckland - a distance
of 2,500 kilometres - at just under three kilometres an hour. In other words,
walking speed
Berka, an assistant professor of economics at Victoria University of
Wellington in New Zealand, had grown up an avid outdoorsman and was
a member of the Varsity Outdoors Club while attending UBC. Although
he had experience rowing crew in New Zealand, he'd never rowed on the
open ocean, and was eager to push the boundaries of what is possible,
to know what it was like for the early explorers, to see if he was up to it,
and to enjoy the adventure
Berka had joined the team in 2008, getting to know his crewmates over
the years it took to plan the trip. The goal was to raise funds, in collaboration
with the Sydney Aquarium, to construct an artificial reef off Borneo
Stressors ranging from ocean acidification to rising sea temperatures
have been threatening the coral reefs for decades; scientists estimate
10 per cent of the world's reefs are now dead, and another 60 per cent
threatened, a number expected to rise to 90 per cent over the next 20 years
Team Gallagher hoped to raise enough funds to link the Borneo reef to an
educational campaign in New Zealand schools, allowing each school to
"own" a single coral and monitor its growth through a web-based interface
After four years of fundraising, another year of planning, and finally a
three-week storm delay, the team set off on November 27, 2011, powering
out of Sydney Harbour at a relatively supersonic three knots (about
five-and-a-half kilometres per hour). The only other four-person row
team to make this trip took 31 days, but Team Gallagher hoped to do it
in three weeks
Then came the stopovers
A 10-metre long, two-metre wide boat is confining enough with four
grown men. Add to that more than 400 kilos of food, water, and equipment,
and it becomes claustrophobic, even on the wide-open ocean. But when the FEATURE    •
tasman sea
2,500KM dis^c!
JOOg museli
O fruit sticks
O museli bars
lQlJg nuts
J-QOg nuts & raisins
jUg dried fruit
^(JUgfreeze-dried meal
O Ug gingerbread cookies
q1 rehydration drinks
jUg chocolate
jUg gummy bears
jUg beef jerky
The team bought survival suits
the day before departure.
Photo: Stephanie McEwan
Departed: November 27, 2011
seas swell to the size of a two-storey building, and the
headwind pushes back so hard that you are essentially
rowing in place, it's time to deploy the sea anchor - an
underwater parachute that holds the boat in a relatively
fixed position - and cuddle with your buddy in a cabin
the size of a coffin
This was where the team found themselves only
three days out, when a churning sea and 60-knot winds
forced them to retreat to the two tiny holds for four
straight days. "The first big storm was hard because
kept wondering what would happen ifthe boat did not
hold up structurally," Berka later said from solid ground
in New Zealand. "It was also my first time on high seas,
and I remember thinking that the sensation of riding
down big waves (while stationary on a sea anchor) felt
ike falling down an elevator shaft. I recall clearly being
quite resigned to my destiny after that."
On the fifth day the weather broke, and the foursome
was eager to jump back on the oars, thrilled to find
themselves cruising at 120 kilometres a day. The men
rowed in pairs, day and night, in one and a half hour
shifts. In their off-time they prepared freeze-dried
meals by pouring boiling water into a pouch - that was
until their stove broke, and they had to make do with
ukewarm food and rations of muesli bars, nuts, raisins,
and sweets. Non-rowing duties - from checking the
global positioning system to running the desalination
machine for their drinking water - took only about
two hours a day, and the rest of their time was spent
snatching whatever sleep could be had before the next
turn at the oars
A month on the open ocean coupled with a drastically
altered sleep schedule is a recipe for surrealism. One
night Berka enjoyed a full moon, and the next it had
Arrived: January 20, 2012
disappeared completely, forcing him to question his
sanity before realizing he was witnessing a lunar eclipse
On one occasion, while surfing some large waves, he
rowed past a loaf of French bread. He spent his time on
the oars taking in what wildlife the ocean had to offer,
consisting mostly of albatrosses and other birds. On the
rare occasions when the seas were calm, he saw basking
sharks, a minke whale, and millions of orange jellyfish
flowing with the currents, lighting up a bioluminescent
sea. His mind wandered to the life he put on hold,
missing his family, his friends, his work, and the lush
greenery of solid land
It was during the respite from the initial storm - on
December 15 - that Berka had his chat with the radio
station. "Hopefully we'll be home around just after
Christmas," he told them. "If we're lucky."
They were not. A low pressure system was
approaching, and as the current pushed them north,
strong winds began to push them west, back toward
Australia. The meteorologist tracking their trip from
a small town near Sydney - a man nicknamed "Clouds,"
who also forecasts weather for the America's Cup - sent
them unambiguous satellite texts such as "This is the
worst weather pattern I have ever seen on the Tasman,"
and "Must row south." Although they skirted the worst
of the storm, by Christmas Eve they had to return to
their cabins to hunker down, and it was not until January
3 that they emerged from their crypts to row again
Before setting off, Berka had prepared himself
physically, expecting the challenge to be equal part mind
and body. "But in fact," he says, "the hardest part, by
a huge margin, was the mental part. The helplessness,
the endless waiting, the uncertainty, the boredom,
the longing. The actual rowing was hard, but it was
The team's rowboat
let res long
^s wide.
a reward, as we were moving towards our target. But the lack of contro
is nearly complete, and it was very new to me. You are very much at the
mercy of the elements, and we had chosen a particularly bad year."
To make matters worse, Berka had somehow acquired an infection
in his foot, which had grown to the size of a tennis ball. Once a day he
had to inject himself in the thigh with a four-centimetre needle, timing
his aim for the brief moments of calm that articulated the pounding surf.
"I remember thinking how funny the syringe with the needle in my leg
looked, swinging around a bit in waves," he wrote in a later summary
of the trip. "It was also not easy to stay relaxed as required (try injecting
a contracted muscle) when using every other muscle to brace yourself
steady in a cabin that is tossed around in waves."
On January 16, 2012 - after 51 days at sea - the team rowed into The
Bay of Islands near New Zealand's northern tip, exhausted but healthy.
Berka had lost thirteen kilograms during the voyage, confirming his theory
about how rowers train for such an arduous journey: Get fat before you
go, and the first week will get you fit. Berka left the boat, at this point, to
join his fiancee, who had to leave unexpectedly and permanently for Japan
shortly thereafter. The rest of the team augmented their now-meagre food
supplies and spent another three days rowing to Auckland
"I now realize how egoistic these types of trips are," Berka admits in
hindsight. "Unless you have no friends or family, risking your life in this
way exposes all those who care for you to a large amount of unnecessary
emotional stress. Especially when things don't go well. And, on the flipside,
you learn how much you depend on the caring of and the interaction with
other people, because you are very alone in the middle of the sea. So
would recommend that everyone who wants to do this first checks with
themselves whether it isn't just a big ego trip. Irrespective of the answer,
you will come back more humble." D
For more information about the row.
CORAL reef:
Project Seahorse is a marine conservation organization co-foun
and directed by UBC's Amanda Vincent. One of the organization's
current projects is a collaboration with the International league of
Conservation Photographers to raise awareness of the plight of the
Danajon Bank coral reef in the Philippines.
Danajon Bank is one of only six double-barrier coral reefs in
world, and one of the most important marine ecosystems in th
entire Pacific Ocean. Species found all over the Pacific are thought
to have first evolved there. Unfortunately, the reef faces many thre
including destructive fishing practices (blast fishing with explt
for example), as well as overdevelopment, pollution, and climate
change. It is home to at least 200 threatened animals, such as the
elusive Tiger-tail seahorse.
The photographs from the expedition will be staged as educatio
photo exhibits at aquariums in Chicago, London, Hong Kong, Manil
and around the world. The result will be a powerful photographic le
to help conservationists in the Philippines and around the world pu
for increased protections.
Some reasons to be concerned at the loss of coral reefs around the wor
500 mil.
Number of people who live near coral reefs and
depend on them forfood, livelihoods, and well-being.
Value, in US dollars, of coastline protection, tourism,
and food provided by coral reefs every year.
Average number of lives saved per coastal village
during India's 1999 "supercyclone," thanks to the
wave-dampening effects of mangroves and coastal
marine habitats.
Proportion of the world's fisheries yields that come
from waters less than 200 m deep.
Proportion of coral reefs that have been degraded
or destroyed globally.
Number of marine reserves in the world, for a total
of 4.2 million square kilometres, as of 2010.
Proportion of our oceans protected by
marine reserves.
-I-OO km   Length of Danajon Bank. The total area of the reef
is 234,950 sq hectares.
Number of threatened species that depend on
Danajon Bankfor their survival.
Number of marine protected areas established on
Danajon Bank by Project Seahorse in collaboration
with local communities.
(source: Project Seahorse)
Photo taken in 2004 in Silver Point, Grand Bahama Island.
Photo: Ning Ning Gong/Guylian Seahorses of the World COVER   •    mechanical art
Jonathan Tippett, BASc'9c,
is building a wearable
walking machine.
Photo: Albert Normandin
Imagine this: a three-ton steel exoskeleton
crouching in the Nevada desert like
a behemoth rabbit without a head.
It rises and begins loping across the sand.
With each stride, the creature covers four-
and-a-half metres and gains speed until
it is moving as fast as a man at full sprint.
Strapped inside the exoskeleton, dwarfed by his massive quadrupedal
creation, is Jonathan Tippett, BASc'99. As he moves his arms, the
creature's two outside legs lunge forward. When he kicks his legs,
the two inside legs move. As Tippett pushes his limbs with more force,
the creature responds, magnifying each human motion into a wild,
mechanical romping gait perfectly suited to the scale of the Black Rock
Desert, a 2,600 square-kilometre expanse. At least this is Tippett's
fantasy. He hopes to finish and unveil his creature - better described as
a wearable walking machine called Prosthesis - at the Burning Man festival
in Black Rock City in 2014.
Black Rock City is a horseshoe-shaped city that springs up every August
for just one week in the dry lake bed of the Black Rock Desert in northern
Nevada, about 175 kilometres north of Reno. The temporary city - the
fifth largest in Nevada for the week it exists - is home to the Burning Man
festival, a wild, hallucinatory art and music bacchanalia dedicated to radical
self-expression as well as radical communal participation. Burning Man is
many things. It is a place that tests self-sufficiency, requiring participants COVER    •
mechanical art
to provide for their own basic needs in a desert heat that routinely peaks at
over 38°C, and clean up their camp a week later leaving no trace behind. It is
a place for experimentation on a massive scale, with 50,000 people arriving
each year (attendance was capped in 2011) with the mandate to shed
conventions, participate, celebrate, and express themselves in any and every
conceivable way. It is also an insanely large gallery space. The crescent of
Black Rock City arcs around a 24 metre-tall wooden effigy known as "The
Man," which is set aflame as the culmination of the festival. Dotted around
The Man and stretching beyond the city's arc into the desert beyond are
the sort of astounding art installations and interactive spectacles that could
only be inspired by the creative spirit of Burning Man and the vastness of
the playa. "So much of what makes art worth making is having somewhere
to exhibit it," Tippett explains. Intended to stand more than five metres tall,
Prosthesis is certainly designed for big spaces
Prosthesis is one several projects currently underway in the laboratory
of eatART, a radical art collective based in Vancouver. The acronym
stands for Energy Awareness Through ART, and their mandate is simple
to foster large-scale technically-sophisticated art that raises questions
about the social and environmental impact of energy use. Yet eatART is
anything but predictable. Take, for example, the mechanical love story at
its origins: in 2007 the Mondo Spider, a 725-kilogram walking spider, and
Daisy, a three-and-a-half ton solar power bicycle fell in love at Burning Man
and begat eatART. In other words, Tippett, Charlie Brinson, Leigh Christie
and Ryan Johnston (co-creators of Mondo Spider) met Rob Cunningham
(caretaker of Daisy) through their shared love of mechanical art and Burning
Man. But their sense of wild adventure had a purpose: they wanted to start
a charitable organization that would promote energy awareness but would
not necessarily demonstrate practical implementations of new technology
or be conventional in its ways of reaching the public. "We wanted to
capture audiences that would
otherwise glaze over if you said
'sustainability.'" Instead they would
earn international attention through
art - huge-scale, highly-engineered
kinetic art
Located on the Great Northern
Way Campus, nestled between
the Centre for Digital Media and
the train tracks, the eatART lab
Left, Mondo Spicier: The world's first
zero-emission walking machine has
eight legs and weighs 725 kilograms.
It runs on an 48V Lithium Iron
Phosphate battery pack, with
90Ahr capacity.
Right, Prosthesis: Five metres tall,
three tons, four legs. It is powered by
a modular, expandable hybrid-electric
power plant.
is described by the artists as "an impossible dream factory," and is filled
with improbably large mechanical creations. To get into the lab, you have
to squeeze by Mondo Spider, about the size of a small car, which lurks
outside the main doors. In the back corner on a raised platform sits a
section of Brinson's latest project, Titanoboa, a 15-metre electro-mechanica
reincarnation of a monstrous primordial snake that slithers with an eerie
verisimilitude. (The snake was rendered extinct 60 million years ago by
climate change.) In the middle of the space is the only modest-sized project
in the lab, gBikes: bicycles retrofitted with hub motors and capable of
generating enough electricity to power a laptop. The Alpha Leg, a prototype
of one of Prosthesis' four legs, dominates an entire side of the lab, and it is
only two thirds of the planned size
The artists who work in the lab are mostly engineers with the highly
sophisticated technical knowledge required to design, model, and build
massive robotics. Tippett graduated from UBC with
a mechanical engineering degree in 1999. Brinson
has a bachelor's in engineering physics (2004) and
a master's in mechanical engineering (2006), both
from UBC. For Tippett, large moving machinery lends
itself to a richer discussion about energy use than,
say, a laser lightshow. "Once you get into large, heavy
things moving, you have the inevitable exchange of
energy - kinetic energy, stored energy, electrical energy,
hydraulic energy, pneumatic energy. With large things
moving, you also have issues of efficiency, which you
wouldn't get with a lightshow. Lightshows are dynamic
and engaging but they don't have as many forms of
energy to play with as physical systems." Absurdly large moving parts
catch the eye and easily spark conversation about energy awareness and
our relationships with technology, and eatART members are involved in
educational outreach and mentorship. In 2009, Tippett began sponsoring
capstone programs with UBC's mechanical engineering and engineering
physics programs. Brinson also has teams of engineering students working
on various aspects of Titanoboa. "Our involvement with students at UBC
and SFU has become a hugely rewarding part of the projects," he says
"Students get involved with all parts of the process. In fact a couple of the
team's core members came as students and then continued on." Mondo
Spider and Titanoboa also make regular appearances at festivals and science
events geared towards getting kids excited about science and engineering
But for all the technology and energy education involved, eatART has
the aura of wild adventure, a whiff of Mad Hatter mechanical genius that
even took the organisers of Burning Man by surprise when Mondo Spider
first scuttled across the sand. Burning Man has long been a showcase
for absurdly large-scale mobile art. But unlike most of the art cars that
roam the playa, the spider is not simply art mounted on a pre-existing
vehicle. The eight-legged electro-mechanical machine is its own creature
The organizers were unsure whether to categorize it as art installation or
mutant vehicle - each gets a separate license to exist on the playa. "It was
a real feather in our cap to confuse the organisers of Burning Man," Tippett
recalls. "It's a pretty big achievement to bring something there that they
haven't seen before."
Eight years on, no one has ever seen anything like Prosthesis before
Tippett's first sketches date back to 2005. But then along came the spider
(Tippett was "Team Leg" leader) and building the eatART Foundation
In 2008 he scaled back his work as a biomedical engineer designing
vascular implants to act as Lab Chief for the organization. It was not until
2012 that he stepped down from this position to devote himself to Prosthesis
What makes Prosthesis unique is not its vast size - although size is crucia
to its essence - but how it moves. Prosthesis is not the sort of machine that
a human manoeuvres remotely like a radio-controlled aircraft. It has no
computerized control system, no remote, and no autonomy to move by
itself, which is why Tippett calls Prosthesistbe Anti-Robot. With the aim of
reuniting humans with machines in the ancient quest of physical mastery
and skill, Prosthesis only moves when a human climbs inside, straps himself
into a five point harness, attaches hydraulic cylinders to his arms and legs,
and begins "walking" four metres above ground. The harder the pilot works
- his movements will be somewhat like a gorilla's lope - the faster Prosthesis
moves. Likewise, the exoskeleton relays positional and force feedback
to the pilot so that he knows exactly how hard each foot hits the ground
But the engineering required to fine tune the suspension, hydraulics, and
communication between man and machine are only half of the project
Tippett then has to fasten himself to three tons of steel and learn to walk,
which even he admits will be terrifying. All four legs move independently,
which means he must learn to keep the legs in sync and to keep
the machine stable particularly over uneven ground, and
since Prosthesis' limbs will mostly be under or behind
the pilot, he will be operating the machine mostly
by feel alone
To move a machine as if it were an extension of
your own limbs will be a completely unprecedented
experience and will require an extraordinary amount
of coordination. There will be hundreds of training
hours before Tippett and his machine are working
together seamlessly, but when at last Prosthesis is finally
let loose in the Black Rock Desert, "in its wild place," that
will be a moment of "such glory," he says, "that I can't even
describe it. That will be my Holy Grail moment." D
Video and photos
Photo: Albert
Photo: Albert Normandin FEATURE   •    high-altitude research
On their trek to the lab, located
at an altitude of more than
5,000 metres, the group
frequently crossed small narrow
bridges, which bounced and swung
hundreds of metres above valleys.
Photo: Nia Lewis
A group of international researchers planned
collaborate on experiments investigating the
ects of oxygen deprivation. But they'd have
et to the laboratory first - located more than
metres above sea level.
Headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and laboured
breathing are just a few of the symptoms Nia Lewis
experienced during a research trip in The Himalayas
last year. But physical discomfort aside, the 27-year-old
UBC Okanagan researcher says the trip was a welcome
break from her usual office-bound work
"You can sit at a desk and read textbooks and
journal articles to learn what happens in the body,"
says the post-doctoral fellow, who was in Nepal to
study the effects of oxygen deprivation on blood flow
through the brain and vital organs, "but [being at high
altitude] was a different learning experience because
actually physically felt the changes and I knew what
was happening and why. It was a good learning too
for me."
Lewis was one of 25 international researchers who
trekked up Mount Everest to the Ev-K2-CNR Pyramid
Laboratory, located at an altitude of 5,050 metres
Her UBC supervisor, Professor Philip Ainslie, was lead
investigator on a planned 12 to 15 experiments for which
the researchers would double as subjects. Some of the
studies also involved local people, in a ground-breaking
attempt to look at how humans born at altitude adapt
to oxygen deprivation
Ainslie is Canada Research Chair in Cerebrovascular
Function in Health and Disease and is based in the
School of Health and Exercise Sciences. This was his
seventh trip to the Himalayas, and he has built up a
network of local people who contribute to the research
He calls this trip an example of "high-risk, high-reward
science" - the costs reached about $200,000, and
several PhD and post-doc projects hung in the balance
"Every time things evolve because you have better
technology and better people to work with," he says
"So this was the pinnacle in terms of more advanced
equipment and more aggressive experiments."
The symptoms that Lewis and her colleagues
developed at high altitudes were not seriously
The Pyramid Lab is located more than halfway up the
Khumbu Valley nearthe Mount Everest base camp.
(UBC photo)
threatening, but are similar to those experienced by people suffering
from sleep apnea, chronic heart and respiratory illnesses, and strokes
The scientists hope to adapt their experiment results for further clinica
studies with the goal of devising new methods of prevention and treatment
Some studies also looked at the causes of sleep apnea, a condition that
routinely affects both visitors and high-altitude residents
Members of the research team came from universities in the US,
New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the Netherlands. They all travelled to
Kelowna in the early months of 2012 for baseline testing, and met up again
at the end of April in Kathmandu, where they spent six days. Because of
the amount of lab equipment they brought on their flights, their persona
uggage was limited, and they spent time buying generators, medica
supplies, drugs, hiking boots and clothing. Lewis had never travelled
to a developing nation before. "It was a bit of an eye-opener," she says
"The rubbish on the side of the road, in the river, chickens on the roof of
cars, and the bartering. They'll begin with a price four times what it's worth
wasn't very good at that."
The group then flew from Kathmandu to Lukla. The short runway heads
uphill straight towards the mountain. Old and unregulated aircraft and
unpredictable weather make it one of the unsafest flights in the world
"Basically you just hope for the best," says Lewis, recalling the landing
"It's a sheer drop. We were pretty nervous."
Lukla is at 2,860 metres, and from there they began their trek. They
had about 20 Sherpas and 15 yaks carrying all their equipment. After six
hours of walking, they stayed at a teahouse. The accommodations were
typically heated with a fire, which was also used for cooking, and yak dung
\ ■_
served as fuel. "So it stinks and it's quite smoky," says Lewis, acknowledging
the threat of respiratory disease for people constantly breathing in the
smoke. Everywhere they stayed, the researchers were met with hospitality.
The Nepalese standard diet is rice and lentils, but they would offer guests
a variety of foods: porridge or muesli at breakfast, pasta or rice for lunch
The higher the group climbed on the eight-day trek, the harder it became
The terrain started out as lush, green and tropical, and quickly became very
rocky. They frequently crossed small narrow bridges, which bounced and
swung hundreds of metres above valleys. Lewis was feeling short of breath,
but fortunate not to have the stomach problems others experienced
At two towns on the way, two PhD students used a vascular ultrasound to
scan the vessels in subjects' necks and measure the blood flow. Throughout
the trek, they took medications to help reduce Acute Mountain Sickness,
but had to stop once they arrived at the lab so the drugs didn't interfere with
the studies. Some developed chest colds or infections from inhaling the
dust along the path. The team included two medical doctors, who helped
administer medications
Lewis found the last day of the trek the most difficult. "We started
at 4,000 metres, and it was a big climb and very rocky. You're kind of
concentrating on where you're stepping and it's loose gravel, and I fell down
quite a few times. It was a few steps, stop, catch your breath," she recalls
'.<+ She kept an eye on her heart rate monitor, which reached 170 beats per
minute. "My maximum heart rate would be approximately 190, so I was
working pretty hard. At times I was, like, 'I just want to get there now!'"
The Pyramid Laboratory is located more than halfway up the Khumbu
Valley near Mount Everest base camp. It is surrounded by stunning
mountains and glaciers, and daytime temperatures hover around zero
A brick building nearby was the sleeping quarters
But once they arrived, there was no time to rest or enjoy the scenery.
Lewis was research coordinator, managing the complex logistics of many
studies over their three-week stay. The laboratory had solar panels for all
electricity and heat, and there was sometimes Internet access, but the
remote location presented several challenges. Their blood gas analyzer
machine, (which gives various measurements including oxygen and carbon
dioxide in blood) froze, so they put it in a room used as a sauna to defrost
it. Far worse, one undergraduate developed appendicitis and had to be
flown by helicopter to a hospital in Kathmandu
One of the studies examined the causes of sleep apnea, a condition
in which a person slows or stops breathing during sleep. Lewis and her
colleagues would take their turns sleeping in the Pyramid, which was not
heated, covered in wires hooked up to research equipment. The disorder,
which Lewis experienced at altitude, also added to her daily fatigue. "We
had our sleeping bags and extra blankets, but you could see your breath,"
she says, with her tendency to downplay discomfort. "But we all eventually
fell to sleep."
Her own study looked at how stiff vessels become at high altitude
She is now comparing her colleagues' results with those taken from the
The researchers doubled as subjects in a series of
experiments to explore the effects of oxygen deprivation.
(UBC photo)
Fifteen yaks helped carry
the group's significant
amount of equipment.
Photo: Nia Lewis
participating local people. "Our blood vessels
get a lot stiffer at high altitude," she says, "so we
become more like the Sherpas, which was quite
a cool finding. I'm not sure what this means yet
The body adapts very quickly and whether this
change that I've seen is a positive or a negative
finding is for future work."
Lewis found the trip down the mountain
much easier than going up, although harder on
the knees. "You can just feel a difference in the
air and you can feel it's less challenging," she
says. "It's quite strange, we were all high off
oxygen." One more complication was that planes
weren't flying from Lukla to Kathmandu due to
the weather. Ainslie was able to find helicopters
to take them instead
Some of the studies - such as a seven-hour
process involving sampling blood from the
subject's vessels going to and from the brain,
followed by a maximum exercise test - were
physically taxing. But Ainslie was very pleased
with the outcomes. "It was entirely successful in
that normally we plan 12-15 experiments, hoping
that even if half of them work out we get some
great data. On this trip everything worked out."
Families of Sherpas that he has known for
a decade participated in several studies, and
members of the team trained one 28-year-old
guide called Nema to help collect data. The
researchers developed friendships with many
of the locals, and maintained bonds through
Facebook. One study tested children born at
altitude but now living in Kathmandu, to see
how lack of oxygen affects the development
of the lungs and heart. Ainslie has planned
another research trip, and hopes also to bring
Nepalese subjects to Canada to test them at
sea level. "The downside to commercialism in
all these countries is that Sherpas [are leaving
their high-altitude homes] because they make
more money working in construction in Japan,"
he says. "So I really think that if we don't do
these experiments in the next decade then we'll
lose the opportunity to look at natural selection
and adaptation at high altitude."
Fully recovering from the trip took Lewis
three months. She felt disoriented - the effect
of oxygen deprivation - and once got stuck
counting to ten. "Now I look back on it and go,
'Oh my gosh I can't believe I did that. That was
crazy!'" She says. "My body took a lot of stress
It was hard work, but really worth it." D
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www.houseandhomedoctor.com FEATURE    •
narrative medicine
»iti4 fi :i u
They say medicine is as much an art as a science.
Yvette Lu, MD'04, is a family physician who uses
her writing and acting skills to teach medical students
the importance of listening and compassion.
Yvette Lu performs dramatic
readings of her play about
living with chronic illness.
Yvette's Story
Google "Dr. Yvette Lu British Columbia" and in 0.38 seconds you'll get her
family practice, her RateMDs.com rankings, Linkedln profile, Wikipedia
entry, personal website, and of course her Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
profile. Wait... her what?
Three days a week, she's mild-mannered Dr. Lu, family physician in
the Surrey-based practice she shares with her mom. Diminutive and
soft-spoken, Lu exudes a gentleness and warmth that any patient would
respond to, and is as attentive and she is articulate. But ask about that
"interest in acting and performance" listed on her CV below her medica
experience and awards, and she'll transform before your eyes. She has
a superpower, you see
Actor, director, producer, composer... Lu's artistic accomplishments are
as extensive as her medical ones. Food for the Gods (Vancouver Asian Film
Festival) and Alive and Kicking (Near Enemy Film Festival award winner)
are titles you might recognize. She has even been cast as (you guessed it)
a doctor.
It's generally understood that there is no more rigorous undergraduate
training than that of medical school, and few fields more difficult to break
into than that of acting. Lu has succeeded at both. How?
"In medicine I need to listen well, to communicate, to have empathy
and compassion," says Lu. "And all those things are so important in acting
as well. Being an actor makes me a better doctor and a better person."
Her dual professions have woven themselves through the whole of her
life. Lu grew up immersed in books and listening to her grandmother's
traditional Chinese stories. Active in theatre every summer during
medical school at UBC, Lu chose to write her final research paper as
a play. Stories from the Closet: A Play About Living with Chronic Illness is
described on Lu's website as "a young woman's fantastical odyssey
into the world of hospitals, doctors, and illness." The young woman is a
composite of three female subjects Lu interviewed, and the play is a series
of 10 monologues delivered by a solo performer. Nine years on, Lu is still
regularly asked to perform it for doctors, medical students, and patients
and their families, because it gives voice to a silent story that is becoming
ever more prevalent
Fifty percent of the North American population is dealing with at least
one chronic illness. Ambiguity about everything from onset and cause to
impact and treatment can lead to a profound loss of one's sense of self.
Lu found through her research that "coming out" as a person with illness
mirrors coming out as a queer person in a surprising number of ways, and
her title reflects that. The subtitle is equally significant. Living - especially
iving well - with a chronic illness requires that a person create a new
meaning for their life. Human beings create and ascribe meaning by telling
stories, and it was out of recognition of the power of storytelling to create
meaning from illness that the field of narrative medicine emerged
The Doctor's Story
"On average, physicians interrupt patients within eighteen seconds of
when they begin telling their story." So writes Jerome Groopman in How
Doctors Think, the book Yvette Lu is reading at the time of her conversation
with Trek. Recanati chair of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Groopman
quotes a colleague as saying, "I believe that technology... has taken us away
from the patient's story. And once you remove yourself from the patient's
story, you no longer are truly a doctor."
Strong words. They are both commentary on, and cry for help from,
today's medical professionals in response to unsustainable pressures
Doctors have long recognized that the practice of medicine is as much
art as science, and now, in an elegant backlash against the commodifying
effects of modern health care, doctors and medical schools are returning
to story.
Dr. Rita Charon is a physician, author, and literary scholar, and the founder
and executive director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia
University. She coined the term narrative medicine in 2001 and defines
it as "medicine practiced by someone who knows what to do with stories."
Still in its infancy, narrative medicine boasts few hard studies that
demonstrate its efficacy as either a diagnostic or healing tool. But there
is an implicit understanding that it is offering something necessary: over
50 per cent of North American medical schools now include some form
of narrative medicine training in their curricula
UBC introduces medical students to narrative medicine in their first year
by inviting Lu to speak to the Doctor, Patient and Society class. Lu steps
up to the podium, no notes in her hands, no lecture to give, and begins
to perform Stories from the Closet
The Student's Story
"It was amazing," says Alvin Ip of Yu's performance. Ip is a first-year medica
student at UBC and a volunteer with the Richmond Centre for Disability.
"At the end, I felt like I knew someone inside and out... her feelings, ideas,
needs, and expectations. [It] reminded me of how important it is to not only
treat the disease, but also comfort... the patient."
Fellow first year Michelle Chiu agrees. A volunteer with Canuck Place
Children's Hospice, Chiu says, "Yvette's play gave us a glimpse into the
impact of chronic illness [and] provided me with valuable insights that I will
bring to my patients." She adds that "studies have shown a marked decrease
in empathy as students progress [in] their training. I believe that [narrative
medicine] techniques are effective in countering this."
A quick Internet search for "medical student empathy decline" produces
210,000 results. Chiu isn't kidding. Explanations include medical schools'
emphasis on clinical detachment and on technology; a lack of empathetic
role models; an encouragement of elitism; and institutional focus on
research over teaching
And then there's the curriculum itself. At UBC, it includes 12 medicine-
based courses in the first two years as well as five practice-focused courses
each year; 10 specialty rotations in third year; and a year of clinical practice
Students who find stress more prohibitive than motivating may shut down
emotionally in order to cope
In a 2004 New York Times article entitled "The Writing Cure," Melanie
Thernstrom says, "Medical students are so flooded by feelings they have
no time to examine or process that a significant proportion are thought
to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder."
What narrative medicine allows is that opportunity for examination
and processing. Medical schools that have incorporated its techniques
into their curricula might offer opportunities for students to analyze
iterature; to write a book about a patient and his illness over the course of
a year; or to keep "parallel charts," records of their own feelings about and
responses to their patients. It is, as Jerome Groopman at Harvard says, the
responsibility of medical schools to develop in young physicians "the ability
to bear their patients' suffering."
The Patient's Story
Hard. It's almost a funny question. I don't even know where to begin.
It's hard when you don't know what's going on... when you know something's
wrong but nobody believes you... And then it's hard when they do find something.
Then you have to face it. And even though at that point you don't really know
what you're in for yet, you know something has changed and that now you're sick.
It's grief. I'm being dramatic, I know, but it feels like a part of me died before it had
a chance to live. I had a plan and then - [makes a noise like a bomb exploding]...
It gets better. Eventually, you put the pieces back together into something new.
It's not what it was before, but it works, and it may even be better than what it
was. But it doesn't go away*
Yvette Lu allows time after each public performance for people to speak
with her - and they do. "People have said to me, 'this is my life. This is
exactly how it feels,'" she says. "When I hear that, it reminds me that this
is really important."
Asked about the reactions of her research subjects, the three women
on whose experiences she based the play, Lu replies, "They haven't seen
it!" She tries to explain: "Part of [why I wrote] it is for people who are ill
and really isolated. Part is for family and friends so they know what their
oved one is going through. And part is for doctors. But for people who
are very much struggling, it might not be the right time to see it."
The patient doesn't need to see the play; she's living it. She needs you
to see the play. To the extent that telling one's story may be healing, it is
so because someone else is willing to bear witness to it in all of its ungainly,
painful detail. There are times in our lives when we are able to bear witness
to our own suffering; there are other, overwhelming times when we require
the grace of another who is prepared to fulfill that role. Narrative medicine
is about preparing young doctors to do so for their patients
"You don't just use stories and you don't just use science," Lu says
of narrative medicine. "It's how they work together, how they interface
People in all areas are realizing you have to look at the interface. That's
where the exciting things are happening! We come from a storytelling
culture, and stories can only help us." D
* From Stories from the Closet (copyright Yvette Lu)
Listen to Yvette reading an excerpt from her play. Lowest Mortgage Rates in History
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Honorary event chair, The Rt. Hon. John N. Turner, PC, CC, QC, BA'49, LLD'94,
cordially invites you to the seventh annual Great Trekker Luncheon in
Toronto, featuring Barbara Anderson, BSc'78, Chief Financial Officer TORONTO
2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee. What does it take
to deliver a major event on time and on budget? How do we prepare our cities
for such large international gatherings? What are the anticipated social,
cultural and economic benefits for Toronto? What are the major challenges
being faced? Join us as she provides insight into this exciting time leading up
to TORONTO 2015.
DAYS 2013
JULY 9 -11,2013 • KELOWNA, BC
6 FEATURE   •   Charlie Crane
A blind person can study by listening, a deaf person
can learn by seeing, but what of the person who is both
deaf and blind? This is the story of Charles Allen Crane,
Canada's Helen Keller.
The world thought it was ready for Charles when
he was born in Toronto on April 10,1906. His six older
brothers and sisters had awaited his arrival with anxious
enthusiasm. Charlie, as they called him, was a healthy,
good-natured baby who loved every bit of attention
his family lavished on him. He reached all the usua
milestones on schedule - cooing and babbling, smiling,
crawling, growing - until he was nine months old and
contracted cerebrospinal meningitis, a vicious disease
that can kill within hours
Charlie survived, but the disease had ravaged
his optic and auditory nerves. His distraught parents,
Minnie and William, made the rounds of the country's
best doctors, but no one could help. In desperation,
they booked passage on a ship to England, where they
took Charlie to the country's top specialists but, in late
January 1908, they returned to Canada, resigned to
the awful reality: their beloved little boy would never
again see or hear.
Children like Charlie, who acquire this double
disability prior to the age of two, are known as
"congenitally deafblind." Their experience of the
world has more in common with that of children born
deafblind, than with those who become deafblind at
a later age. They often develop a heightened sense
of touch to help navigate the world around them. If
you shook hands with Charlie once, he'd recognize
you immediately the next time you gave him your
hand, even years later. He could identify the colour
of someone's hair by its texture, though he lacked the
concept of colour as sighted people know it. "He was
so smart," says his niece, Iris Lees, "you couldn't fool
him with anything." Iris remembers how, as an adult,
he'd walk about in her yard feeling the plants with his
hands and know exactly which species they were
Charlie had a talent for communicating. With
his mother's help, he developed a rudimentary sign
anguage. Only the family understood it, but it was
enough to get by. When he was five, the family moved
to Vancouver. Minnie and William consulted BC's
Superintendent of Education, Dr. Robinson, who put
them in touch with the School for the Deaf in Halifax,
Nova Scotia. The School mailed Minnie and William a
copy of their annual report, which featured a depiction
of the manual alphabet. The family immediately began
spelling their names into his hand, including that of
Charlie's little brother, Tom, their brown cat, Bill, and
their grey dog, Prince, followed by familiar household
items. Charlie loved it
Children develop language skills easily, but Charlie
wasn't being exposed to the underlying nuances of
everyday spoken language. When the boy was finally
admitted to the Halifax School for the Deaf, just after
his 10th birthday, Principal James Fearon reported that
he had, "strictly speaking, no language." That quickly
changed when Charlie began classes, becoming,
according to Fearon, one of the fastest learners the
school had ever known. An article written later that
year and published in a Halifax newspaper boasted
that "Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, perhaps the greatest
authority today on the education of the deaf, regards
Charlie Crane as the most wonderful boy in the world."
Many people, including Bell, compared Charlie with
Helen Keller.
A handsome, energetic boy, strong and tall for his
age, Charlie thrived at the Halifax school and showed
a keen sense of humour. "If he suspects you are fooling
him," Fearon said, "up, like a flash, goes his hand to your
throat to find out whether or not you are laughing."
Once a word was spelt for Charlie, he never forgot it
Fearon had instructed the teachers to spell into Charlie's
hand the very words they would say to him were he
not deafblind, and the results were extraordinary. "In
this natural manner," Fearon notes in his 1916 year-end
report, "he must have acquired in the six months he has
been here a vocabulary of at least two thousand words
as well as endless question forms which he thoroughly
understands and uses."
By then, Charlie had learned to use both a manua
typewriter and a Brailler. His typing speed wasn't
remarkable, but his accuracy would become legendary.
Even more amazing, he had learned to speak, in a
clear, pleasant voice. He pronounced all the sounds
of the English language correctly, with the exception
of "dzh" (J). With one hand, he'd feel his teacher's throat
as she articulated a word. With the other he would fee
the movements of her lips and tongue. Then he'd mimic
the muscle action he had observed. Once Charlie could
say the word properly, he would be taught its meaning
Charlie returned to Vancouver in 1922 to begin
secondary school at the British Columbia School for the
Deaf and the Blind on Jericho Hill. His family moved to
Charlie pictured in The Ubyssey
(January 29,1932). FEATURE    •
Charlie Crane
Photo: Geoff Lister
Garibaldi so, once again, Charlie was a fulltime boarder.
He wasn't much good at math, but compensated
by excelling in history, literature, French, Latin
and botany.
Charlie yearned for a university education
In the Introduction to her 1926 book The Silent
Zone, Annie Dalton quotes Charlie's words
to a friend: "You ask me what is my great
ambition? I have been very fortunate so far
in receiving a fair education, but I dread
to think of my being checked in my desire
for more advanced studies. My hope
is... to take up the University course in
British Columbia... and duly receive my
degree in arts... After that, I should like
to become a useful citizen."
Charlie's personal library at this
time consisted of just four titles, all in
Braille: Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare,
Treasure Island, The Book of Psalms,
and Lorna Doone. In 1927, he began
acquiring quantities of Braille books
from publishing houses in England,
Scotland and the US. He became a
voracious reader and collected English
classics, all the classics available
in Braille that had been translated
into English from Greek and Latin,
historical works, dictionaries, and
books about botany and medicine
He personally transcribed into Braille
dozens of volumes, most in English
and at least one in Latin, in a wide
variety of subjects. This he did with
the assistance of a reader, who would
spell the printed book into his hand,
letter by letter. Charlie would patiently
type the book on his Brailler then have
the sheets professionally bound. He
wrote a detailed description of his library
for the June, 1962, New Beacon, closing
with, "Vita sine litteris mors est," meaning,
"Life without literature is death."
UBC accepted Charlie into first year arts when
he graduated from high school in 1931, and the
Government of BC awarded him a $600 scholarship
towards fees and expenses. An "intervener" was hired,
to spell out lectures, and guide him around campus
The first deafblind student to study at a Canadian
university, Charlie embraced UBC, signing up for
English literature, English composition, Greek history,
sociology, and Latin. He tookto smoking a pipe, and
oved a good game of chess. He joined the classics
club and the wrestling club, and exercised fearlessly
on the rings and bars at the gym. Several Ubyssey
articles that semester boasted about Charlie, touting
his knowledge of classical literature and history,
and his "courage, sportsmanship and Varsity spirit."
Columnist Ronald Grantham described him as one
of UBC's keenest new students. "His handicap is very
severe," wrote Grantham, "but, like Helen Keller, he
has learned to speak - and he possesses a very active
mind... His industry and intense interest will ensure
him academic success."
But the world of academia wasn't ready for Charles
The university wasn't equipped to accommodate
a person with his degree of disability, and one year
was all UBC could give him. Completing a degree
would have meant hiring a team of interveners
to spell out the lectures - not just in class but for
hours afterwards, because manual spelling takes
so much longer than speech. In addition, there was
no mechanism to allow for extra examination time
It would have taken hours for an intervener to spel
out the exam questions to Charlie, and many more for
him to spell back his responses and for the intervener
to write them down
This was the fate he had dreaded, yet he accepted
it with grace. In an article published in October 1931
in The Province he wrote, "I do not intend to acquire
a full college education, but my main reason for taking
a term at the university is that I am anxious to befit
myself for a profitable career, whereby I would not
only earn a good salary, but also be of assistance
to others... I would come out of the University wiser,
more independent both in action and in thought
and a friend better disposed to others."
The last mention of Charlie in The Ubyssey came in
ate January, 1932. It was a plea for money to augment
"The Charlie Crane Education Fund." Charlie's father,
who built the Alpine Lodge and Store in Garibaldi, had
passed away in 1929. These were Depression years
and, although Charlie's brothers were making a go of
the business, they were either unable or unwilling to
give him the financial support that may, conceivably,
have enabled him to carry on at UBC
Shruti Shravah, born with partial vision, was
"a strict Braille reader" when she entered UBC
in 2007. Shruti was thrilled when she discovered
"this giant library of Braille books." At the Crane,
she's been able to get Braille copies of all the
books required for her 17th, 18th and 19th century
literature courses. "I don't think anything could
ever replace Braille for me," she says. "Nothing
compares to having the hard copy in front of you,
and being able to read along with the class."
Shruti Shravah
Photo: Geoff Lister
Charlie had a flair for writing and his goa
was to enter some sort of journalistic or public
relations work. Immediately after he left UBC,
the Vancouver Welfare Federation hired him
as a publicist. The position ended, however,
after just one year, and Charlie spent the rest
of his working days making brooms at the
Canadian National Institute for the Blind. "It's
a really sad thing that this incredibly brilliant
man ended up in a CNIB sheltered workshop,"
says Paul Thiele, who met Charlie in his later
years, "but the interesting thing is, he was so
people-oriented, so outgoing, that he didn't
mind at all - he loved it!"
By all accounts, Charlie was a happy
man, and he was certainly in his element in
any social situation. But a poignant letter to the editor, which appeared
in The Province on December 12,1949, showed another side of things:
"Please note, dear readers, that this is from a man who, though in good health,
is both deaf and blind. Because of my double handicap, I am left practically
alone - in fact, extremely lonely... If there is anyone among you who will make
my acquaintance, why not come and see me any time?... Charles Allen Crane,
2318 Macdonald St, Vancouver."
In 1951, Charlie's mother passed away. It would seem he received an
inheritance, because that year he stopped working at the CNIB. He spent
summers in Saskatoon with a sister, Harriet, and occasionally travelled to
England, where he enjoyed visiting people in the National Deafblind League
His niece, Iris, whom he loved to visit, had
moved away. He had one close friend. Aside
from that, his books were his entire world
By the time Charlie passed away in 1965,
he had amassed what was believed to be
the largest personal Braille library in the
world: an estimated 10,700 volumes. In
1967, in accordance with his will, this library
was donated to UBC, forming the nucleus
of Access & Diversity's Crane Library.
Paul Thiele, who is visually impaired, was
a doctoral student at UBC when he founded
the Crane Library with his new bride, Judy
- Canada's first blind person to graduate
in Library Science. He also developed the
Crane Production Facility, where an army
of volunteers creates a new talking book every three weeks
In addition to the library and recording studios, the Crane features
a reading room, a lounge, and a lab with e-text readers, which scan and
read aloud textbooks and assignments to students with disabilities. As part
of UBC's Access & Diversity service, the Crane provides materials in Braille,
audio, large print and e-text formats to all qualifying students at UBC, and
at educational institutions elsewhere in Canada and in many other countries
through inter-library loan
Charles Crane didn't achieve his "great ambition" to finish university
(it would be another 40 years before a deafblind person graduated from
a Canadian university) and he didn't become, in his lifetime, what most FEATURE    •
Charlie Crane
people might consider "a useful citizen." Yet his legacy
is invaluable to visually impaired university students
at UBC and around the world.
Not long before he passed away, Charlie took a
two-week vacation at the CNIB Lodge on Bowen Island.
Paul Thiele, the recreation director at the lodge, took
a group of blind vacationers on a nature walk, including
Charlie who, by then, had lost his ability to speak from
lack of practice. Through his intervener, Charlie knew
that his companions were putting their arms around
some trees to get a sense of their size. He asked what
kind of trees they were, and Thiele made a guess.
"Maples," he said. Charlie put his arms around one o
the trees, and the group resumed their walk. When they
returned to the lodge, Charlie sent Thiele a beautifully
typed note, thanking him profusely for the outing, then
adding: "From the depth and texture of the bark and
its moisture and the size of the leaves, I deduce that
the tree couldn't have been a maple. I assume it was
a Platanus acerifolia (London planetree.)"
"And I knew then that I'd been told, nicely, not to
make things up," says Thiele. "I'd been put in my place
by a great man." D
Charlie's Communications Equipment
This machine went everywhere with Charlie.
Known as a Hall Braille writer, or "brailler"
for short, it weighs nearly 10 pounds. Charlie
used it to note down his thoughts and
experiences, to write articles for publication
and letters to his family, and to translate books
into Braille. Invented in 1891 by an American
named Frank Hall, it was made in Chicago
by the Cooper Engineering & Manufacturing
Company. It was the first such machine to
effectively enable blind individuals to write
to each other (and to sighted Braille-literate
people) without assistance, and it was the
brailler of choice for decades.
This Tellatouch machine was Charlie's
communicator. People who didn't knowthe
manual alphabet could type a message on
the keyboard while he rested a finger on the
Braille "cell." Located at the back, the cell
is a metal plate the size of a fingertip, with
six tiny holes corresponding to the Braille
letter format. As each letter is typed, pins
poke through the holes to form that letter
in Braille. Intriguingly, the keys on Charlie's
communicator are in alphabetical order,
not qwerty. An extra row across the bottom
has the keys specific to braillers, so a blind
person can also use the communicator.
The Banks Pocket Brailler was invented
in 1928 by Alfred Banks, a physician
and Lions Club member blinded in WWI.
Less practical for lengthy work than a
regular brailler - it types only on half-inch
tape - it has the advantage of being highly
portable, measuring seven by four-and-a-
half inches and weighing just two-and-a-
half pounds In 1952, at the request of the
Lions Club, IBM manufactured a thousand
of these braillers, including Charlie's,
free of charge, primarily for distribution
to blinded veterans of WWII.
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UBC promotion only available to students, staff, faculty and alumni of the University of British Columbia for a limited time. Consult sales staff BOOKS
All Souls'
Rhea Tregebov
Vehicule Press
71 pages
The 43 poems that make up Rhea
Tregebov's slight but substantial
collection A//Sou/s'combine to create
the ghostly effect "of little fingers on
your face." This is what happens with
good poetry. It lingers. This is why we
read it. It is the catharsis that calls
us back. The climax in this collection
results from Tregebov's unerring ability
to strip her poems of excess. What she
achieves here is the brevity and intensity
of short story writer Raymond Carver
whose poem "Late Fragment" begins the
collection as an epigraph. "And did you
get what/ you wanted from this life, even        ,
so?" asks Carver. The ensuing 43 poems
provide the answer.
Tregebov is associate professor
in UBC's Creative Writing Program as
well as the author of the 2009 novel
The Knife Sharpener's Bell. She has penned
six books of poetry for which she has received the Pat
Lowther Award, the Malahat Review Long Poem prize,
an Honorable Mention for the National Magazine Awards
(poetry) and the Readers' Choice Award for Poetry from
Prairie Schooner. She has also written five children's books
and edited many poetry anthologies. This remarkable
resume comes to bear in All Souls'.
All Souls' travels "an infinite perimeter" from the
traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nation to
the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague to a Roman aqueduct
in the South of France to Tregebov's own family dinner
table. Piled atop one another, the poems parse the tension
between change and stasis. Land claims figure as solidly
as unhappy marriages or vanilla, caraway and cherries.
The effect is not heart wrenching or bathed in metaphor.
What Tregebov offers is "a snippet of/ being".
In the end, the missingfragment of Carver's poem is
implied. "And what did you want?/ To call myself beloved,
to feel myself beloved/ on the earth." These invisible lines
are "the little fingers on your face" that linger even though
they are not there.
The Blue Guitar
Ann Ireland, BFA'76
Dundurn Press
254 pages
The title of Ann Ireland's new novel is taken from
Wallace Stevens' poem "The Man with the Blue
Guitar". The novel is Ireland's fourth and appears
almost 10 years after her last book, Exile. It is about
an international guitar competition in Montreal and
the musicians whose hopes hinge on winning it
Main character Toby Hausner wants to redeem
himself after an embarrassing breakdown at a
competition in Paris 11 years earlier, when he was still
a teenager. Underpinning Hausner's outward desire
to win the competition is his need to come to terms
with Klaus, his aging father. Many sub-plots, such as
a citywide virus reminiscent of the 2003 SARS epidemic
in Toronto, thread throughout the story and as they
unfold, it becomes apparent that, as the epigraph warns,
"Things as they are/Are changed upon the blue guitar."
Music underscores the plot, starting with a Beatles
melody followed by a neo-classical sonata then a
Spanish waltz through "a Lattice of styles" to the
Tarrega, which "begins slowly and builds to a hectic
middle section," much like the book. It is here we meet
competition judge Manual Juerta
A "peeling poster" of Picasso's painting The Old
Guitarist, the inspiration for Stevens' poem, appears on
Juerta's conservatoria wall in Cuba. Minor characters
ike Juerta appear in such great number throughout the
book that the result is a series of interconnected tales,
which culminate in the realization that "there will always
be life going on at the margins." The virus that threatens
to penetrate the characters' lives is the most obvious
expression of this. More so is the distraction that
undoes the artist, as with Hausner in Paris and a series
of competitors in Montreal
The Blue Guitar is such a pleasurable read that it
would be easy to exit the world Ireland creates without
a thought to the cleverness with which it was crafted
The competition creates tension and expectation but it
is the musicality of the language, the complexity of the
characters and the intricate structure of the novel that
make it memorable
MiJlLHA  ■
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■    ■ i    in ■  i
In Dollars and Sex, UBC economics professor Marina
Adshade tells fictional, empirical and theoretical stories
that illustrate economic principles. While economists
like Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes are
decidedly absent, Mick Jagger and Mae West appear
to introduce concepts such as market limits and the
institution of marriage.
Adshade suggests that the "Justin Bieber Effect"
explains how the use of oral contraceptives has changed
women's preferences for a mate. She tackles topics such
as why 66 per cent of black women are single and looks
at how much the cost of an alcoholic beverage needs to
be increased in order to reduce risky sexual behaviour.
By the end of the book, a riveting romp of a read, it is
difficult to deny that "almost every option, decision and
outcome in matters of sex and love is better understood
by thinking in an economics framework."
This approach stems from Freakonomics, a 2005
best-selling book by economist Steven Levitt
and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner.
Freakonomics revolutionized the dry perception of
economic theory by using it to understand topics such
as how much the legalization of abortion affected
the rate of violent crime in the US. Two books later,
Freakonomics Radio continues to analyze topics such
as whether or not expensive wines taste better or how
much the US president really matters.
Similarly, Adshade uses concepts such as bargaining
power, extensive and intensive margins and Pareto
efficiency to understand love and the libido.
The research that provides the foundations
for Adshade's economic analysis is far-reaching
with studies from Uganda, the Netherlands, India,
Sweden and France. But what makes all the information
palatable is the humour and insight offered by its author
whose voice figures strongly. Not only does Adshade
write well, she circles back on her themes the way
a good professor does during lectures to link ideas
in a course. Indeed the idea for the book came from
students in Adshade's undergraduate course at UBC,
The Economics of Sex and Love, first offered in 2008.
While Adshade uses microeconomic studies, which
seek to explain the behaviour of individuals, in the end,
her argument is that macroeconomics, which is the
behaviour of everyone in the economy, collectively,
is what really influences the way we approach our own
love lives. Not only is it hard to disagree with her, it is
fun going along for the ride.
Standing Up with
Jane Constance and the Politics
of Memory, Church and Custom
Leslie A. Robertson and the
596 pages
Standing Up with GA'AXSTA'LAS is the life story of
Jane Constance Cook, a high-ranking Namgi's woman
from Alert Bay, BC, who lived from 1870 to 1951
Cook, whose traditional name is GA'AXSTA'LAS,
appears in numerous scholarly studies and much
contemporary literature about colonial history in
Kwak'wala territories. In these representations,
the dominant impression of Cook is unfavourable
Among other things, Cook is most remembered
for her unorthodox stand against the potlatch, a
traditional First Nations ceremony banned by the
colonial government in 1885. It is GA'AXSTA'LAS'
stand against the potlatch that provides the impetus for
this "collaborative ethnography" by Leslie A. Robertson
(a UBC assistant professor of Anthropology) and the
Standing Up with GA'AXSTA'LAS took 10 years to
write and incorporates extensive archival research,
oral history and family meetings. The purpose of
the book, termed affectionately throughout as the
"Granny Cook book," is to place Cook's vocal and
ongoing support for the potlatch ban within the
complex political context of its time. The book holds
a mirror up to the colonial history that Cook's life
encompasses and the family stories, which thread
throughout, reveal how "memory is embedded in
genealogical knowledge."
GA'AXSTA'LAS existed in both the colonial and
ndian world simultaneously. She was a wife, mother,
grandmother, midwife, political activist, translator,
and interpreter who served as the president of
the Anglican Women's Auxiliary for more than
30 years, translated weekly sermons from English
to Kwak'wala as they were being delivered, interpreted
the McKenna-McBride Royal Commission of 1912,
worked with anthropologist Franz Boas and translated
the 1922 Potlatch Trials. These are only a few highlights
Her history is inspiring but what remains after
almost 600 pages of her biography is an unflinching
demand for justice "in the realm of land, law and
marriage practices."
The exhaustive research here, in combination with
family reflection, reveals the strong and enduring morals
that guided much of Cook's personal and political life
According to Cook's ancestor William Wasden Jr.,
"what a lot of our people are in denial about is what the
potlatch became and why she was against it." Standing
Up with G/A'/AXST/A'L/AS answers that question ALUMN
Alumni Holidays
Time to go Exploring!
enjoy exclusive intellectual opportunities as you travel through
some of the world's most fascinating places. Tour historically significant sites such as the
Panama Canal for its 100th anniversary, or Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day; explore
nature's bounty on the Galapagos Islands or in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve; or simply
ii* ii* ^      i*r • y i ^*      i»r • • j_ \
. too).
Wherever your travel interests lie, alumni UBC Travel has a destination for yoi
Please contact Karen Kanigan, Manager
Alumni Services at 604-822-9629
or Karen.Kanigan a ubc.ca if you
wish to receive more information
When she is not out exploring to
find your next great adventure, you
can find her at the alumni UBC office
at Cecil Green Park House. You can
also contact any of our travel partners
directly for more information.
Alumni Holidays International (AHI)
Alumni Travelers
Bluewater Adventures
Cultural Heritage Walking Tours, Italy
Gohagan Travel
Go Next
Outershores Expeditions
Worldwide Quest
Insure with North South Travel and assist alumni UBC to
support alumni programs, communications and services.
dates are subject to change, other dates may be available on request Campaign Update
Highlights of 2012-13
These gifts have allowed UBC to
make significant investments in:
iff ^
59% OF OUR
Congratulations! In 2012 You Made a Billion Dollar Impact
We have now completed the second public year of UBC's start an evolution campaign and
I have been overwhelmed by the scale and scope of the support we have received from you
- our alumni, donors and friends. In the year ending March 31, 2013, you have given over
$213 million, putting us over the $1 billion milestone - well on the way to our campaign goal
of $1.5 billion. I congratulate you on this historic achievement which means that we can do
so much more for our students, researchers and communities.
We are also well on the way to achieving our goal of involving 50,000 alumni annually in the
life of the university by 2015. On any measure it has been a terrific year and I thank you for your
whole-hearted support.
This year we are sharing a report on both giving and receiving, as your support is not just
measured in numbers, but in impact. Your gifts go towards providing powerful opportunities
for real change in the university and beyond.
Most of these stories are about individuals, and how their lives have been affected by the
work we do at UBC. But more than that, they're about communities: how our community of
donors has joined with us to build a better future here in British Columbia and around the world.
Congratulations again and thankyou for your continuing support of UBC.
Stephen J. Toope
President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of British Columbia
Spreading the Health
New travel award encourages a global perspective on healthcare
Twenty-six years after Karim Damji volunteered as a UBC medical student in a clinic in
a poor mountain village of Sierra Leone, the ophthalmologist and frequent international
volunteer is leading the MD Class of 1987 to establish the first travel award for medical
students with the desire to explore global health.
Dr. Damji, his classmates and friends have donated more than $63,000 to the Faculty
of Medicine to endow the Travel Award in Global Health, which will help cover travel
costs of fourth-year medical students participating in global health electives.
"When it came up to our 25th anniversary, I thought it was time to give back," Dr. Damji
says. "Students need financial support to avail themselves of global health encounters
and opportunities. For me, it's all about the ethic of global citizenship, of sharing,
caring and learning, and passing it on to the next generation. It's part of who I am as
an Ismaili muslim."
"The award will recognize students who dedicate a great deal of their own time to
organizing global health projects, conducting research, advocating for low-resource and
vulnerable populations and fund-raising for project-related costs," says Videsh Kapoor,
an assistant clinical professor and director of the Division of Global Health. "These
students are contributing to and impacting how UBC engages in global health while
empowering communities to address issues that affect their health outcomes."
Hillary Quinn, (MD'12) a family medicine resident who travelled to rural India in
both her second and fourth years of medical school at UBC, says the travel award will
encourage more students to get involved in global health.
"I spent time in India before medical school, and by going back, I was able to stay
inspired," says Dr. Quinn. "I needed to see how my skills could bring about clear
and apparent change."
To learn more about this and other UBC projects, please visit startanevolution.ubc.ca
For more stories about the impact of your gifts,
please go to reportongiving.ca
Take advantage of the    I
benefits of membership.
As a UBC alumnus, you've earned more than a degree.
You've earned exclusive access to benefits, discounts
and great rates at partner companies across the country.
And the best part - it's free.
To take advantage of these perks, present your A-Card at any of our partner organizations:
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What have you been up to lately? Send
your news to trek.magazine a ubc.ca or to
the address on page 3. Have photographic
evidence? Mail us original photos or email
high resolution scans (preferably 300 dpi).
Please note that Trek is also published online.
Praises and Prizes
An opera by one of Canada's most famous mid-century composers has premiered as a
staged performance 60 years after it was written. Thanks to the persistence of soprano/
impresario Heather Pawsey, BMus'86, Barbara Pentland's The Lake was performed last
November by the Turning Point Ensemble in partnership with Heather's company, Astrolabe
MusikTheatre, intheTELUS Studio Theatre at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.
Pentland taught music at UBC in the 1950s and was on the cutting edge of Canadian
avant-garde music. Poet Dorothy Livesay, also a faculty member, became her librettist for
The Lake. The opera is set in the Okanagan in 1873 and based on a true story about Susan
Allison, the first female European settler in the area, and her family's Native employees.
It was originally commissioned by London-based organist Gordon Jeffries in 1951 but was
never performed (although it was finally heard three years later on CBC Radio).
Heather came across Pentland's work when she was searching for repertoire to present
at the Eckhardt-Gramatte competition in Brandon in 1996. She sang Susan Allison's main
aria and won first prize. A few months later, during a wine-tasting trip to the Okanagan, she
happened to visit the Quails' Gate Estate Winery tasting room, an old cabin. In a scrapbook
on the history of the vineyard, Heather found herself reading about the Allison family and
realized she was standing in the cabin they once owned. Her interest in The Lake only grew.
When the Canadian Music Centre invited ideas for events to celebrate the 100th
anniversary of Barbara Pentland's birth, Heather knew the time to stage The Lake had
finally come. The Turning Point Ensemble, a champion of Pentland's music, was a natural
collaborator. Planning for the UBC production involved the West Bank First Nation, who
participated in a public seminar (generously hosted by Vancouver Opera), speaking about
the lake "monster" as a metaphor for sustainability. Members of the Allison family attended
the premiere, and at some point in the future Heather hopes to bring this opera home to
the Okanagan.
Susan Allison was sung by Heather Pawsey, and her rancher husband, John, by baritone
Angus Bell. Marie, the First Nations servant was performed by mezzo Barbara Towell,
MAS'OO. Metis Johnny MacDougall was sung by tenor John Arsenault, DipMus'07.
- Submitted by Hilary Yates Clark, BHEc'52, MEd'90
Griffin Lloyd, BA'51, he received the Queen's Diamond
Jubilee Medal on October 9, 2012. Eight days later
he was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence
(AOE) - the highest award that the province can
bestow upon its citizens for meritorious service
■ Hilary Yates Clark, BHEc'52, MEd'90, received a
Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal for her volunteer
work. Hilary initiated the retailing program at Capilano
College/University, was elected to the board of Lions
Gate Hospital, rising to become the first female
board chair, and followed that by being elected the
provincial representative on the board of the BC
Health Association. Upon retirement she founded
the Ambleside Orchestra of West Vancouver, which
she managed for 20 years and in which she continues
to play flute. She initiated the free Carnegie Centre
band/orchestra series for residents of the Downtown
Eastside and writes opera reviews for amateur and
semi-professional productions, promoting the rising
opera singers and companies in BC. She volunteers
for West Vancouver's Community Day and Harmony
Arts Festival. Hilary has three married sons and six
grandchildren. ■ Walley P. Lightbody, QC, BA'56, LLB'59,
was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal in
recognition of his contributions to Canada. In 2010
he was awarded the George Goyer Memorial Award
for distinguished service to the legal profession
Belinda Wong, BCom'92, is the president of Starbucks
China. She is executing the coffee giant's plans to add
700 stores and 18,000 employees in a country where
tea is not only a drink, but also an integral part of
Chinese culture. Although it may seem like a lofty goal,
Belinda, recently featured in The Province newspaper,
says that Starbucks is on course to have 1,500 stores
across China by 2015.
She joined Starbucks in 2000 as a marketing director
for the Asia-Pacific region then served in increasingly
senior leadership roles for Starbucks operations in
Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. In 2011, she was
appointed Starbucks China president.
Belinda strongly believes that a coffeehouse provides
a place for human connection. As a student, one of her
best memories was hanging out and connecting with
friends in between classes. "Our favourite hangout
place back then was definitely the Henry Angus
Building!" In 2012, Belinda was named one of China's
25 most influential business women.
of BC. He is a former past president of the Canadian Bar Association
(BC Branch) and has chaired numerous committees establishing prizes
and scholarships in law, including the class of 1959 UBC Faculty of Law
Scholarship Fund and the Okanagan Bar Scholarship awarded to a UBC
Okanagan graduate accepted into UBC Law School. He also spearheaded
the establishment of a course in contemporary Canadian Law at UBC
Okanagan. He is the past chair and founder of the yearly Guile Debate at the
UBC Faculty of Law, president of the Friends and Residents of the Abbott
Street Heritage Conservation Area Society in Kelowna, and the Kelowna
General Hospital (KGH) Foundation Annual Celebrity Tennis and Bocce
Tournament - an event that has raised substantial funds for cardiac care at
KGH. ■ At a ceremony on December 6, 2012, Dr. Pullikattil Chacko Simon,
MSc'60, was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his
services to the community and on March 1, 2013, he celebrated his 100th
birthday. Clyde Griffith, BPE'64, was presented with the Queen's Diamond
Jubilee Medal on December 13, 2012. The medal was awarded in honor of
Clyde's impressive Municipal and Provincial Government career, together
with the amazing community service he has provided over the years. ■
Lyall D. Knott, Q.C., BCom'71, LLB'72, was awarded the Queen's Diamond
Jubilee Medal on January 22, 2013.   Joy Fera, BRE'72, received the Queen's
Diamond Jubilee Medal on December 15, 2012, for her years of volunteer
work in Delta.    District of West Vancouver Chief Administrative Officer
Grant McRadu BA'76, was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Meda
for his 30-plus years of public service as a CAO for local government. In
1982, at the age of 29, Grant was the youngest municipal CAO in British
Columbia and has since served as CAO for a number of municipalities
and as CFO for the Delta School District. He has served on the board of
directors of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators and
was elected vice-president of the International City and County Managers,
representing over 5,000 members world-wide.    UBC's Alumni Association
office was chuffed when Barney Ellis-Perry, BA'87, director of the university's
Alumni Engagement Campaign, received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Medal in December. Barney was recognized for his passion, strategic and
innovative thinking, relationship-building skills and fundraising expertise
as a member of Volunteer Canada's board of directors for eight years. ■
Sandra Yuen MacKay, BA'89, an artist and author of My Schizophrenic Life:
The Road To Recovery from Mental Illness, received the 2012 Courage to Come
Back award in the mental health category, was chosen for the 2012 Faces
of Mental Illness campaign, and received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Medal for advocacy and for being a spokesperson on mental health issues
In September 2012, Linda Rabeneck BSc'70, MD'74, was elected to
Fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS). Fellows
elected to the CAHS are recognized for their contributions to the promotion
of health science and have demonstrated leadership, creativity, distinctive
competencies and a commitment to advance academic health science
Dr. Rabeneck is a professor of medicine and professor, Dalla Lana Schoo
of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and senior scientist at the
nstitute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto. She currently serves as
vice president, Prevention and Cancer Control at Cancer Care Ontario, the
province's cancer agency. She has played a leadership role in implementing
organized colorectal cancer screening in Ontario.   Douglas W. Conn,
BSF'75, BSc'79, DMD'82, was elected president of the Canadian Academy
of Endodontics (CAE) at the CAE annual meeting held on October
18th, 2012. Dr. Conn is an endodontic specialist in Vancouver, a clinica
assistant professor with the Faculty of Dentistry at UBC, and a member
and past president of both the BC Society of Endodontists and the Denta
Specialists Society of British Columbia.    For the second consecutive year,
John S. Clark, BCom'79, president of Pacific Spirit Investment Management
nc. in Vancouver, has been named a "Five Star Wealth Manager." Wealth
managers had to meet 10 objective evaluation criteria associated with
outstanding client service. The evaluation process included an independent
survey of one in 12 households who would use wealth management services
■ Ambassador Claver Gatete, BSc'91, MSc'93, was recently named Rwanda's
Minister of Finance and Economic planning. Prior to his appointment, Gatete
served as the Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda from May 2011 and
was previously the deputy governor from December 2009.   On February
23, 2010, the Ambassador of Spain in Pakistan conferred Al-Nashir Jamal
BCom'79, - the former Chief Executive Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation
(Pakistan) - with the prestigious award of the Knight Commander of
the Order of the Civil Merit. His Excellency Mr. Gonzalo Maria Quintero
Saravia said: "The work carried out by llustrfsmo Sehor Al-Nashir during his
tenure as CEO is an example of how international cooperation can be a rea
instrument both in the development of local communities and in achieving
understanding between different cultures."   Local businesswoman and
physiotherapist Paige Larson, BPE'84, of North Shore Sports Medicine
was selected as the Western Canada representative, and one of three
Canadian women finalists, for the 2012 HKMB HUB Impact Award. The
award is one of six RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Awards, which
honour Canadian female entrepreneurs for being leaders and role models,
and for encouraging the development of others. There were 3,500 women r^^^^^^^^^^^^^|
class acts
nominated for the six awards. Paige founded and operates North Shore
Sports Medicine, which has grown from a single two-bed facility in 1987
to three clinics with 20 beds and 13 healthcare practitioners. In 2010,
she was named Businessperson of the Year by the North Vancouver
Chamber of Commerce.   DebdeBruijn, MLS'85, was recently appointed
university secretary at Trent University, Peterborough, ON, serving as the
university's most senior advisor on governance-related and administrative
matters, with responsibility for providing leadership and support for Trent's
governing bodies and for the senior administration. Deb previously served
as the executive director for the Canadian Research Knowledge Network
in Ottawa.    Russ Brown, BA'87, has been appointed a Justice of the Court
of Queen's Bench of Alberta. He and Heidi Brown (nee Hawelka), BCom'89,
ive in Edmonton with their two sons.   Amyn Khimji, BCom'88, has been
appointed to the position of assistant director, Financial Accounting, at
JTB International (Canada) Ltd. Amyn has been with JTB since 1994 and
previously held the position of manager.   The US Green Building Counci
named Brenda Martens, BSc'89, to the 2012 class of LEED Fellows. The
LEED Fellow designation recognizes exceptional contributions to green
building and significant professional achievement. Brenda was one of
only two Canadians named among 43 of the world's most distinguished
green building professionals selected. Her work experience encompasses
residential, institutional, commercial and industrial projects throughout
BC, including the Vancouver and Whistler Athletes' Villages, the Okanagan
College Centre of Excellence (a Living Building Challenge candidate), and
over 20 BC Housing projects across the province.   Subodh Verma, MSc'93,
PhD'97, is the recipient of 2013 Royal College Medal Award in Surgery.
Presented annually to one Canadian surgeon, this award recognizes both
Dr. Verma's clinical achievements and groundbreaking research. After
completing an MSc and PhD in cardiovascular pharmacology in the Faculty
of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Subodh went on to attend medical schoo
at the University of Calgary. Currently, Subodh is a cardiac surgeon and
researcher at St. Michael's Hospital and a professor in the Faculty of
Medicine at the University of Toronto. His most recent research work has
connected two genes involved in breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, with
heart disease. ■ The novel What Happened to Serenity by PJ Sarah Collins',
BEd'95, has won the inaugural Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction
and Fantasy. Administered by the Canadian Children's Book Centre,
the award honours excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing for
children and adolescents with a $5,000 prize. "It was a wonderful and
completely unexpected surprise," remarked Sarah. "Monica Hughes was
part of, what some historians term, the Greatest Generation: those who
fought oppression and survived World War II. I admire and aspire to
many of her ideals and it is a huge honour to have my name in the same
sentence as hers. I hope the creation of this award brings comfort and
pride to her family and encourages a new generation of readers to explore
the new worlds she created."   Jill MacAlpine, PhD'99, was elected
partner at Finnegan, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in
the world. Jill practices all areas of patent law including patent litigation,
patent procurement, due diligence investigations, opinion work, and
client counselling, primarily in the chemical and pharmaceutical areas
■ Genevieve Barrons, BA'12, has been selected as one of 39 new Gates
Cambridge Scholars to study at the University of Cambridge, England, this
fall and will pursue a master's degree in education. She has taught in Malawi
and is currently teaching, writing, and editing in Shanghai. She is the eighth
UBC student or alumnus to be awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship
since the program began in 2001
January 31 was a big day for computer science
alumnus Chris Clogg, BSc'll, and business and
computer science student Michael Silverwood -
it was the day their iPad game, Sfrafosp/iere:
Multiplayer Defense, was launched on the Apple
App Store and featured as one of the games of
the week. "We were unbelievably honoured and
excited... Being featured by Apple is like having
a big banner at the entrance of EB Games or Future
!hop for your product. They only feature the games
hey like," says Chris.
Chris and Michael wanted the user experience
o recreate the excitement of playing a board game
r/ith a group of friends. Two players each hold one
side of an iPad and have to balance between building
defensive towers and sending enemies at their
opponent. Although the game was designed for
more than one player, it also features a single-player
mode with 60 missions, three difficulty levels, and
modifiers that can be combined to create more than
500 unique ways to play.
What's really surprised Chris and Michael is
the broad range of players who have been enjoying
Sfrafosp/iere. Although they knew strategy game fans
would enjoy it, they were surprised by all of the emails
they've received from parents who enjoy playing
against their kids, and gamers who enjoy playing
against their non-gamer significant others.
"It goes to show that there are probably still a lot
of people who miss the experience of physically sitting
around a board game and playing with people in the
same room," Chris says.
Next steps include creating franchises of Sfrafosp/iere
and introducing its characters into other iPad and
iPhone games, which they plan on developing through
their company, Pixile Studios.
"/ love that the multiplayer is on the same device because
it feels very much like a board game. I just love everything
about this: the visuals, the music - very electro-dancey -
and I really like that it was made by only two people, which
really shows that it was a work of love. Rating: 8/10"
- Shaun Hatton, Reviews on the Run
Quick Catch-up
Hugh Stephens, BA'67, is executive-in-residence at the Asia Pacific Foundation
of Canada, and is teaching part-time at Royal Roads University after retiring this
year from a second career as an executive with US media conglomerate Time
Warner. Prior to joining Time Warner in2001,Hughspent 30 years with the
Department of Foreign Affairs, where he served as assistant deputy minister
for Policy and Communications.   The summer of 2012 marked two milestones
in Raymond To's, BSc'88, MBA'90, business life: one was the 10 year anniversary
of GO Recruitment and the other was the 20 year anniversary of being in the
recruiting business,    lana Messetchkova, BA'12, is currently interning with
the European Union Delegation to the UN in New York. She works within
the Third Committee, assisting the delegation in the drafting of statements,
communication with Brussels and in negotiations. She plans to attend New York
University in the fall for an MS in Global Affairs
Louise Moon's, BA'84, original play, Raven Meets the Monkey King, produced
by Axis Theatre Company, toured BC and Saskatchewan elementary schools
in the spring of 2013. The play features First Nations and Asian storytelling with
themes of intercultural cooperation and the importance of returning treasures
of historical and spiritual importance to their original owners.   Ken MacLeod,
BA'68, Secondary Teachers Certificate '72, recently completed a large in-depth study
on Vancouver. His 850-page book, The Story of South Vancouver and John Oliver
High School, is based on more than 200 interviews, includes 600 photographs,
took 12 years to complete and is an exhaustive study of the former Municipality
of South Vancouver, which amalgamated with the City of Vancouver in 1929.
The book includes history about the Vancouver area from the early 1860s, and
is told largely through the eyes of the people as gathered from interviews, the
Vancouver Archives, old newspaper accounts, rare sources, and unpublished
accounts. The book was released for the 100th Anniversary of John Oliver High
School in September 2012.    Ruth Donald (nee Biga), BA'79, is the author of a
mystery series featuring a former RCMP homicide detective who resigned from
the force to become a long haul truck driver. Ruth wanted to write traditiona
'whodunit' mysteries with a uniquely North American setting, and published the
first Highway Mystery, Slow Curve on the Coquihalla in 2011. That was followed
by Ice on the Grapevine, which was a finalist for the 2012 Global Ebook Award in
mystery fiction, and her new release, Sea to Sky, set in Whistler. She's working on
the fourth Highway Mystery, set in the Yukon. Ruth worked in the transportation
industry in various capacities from 1972-2002. Writing as R.E. Donald, she
uses her own experience and that of her late husband, Jim Donald, who was
well known in the BC trucking industry in the 70s and 80s, to create realistic
characters and situations in the novels. Ruth is a member of Crime Writers of
Canada. She currently lives on a farm in south Langley with a French Canadian
cowboy and several horses.    Kate Braid, MFA'97, recently released a memoir of
her 15 years as a carpenter, Journeywoman: Swinging a Hammer in a Man's World
Kate has written poetry and non-fiction about subjects ranging from Glenn
Gould and Emily Carr to mine workers and fishers and has published five books
of prize-winning poetry including, Inward to the Bones and A Weil-Mannered
Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems.   Congratulations to Mark Kunzli, BSc'07, EMBA'11,
and faculty members Dr. Wayne Riggs and Dr. Ron Reid for their front cover
article "Pharmacogenomics, personalized medicine, and patient-centric
therapy" published in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Pharmacy
Practice Magazine. D
Zev Thompson, BSc'05, and his McGill classmates,
Mohammed Ashour, Gabriel Mott, Shobhita Soor, and
Jesse Pearlstein, have won the Boston Regional Final of the
2013 Hult Prize for their business plan to breed crickets as
a viable food source for the 200 million people globally who
live in urban slums.
The Hult Prize, in partnership with the Clinton Global
Initiative, is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship,
dedicated to solving the planet's most pressing issues. This
year's theme focuses on global food security.
The team is trying to formalize a practice that currently
exists worldwide. Crickets, an excellent source of protein, iron,
B vitamins, and other essential nutrients, are currently eaten by
approximately 2.5 billion people. However, there isn't a formal
practice in place - crickets are typically not grown commercially.
Consequently, the challenge for the team is to create a strategy
that is both sustainable and reliable.
The team developed three interconnected products:
packaged cooked crickets; cricket protein flour, for those who
are squeamish about eating bugs; and, a biopolymer extracted
from cricket shells that can be sold for industrial purposes.
Zev, the dietary expert on the team, has eaten his fair share
of crickets recently, and says that it's not the taste that's the
distinctive part, but the texture, describing it as "sort of a cross
between popcorn and prawns."
In the fall, the team will compete against four other regional
finalists for the chance to win $1 million in start-up capital to
launch their new social enterprise.
3 &
Zev Thompson (second from left) UBC'S BEST CELEBRATED
More than 1,000 people flooded into the Vancouver Convention Centre's
west ballroom on April 3 for the 92nd annual UBC Big Block Awards and
Sports Hall of Fame Banquet
Team 1040 broadcaster, alumnus and assistant football coach
Scott Rintoul hosted the evening, which began with a welcome to
the newest members of the UBC Big Block Club. While the banquet
hall reverberated with the traditional strains of Hail UBC, just over
150 student-athletes, who had met the club's requirements of completing
two years as members of a varsity team, made a grand entrance to the
warm applause of peers and alumni
Associate Athletic Director Theresa Hanson welcomed guests via
video as she was in the Russian Federation city of Kazan in preparation
for her upcoming duties as Canada's Chef de Mission at the 2013 World
University Games. She listed off an impressive litany of accomplishments
by UBC athletes during the past season, highlighted by six nationa
championships and seven conference crowns
The current crop of Thunderbirds was later reminded of the fine tradition
of which they are part, as the newest members of the UBC Sports Hal
of Fame were officially inducted. Those entering in the Athlete category
were Penny Cooper (field hockey, 1987-92); Jessica Deglau (swimming,
1995-2002); Jessica Mills (basketball, 1995-2000); Jack Henwood
(football, 1956-59) and Victor Warren (field hockey, 1958-63).
Two dynasties, the 1972-74 women's volleyball and 1989-91 men's
soccer squads, became the latest additions in the Team category.
A particularly audible ovation went up for Builder category inductee
Dr. Rob Lloyd-Smith, who has served nobly as head sport medicine
physician for UBC Thunderbirds teams and oft-times confidante for
coaches since 1982. The soiree concluded with Bob Philip receiving the
prestigious Order of the Thunderbird Award for 20 years of service and
accomplishments as director of UBC Athletics and Recreation
MAY BROWN TROPHY - graduating female athlete of the year:
Shanice Marcelle (volleyball)
MARILYN POMFRET TROPHY - female athlete of the year:
Kris Young (basketball)
BOBBY GAUL MEMORIAL TROPHY - graduating male athlete
of the year: Billy Greene (football)
BUS PHILLIPS MEMORIAL TROPHY - male athlete of the year:
Gagandeep Dosanjh (soccer)
(field hockey)
(ice hockey)
DU VIVIER TEAM OF THE YEAR: women's ice hockey
KAY BREARLEY AWARD - service to women's athletics: John Foster
CAROLYN DOBIE-SMITH AWARD - trainer: Mark Arlou (baseball)
ARTHUR W. DELAMONT AWARD - school spirit: Alexandra Leask
(women's rowing); Elizabeth Pratt (athletics)
AWARD: Evan Cheng (men's rowing); Robert Ragotte (Nordic skiing)
Kelly Aspinall (men's swimming)
Herm Frydenlund, a UBC law
raduate and public relations
manager for Frank Fredrickson
who coached UBC Thunderbird
hockey team in the late 1940s,
passed away on December 4,
2012. At the insistence of team
members, including all-time UBC
reats Clare Drake, Hass Younj;
Don Adams and Bob Koch, Herm
was inducted into the UBC Sports
Hall of Fame in 2000 along with
his lifetime friends who comprised
UBC's 1949 and 1950 Hamber Cup
Champion squad
It was back in 1996 that Amanjit Payer (nee Dhillon)
politely pointed out that Marilyn Pomfret's 1977-78
women's volleyball team had perhaps been overlooked
for induction into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame. After
reviewing the data, the 1998 selection committee
promptly agreed with the former manager of the team
that won back-to-back national championships in 1977
and 1978. The aptly self-named "UBC Thunderbird
Volleyball Sisters" were among the vast numbers of
friends and admirers who were deeply saddened by
the loss of Amanjit to cancer on February 2
A few years before Alfred Scow played varsity soccer
and became the first Aboriginal person to graduate
from the UBC Faculty of Law, he participated in an
important moment in Thunderbird history. Clad in
traditional ceremonial dress, he took part in a forma
presentation at half-time of the 1948 UBC Homecoming
football game, during which his father, Kwicksutaineuk
Chief William Scow, dedicated a Thunderbird totem to
then UBC president Norman Mackenzie, and granted
permission under tribal custom for the University to
use the legendary Thunderbird as a symbol of strength
for its varsity teams. The young man standing next
to his father during that ceremony later became both
Provincial Court Judge and Chief Alfred Scow. After
Hall of Fame inductee Jack Henwood
„nd Professor Emeritus Ken Craig
(they were team mates in the late 1950s)
Photo: Rich Lam
receiving an honorary doctorate from
the university in 1997 for his service
and commitment to social justice, he
famously quipped to friends: "It's official
I'm a doctor, a lawyer and an Indian chief."
The Honourable Alfred J. Scow passed
peacefully at home on February 26
Former Vancouver mayor and business
eader Art Phillips, who passed away
March 29, was always forthcoming in
describing the important lessons he
earned while playing basketball at UBC
in the late 1940s and early 1950s under
coach Jack Pomfret. The Commerce
grad who later co-founded blue-chip
investment firm Phillips, Hager and North
insisted that what he learned in varsity
sport factored favourably in his later
life in business and politics. Once when
asked about his playing days at UBC,
he emphasized that the experience was,
above all, great fun. "I still occasionally
dream of playing UBC basketball and
invariably enjoy myself," he said, "even
in the dream."
One suspects that 1994 UBC Sports
Hall of Fame inductee Basil Robinson also
earned an important lesson or two during
his years as an extraordinary rugby, soccer
and cricket player on Point Grey from 1938
to 1940, which culminated in a Rhodes
Scholarship. After serving his country as
an intelligence officer in WWII, he at last
took advantage of the scholarship in 1946
and shipped off to Oxford, where, among
other things, he became the first Canadian
to be awarded the coveted Oxford "blue"
for cricket. Honoured as an Officer of
the Order of Canada for a lifetime of
distinguished diplomatic service, he
remained a resident of Ottawa until his
passing on December 21, 2012. D
1926-2008 & 1918-2008
Currently spotting yellow-rumped
warblers in old-growth BC forests
The Hesses were passionate bird watchers
and enthusiastic conservationists.
Inspired by their commitment, I am
studying birds to understand which
habitats are most important to conserve.
Thanks to Werner and Hildegard Hesses'
legacy I have been able to fully focus on
my research for 3 years and, in so doing,
help provide solutions to environmental
problems. Thank you Werner and
Hildegard—your passion has allowed me
to do the research I love and continue an
important tradition of outreach between
academia, policy makers and the public.
- Richard Schuster, PhD candidate
Werner and Hildegard Hesse expressed
their passion for birding with a bequest to
UBC, ensuring vital funding for conservation
For more information on how UBC can
help you plan a lasting legacy in a field
important to you, call 604.822.5373 or visit
start an evolution
August 12,1914 - October 4, 2012. Kay was an associate professor in UBC's
French Department. While a student she was taught by notable professors
including Garnet Sedgewick and Mary Bollert. Described as gentle and
quiet, she taught at UBC from 1950 until 1980, serving during that time as
assistant dean of women and senior faculty advisor in the Faculty of Arts
After retiring from UBC she taught at Little Flower Academy from 1981
until 88, and remained active with UBC retired faculty. Since 1974 the
Kay Brearley Award has been presented annually to the person providing
outstanding service to UBC sports teams, particularly the women's teams
The award was named after her by the students and faculty who had great
respect for her, for her interest in sports and for the assistance she provided
the women's sport program at UBC
Born in Vancouver, Laurence E. 'Bud' Machin of
Austin, Texas, died peacefully in the home of his
son in Chelsea, Vermont, on August 24, 2012
He was 97 years old
Bud received his BA in statistics followed by
P^. a BASc in chemical engineering. After graduation,
Pt^|  r^^ he worked for a limestone company on Texada
Island. However, after his first day of work
Standard Oil of California contacted him for an overseas job in the Persian
Gulf with Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO)
Bud started as an engineer in BAPCO's new refinery and quickly rose to
the position of chief refinery inspector, then to manager of transportation,
refinery maintenance and construction. In 1956 he transferred to Caltex
Australia as manager of maintenance. In 1959 he transferred to Caltex
headquarters in New York as assistant manager of operations in Caltex
Europe. In 1966 he was named the assistant general manager of the newly
formed Caltex Mediterranean Ltd., and was later promoted to president
where for eight years he was responsible for operations in France,
Turkey, and Spain. He retired in 1977 and joined the American Arbitration
Association, working notably on the Exxon vs. Mobil case. Later, he was an
arbitrator with NASD for 10 years, a member of the board of directors of
several time share companies, and a member of the board of directors of
a local bank in Austin, Texas
Bud married Valetta Beatrice 'Betty' Morris, BCom'37, in Honolulu in 1941
With the onset of WWII, they shared many heart-stopping ship voyages,
one of which involved a trip on an overloaded freighter that "submarined"
across the Atlantic Ocean in a convoy of battleships
Bud was predeceased by Betty in 2006. He is survived by his three
children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Bud and Betty
were very proud of their family and they will be greatly missed
Basil Robinson, former Undersecretary of State for External Affairs and
Officer of the Order of Canada, died on December 21, 2012, aged 93, in
Ottawa. A distinguished civil servant, diplomat,
sportsman, and war veteran, to those who knew
him best he was a loving father, a gentleman,
an inspiration, and a man of honour. He is
survived by his wife, Elizabeth; their four children,
Katharine, David, Brigitte Ann and Geoffrey;
and their grandchildren, Olivia, Nicolas, Adam,
Amalia and Sofia. He was predeceased by his
brother Geoffrey, and by his parents Basil and Nancy Robinson of Vancouver.
As a UBC student Basil led a full life, excelling in many endeavors. In
1938/39 he received honorable mention for his outstanding sportsmanship
and performances with UBC's Varsity rugby team. In 1938 the first UBC
cricket club was formed with Basil, David Carey and Harry Warren as the
guiding influences. Basil finished second in club batting in the team's first
year, and as team captain the following year was the team's leading batter.
UBC won the BC championship that year with The Ubyssey reporting "...
the main reason for the brilliant victories of the students has been Basi
Robinson who has shown great versatility with both the bat and the ball."
Off the field Basil was associate sports editor of The Ubyssey, president
of the Arts 1940 class, and the Men's Undergraduate Society representative
on council. Basil also played on the UBC soccer team and, despite missing
the first few games of the season, finished in first place in league scoring
Basil's contributions as an athlete, scholar and elected official were
recognized when he received the Rhodes Scholarship in 1940. In 1994,
Basil was inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame
Geoffrey was born in Montreal in 1918 and
raised in Salmon Arm. His BASc in geology at
UBC was followed by an MSc from Queen's
in 1944. Geoff spent the next two years with
NCO at Copper Cliffand in exploration in
Venezuela and southwest Yukon. During these
years he married his life partner, Jean Winters
Following graduation from Princeton with a
PhD in 1949, he joined the Geological Survey of Canada in Ottawa and spent
33 years in a productive career as a field geologist/research scientist. He
became a respected expert in the geology of southeastern BC, and was
elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1960. During his field
work, he discovered deposits of gypsum and magnesite (MgC03) that
subsequently became mines, still in production
During the late 1930s, Geoff attended a BC government-sponsored
course on gold placer mining on Emory Creek and nearby lower Fraser River.
That experience enabled him more than 70 years later to critique a paper
published in BC History in 2006, in which the author deplored the impact
of gold dredging and supposed excessive use of toxic mercury along the
Fraser near Emory Creek. Geoff argued in his well-documented critique
that the alleged environmental destruction was simply not so. His paper
will be published in 2013
Geoff loved the mountains and the "bush," and died peacefully walking
in the woods west of Ottawa in April 2012 at age 93. In his honour, his
extensive collection of geological publications has been donated to
Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. His ashes have been scattered
at the foot of Mount Brussilof, and a plaque with a prospector's pick and
the epitaph "with my boots on" has been placed in the Mount Ida Cemetery
overlooking Salmon Arm
Nita was born in Vancouver on April 11,1921,
and died August 5, 2012, in London, ON, of
complications resulting from a serious injury.
When her father, a blacksmith, suffered
a head injury, the family was plunged into
poverty. She was raised by her mother, Louise,
brother, Jimmy, and sister, Winnie. During the
Great Depression Nita contracted tuberculosis
and went to Tranquille Sanatorium. She dreamed of being a physician -
an extraordinary ambition for a woman at the time. She had to work to
pay her way until her marks earned her a scholarship
She met her husband, Bruce Casselman, BA'43, MA'44, in a chemistry lab
at UBC. Together they entered the world of medicine at the University of
Toronto. Nita was one of eight women among 168 graduates in the Class
of 1952. She went on to study neurology in London, UK, and Montreal
Mindful of the way that mental health was affected by life experiences
and organic influences, she studied psychiatry at Columbia University.
In New York, Montreal, Ottawa, and finally London, ON, she helped a
remarkable range of people, young and old, artists, musicians and architects,
men and women in business and university, carrying on her practice long
after her classmates had retired. She taught in university and became
a mentor to younger women in several professions
Bruce was quietly ahead of his time, supporting her desire to practice
medicine and willing to participate in house-keeping and raising Jay (Ian)
and Ken. A research scientist and government official active in the WHO,
Bruce would be with her until he died in 1995
Nita thought she would spend her 80s writing, playing piano, and
gardening, but in 2003, a car accident left her with a serious spinal cord
injury. She endured persistent pain and progressive loss of the use of her
imbs, but maintained her engagement with life and her interest in people
Mary passed away quietly at Lions Gate Hospita
early in the morning on September 20, 2012,
with her family by her side. Predeceased by
her husband, Jim (1993), she is survived by
her children: John (Lynn), Rick (Charie), Bruce
M|     (Brenda), Kathryn (Mike), Elizabeth (Doug), and
Susan (Robert) as well as 12 grandchildren
She was born in Edmonton in 1922 and came
to Vancouver with her family in 1934. A graduate of Magee Secondary in
Kerrisdale, she later became the first recipient of a master's of social work
at UBC. She was an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and
ater served on the Women's Honorary Society, Delta Sigma Pi. She was
also a member of the Social Work class executive
Attitudes have changed much since that time. She was told by one
of her professors at UBC that it was a waste of time for her, as a woman,
to have a university education because she would just get married and
have children. Later that attitude came to force when she was to lose
her first job in social work at Shaugnessy Hospital because she was
getting married - the prevailing thought was that it would take a job from
a returning war veteran
A longtime resident of West Vancouver, she and her husband, Jim,
raised six children, and she still found time to be an active volunteer
at West Vancouver United Church, the Lions Gate Ladies Auxiliary,
Community Concerts Association, and at the West Vancouver Seniors
Centre, Special Services, serving on the executive there
Born in Vancouver on April 26,1926, son of Morice and Mary Farr
(nee Marlatt), Robin is survived by his adoring wife of 57 years, Margaret
(Peggy) Farr (nee Fullerton), BA'48; children Peter (Anna), J. Brian (Susan),
and Wendy McLeod (Bryan); grandchildren Sean, Stephen and Alexander;
and older brother David of Ottawa
Robin's career began as a schoolteacher in Lake Cowichan, where he did
everything from teaching English to driving the school bus. In 1950 he moved
to Toronto to break into the growing field of Canadian book publishing. He
worked for Copp Clark Publishing, eventually returning to Vancouver to open
the Western Canada region. In 1960, appointed founding director of McGil
University Press in Montreal, Robin spent the next seven years building
the company into a respected institution with an excellent booklist. In 1967
he returned to Toronto, joining McClelland and Stewart Ltd. He moved to
Ryerson Press as director of publishing and editor-in-chief, tasked with
reshaping the company. Next, Robin moved to the Canada Council to design
programs supporting fledgling Canadian publishing companies, and then
to Toronto to implement the Ontario Halfback Program
After retirement Robin continued to use his business skills, devoting
much of his time to new authors. He spent many years researching
and writing about Canada's history, particularly its discovery and early
settlement on both coasts. He continued to support Canadian literacy
through active participation in charities and teaching adult literacy. He
donated his publishing papers to McMaster University.
Robin was a wonderful man with a sharp intellect and a wide range
of interests, always at work on new projects. He had deep beliefs and
thoughts on the world. He was kind and caring and truly loved and
respected by friends and family. We will always miss him
With deep sadness we announce the passing of Frederick John Andrew
in New Westminster, BC, on December 19, 2011, at the age of 87. Fred
was predeceased by his loving wife of 57 years, Marjorie Gladys Andrew
(nee McKnight) in 2001. He is survived by his four daughters: Elaine, Joyce,
MSc'86 (James), Jane (John), and Kathy (Michael); 11 grandchildren; and
four great-grandchildren
Fred worked as an engineer and then chief engineer for the Internationa
Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission (IPSFC) for 39 years designing and
building fishways that enabled salmon to ascend high-velocity streams
to their spawning grounds, mainly in the Fraser River system. He also
contributed to designing and building spawning channels to increase DEPARTMENTS    •
in memoriam
spawning habitat on many Fraser River
tributaries. After years of improving salmon
habitat and fighting against dams on the Fraser
River system, Fred retired from IPSFC and
formed Andrew Consulting Ltd., and continued
to work for several years on fisheries and
environmental issues
Fred enjoyed a fulfilling retirement
volunteering with the South Burnaby Garden Club, BC Council of Garden
Clubs, Balance and Dizziness Disorder Society, and Burnaby Lake trail and
habitat improvements; philanthropy with numerous charities; and hobbies
of gardening, playing bridge and reading
Fred was a kind and generous man, a loving husband, father, grandfather
and great-grandfather and a dedicated family man whose greatest joy was
spending time with his wife and family. Family recreation included water
skiing, snow skiing, camping, boating, and curling, as well as touring every
ake, stream and hydroelectric dam in the Pacific Northwest. He treasured
his family and many friends, and will be greatly missed for their many happy
times together. He worked tirelessly to improve the environment and to
make the world a better place. He was deeply loved and will be missed
August 30,1919 - February 23, 2011. Alan was born in Victoria, BC,
and lived most of his life there. His first job was as apprentice gardener
at the Empress Hotel. During WWII he was employed by the Department
of National Defence at naval headquarters in Vancouver as coordinator
of teletype and coding machine staff, and then as a signal man in the
Canadian army until 1945
After the war, he attended UBC, studying plant science with emphasis
on the horticulture option, graduating with his BSc in Agriculture. From
1949 to 1981 he was employed by the BC Ministry of Agriculture, first as
horticulture extension specialist for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands,
and later as supervising horticulturist for the entire coastal region. He retired
in 1981 and continued to live on his small farm in Happy Valley, where he
ived for the rest of his life. Over the years, he served on the Sooke schoo
board, was active in the local church community, and was a life member
of the Metchosen Farmers' Institute. Predeceased by his wife, Margaret,
and brother, Keith, he is survived by sons Stephen (Debbie) and Tom (Liz);
daughter Norma (Pat); and eight grandchildren
Ken passed away on April 7, 2012, at the age of 85. Predeceased by his
wife, Shirley, he is survived by his son, Mark (Cathy); daughter, Wendy Kluge
(Tony); grandchildren Heather, David, Jeff, James, Jason, and Jennifer (Kai);
and great-grandson, Johann
Ken's professional engineering career included working in Trail, BC,
at Consolidated Mining and Smelting in 1952, and then returning to the
ower mainland to join H.A. Simons. He went on to work for Crippen
Consultants, serving as senior vice-president, president and director
before his retirement
Retirement activities included travel, boating, membership at the West
Van Lawn Bowling Club, and membership at the West Vancouver Senior's
Centre, where Ken spent many hours in the woodworking shop, carving
beautiful pieces that are treasured by the family.
1928 - 2012. I have left you now. Remember
me fondly and know that I loved you. I lived a
wonderful life, the kind a young girl might dream
of. I was born in Toronto and had a lot of fun as
r'^^M     a kid growing up in Princeton and Vancouver.
I did well in school, graduated with honours from
UBC, and became a wife, mother, grandmother
and great-grandmother,
re-entered the work force once my children were self-sufficient and
retired as the assistant to the vice-president at BCIT. I loved all types of
recreation, including running, skiing, tennis, boating and especially singing
out-of-tune around a campfire. Then I began to forget the words to the
songs. In my later years, dementia took over. Some might say I suffered
from Alzheimer's. But I didn't. Those who loved me suffered; I simply ebbed
Thanks to the efforts of my loving family, particularly my husband, I was
fortunate to complete my life in the comfort of my own home where I had
ived for the past 30 years
am survived by my husband of 58 years Richard Chapman IV; sons,
Richard Chapman V (Avril) and Gordon Calhoun (Hanh); grandchildren
Heather and Derek (Ayako); great-grandchildren Sarah and Sean, siblings
Ann, Louis, Laurence and many nieces, nephews, and cousins
was predeceased by parents Michael Gabriel (Gabe) and Mary
sabel (Molly); and siblings Lillian, Jim, Patricia, Eleanor and Ken. In lieu
of flowers, please consider a donation to my friends at the Alzheimer's
Society of BC or Dying with Dignity. Their work will go a long way to helping
future generations
William W. Gilgan was born in Castor, AB, on July 7,1917, and passed
away in his beloved Burns Lake on August 7, 2012, one month to the day
after he celebrated his 95 birthday with family and friends
A true pioneer, Bill moved with his family to homestead on Tchesinkut
Lake, 15 km south of Burns Lake, in 1918. He was the first person to
complete high school in Burns Lake, graduating in 1936
Bill served in the RCAF as a navigator during WWII, and enrolled at
UBC at the end of the war, graduating with a degree in forestry.
With the completion of his education, Bill relocated his family back to
Burns Lake and worked there in various forestry-related positions until the
mid-'60s, when he left the industry to pursue another interest, becoming
the planning director for the regional district of Bulkley-Nechako. Bill
remained in that capacity until his retirement in 1983
In retirement, Bill remained active, serving several years as a marriage
commissioner, and maintaining his lifelong love of fishing, hunting and
the outdoors in general, by running his trapline until well into his 80s
William will be remembered most for his active participation in the
community that he had called home since before it was incorporated
He was very active in politics at the local level, serving two periods
as mayor of Burns Lake for a total of 23 years. He was challenged, but
never defeated at the polls during that tenure. Bill was the last surviving
founding member of the Rotary Club of Burns Lake, chartered in 1953
Bill is survived by his wife of 27 years, Kathleen, and six children by two
of his three marriages
Keith Norman Slessor was born in Comox,
BC, in 1938 and lost his battle with mantle eel
lymphoma on July 18, 2012. After receiving his
PhD, Keith spent two years of post-doctoral study
in London, UK, and Stockholm before returning
to Canada as a faculty member at the newly
founded Simon Fraser University.
Keith's 39-year career as a professor of
chemistry at SFU was devoted to his twin passions of teaching and scientific
research. He was recognized for excellence in both areas, being awarded
the SFU Excellence in Teaching Award (1995) for having conveyed the
principles of organic chemistry to thousands of SFU undergraduates. He
also developed and taught Science and Its Impact on Society, a course
about science for undergraduates in the social sciences and humanities
He, along with Mark Winston, was awarded The BC Science and Engineering
Gold Medal in Natural Sciences (2003) for deciphering the biochemica
communication mechanisms in honeybee colonies. Of the many awards he
received, these were the two of which he was most proud. At the nationa
level, Keith participated in several NSERC adjudication committees and in
the development of new interdisciplinary programs. He gave unselfishly
of his time to teaching, mentoring, research and community.
Keith was also an ardent fly fisherman, and he and his wife Marie spent
decades pursuing Kamloops trout in the interior lakes of BC. In his retirement,
he channelled his energy into fine woodworking and created many pieces
that now grace homes, kitchens, and dinner tables around the world
He leaves his wife of 52 years, Marie, BEd'62; son Mike, BASc'92 (Erin);
son Graham (Tanya, BSc'02); daughter Karen Francis (Dani); and four
grandchildren: Kai, Kobe, Nicole and Cameron
"A passionate and productive life, alas too short."
April 10,1927 - February 26, 2013. The
Honourable Alfred J. Scow was born April 10,
1927, in Alert Bay, BC, to Chief William and Alice
Scow of the Kwicksutaineuk Nation. Although
born at a time when Aboriginals were prohibited
from entering the legal profession, he went on to
become the first Aboriginal person to graduate
from a BC Law School, the first Aboriginal lawyer
in BC to be called to the Bar and the first to be appointed as a legally trained
judge in the Province
Prior to becoming a judge, he was city prosecutor for New Westminster,
chair of the board of review for the Workmen's Compensation Board, and
completed a two-year assignment to Guyana on the Amerindian Lands
Commission fact-finding committee. After leaving the Provincial Court,
Mr. Scow's roles included work on behalf of the Musqueam, Fraser Valley
and Penticton Indian bands
Mr. Scow volunteered his leadership to many community organizations
including UBC, where he helped guide the establishment of First Nations
studies. He served on the university's Senate, the President's Advisory
Committee, the Faculty of Law First Nations Advisory Committee, and
the Alumni Association board. He was a founding member of the Elders
Committee for the First Nations House of Learning
In 2001, he founded The Scow Institute, which works to promote a greater
understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people regarding
issues affecting all Canadians. He contributed to his community through
volunteer board work for the John Howard Society, United Good Neighbour
Fund and Credit Union, BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities,
Aboriginal Justice Centre, Pacific Salmon Foundation, YVR Art Foundation,
and the Institute of Indigenous Government. In 2012, Mr. Scow was awarded
the UBC Alumni Achievement - Blythe Eagles Volunteer Leadership Award
for his outstanding volunteer contributions
He is survived by his loving family - his wife of 49 years, Joan; brothers
Peter, Henry, and Glen; sisters, Beatrice, Winnie Speck, Irene Bertelsen,
and Karen Adams; and many nephews, nieces and extended family. In lieu
of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Vancouver
Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society.
February 18,1938 - August 11, 2012. Architect, artist, cowboy, storyteller
and bon vivant, Nick was born in Calgary and raised in Vancouver. In 1961
he was awarded a CMHC Travelling Scholarship which he used to examine
urban renewal in the US. His graduating thesis, proposing the creation of
Victoria's Bastion Square, won the National Pilkington Scholarship for Study
Abroad. Nick worked for the Civic Trust in London on its plan for restoring
the Lea Valley, for UNESCO in Ireland and for a private firm in Denmark
Back in Vancouver he worked for Thompson, Berwick and Pratt, then
for Erickson & Massey in Montreal and Toronto where he was one of the
designers of the Bank of Canada building in Ottawa
Nick established his practice in Victoria in 1972 and earned a
reputation as a leading practitioner of heritage rehabilitation projects
in the province. Nick's work was recognized with a number of awards,
including the Lt. Governor's Medal for his competition-winning scheme
for The Victoria Conference Centre. Nick and his brother, Sam, won a
Heritage Canada award for their restoration of the 10 buildings that created
Victoria's Market Square and also received a Heritage BC award for their
lifetime achievements
Nick had a deep love of aboriginal culture and the times spent with the
Hunt family and other friends from Fort Rupert. He was an unforgettable
character with enormous talent who made friends wherever he went and
enriched the lives of everyone around him
He was much loved by his partner of 20 years, Pamela Madoff; his children,
Tine and Peer; his grandchildren; his younger brother, Sam; and extended
family. Released from the health challenges of recent years, Nick is now free to
ride the upper pastures of his beloved Flying U Ranch, paints and cigar in hand
Dick was born March 19,1930, in Chungking, West China, and came to
North America with his family for a furlough year in 1936/37 and again
in 1944. He remained to continue his education: a BA from Swarthmore
College in 1952 and an MSc from Princeton University in 1954
For the following six years he worked at Canadian Marconi and
nternational Syscoms in Montreal as a radio engineer. In 1960, he returned
to his first love, mathematics, receiving his PhD. For the next 25 years Dick
researched and taught mathematics at University College in London, UK,
'Universite de Montreal, Queen's University, the University of Zambia,
and the University of Essex DEPARTMENTS    •
in memoriam
Dick played soccer and field hockey into his adult years, and was
an avid rock climber and mountaineer. He traversed Mt. Victoria in the
Canadian Rockies and attempted to summit Mt. Waddington. He got his
pilot's license in his 20s, later building and flying a small two-seater Kitfox
from Ontario toBC.Dickwasan excellent folk-dancer with a particular
fondness for Israeli and Balkan rhythms and fancy footwork - both of which
he taught. He once graced Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage
dancing as a Bulgarian and sang in numerous choirs, both large and small
He retired to Salt Spring Island in 1999 where woodworking, travel and
volunteering filled many a day.
Over the years, Dick's thoughtful and inquisitive mind led him to think
deeply about world events and a lifelong opposition to racism, war, and
social inequality. He cared about other people and the world we live in,
and did what he could to better it
On August 2, 2012, Dick died of gastric cancer at Salt Spring's Lady
Minto Hospital. He will be missed by his wife of 51 years, Jill; his children,
an, Michele, and Derek; and his siblings, Joy, Don and Bill
Jeanette died August 24, 2012, in Edmonton after a strenuous one-year
battle with cancer. Jeanette was born in Beijing, China, in 1943, educated
in Vancouver, and then moved to Edmonton to undertake a passionate
nursing career that spanned over 40 years. Most recently, she was a nursing
educator at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. She is still "Mrs
Florence" to the many nurses who attended her classes and preceptorships
over the years. Jeanette made significant contributions to the Edmonton
branch of the UBC Alumni Association. She is survived by her husband,
Wayne, daughter, Michella, and two cherished grandchildren
Born September 27,1950, Vicki passed away
in St. Michael's Hospice on October 19, 2012,
after a five-year battle with breast cancer. She
is survived by her husband, Richard Hollins,
daughter, Sydney Hollins, and brother, Harry
Gibb. She is predeceased by her mother, Gertie,
father, Jim, and brothers, Bert and Wally.
Vicki was born in Kelowna, grew up in Oyama
and Kelowna, and studied chemistry at UBC, gaining an honours degree
in 1971. She graduated from the University of Toronto in Medicine in 1981,
receiving the Cody silver medal. She practised in both New Westminster
and Coquitlam, before she retired in 1997. She will be missed by family
and friends. Her superlative intellect, determination and courage will be
an inspiration to us all. Donations may be made to the Canadian Menta
Health Association, The Canadian Cancer Society or St. Michael's
Centre Foundation
1952 - 2012. Daniel Alexander was a remarkable man. He joined Rustad
Bros, almost 40 years ago as a fresh forestry graduate and over the course
of his long career grew to be a great manager. He was innovative, always
fair, cared for his people and, without a doubt, was a devoted family man
In his 20 years with Rustad Bros., Dan became known as a competent and
well-respected leader. He served as the plant manager and then president
of Rustad Bros, for Northwood. When Northwood was sold to Canfor,
Dan moved on to Weldwood, in Quesnel, as manager of the plywood plant
When Weldwood was sold, Dan went to BC Forestry Innovation Investment
There he analyzed and made recommendations on proposals for mountain
pine beetle projects. His most current position was general manager of the
Canfor Quesnel Division
Dan was a professional forester in the best sense of the word
"professional." He cared about the forest as a whole and not just as a
way to make a living. He was always able to find solutions and, in doing
so, made a remarkable contribution to the industry.
The things that made Dan a good manager also meant that in his
private life he was an organized, kind and caring husband, father and
grandfather. Dan is survived by his loving wife, Sue, his children, Bruce
and Erin, and his grandchildren, Tavish, Avery and Josh. Dan enjoyed being
a father and, although it was cut short, he was making the most of being
a grandfather too
While it's unfair Dan passed away so young, he certainly lived a good
life. He was a smart, kind, caring man, and his friends and colleagues are
all better off because of the part Dan played in each of their lives
DIANE LOOMER, CM, BMus'82, DLitt'11
Diane Loomer, award-winning musician,
ambassador for Canadian choral music
and recipient of the Order of Canada, died
on December 10, 2012, at the age of 72
A former faculty member of the UBC Schoo
of Music and a leading and inspiring chora
conductor, Diane was founder and director
of the Chor Leoni Men's Choir, the EnChor
choir, and co-founder of the Elektra Women's Choir.
Diane was born in St. Paul, MN, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus
College in 1962. In the 70s she moved to the west coast with her husband
and pursued the study and performance of music. After attending Douglas
College, she transferred to UBC's School of Music where she completed
a music degree in 1982. That same year, she established a community voca
ensemble at Douglas College
She had many connections with UBC over the years, first as a student
and later as conductor of the UBC Choral Union in the 1990s. More recently,
Diane was a mentor to students in the alumni mentorship program, a guest
conductor with UBC choirs, and last spring her EnChor choir was invited to
perform in a concert with the University Singers. Among her many awards
and laurels, she received a Doctor of Letters honoris causa from UBC in
May 2011. In his message to students and faculty, director of UBC's Schoo
of Music Richard Kurth wrote: "Diane had spectacular musical and persona
charisma, which characteristically drew its power from her passionate and
articulate conviction in the power of music. For all her singers, and all her
audiences, she will remain absolutely unforgettable."
Born June 17,1973, Justin died suddenly at his home in Toronto on
September 24, 2012. He was the beloved son of Diane and Joseph and
oving brother of Gavin (Hong Kong). Justin attended UBC, graduating
with a degree in electrical engineering/computers, and was very
successful in his chosen field. He liked nothing more than fine foods,
great books and the company of good friends. Donations to the charity
of your choice would be appreciated. "One crowded hour of glorious life
is worth an age without a name."
Co-founder of UBC's Creative Writing
Department, and longtime editor of Prism
International, Jacob died on August 21, 2012,
at the age of 88. Husband, father, grandfather,
uncle, brother, writer, teacher, mentor, editor
- none of these words capture the inherent
decency and integrity of this Depression-era
kid from Wisconsin
In 1949 Jake moved to New York City with dreams of being a filmmaker,
nstead, he became a youth social worker in Manhattan. There, he met
his wife and lifelong love, Alice Shafran. They moved to Seattle in 1956
where Jake worked as a teaching fellow at the University of Washington
In 1957, Jake accepted Canadian poet Earle Birney's invitation and became
an instructor in UBC's English department, where he and longtime friend
Jan DeBruyn, started one of Canada's leading literary magazines: Prism
International. Several years later, he and Birney formed Canada's first
Creative Writing Department
Jake was an author of excellent short stories and plays, including the
critically hailed short story, The Prince. As a professor and editor, he helped
several generations of writers, including the family's lifelong friend and
renowned author Wayson Choy. When Jake retired from UBC in 1989 after
33 years, a scholarship for fledgling screenwriters was endowed in his name
Jake's other great passions were for politics and sports. He was a
champion of social justice and the underdog. He was an active and excellent
tennis player - a fixture at the Jericho Tennis Club, and a Canadian Doubles
Tennis Champion
Jake took greatest satisfaction in his family, always believing that his
wife, Alice, was the smartest and most beautiful woman he'd ever known
He tookgreat pride and interest in daughter Julie and son Mike remarking
that "my children are my greatest work of art." He derived no small measure
of joy from his grandsons and cared very much for his brother, Harry.
His family loved him deeply and will miss him profoundly. He was a mensch
in every way. Donations may be made to the Jacob Zilber scholarship at
UBC's Creative Writing Department http://memorial.supporting.ubc.ca/
Please submit obituaries to trek.magazine@ubc.ca including
"In Memoriam: first name, last name, class year" in the subject line,
or mail to:
UBC Alumni Association
6251 Cecil Green Park Road
Vancouver, BC V6T1Z1
Obituaries should be 300 words or less (submissions may be edited for
length and clarity where necessary). Mail original photos or email high
resolution images - preferably 300 dpi. D
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Torrance Coombs rose to fame as the horribly-villainous-yet-alluringly-
handsome Thomas Culpepper in Showtime's popular series The Tudors.
In grade school he joined the choir in an attempt to break out of
his shell, which apparently did the trick because he soon landed his
first acting role as the hip-swivelling, tail-swinging Rum Turn Tugger
in the school production of Cats. In his determination to truly "nail"
the character. Coombs studied videos of Elvis Presley in concert.
Coombs' love of acting continued throughout high school, eventually
leading him to the acting program at UBC. After graduation, he launched
into the theatre scene, including two seasons at Vancouver's prestigious
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. He's appeared in TV shows
including Supernatural, Battlestar Galactka, Haven, Heartland, Endgame,
and/Pod and this year can be seen in the upcoming film Liars All, as well
as the recently released Kill For Me.
Coombs is currently in Dublin, Ireland, filming CW network's pilot
Reign - a historical drama chronicling the rise to power of Mary Queen of
Scots. It's been four years since Coombs was in Dublin filming The Tudors,
and according to his tweets he's clearly missed the charm of the city,
especially the pints of Guinness.
What is your most
prized possession?
Either my acoustic guitar or my
severed head from The Tudors.
go back and forth
Describe the place you most
like to spend time.
spend most of my time in my Iiving
room. I'd rather be spending my
time travelling the world
Who was your childhood hero?
thinkthe closest thing I had
to a hero was my dad, who
was actually a prof at UBC for
a long time. Before Wikipedia
existed, he knew all the answers
He was never afraid to say
"I don't know," but he rarely
needed to.
What was the last thing
you read?
The Dunk & Egg novellas from
George R. R. Martin. They're
every bit as amazing as the
main Song of Ice and Fire series
What or who makes you
laugh out loud?
Spooky-eyed horses get
me right in the funnies for
some reason
What's the most important
lesson you ever learned?
Listen! (It's so much easier
said than done. I'm still
working on it.)
What's your idea of the
perfect day?
I'm lying in bed watching hockey
and eating bacon. Suddenly,
get a phone call offering me
a role in a movie that shoots
in Europe
(Trek Note: Coombs recently
landed a role in the CW's drama
pilot, Reign, and is currently in
Dublin, Ireland.)
What was your nickname
at school?
I've got one friend who calls
me Mommy. I call him Daddy.
Maybe one day we'll invite
children into the fold?
What would be the title of
your biography?
Pretty Eyes and Dumb Luck
If a genie granted you one wish,
what would it be?
To make a first-world lifestyle
sustainable for the entire
planet in perpetuity. Or maybe
just open an In-n-Out Burger
in Canada
What item have you owned
for the longest time?
An old joke book. Sample joke: What
is the difference between a running
man and a running dog? The man
wears trousers and the dog pants
What is your latest purchase?
A pair of combat boots from a
military surplus store. They give
me a decidedly manly gait when
a role calls for it.
Whom do you most admire
(living or dead) and why?
Anyone who is unafraid to be
themselves. Maybe it's because I'm
an actor, but I have a lot of trouble
trying not to be someone else
What would you like your
epitaph to say?
If you could invent something,
what would it be?
A teleporter. Air travel is such an
inefficient way to see the world
In which era would you most
like to have lived, and why?
I'm pretty happy in this one. I don't
know if I'd have survived in any other.
What are you afraid of?
Failure. Success. Bears
Name the skill or talent you
would most like to have.
The ability to make anybody happy.
Which three pieces of music would
you take to that desert island?
Decemberists - The Crane Wife,
Arcade Fire - Funeral, Depeche
Mode - Violator.
Which famous person (living or
dead) do you think (or have you
been told) you most resemble?
People often mistake me
for Morgan Freeman
What is your pet peeve?
Flagrantly bad grammar.
What are some of your
UBC highlights?
The plays I was involved in while
was in the theatre program, and the
people I got to know. UBC Improv.
A few messy nights at the Pit. D
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person accepted. Skill testing question required. At UBC, Dr. Kishor Wasan and his team developed a cure for the neglected global disease Leishmaniasis
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