UBC Lip Dub goes viral

To skip the article and go straight to the Dub, follow this link:


Back in 1959 if a Magee graduate was moving on to university in BC there was only one choice: UBC. Even UVic was just a college of UBC until 1963, and SFU, UNBC, Trinity, and our province’s recently upgraded colleges were years away from opening.

University math was also simple back then. A year’s tuition in most UBC faculties cost $252, and a case of Old Style beer was $2.52. Those of us who have helped our children with university decisions and costs are well aware that academic options, tuition fees, and beer prices in Canada have changed dramatically. With all this progress, I wonder if anything has been done to make the dash from B lot to Buchanan for an 8:30am lecture through a howling November rainstorm any less hypothermic?

Most information a ’59 grad needed to know about UBC was contained in the Calendar, which the Registrar’s office handed out. Now, universities market themselves year-round to build a “brand” to attract students, faculty, and research grants. Simply laying out their entrance and degree requirements in print and on the Web doesn’t cut it. Schools have to constantly create buzz in the traditional media and–especially–online. And that’s exactly what the students who made UBC’s “Lip Dub 2011” have done, with the support of the administration.

The dub phenomenon has been around for about five years, and Googling “best lip dubs” will bring up dozens of examples ranging in quality from “awkward but spirited” to “near professional.” UBC’s effort certainly falls in the latter category, and somehow they managed to pull it off without referring to The Great Trek, or mentioning the venerable motto Tuum Est.

The originator of UBC’s production, who got inspired after seeing a UVic dub, defines the phenomenon as a style of video shot for YouTube in the hopes that it will “go viral” and attract thousands of viewers, especially students who might be considering, or even attending, other universities. Mission accomplished, it would appear, as the dub’s hit count soared well over a million in just six weeks. It’s done much to strengthen UBC’s existing community, too, and raised some money for the Make A Wish Foundation.

The cast is a large group of students and community members who rock out in various campus settings to two songs that form the dub’s soundtrack: “Raise Your Glass” by Pink, and “Celebrity Status” by Marianas Trench. Dub camera-work is hand-held, stabilized by a Steadicam, and captures several minutes of action in a single tracking shot. Orchestrating such long sequences requires phenomenal planning, coordination, and patience.

After a cheeky spoken intro, the dub’s action starts in front of the old Library building, which is now the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, housing Arts One, Science One, and other innovative programs, signifying how UBC and other universities are evolving. Oh, and the dub is best viewed full-screen with the sound turned ’way up.

Related Links:

UBC Lip Dub on YouTube Music: “Fill Your Glass”, by Pink; “Celebrity Status”, by Marianas Trench.

The Making of the UBC Lip Dub This clip shows UBC’s camera and sound gear, and the shooting process, plus a few bloopers and outtakes.

Official UBC Lip Dub website Some interesting background info here, but it’s better to view the dub itself on YouTube, where there are no pop-up ads.

UVic’s Lib Dub The one that inspired UBC’s.  Music (mellower than UBC’s choices–it is the Island, after all):  ”Haven’t Met You Yet”, by Michael Buble; “Never Gonna Give You Up”, by Rick Astley.

Vanier Secondary Lip Dub High schools are also producing dubs as spirit-builders. Here’s the one from Georges P. Vanier Secondary in Courtenay, where I taught for 22 years.  Music: “Ordinary Day”, by Great Big Sea.

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John Tanton To Be Named Chair for Magee’s Centennial

In the next short while, Magee’s principal, Randy George, will be announcing John Tanton of our class as Chair for the school’s centennial celebrations in 2014. John is already hard at work developing information on what other local schools have done for their centennials, and is identifying key people from our year and others to put together a top-notch committee and an outstanding event.

Following is John’s brief biography as provided to the school for publication on the Magee website.

John was born in Prince Edward Island on February 14, 1941 in the town of O’Leary (pop. 8). He was delivered by his father who happened to be the family physician for the area. When he was five the family moved to Montreal while his father took advanced studies in medicine. After this the family, consisting of his father, mother and an older sister, moved to Vancouver. John started school at Prince of Wales, in grade four moved to Quilchena and then in grade seven to Point Grey, and then of course to our famous alma mater, Magee, for grades ten through twelve, graduating in 1959.

Looking back at his days at Magee he enjoyed immensely working with Mr. Davies, a Phys. Ed. teacher and played rugby in grades 10, 11 and 12. His favourite teachers were Mr. Poole who tried to teach John Latin for three years, and the math teacher, Mr. Ginther.

In 1959 John went to the University of British Columbia and earned a degree in Biochemistry and Physiology. While at UBC he joined the wrestling squad and played rugby. After graduating he was hired by Atomic Energy of Canada as a Research Scientist studying the effects of radiation. He then joined one of Johnson & Johnson’s companies and became General Manager for Western Canada. Restless, he then co-founded a company in 1970 with Magee classmate Kyle Mitchell, and it subsequently became the largest executive search firm in Canada.

After 40 years John retired as Chair of the Board in Odgers Berndtson in Vancouver. During this period of time he was also very active in many community organizations including serving as Chair of the Campaign Cabinet for the United Way of the Lower Mainland in 2002. He has also been active with the capital campaigns of UBC, YMCA, Vancouver Aquarium and the Stanley Theatre. In addition, John has been a Board member for Lions Gate Hospital, United Way, Vancouver Board of Trade, Sales & Marketing Executives of Vancouver, and member of the BCIT Development Council. Most recently John was Chair of the 2006 Celebrity Breakfast for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon.

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Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society


When I first read Bill Harvey’s recent re-visit to Kerrisdale  I noticed the picture of the interurban at Kerrisdale Station. It was a picture of BCER 1225 circa 1950s.

As Bill mentioned it was a great system of light rail transit and one that, I am sure, most of us remember or, like me, had many rides. With me the rides left a definite impression.

Most of the cars were scrapped, or sold to U.S. rail enthusiasts. Only one stayed in B.C. and that was car 1223 lovingly rehabilitated and now on display at Burnaby Village Museum. The others saved from the fires under the Burrard Street Bridge were 1220, 1231, 1235, 1225, 1207, 1304. The first 3 went to Olympia, Wa; 1225 to Perris, Ca; 1207 to Snohomish, Wa. and 1304 to Glenwood, then to Brooks, Oregon. All are now back in B.C. except 1235 which is in Ottawa, Ontario.

BCER 1225 was the first car the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway (FVHRS) returned to B.C. Built by the St. Louis Car Co in 1912, it began operation in late Spring 1913 on the Steveston to Vancouver Line. The Vancouver terminus was on Davie Street, between Granville St and Seymour St. In 1952 the Vancouver section was closed and the car operated from Steveston to Marpole. Occasionally, it could be found on the Burnaby Lake Line. Since its return, in 2005, over 16 000 volunteer hours have been put into its rehabilitation.

Working with the Steveston Interurban Restoration Society the FVHRS helped bring back BCER 1304 the only remaining Fraser Valley Line interurban. It, too, is located in the FVHRS car barn.

In the mid 1990′s, Mr. Jim Wallace, a Surrey business man and member of the Surrey Heritage Committee posed a question about a revitalization of the Fraser Valley Interurban Line.  He wrote a $25 000 personal cheque and asked the committee to research it.  The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society was formed as a result of the research.

Hopefully, my short introduction has, or will bring back memories of the service and you may want to share some experiences. Or you might have some opinion on modern light rail for the valley. I will continue to inform on what to me is an interesting and enjoyable retirement “hobby” (but that might not be the right word).

Check out the FVHRS for pictures and videos.  www.fvhrs.com or the link on the Magee59 home page. Click on the “links” sidebar.

BCER 1225 at OERM, May 2004

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Ahoy, Magee Class of ’59………

The following message floated in, sometime after the dust had settled and the Class Baby/Class Babe (Dianne West Scharfe) and the Class Olde Phart (Davie Rae) had been duly anointed. What was there left to determine? Well, apparently this….

“Now that we know who is the oldest and the youngest of the class, what about us in the middle? Don’t you all know that the center of the watermelon is the sweetest? Challenge please!”

My B-day is August 6, 1941.

Happy New Year to All!

Elaine Drinkwater
Portland, Oregon

And so there is a new challenge, and this from a Hiroshima Day baby and “hot” contender to the Class Babe title. (Our contributor was cautioned by her spiritual advisor and sailing partner, Jerry, that there might be earthly connotations taken by some to her “watermelon” and “sweetest” descriptions – but she plunged ahead regardless.) Bravo, Elaine!

And, having consulted with our Class Statistician, the venerable Dr. Rhoades, the date in question is June 29, 1941.

Who was born closest to that date? And who represents the centre of the Magee59 universe?

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Southern Straits Race April 2010 on my J37 sailboat (Future Primitive).

The above YouTube clip is from the 2010 Southern Straits of Georgia Race always run on Good Friday which can take up to three days. I skippered my boat, a J37 called Future Primitive. This was the 42nd running (my 40th) and is known as the ultimate challenge in these waters (a true gear and crew breaker.) During this race, one boat sank, about 12 crew wound up in the water. All rescued and survived. WVYC, at the request of the Coast Guard, terminated the race about 4 PM on the first day (this has never happened before but the CG said that it had no more resources to respond to the calls for help from the fleet of about 50 sailboats.) Some boats registered 80+ knots of wind. We certainly saw that. As usual, in those conditions, the waves are the problem, not the wind. They were huge…I’ve raced over 10,000 miles offshore including the 2006 Sydney, Australia to Hobart (all racers’ Everest), a couple of Victoria-Mauis, Pan Am Clipper Cup in Hawaii CDN Team, LA-Puerto Vallarta, etc. My crew and I have been together for many years (some over 15), and are all very experienced ocean racers; some accompanying me on Vic-Mauis and Sydney to Hobart.

The Skipper/Navigator’s weather briefing the night before the start at WVYC by a professional meteorologist warned us that it would be very rough. We were ready, as was the boat. We’ve all raced offshore in big winds and high seas. In fact, about six boats decided not to race. On a friend’s boat, one of the crew jumped off the boat and swam to shore just before the start off Dundarave Pier in WV. Many more similar stories, with many boats starting in about 35 knots of wind, but pulling out before leaving English Bay (the first island to round was just north of Nanaimo.) It was a wise choice for many if they weren’t prepared.

It really picked up about 1/2 way across the Strait. The way we described it later was that it was violent. F P was pushed well beyond her hull speed, up to 18 knots. Unfortunately, the camera does not capture the true sense of the situation. I knew we were safe, barring any unforeseen situations such as gear/mast failure (there were many.) It was exhilarating.

We arrived in Nanaimo after the race was abandoned about 4 PM. The winds were fierce even in the harbour. At the bar after (we’re sailors, of course…), we watched some ambulances take away crew that had been recued by Coast Guard boats who were severely hypothermic having been in the water too long (that time of year, about 1/2 hour is max.) Some were good friends sharing a passion, and all are fine now. One friend was in the hospital for a few days.

It’s difficult to describe this to people who do not share this passion, and push the boundaries. I read a poem years ago in a sailing magazine. It was written by a sailor who had circumnavigated the world, occasionally encountering challenging conditions and surmounting them. He said that, having met and survived these challenges, it was difficult to settle into a house with a white picket fence and speak the language of the common man. When my crew and racing buddies get together, here or Australia or Hawaii, or a local yacht club bar, we know what we’ve done (or not), and we share the camaraderie.

My next major race is Antigua Sailing Week (aka Race Week) during the last two weeks of April. My partner Joan and my crew organized it all to celebrate my 70th birthday in April. There’s a clip of the great reveal at a crew brunch on my Facebook site.

In the meantime, we continue to race F P every other weekend in the WVYC Snowflake Series, followed by more long and short races in the Spring. We cruise her July and August. A nice break…

Hope you’ve found this interesting. Joan and I live a block from Magee. I can still see our old school in my mind’s eye. I had lunch with my still best friend Stan Webber, and his Mom and sisters Sandra and Joan recently.

Best wishes for a great New Year.
Ron MacKenzie

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Several days ago, one Monty Cordingley, an unemployed (he sez retired) gentleman residing in Kelowna, sent us the following email:

I think I’m the oldest of all those 59 Grads born during 1941 (Jan 04); so Happy # 70 as your birthday arrives throughout 2011.

(Doug Garnett is Jan 03, but I think he was born 1940).

Regards: Monty Cordingley in Kelowna BC

This elicited a number of responses from contenders and pretenders to the titles of Class Olde Phart and Class Baby. Ergo:

Bill, Seasonally Adjusted Greetings to you.

Linda and I thank you for all your work in keeping us informed on what is going on. I look forward to spending some time on the website over the holidays.

I have 2 claims that not many others of the group can match. First, I am probably the only one whose name is misspelled in the year book. Second, Monty may be close to the oldest but I think I must be close to the youngest at January 29, 1942.

Keep smiling.

Bob and Linda (Johnston) Loptson

Hi, The important ? is, who is the class baby. I’m one of the younger ones, Nov 5 41 but somewhere there must be a Dec. infant? Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year. Carol MacLean (Arnold)

Could I be the class baby? My birthday is Jan. 17, 1942.
Sandra Ryder (O’Hara).

My birthday is Dec 10/41 Stan (Webber)

Mary Edgar and Judie Fox were both born on November 28, 1941, and won bottles of wine at the Faculty Club for the honour of being the two youngest.

Judie Fox Roberts

Give the wine back, ladies. You are not even close! On we go….

Sorry Bob…I hope I don’t ruin your holidays, BUT: I am the class baby (definitely not to be confused with ‘babe’)..Can anyone beat March 25th,

Happy holidays to all, Cecille Groberman Cohen

And an Olde Phart emerges!

Well I think Davie Rae has got you all beat….. June 10, 1940!!

He is away now with his family for Christmas and we share the same work email (I run his office) but I have enjoyed this little game…. although Davie will probably fire me for the “old fart award” haha.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Susanne Hankin, Manager
Hardal Management Inc.

And we had the analytical bit from a fairly well expected engineering source:

It might be worth checking:

Monty Cordingley says he was born on January 4, 1941 (let’s assume he is correct)
He says that Doug Garnett was born on January 3, 1940

In commenting to Monty you say “Doug has you by a day”.

Either Doug was born in 1941 and you are right, or he was born in 1940 and you are wrong — it would be a year difference.

As to name spelling, Bob Loptson believes he is the only one whose name was spelled wrong in the 1959 year book. As you know, mine was spelled wrong also, but you picked up the correct spelling somewhere along the way. There may be others. I’m quite willing to forgive Dave Higgins (if he made the mistake) since he was such a nice guy.

Brian Van Snellenberg

Well, as we all know Doug wasn’t born: he simply occurred. And as to Dave Higgins being a “nice guy” – well that’s a gimme.

And the Class Grinch checked in:

Does it really count if the only way you can win the Class Old Fart award is to fail and have to do grade three again?

God jul och gott nytt ar

Peter (Bogardus)

Ooohh! Sock, biff, pow..

There was a gentlemanly concession:

Congratulations Cecille !!!!!!!!!! As soon as the prize arrives here in Central
Canada I will redirect to you.

Actually, I like to think of myself as 10 years from middle age and just
approaching my prime. But when I do arthur gives me a little shot and reminds
me that is no longer true.

Enjoy and keep smiling.

Bob (Loptson)

A near winner:

Hi Bill, I was born Apr. 29, 1942.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Patrick (Monahan)

A fan:

This is so much fun. Happy New Year to everyone. Marilyn (Smith) Brock

A couple more close winners:

Hi Bill – have caught up with emails and finally own up to a birthday March 30/42 – is that the youngest? Hope you had a good Christmas – Best wishes to you and your family for the New Year – Dayle (McPherson) Farenholtz

Hello All, Greetings from the Boston area. Not to be a spoiler for Cecile, but i am April 2, 1942, as I was one of those who was
‘Skipped” in the third grade, which they did in those times to trouble-makers in the classroom – just bumped us up to the next grade to get rid of us. Happy Boxing Day to all! Carol Knowles Steele

And all the while, laying in the weeds, just off our port bow and waiting his turn, was this guy:

Okay–my wife -Dianne West (Scharfe) was born 18 July, 1942!! Nick Scharfe

You cradle robber, Nick! And this, we believe, is indeed the Class Baby and in all probability also the Class Babe! (Didn’t we kinda know this already?) But, truth be known, Dianne was in very hot competition for Class Babe. We have no shortage of deserving femmes in Magee ’59!

Send that case of Gerbers back west, Bob!

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It’s All Relative

When we are young, we tend to see the world in absolute terms. Things are absolutely right or wrong, good or bad, hot or cold, big or small, etc. As we grow older, we tend to view the world in relative terms. When seen from different points of view, things can have both elements of right and wrong, good and bad, hot and cold, big and small, etc. In essence, we tend to divide the world into dichotomies and to perceive our position in a given dichotomy as absolute when we are young and as relative when we grow older. Over time, our view of the world changes from black and white to shades of grey.

Take the “hot – cold” dichotomy which is infinitely hot at infinity “A” in one direction and infinitely cold at infinity “B” in the opposite direction. Imagine that we are sitting on the continuum somewhere between A and B. If we look at A, we can say that our position is relatively cold because A is infinitely hot. But if we turn around and look at B, we can say that our position also relatively hot because B is infinitely cold. Our position is both relatively cold and hot at the same time. Now, let’s move along this continuum to A where it is infinitely hot or B where it is infinitely cold. The result is the same – we are finished, kaput!

So, what do we conclude from all this? First, life is relative. We need to live with the ambiguity that our position is both “hot and cold” at the same time. And if we don’t like our position, we just need to turn around and look in the opposite direction. Second, extremes are dangerous and the result is the same in either direction. The best path to follow is generally one of balance and moderation.

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Creative Writing in Action

 Need a nudge to write that blog article you have in mind?  Here’s a bit of inspiration … carpe diem!

“A father passing by his son’s bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to ‘Dad.’ With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:

It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with you and mom.

I have been finding real passion with Karon and she is so nice. But I knew that you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it’s not only the passion… Dad she’s pregnant. Karon said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Karon has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Karon can get better. She deserves it.

Don’t worry Dad. I’m 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Some day I’m sure we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.

Love, Your Son John

PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Tommy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that’s in my center desk drawer.

I love you.

Call me when it’s safe to come home.”

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UBC Cinnamon Buns

UBC students have been hoovering these sticky treats for more than 50 years. They were introduced in 1954 by a Hungarian baker named Grace Hasz. The bake shop produces 100 dozen buns daily. In recent years, Food Services began producing a miniature version of the cinnamon bun, responding to our modern belief that rich, delicious foods are bad for us. The traditional recipe calls for margarine rather than butter … but why? Probably because the original recipe was concocted post WWII when butter was hard to come by. The one great omission here is raisins. For those of us who think raisins make anything taste better, distribute a cup of them on the dough just after you sprinkle on the filling.
Dough: 3 cups (750 mL) 2% milk; 6 tablespoons (90 mL) butter; 6 tablespoons (90 mL) granulated sugar; 1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt; 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar; 1/2 cup (125 mL) warm water; 2 (8 g) packages active dry yeast; 2 large eggs; 9 cups (2.25 L) all-purpose flour.
Filling: 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) sugar; 2 tablespoons (30 mL) ground cinnamon; 3/4 cup (175 mL) melted butter, divided.
Dough: Scald the milk. Stir in butter, 6 tablespoons (90 mL) sugar, and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve the 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar in lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast over water mixture. Let stand in warm place for 10 minutes; stir. In large bowl, combine lukewarm milk mixture and eggs. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add 4 to 5 cups (1 to 1.25 L) flour and beat well for 10 minutes. With wooden spoon, gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out on to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed. (This is a soft dough.) Place in well greased bowl and roll dough over to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
Meanwhile prepare filling: In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Punch down dough and turn out on to lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll out each piece of dough into 18×9-inch (46×23 cm) rectangle. Brush each rectangle generously with melted butter. Place remaining melted butter in bottom of 161/2 x111/2 x21/2-inch (42x29x6 cm) pan. Sprinkle an equal portion of sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over each rectangle. Roll each dough rectangle up tightly like a jelly roll, starting from the long side; pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) slices. Arrange slices, cut-side down, in prepared pan and cover loosely with greased wax paper. Let rise in warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 35 to 45 minutes or until baked. Remove from oven and immediately invert on to serving tray. Recipe makes 18 large cinnamon buns.
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