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Celebrating the Opening of the New Oak Bay Secondary School

Today was my turn to read a member’s statement in the house. I took the opportunity to celebrate the grand opening of the new Oak Bay Secondary School.


Yesterday I, along with the Minister of Education, had the distinct honour of attending the grand opening of the new Oak Bay Secondary School. Four young leaders representing Oak Bay’s four pillars of excellence brought a personal message to the audience, a message building upon comments they received this past spring from alumni who passed them the torch.

Academics was represented by Robert Lee, winner of the 2014 Michael Smith Science Challenge, as Canada’s top grade 10 science student.

Athletics was represented by rugby and track star, Matti Grant.

Fine arts was represented by actress Veronique Beaudet, who performed magnificently as Belle in February’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

Community leadership and philanthropy was represented by Ruby Tang, a leader in her school and outstanding ambassador for youth in so many ways.

Oak Bay Secondary also has a critical and foundational pillar in Mr. Dave Thomson, their principal. Without his tireless efforts to guide the school through the transition from the old to the new, we would not have been in a position to celebrate the successes we did yesterday. Oak Bay Secondary students have a rich history of success in each of its four pillars of excellence.

As an example of leadership, take Ian Cameron, student council president during my 1979 grad year, who is now an ABC news executive producer and married to the U.S. national security advisor, Susan Rice. They are some of President Obama’s favourite dinner guests.

As an example in academics, there’s 1937 Oak Bay grad, Pierre Berton, one of Canada’s most celebrated non-fiction writers and storytellers.

In athletics, Oak Bay has produced several generations of international rugby stars, including Donald Carson, Norm Hadley, Winston Stanley and Mark Wyatt. Our very own Kelly Dukeshire, a security officer in this Legislature, was a much-celebrated national basketball star and a 1978 grad. And in the area of fine arts, Roy Henry Vickers, a household name and distinguished First Nations artist, author and speaker, was a member of the class of 1965.

I want to offer my sincere thanks to all the dedicated teachers, administrators and staff at Oak Bay Secondary School. Collectively, they have contributed so much to the success of their students and the wonderful culture that exists at the school.

I also want to acknowledge, with gratitude, the dedicated school district leadership, my predecessor Ida Chong and this government for their ongoing commitment to build a remarkable new facility — the wonderful, new Oak Bay Secondary School.

Video of Statement

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