Basketball and a Blizzard with Balance - A Visit With BC Alums

Mark Burleigh
It was so great to enjoy a Family Day Weekend in British Columbia, and make time to host two 50th Anniversary Events where alumni, past faculty and past parents revisited their CDS connections.
On Thursday, Feb 16 we gathered at the Tap and Barrel, Bridges on Granville Island in Vancouver. While enjoying some refreshments, everyone introduced themself, shared stories of their involvements at CDS “back in their day”, and elaborated on their current lives in Vancouver. Before describing some of their memories of recent days at CDS, recent Cyclone / current UBC undergrads Carly Campoli ‘20 and Sarah Sutherland-Pace ‘21 listened intently as Jennifer Chiu (Hustadt) ‘95 and Rachel Thexton ‘00 took us down memory lane, sharing their CDS highlights and anecdotes from the ‘good old days’, with spirited tales of teachers, trips, classmates and student life. Acting as resident archivist, I helped fill in the blanks with names and timelines and such. It was three-hours of laughter-filled conversation that covered a whirlwind of personal stories from our CDS history… Cyclonic!!

Everyone shared their current stories; personal and professional, with Jennifer and Rachel offering to act as professional mentors and potentially help with employment opportunities for the younger alums at the table.

Rachel’s recollection of Montreal basketball trips and a basketball championship, served to jog my memory of a special era for CDS girls basketball; something to write about for another time, perhaps…

On Family Day, Monday, Feb. 20, the top of Whistler Mountain seemed to fit the bill for a cool photo-op and novel-yet-likely place to find CDS Community members for a 50th Gathering. So, I invited people to join me at Seppo’s Bar in the Roundhouse Lodge. As the start time of 2:00 pm drew near, the winds approached blizzard strength, slowing and temporarily stalling gondola and ski lift operations on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Retired CDS JS Librarian Pat Garrow (retired 2016) and I beat the storm and arrived early. We wondered who might be able to join us. Alexia Constantinou ‘14, Nevis Hunt ‘21, Logan Hunt ‘18, Bridger Hunt ‘17 eventually made their way in, along with past parents Dan and Jean Hunt. 

Some great visiting ensued, followed by a group photo. Check us out, holding the CDS flag on the patio while the blizzard raged. Upon re-entering the lodge after the photo shoot, a gentleman approached our group and asked, “what does balance look like, at a school?”... he’d read the “EDUCATION WITH BALANCE” slogan as we held the flag and posed for the photo.

Pointing to our group members as I listed their “balance” I replied, “It looks like a basketball player and a business student taking some time to travel before re-engaging in his studies. It looks like an endurance athlete on snow and running trails who plays a musical instrument and now studies business and plans to be a pilot. It looks like a vocal musician who is a forestry biologist, who teaches at a university. It looks like a place that supported each of their individual pursuits. It looks like two supportive and philanthropic parents who give of their time and expertise to help advance their children’s education and their school…. It looks like a retired Junior School Librarian who has taken time to come and support and reconnect at the school’s Whistler Alumni gathering…. And finally, it looks like their PE teacher, committed to helping them maintain these connections.” The gentleman seemed sufficiently impressed and he hung around, introduced himself as a local climatologist who is connected to the BC commercial aviation industry and community, and seeing as that was of interest to commercial pilot Logan and aspiring-pilot Nevis, connections were made, and unexpected opportunities discussed.

The light began to fade and the winds subsided, as we all departed in our own directions, heading down the mountain for our final runs of the day. I skied down the mountain, and I smiled and reflected on my BC CDS 50th anniversary gatherings, and my thoughts of basketball and a blizzard with balance. And the importance of the connections that are possible.

By Mark Burleigh, Alumni Faculty Liaison and Junior School Teacher

Land Acknowledgment

CDS wishes to recognize and acknowledge the land on which the school operates. For thousands of years, these have been the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We also recognize the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples who also shared this land.  CDS respects the relationship with these lands and recognizes that our connection can be strengthened by our continued relationship with all First Nations, by acknowledging our shared responsibility to respect and care for these lands and waters for future generations.

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5 
(905) 833-1220

Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.