Photo from the original brochure for the new Glenlyon boys' school at the former Rattenbury home on Beach Drive.

Photo from the original brochure for the new Glenlyon boys' school at the former Rattenbury home on Beach Drive.

Glenlyon Norfolk celebrates centennial in Victoria, Oak Bay

Sports and arts events involve school alumni, current students

It’s a weekend to reflect on then and now.

But don’t believe for a second that Glenlyon Norfolk alumni will be willing to cede the spotlight to the current crop of students at the independent school, even during a 100th anniversary celebration.

Take, for example, the annual homecoming alumni vs. students soccer games getting underway at 1:30 p.m. Saturday (May 18) on the GNS field at 801 Bank St.

“That’s always a great game,” said school spokesperson and longtime GNS Gryphons soccer coach Hugh Williams. He added with a hint of humour, “Those older alumni always want to put those younger students in their place and teach them to respect their elders.”

The GNS soccer program has produced a number of provincial championship teams and collegiate players over the past decade.

While reliving past sports glory will be a significant part of the weekend – girls field hockey teams from GNS and its predecessor, Norfolk House, have their own impressive history – Friday’s public unveiling of the new 400-seat performing arts centre will focus on the arts. The ribbon-cutting happens at 7 p.m., followed by student and alumni performances.

“It’s become a real gathering place for the school,” Williams said of the hall, which features a West Coast design.

Norfolk House began in 1913 as a girls school on the site of the current GNS middle and senior school campus at Pemberton Woods (801 Bank St.).

Glenlyon Preparatory School for boys was established in 1933 and ultimately moved its campus to the former Francis Rattenbury home at 1701 Beach Dr. That site now functions as the GNS junior school for students from Kindergarten to Grade 5.

The two schools joined together as GNS in 1986 and began offering co-ed K to 12 education at the two campuses.

The amalgamation is even evident in the combined motto, “Do thy best through truth and courage,” Williams said.

For more information on the weekend’s centennial events, visit or call Williams at 250-370-6828.

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