Brandon Graham in the Victoria High School shop. The Grade 12 student looks ahead to entering Camosun College’s carpenter program this spring and he’ll do it armed with the Victoria Residential Builders Association’s Herman Rebneris Student Carpentry Award.

Brandon Graham in the Victoria High School shop. The Grade 12 student looks ahead to entering Camosun College’s carpenter program this spring and he’ll do it armed with the Victoria Residential Builders Association’s Herman Rebneris Student Carpentry Award.

Vic High carpentry student honours with Care

Brandon Graham awarded prestigious award from home builders

Victoria’s Brandon Graham has always liked the creativity of working with wood. From the beautiful wooden bowl expertly turned on the school lathe to the large garden sheds he and his fellow Victoria High School students help build for neighbours, Graham found his calling early.

The Grade 12 student looks ahead to entering Camosun College’s carpenter program this spring and he’ll do it armed with the Victoria Residential Builders Association’s Herman Rebneris Student Carpentry Award, presented during the recent 2014 CARE Awards gala at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

The $500 award recognizes the commitment made by those learning the carpentry trade with a gift certificate toward “the tools of the trade.”

Herman Rebneris was a respected member of VRBA and a strong advocate of education and training, skilled trades and student participation in the residential construction industry.

“As a student, Brandon has demonstrated commitment to the carpentry industry, his school and community. He’s an honour roll student and is already mentoring other kids in the trades, so he really exemplifies all the attributes we’re looking for in young people entering the trades,” said Casey Edge, VRBA executive director.

Graham is a member of his school’s concert band, has volunteered his time and skills to school projects, such as creating compost bins for the gardening club, and has supported younger students at neighbourhood schools.

“This was a great opportunity for me to share my working knowledge of the carpentry and trades programs and what they can offer to these future students,” he told the CARE Awards judges.

In addition to receiving Vic High’s Tech Ed Award as top student in 2011 and 2012, Graham also received a Citizenship Award in 2013, and is a regular member of the Vic High Honour Roll.

Through his studies at Camosun, Graham aims to become a certified carpenter with a specialty in residential construction, additions and renovations.

He comes by his passion honestly, learning from the ground up in his father’s construction company, with projects that have included a Gold CARE Award-winning heritage home. “This was my fourth summer working with him,” Graham said.

The award still came as a shock to the affable teen. “I’m still a bit speechless; I had no clue until they said my name,” he said, recognizing the importance of mentors like his parents and woodworking teacher Stewart Wheeler in helping him achieve his success.

In addition to essentials like woodshop and site safety, plus skills like framing, exterior finishing and the proper use of tools, he has learned to see the full scope of a project, to see and anticipate the steps needed from start to finish.

“I like how (Mr. Wheeler) explains things and how he’s very good at detailing the steps in a clear way, in a way anyone can understand it,” Graham said. “He finds different ways to teach each student. I’m a very hands-on learner, which is why I like the trades.”

While Graham looks forward to exploring the finishing and millwork side of his carpentry skills, he approaches his future career with a broad grounding in the home-building industry and a good idea of what he likes and enjoys.

Like his parents, “I’m more of a fan of heritage design and the Craftsman style, so I guess I’m kind of following in (my dad’s) footsteps,” he reflected.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read