By King Lee
One of the oldest living Vic High grads is being inducted into the school’s alumni roll of honour in May.
Born on Dec. 12, 1918 in Victoria, Tommy Mayne attended Vic High from September 1932 until he graduated in June 1935. He was one of five academically-gifted Victoria students chosen to complete four years of high school in three.
“Right from the beginning, I enjoyed it,” said the 97-year-old Berwick Royal Oak Retirement Community resident.
After attending Victoria College at Craigdarroch Castle near his family’s Fairfield residence, Mayne earned his teaching certificate from the University of British Columbia and began his career as a history teacher at Trail-Tadanac High School in Trail, B.C.
Three years later, he returned to Victoria and landed a job at his former high school, where he was asked to take on the drama program. He also became the teacher-sponsor of the Vic High Calamity Player, a group that performed skits.
Mayne’s interest in theatre, which began at Sir James Douglas Elementary School, expanded when teachers formed the Victoria Little Theatre at Langham Court Theatre. There, he met his wife, Betty, who was also a theatre buff. They married in 1955. The best man was G.A.V. (Victor) Thomson, who was the vice principal of Vic High at the time.
After 33 years of teaching at Vic High, Mayne decided to retire early at age 59.
“I miss the inter-play,” he said of his time with students, adding some students wanted to call him by his first name but he insisted he be called sir or Mr. Mayne.
While he's been in retirement for years, Mayne lamented the fact kids today spend most of their time on their electronic devices, not talking or doing physical activity.
“I’m wondering what’s happened to the art of conversation,” he said.
Mayne was Victoria’s Town Crier from 1990 to 2010 and still supports the Blue Bridge Theatre, Helmcken House, Royal B.C. Museum, UVic’s theatre scholarship program and the Victoria High School Alumni Association.
The Black and Gold Dinner II will posthumously honour Carr and the Peden brothers, Torchy and Doug.
Mayne, Norma Mickelson (education), Dr. Stewart Smith (Princeton particle physicist) and Hans de Goede (rugby) will also be inducted as the school’s Illustrious Alumni at a gala dinner on Friday, May 13 at CFB Esquimalt. The dinner begins with cocktail hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
For more information contact dinner chair Anne McKeachie at Anne.McKeachie@shaw.ca or by phone at 250-472-1661 or 250-920-9208.