Two 25-year Upper Canada College employees were inducted into its “Quarter-Century Club,” and a current member also received a tribute, at a dinner held in the student centre on May 19.
Student musicians Ciarin Wilkie, Paul Weiser, Brandon Tse, Kal Shaw and Flynn Tanner set the stage by performing before the dinner, and it was all the more appropriate since Upper School music department head Tony Gomes was one of the night’s inductees.
Gomes — who started at UCC as a student teaching assistant in 1988, continued teaching part-time after his graduation in ’89, and became a full-time teacher at the College in 1990 — attended with his wife Sharon and children Amelia, Marina, Ethan and Arian, as well as his mother Filomena. Music teacher and school organist Peter Merrick presented Gomes with a watch, Quarter-Century Club certificate and tie, and spoke about his friend.
“To watch Tony in rehearsal is to see a demanding musician with high standards, whose aim has nothing to do with making himself look good, and everything to do with helping the students achieve their very best,” he said. “And if there are tense moments in the process — and there will be — nobody is better than Tony at defusing them with spontaneous and hilarious wit.”
Payroll manager Bronya Faerman was on vacation visiting family members in Israel and a modification to her return flight prevented her from returning to receive her Quarter-Century Club recognition in person, but chief administrative officer Patti MacNicol had this to say about her:
“It is quite safe to say that most people have no idea of the scope of her job and that’s in fact a good thing, as most of what she does on a daily basis is in fact quite confidential. Bronya has, in her quiet and understated way, competently and meticulously handled not only the requirements of our bi-weekly payroll system — making sure we all get paid — but also the administration of a variety of more complex systems.”
Faerman is also responsible for the reporting requirements of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, remittances and reporting required by the College’s pension plan and the Great West Life benefits plan, and annually adding 250 summer camp employees to the payroll.
Faerman’s finance office colleagues will hold an event in her honour on June 4 to thank her for her years of outstanding service to UCC to make up for her missing the Aramark-prepared dinner and presentation.
A large number of Quarter-Century Club members, some of whom are still active at UCC and others who’ve retired, attended the event and were recognized by emcee (and Quarter-Century Club member) Andrew Turner. Among those in the room were Derek Poon, Brent MacKay, Blair Sharpe, Dick Sadleir, Neil Mens, Bernard Lecerf and Johnny McGrath.
Turner made special mention of longtime teacher and coach Terence Bredin, who attended with his daughter Mary.
“Terence was a teacher that was never afraid to step outside his comfort zone,” said Turner.
“He was never one to say no when approached by boys to help run a club or a team that was going to enrich their UCC experience. He was a favourite to generations of boys and a mentor to several faculty members looking for guidance in the early years.”
Prep athletic director Nigel White will be the sole inductee at next year’s Quarter-Century Club celebration on May 9.