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Sign memory book for one of UCC’s unsung heroes, Despina Koinis

despinaAs parents well know, it’s hard enough telling one teenaged boy to keep his room clean. Can you imagine helping close to 50 teenage students keep 29 rooms tidy, day in and day out for 10 months of the year—for 35 years?

After 35 years of memorable service to Wedd’s, it’s time for Wedd’s housekeeping staff member Despina Koinis to enjoy some rest and relaxation. More accurately, Despina is best described as an extension of the house advising staff. One of only two people who actually goes into every boarding house room, every day of the week, boys over the years have appreciated Despina’s legendary listening skills. She’s heard it all when it comes to complaints about workload, finding a date for the Batt and so much more.

It’s time to let Despina know how much she’s contributed to the UCC boarding experience over more than three decades of service. Please show Despina some love as she heads out—and sign our memory book below or send your memories to aaster@ucc.on.ca

Memory book

Read what other people have said below. Your comment will be added to the list shortly.

NameMemories of Despina KoinisPictures of Despina
Christopher HickmanDespina: Thank you so much for taking care of me almost thirty years ago - and now my son Thomas - Class of 2017! You will be greatly missed. Enjoy your retirement!

Youri Tessier-StallDear Despina, A little note to say thank you for your warm presence and smile during my years at UCC. You were one of our go-to people for support, wisdom and help, and Wedd's will not be the same without you. (And I know Arnold feels the same way!) Wishing you the very best in your retirement. Warmly, Youri Tessier-Stall Wedd's 2003-05

Vicar RizviDespina is so irreplaceable; she was essentially a mum to every guy in the house, and through those small daytime interactions made Wedd's a home. I remember her pushing me to tell her who broke the window in my room one time, and actually got the truth from me. I don't think the housemaster could ever nudge me so successfully like that!

Jens AllerdissenDear Despina, You were always around with a smile, available for help and somewhere you had a secret stash of blankets for the winter. You will be greatly missed and enjoy your well earned retirement.

Alfred LeungHi Despina, Thanks for taking care of us during my time at Wedd's, from 1986-91. Your work in the boarding house has really made my time at UCC more memorable. I still remember how you helped us make sense in the laundry room, kept the milk room stocked and us well fed, kept our rooms (a house full of adolescent boys) in reasonable shape, and so many small tasks that went unnoticed then. Please take care of yourself and wish you many happy years to come.

Ifedayo KuyeDear Despina - Thanks so much for your warm smile and positive contribution to Wedd's house experience. It wouldn't have been the same without you. Ifedayo (Wedd's 2001-2005).

Jasper KanDespina is always there for the boys, always so encouraging and optimistic. She works hard and is a role model for all of us. I remember when she had back pains but still insisted on coming to work, to talk to the boys. It was saddening to see that she was suffering while cleaning for us; her spirits and energy really motivated me to work harder. I remember when Despina caught a boarder violating rules but refused to tell Mr. Beaudoin of his identity. Despina really loves every single one of us and her hard work deserves to be recognized by everyone. Despina, thank you for all that you have done for us. Enjoy your well earned retirement!

Dan PetersThanks for being so kind to my son Dominick who thinks very highly of you. Happy Retirement!

Genny RogicHappy retirement Despina! Thank you for all your hard work, and thank you for taking care or Eric - Class of 2015 :). All the best!

Davina ChongDear Despina, although it's been a short ride for me at UCC, I will always remember your warmth, kindness and the many laughs at the lunch table. I wish you only happiness on your next journey, With Affection, Davina

Kevin ChanDespina, thank you so much for taking care of me (2008-2012), Horace (2005-2009), Clement (2003-2007), you are family to us. Please take care of yourself and happy retirement!

Emile QuraishiDear Despina, Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for everything you did to make Wedd’s such an amazing time. We (Jeremy / Ryan + the other boys) really appreciated all you did. On behalf of my brother and I, we wish you the best of luck for the future. Kind regards, Emile Quraishi Wedd’s 2006 - 2010

Peter (PJ) MaxwellDear Despina, Thank you so much for your hard work. Although I was only in boarding for one year (1984-85) your kind smile and caring attitude made a big difference for a boy away from home for the first time. All the Best in retirement!

Nitin WaliaI cannot thank Despina enough for putting up with all of our nonsense and for keeping our rooms consistently clean with a smile on her face. In my three years, I can only ever remember her in a good mood and it made all the difference. I wish her the very best in retirement!

John MackayDespina - Thank you for your years of service-with-a-smile. I have many happy memories of Wedd's house... friends, teachers, and staff. I toured the boarding house in February during an alumni event and the facility looks great... including some nice renovations. Best wishes for a restful retirement. Wedd's 1990

Al GransdenA wonderful, hard working and incredibly compassionate woman who deserves the longest and happiest retirement imaginable. Thank you for all of your effort and hard work.

Andrew LeeDespina has always had unbelievable patience and understanding, as well as the amazing ability to make us instantly feel at home. The shenanigans she has witnessed over the years would no doubt have caused most people to lose their minds (such as the bed bug crisis which affected our class and the ones that followed after an enterprising student decided to dry out a damp piece of bark under his heater). Yet she never lost her caring or her sense of humour, and for that we are all super thankful. Have a great retirement - you certainly earned it! All the best, Andrew Lee '00 to '03

Talley LegerI have fond memories of Despina's tireless, regular efforts to make my bed and clean my room in Wedd's House. Thank you, Despina, for all your devoted years of service! Talley Leger LC '92

Will Scully''Skáse Scully skáse!'' I spent time with Despina every weekday morning for three years. I would get updates about her sons Spiro and Nick, then we would talk about some of the outrageous behaviours of some other boarder. (I was of coarse immune to such critique, because I was perfect and we had a special rapport.) Girones would often get jealous and interrupt our chats with an impromptu opera about his forbidden love for Despina - and the day was underway. For the people that knew her - Despina really did class-up the joint. Despina, thank you for your kindness and friendship!

Adrian de Valois-FranklinDespina, Enjoy retirement! It is well deserved. Thank you for contributing to the positive experience of many generations of Wedd's boarders. I appreciate your kindness during my time in Wedd's from 1998 to 2002. Best wishes for your next adventure, Adrian

Davis YooSpecial thanks to "Spina" for putting up with (and cleaning up) our collective messy habits. Having 2 kids of my own, I can only imagine how much perseverance and love she had in order to take care of hundreds of students over the past three and a half decades. Thank you and congratulations on your retirement Despina. Enjoy your time with friends and family. Sincerely, Davis Yoo (Class of '91)

Eric RogicDespina, thank you for everything you did for me during my three years in boarding. You were a motherly figure to us all and all your hard work was appreciated. Thank you for always taking the time to talk to me about my problems and growing pains as I adjusted to living away. You were a friend to many of us and we were always happy to come back to Wedd's and see you in the halls. Happy retirement and all the best to you Despina! Eric

J-W DumontDespina, 35 years eh? You absolute beauty. Thanks for everything that you've done for Wedd's house. You made every morning a little brighter for all of us and you were one of the main factors behind making the house feel like a home away from home. I hope you enjoy the heck out of your retirement and please know that a lot of us still think about you even 5+ years after moving on from UCC. Again, congrats on such an accomplishment! Much love, JW Dumont '08-'10

Frederick Dagenais DusablonDear Despina, thanks for being so kind to me during my years at Wedd's. Fred Class of 09

Omar DaudiBest Wishes Despina on your retirement! Thank you for all your service to UCC and Wedds. A boys boarding house could never be any cleaner! Omar Daudi, '96

Andrew Davidson"Gaia sou!" Despina, I can't hear that greeting without remembering how you would cheer me up in the hallways of Wedd's with a few delightful words of Greek banter ('Skase kai eseis!") accompanied by your ever-present smile. Your generosity, humour and warmth kept a pack of young, wild and very smelly boys from falling apart. So often, you reminded us of the love of family when so many of us were far away from our own. You didn't have to do any of that, but it means the world to me that you did. Now, after decades of taking care of us, you can spend more time enjoying the company and achievements of your own family, and relaxing in your beautiful home country. I can think of no greater reward for your kindness. Thank you for always being there for us, Despina. Syncharitiria! Andrew Davidson Wedd's, Class of '95

Donavan TrieuDear Despina, Thank you for taking care of me and all the Wedd's boys from 2006-2010. Happy retirement, and wish you all the best!

Greg LuiDespina, My room was always clean so you might not remember me. You were usually cleaning up after the Dennison twins. Thanks for all your hard work. You made Wedd's run flawlessly. A very well deserved retirement. Wishing you all the best. Greg Lui '99 (your favorite Chinese boarder)

Marco CianfloneDear Despina, Congratulations on this wonderful milestone! I sincerely appreciate all the support and care that you so kindly shared. I always tried to keep my room tidy, partly because I knew Yann's would be messy (just kidding), but mostly due to my profound respect and appreciation for your valuable contribution to Wedd's. My experience at UCC would not have been the same without you. Thank you for being such a positive figure in all of our lives. I wish you the very best in your retirement! With thanks and kind regards, Marco Cianflone Wedd's 2007-09

John LiDear Despina, Words couldn't describe how lucky we boarders and particularly the Wedd's boys were to have you. Whether it was chatting and laughing in the halls, giving us advise during rough times, or simply waving hello, you made all of our days brighter. I'm still amazed by how you dealt with all of our shenanigans and messy rooms! It's hard to believe that time has passed so quickly, it feels just like yesterday when we'd chat in the common room. Thank you for everything Despina and happy retirement!

William WongDear Despina, thank you for all the years taking care of & putting up with the boys at Wedd's! You will be missed by alll of us! Enjoy your retirement!

Gregory DoleThank you for all your hard work. The boarding house would not have been the same without your efforts. No telling how dirty that place would have been! I am sure it required tremendous effort and patience to deal with us boarders. There are very few people in this world who would have put up with us so easily. You have earned your retirement, many times over. I hope you have a great time and that the years ahead do not include any room cleaning whatsoever. Thank you once again. Best wishes. Greg

Chris LoDear Despina, Thank you so much for everything you did while I called Wedd's my home from 99 to 01. You were indeed a great listener and always so cheerful. Enjoy some well deserved relaxation and rest! Cheers, Chris

Philippe MartinI'll alway remember coming back to boarding for a shower after my early morning rugby practices in March. As I was about to step out of the house, running late for my first period class, she would stand in front of me, telling me to grab something more than just a dress shirt so I wouldn't get cold. Despina was just like our mother when we were far away from home. She kept every little secrets from Mr Beaudoin. Some of us were, and will probably always be grateful for that. Despina, enjoy every single moment of your retirement with your husband. Philippe, 2012-2014

Marc-André AlexandreDear Despina, Thank you for being the strong, hard-working and positive woman that you are. It was truly an honour and pleasure to know you during my short two years at UCC. All our discussions about life, family and Greece will not be forgotten. I can safely say that you helped me become a better person, and I thank you for that. You definitely made Wedd's a better place. Your dedication, patience and love for us was pure. I really felt like we were your second family. Know that you are going to be greatly missed. Thanks for making UCC, Wedd's and my life better. You've been taking care of other people for so long,now's the time to treat yourself a little.I wish you all the best: health, happiness and love. Marc-Andre

LC HebertDespina, despite not living in Wedds, knows its most dirty secrets. She fulfills a role that many boarders are missing being away from their own mother. She is attentive and caring, never short of advice and full of wisdom. Many generations of Old Boys have been fortunate to have you during their years in the house. I wish you the best crossing the window from Wedds to retirement. ????????? ??? ???.

Lisa BonneyDespina, Your warm smile, kind words and humour have been a gift to all of us. I will miss seeing you and wish you all the best in retirement.

Laurenz ReifferscheidDespina, thank you for all the hard work, help and moral support you have given all of us during our time at UCC. Every boy appreciated your presence, the good talks and laughs we all had with you. Enjoy your retirement and I wish you all the best for the future. Laurenz '16

Daniel DavidsDespina, Your kindness and warmth helped make the transition into boarding an easier experience for many of us. You were a great listener and always had a kind word and wise advice at the ready. I hope that future generations of boarders have someone as caring as yourself around to be their confidant and caretaker. We felt that you looked after us as you would have your own children. You will be missed. Wishing you a wonderful, well deserved retirement.

Aiden YangI remember I would get in trouble when I was boarding and no matter what kind of trouble I got in Depina would always be supportive and positive. I remember how she is always so positive about everything, and the positiveness really makes a big affect to the whole house. Wedds house will definitely miss her a lot.

James FlanneryDespina always had a smile for us and would joke that we were good kids 'only when we were sleeping'. I say that to my kids now and think of her. Despina is a gem and a wonderful woman. Xronia Polla!