Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Monday morning two visitors arrived at Woodstock. One is Li Chu, who manages the alumni database and comes regularly to train the office staff in its use.

The other is Malcolm Russell, a member of the class of 1944. He left Woodstock in 1940, when his father, a United Church of Canada missionary doctor, moved the family back to Canada. He is a very interesting man. He studied violin here at Woodstock and remembers his teacher very fondly. He later switched to viola and is looking forward to talking about that with Dan. He was very happy to hear that our daughter is a professional violist. He ended up with a career as a choral singer, partly at least with the CBC, and doing carpentry on the side.

It is interesting to talk with Malcolm about his memories. A lot of them are faded after 71 years, as is to be expected. On his first day, he spent a lot of time in our office looking at the Whispering Pine yearbooks from his years in school. He also had a tour of the school buildings. We recommended that he take a rest after lunch, as the altitude and vertical walking were taking a toll. However, he told us on Tuesday that he couldn't wait and had walked out to Oakville (where his family had stayed when on the Hillside) and back before going for a rest. I just hope that I am as fit and determined when I am in my 80s!

Tuesday I had lunch with him and he said he had been down to the dorm areas in the morning. Again, that is a fairly major walk for someone not used to our hills and altitude. When I left him he was on his way back to the Principal's Cottage, where he is staying. His visit here is a result of a mutual friend of his and the Principal's.

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