By Preeteesh Peetabh Singh
While George Brown College (GBC) marked its 45th anniversary, the athletics department celebrated its sixth homecoming event on Oct. 5 and 6. The homecoming weekend started with a welcome social and charity casino night held at Casa Loma student lounge, followed by some alumni games such as ice hockey, cross country, basketball, soccer, badminton and baseball held at various locations. These friendly games gave the athletes a chance to rub shoulders with each other, catch up with some old pals and recall fond memories.
The homecoming gala event was held on Saturday at the Lakeshore Boulevard Club. The night was dedicated to Alex Barbier (1947-2011), who was instrumental in shaping the athletic department of GBC. He was honoured with a video tribute, followed by a speech from his son Alex Barbier Jr. and wife Jennifer Barbier which received a standing ovation from the gathering.
In his honour, GBC has introduced an ‘Alex Barbier tribute fund’, which works to provide scholarships for student athletes and help them to be successful in sports and studies. Ed Mark, manager of athletics and recreation can be contacted for further queries regarding the fund or to make a donation.
The night also saw GBC alumnus and sportspersons Kimchan Ramrattan, badminton and cross country, Kevin Taylor, basketball, and Marla Henderson, Alpine Skiing, Volleyball and indoor soccer, being inducted into in to the George Brown Hall of Fame for their exceptional achievements in sports.
Kimchan Ramrattan badminton (1988-89), who had already been inducted at the OCAA hall of fame, said, “being inducted in George Brown Hall of Fame was an emotional event for me, having played for the college and having worked for the college, I feel privileged.” after receiving the award at GBC.
Ramrattan has organized and founded successful fundraising events such as Tour de Creemore, which annually raises about $50,000 for homeless shelters in Toronto.
Inductee Marla Henderson, the only skier to win four consecutive gold medals during her tenure (2004-2008) at Confederation and George Brown College said, “Being inducted with two other athletes of the school was an honour, it was a beautiful evening and the event was very well organized.”
Kevin Taylor, fifth all time leading scorer in the OCAA basketball history with 1243 points, and GBC athlete of the year (1991-92) was also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The homecoming event was a huge success with great alumni participation. The closing remarks were given by host David Grossman, from Sportsnet 590, while the dance floor opened.