Mamma Mia!

It’s been a while since I’ve last written on the Barnacle House Blog. Today marks the bittersweet end of the SMUS Musical Mamma Mia! A production in the making since October. Honestly it’s rather amazing that we’re done with the musical.

I was in the pit orchestra with my Barnacle Brothers Wilson (clarinet), Tony (violin), Boris (violin) and Alex (guitar). We’ve been meeting with the rest of the pit orchestra for the past few months every Sunday in preparation for these past three days of the musical. Honestly it has paid off. It was a wonderful production.

I played percussion in the pit. That means I got all of the dozens of pages of tamborine. And more tambourine. I played 9 different instruments in total for the production of Mamma Mia. After we finished taking down the set after our last show we had an after party in the drama room back at school.

We celebrated the end of our time in the production of Mamma Mia with pizza, cake and soda. After our thanks to the directors of the musical, the grade 12s said words about their time in the musical. Many tears began to appear as continued to talk about our time in the production. I guess I’ll just write exactly what I said.

“This is my second year staying in the musical. It’s honestly so surreal that it’s finally over. I could honestly cry but we can all say that. It’s going to be weird having 2 extra hours every Sunday. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. Sleep I guess. I remember getting my music for last years show and playing the slide whistle, this year I guess it’s the tambourine. What can I say. I am the dancing queen on that tambourine. Thank you all.”

Yours Truly, Deon Lam


MEC Halloween Race

It is 7am on a raining Sunday morning, and four grade 12s are spotted trekking from Barnacle Winslow to the Sun Center. It is the morning of the MEC Halloween Race, and Spencer Dearborn, Narjes Al-Zahli, Alex Menun, and Max Zhang are on their way to breakfast just before the run. It was going to be a fun day.


It turned out to be an all Barnacle/Winslow affair, as Winslow houseparent Ms. Clarke drove the group up to the Beaver Lake race trail. As a result, the group came up with some impressive turnouts. Ms. Clarke ran a blistering speed in her “Northern Lights Fairy” costume to claim both the #1 overall women’s place in the 10K event and the best overall costume award. Narjes blazed through the 5K event to take 1st in her age category. Spencer, Alex, and Max all ran hard but got outsmarted by the trees. They got lost along the course and, accordingly, ran an extra 3K, resulting in an 8K race. Spencer sported Ms. Clarke’s grandma’s vintage snake suit for the run as well, resulting in many compliments.


The creativity of the group shined throughout the day. Sporting all grey sweatsuits, the squad created an immaculate model of the historical Stonehenge. Their ingenious resulted in the win of “best group costume”.


Overall, a great day for the barnacle and Winslow house. It continues to showcase the all-around athleticism and success that the members of the house possess.


This post was written by
an anonymous Barnacle boy.

Thanksgiving 2018


Last Wednesday the boarding community had our annual Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving in Canada happened on October 8th this year. It’s during this time of year that we think deeply, what are we thankful for? Many of us are thankful for friends, family, life, safety, but what does it mean to be thankful?


After we ate dinner and before dessert, we performed the challenge given to all of the houses: create some sort of live performance where we show what we are thankful for. The grade 12 leaders helped come up with the song that we ended up singing (video below).


So, what does it mean to be thankful, and what are you thankful for? I myself am thankful for being able to attend SMUS as well as the Barnacle house.

That’s all for this post, until next time!
Deon Lam
Barnacle 2014-2019


The Terry Fox Run


Last Sunday the SMUS boarding community went to mile 0 on the Victoria waterfront to participate in one of Canada’s largest fundraisers for cancer research, the Terry Fox Run. The day started cloudy but quickly into the run the skies began to clear up to a beautiful day.



To those outside of Canada who never heard of Terry Fox, he is a national hero of Canada; a young man who was diagnosed with cancer while studying in university. Instead of giving up hope, he made it his goal to run east to west across Canada to raise money and awareness to help protect others against cancer. The Terry Fox Run happens everywhere throughout Canada on the same day and we took part last Sunday in the largest Terry Fox Run on Vancouver Island.



00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180916105434042_COVERIt was a major event with numerous amounts of people lining up to run, walk, cycle, etc. the 5km course. Max Zhang finished first out of Barnacle House. But no matter how we did the course, fast or slow, everyone in the house took part. Every year the SMUS boarding community makes a donation to the Terry Fox Foundation on behalf of all of us who participated. The donation goes to fund cancer research in the hope that one day cancer may be cured.





That’s all for this post, until next time!
Deon Lam
Barnacle 2014-2019


Photography by Rashid Al-Abri

Opening Week

The first week of school has finally ended and school has begun to come at full speed. In the first week the grade 12s moved back into SMUS on September 2nd. We enjoyed our time in the house alone before the new boarders moved into Barnacle two days later.

Slow Grind


On Tuesday September 4th we helped move in the new boarders. We helped everyone move into the residence and came together for ice-breakers. It’s amazing to see how much energy is put into the first few days of boarding. School had not started yet and we were already hyping up the new students.


Icebreakers! 😀

Our head of house, Spencer Dearborn, spearheaded the charge for the icebreakers with the help of the rest of us grade 12s. With 18 new students, it was a tall order attempting to integrate everyone into the house. Personally I found that our amazing Head of House did a great job in the ice breakers.


Settling down after the amazing icebreakers.


The next day, Wednesday the 5th, all of the new students in the senior school went through the school’s Link Crew program where they were given an orientation by Grade 12 volunteers that include myself, Max, Alex and Wilson to name those from Barnacle.




That Wednesday night, after everyone in the house finally settled back in, Barnacle house went on our annual tour of Victoria. We stopped by stops such as Mt Tolmie, Cattle Point Beach and our final stop, Chocolat Favoris where we all got an ice cream dipped in some variation out of many different variations of chocolate.


Not my brightest idea. But still an idea.


Games courtesy of Max Zhang

With the next day marking the first day of classes, it seems as if the hype of the first week was finally beginning to end. But that weekend had more in store for us. On Saturday we went with our Winslow sisters to Willows Beach and got to know our Winslow sisters. Max Zhang, who loves microwaves, led the charge on Barnacle’s behalf for the small games.



On Sunday we had our first House Games of the year. It may not have been for house points but we still showed our best and showed our pride as a house. And like that, the first week hype train has finally ended. But we have a long year ahead of us and I can say with as much bias as possible, we are the best house.




With our Winslow sisters! 

That’s all for this post, until next time!
Deon Lam
Barnacle 2014-2019



Saying goodbye.

This time of the year is full of excitement. The boys can look back upon the successes of the year with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Each boy has been involved in many areas of school life and fully embraced life in Barnacle House. Indeed, there is much to celebrate.

For many of us the end of the year is bittersweet as we have to say goodbye to friends that we won’t see for some weeks, or longer in the case of those that are not returning or are graduating. This year we say goodbye to many wonderful young men. To each of you, we hope that you can bring the lessons learned here at SMUS with you and continue your growth. We wish that you will return to visit and you will always be welcome to return to Barnacle.

To our graduates, I am so grateful to know you. You have been the lifeblood of Barnacle house for a collective 29 years! We will miss you tremendously. To the Grade 12s, we wish you a world of success, happiness, love, and good fortune. We also wish you a life full of surprises that challenge you in just the right ways, that push you to find your true self, your deep passions, and to go beyond what you think you are capable of. You are an extremely talented group of young men poised to do great things. So don’t hold back!

Of course, it won’t be easy and there is a life of learning, turbulence and change ahead. Remember the lessons that you learned when you first arrived at SMUS. Remember the lessons that you learned this past September when welcoming new people to this community. Be patient with yourself as these transitions take time. It takes time to make new friends. It takes time to learn about a new city, a new school and your new life. As you shed your old skins and grow into your new selves also remember that we are always just a phone call, a skype call, a text or an email away.

Welcome to the world of SMUS Alumni! As your graduation year ends in an 8 and mine ends in a 3, we will forever be linked to the major celebrations which occur every 5 years or so. For instance, your 25th reunion will be my 50th!

Finally, to those returning next year, enjoy your summers! We will miss you and wish you a summer of fun, relaxation and new adventures. See you in September!

Images below (Top left: this year’s Barnacle House Outstanding Citizens – Gr. 8 Eric Xiong, Gr. 10 Mark Finamore, Gr. 11 Rashid al Abri, Gr. 12 Sean Finamore, Top right:  Virtuoso Award – Boris Li, Bottom Left: Jock Award – Duc Khuong, Right side: Barnacle Graduates – Hank, George, Yingnuo, Kelvin, Duc, Peter, Charles, Mark and Sean, Bottom Right: the Future – our grade 8 graduates Joshua, Emilio, Eric (Louis too!)

House Olympics

The final house games of the year was this past Sunday, which seems hard to believe!  By all accounts nobody could remember the last time there was a rainy day during the House Olympics, and this year was no different.  Much was at stake, the house cup could potentially still be won by Barnacle House with a very strong showing.  It would take a bit of luck and some competitive spirit.

The House Olympics features 6 different minor games, in which each house competes to earn a maximum of 30 points at each station.  These games are an opportunity to catch up to the houses in the lead, as more points are awarded during these games then any other.  This was a good thing for the Barnacle boys, as we trailed both Harvey and Bolton house in the cup standings.

The boys gave it their all, and enjoyed the experience regardless of the outcome.  In fact, when all points were tallied, Barnacle House was on top of the house Olympics!  However, despite a very impressive effort, the gains made on the day were not enough to catch Bolton House, who hoisted the house cup for the second year in a row.

Here are some incredible shots of the day: