EMCS Grade 12 student Elena Branson entertained guests with lovely piano melodies as guests mingled in the school foyer.

EMCS Grade 12 student Elena Branson entertained guests with lovely piano melodies as guests mingled in the school foyer.

The Spirit of EMCS

High school celebrates 20th anniversary with special celebration

Edward Milne Community School celebrated its 20th birthday last Thursday in traditional fashion: games, excitement, food, good company and laughs.

Rightfully so, after all it holds a special place in the hearts of many, who remember its gleaming design in vivid detail.

Trevor Bligh was just 20 when he started coaching basketball at EMCS 20 years ago, which, at the time its tall, airy hallways still had paint drying.

“It was exciting … that feeling of the gates opening up here was amazing,” Bligh said, adding that in its first year, the school had one of the best basketball seasons.

Yet it was much more than that. For Bligh, it was a feeling of being on equal ground with everyone else, and that Sooke finally had a school to show the world.

“That overall feeling, from the students, to the staff, to the community when we got this new building was fantastic, it was just a hum,” he said.

Of course, the new school wasn’t just all shine on the outside.

Stepping through the doors gave students a feeling of space, of freedom. Suddenly, it became a school that was loved and appreciated.

“We’ve hosted the city playoffs here, international basketball events, it’s been a great gym to us, and continues to be,” Bligh said.

As a coach, he also reveled in the (at the time) state-of-the-art gymnasium, which had a glass set of basketball backboards, as opposed to wooden ones found in the old school.

“The old EMCS was the last school on the Island to have wooden backboards,” Bligh laughed.

Running into his 21st year as coach, EMCS is more than just a school; it’s a community, and a growing one at that.

“It’s gotten bigger, we’ve got a lot more coaches, from our alumni, 50 per cent of them coached here or coached on at other high schools,” Bligh said.

While the gym has remained unchanged, additions include murals, as well as a centre court mural to add a little bit more identity. Just recently, a Welcome to EMCS sign has been added as well.

“It’s nice, it all adds more of a homely feeling.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Cleanup happens after an overnight flood Monday damaged areas of the Oaklands Community Centre. (Facebook/Oaklands Community Association)
Greater Victorians offer flood of support to Oaklands Community Centre

Blown hot water tank Monday night leaves staff cleaning up soggy mess

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read