WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE
ALISON FARQUHAR HAD THE WINNING ENTRY
TO THE CORNETT MEMORIES UVIC CONTEST
SEE THE UVIC PRESENTATION HERE
it was a much simpler time
It was April 1 1973
music and motion
click here for
the wall the movie
The True Story Of The Wall
as submitted by Alison Farquhar
to the University Of Victoria Commerative Website
November 26 2010
One of the most legendary stories
of the Cornett building is The Wall. In the early 70s there was a group
of mostly geography students who were certainly the most social of the
social sciences. Amongst us, though, was an economics major whose
professor declared in a class one day the school spirit at UVic is
dead!. The seed was planted; the plans drawn up.
For all those students who have had classes in the Cornett, you
know what a puzzle the building was and still is; going from the 3rd
floor of one tower, down to the 1st floor and then trudge back up the
stairs to get to the second floor in another tower or even better, go
outside to the roof area and use the wooden walkway and hope that the
access door was open. We decided to add another obstacle to the puzzle;
a wall. But where to build the wall? The building was reconnoitred. The
width of the hallway outside the Economics department on the third
floor was the narrowest.
In the dark on Sunday evening, April 1, 1973, a group was
dispatched to the Commons Block residences. Cinder blocks, still warm
from being used as a barbeque for the residents, were loaded into an
old Cortina and brought to the SW corner of the Cornett. From there,
they were carried up to the geography grad student office on the second
floor. Another group was sent to the McPherson Library where a new
extension was being built. Two bags of masonry cement were absconded.
The cinder blocks were moved, using office chairs, from the 2nd
floor up the elevator to the 3rd floor building site. The walls and
floor were protected by newspapers to minimize damage and allow an easy
cleanup. The mortar was mixed in waste paper baskets in the geography
staff room and brought up. The wall was constructed with great
geographical engineering skills. Posters were added for a camouflaging
The next day, Monday April 2, it is rumoured that Dr Chernoff of
the Economics department, came out of his office, reading a paper and
ran smack dab into the wall. This may have been fitting as he is the
one who is rumoured to have uttered the famous phrase "the school
spirit at UVic is dead".
Reactions were disbelief to laughter.
The Times Colonist sent a photographer and writer to report on the
story. A maintenance crew was called in to take it down. Needless to
say, they were not impressed. My roommat's Cortina was used for the
great cinder block heist. It so happened that someone watched the heist
and reported the license plate number to Campus Security. My roommate
was called into Security and endured questioning for more than an hour
that would have made the Inquisition proud. She never gave up names and
in due course she was sent out the door. In the end, Security actually
said they were impressed with the prank because of the care taken.
The Economic students took great umbrage to where the wall was
placed the narrowest corridor in the building. They believed they had
been blasphemed and retaliated by placing plastic sheeting,
approximately 50 to 100 pounds of manure, followed by at least 5 pounds
of odorous chicken manure in front of the Geography Department offices.
The Geography office staff were not happy. The Departmental Chair's
secretary is rumoured to have hoisted her dress up over her knees and
stepped over the manure. Once inside the office, she phoned the Chair
and announced she was going home until the matter was fixed!
We weren't finished with the wall that night. There is also the
story of how did that Riley car end up on the podium in front of the
MacLaurin building? Ah, but that is a story for the MacLaurin Memory
I would like to thank the following for filling in the blanks for
me, 37 years is a long time ago; Bob McLeod, Edna Joyce, David Purser,
Tom Carlson, Doug White, Sue Martin, and Ken Carnes.
the Victoria newspaper article
we had nothing to do with the manure that was spread the next evening...
rumour had it that some in the economics department were behind it...
but it too made the paper
And Finallly A Look At
The Car Caper
some of these people look familiar