By Marilyn Assaf
Working at Vancouver Island University can be a labour of love and it’s especially true for Bill Clark and Josephine Chong.
The pair not only met and fell in love while working at VIU, but were also among the 104 employees recognized for their dedication and commitment at Vancouver Island University’s Long Service Awards celebration last week.
Clark, a multi-media technician for the information and technology department, reached 30 years employment, while Chong, secretary for the culinary arts department, has been at VIU for 25 years.
“It is hard to believe that 30 years have slipped by, but I feel proud,” said Clark. “I work with great folks. The job continues to evolve and there is no greater reward than to help someone when there is a classroom problem.”
Chong said she has seen a lot of comings and goings but is proud to have reached the 25-year mark in the same department.
“It is a joy to watch fresh-faced kids change to confident culinary artists,” she said.
Wayne Hiles and Jane Cole also know all about significant milestones.
They are celebrating their 35th anniversary with the university.
Cole and Hiles both began their careers with VIU (formerly Malaspina College) in 1974.
Hiles’s career at VIU has been strongly tied to its evolution. He was employed as a general grounds and building maintenance worker for Greenless Contracting in the early 1970s when Malaspina College leased property on Kennedy Street.
In September 1975, he started work at Malaspina’s new campus on Fifth Street, working his way up from maintenance worker to supervisor to manager.
Cole is a faculty member in arts and humanities, teaching art, painting, art history and drawing.
Employees completing 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of employment received framed plaques and kudos from the university.
“Our dedicated employees have been and continue to be our most valuable resource,” said Ralph Nilson, VIU president. “I thank all our employees for sharing their collective talents to work together, support our students and build on VIU’s success.”
Nilson said the Long Service Awards is one of many celebrations VIU will host this year as the institution marks 75 years of post-secondary education. He said employee contributions have helped the institution evolve from its origins in automotive training to Malaspina College, Malaspina University-College and finally Vancouver Island University.
Other 30-year employees include Holly Blackburn, Zoe Dams and Collin MacQuarrie, while Jane Andrews, Bill Hohman, Dan Light and Alison O’Beirne received 25-year certificates.