Vincenzo Guzzo '86 and four other distinguished members of the Selwyn House community were honoured during a virtual event held on the evening of Founder’s Day, on November 25.
Mr. Guzzo was awarded the Speirs Medal, the school’s highest honour. He is known far and wide for his entrepreneurial achievements, and over the years Selwyn House has been one of many beneficiaries of his philanthropic spirit. Indeed, Mr. Guzzo and his wife, Maria, have supported a number of institutions in the Montréal area. Notable gifts to the school include the Veritas sculpture, as well as the refurbishment of the school bus and the school’s two playgrounds, one of them renamed in his family’s honour.
Passionate about fundraising, Mr. Guzzo has served on several fundraising teams in various capacities, helping to raise over 12 million dollars for the school with other volunteers. He is currently Chair of the school’s Fundraising Committee as well as Co-Chair of the Path Forward Campaign.
‘‘The kid who wasn’t supposed to get into the school got in, and that’s what I want this recognition to represent,’’ said Mr. Guzzo.
‘‘Giving back to our school is giving back to the future of our kids. I give back to Selwyn House because it has influenced me in many ways. It’s influenced me in standing up for myself and in making sure that the bond of loyalty and friendship with my graduating class is still very tight.’’
In addition to Mr. Guzzo, four other members of our community were honoured.
Laura Osborne received the Nancy Pitfield Volunteer Award. Wife of Old Boy William Carsley ‘89, she became a Selwyn parent in 2018 when her son Andrew joined the school, followed by Henry in 2020.
Known for her creativity and engaging nature, Laura has been a force for the Parent Volunteer Association, organizing activities to keep parents informed and connected.
The $5,000 monetary gift attached to the award will be directed towards student wellness.
In addition, Peter Govan, Cindy Morton, and Richard Wills were all named Honorary Old Boys.
Peter Govan has been teaching at Selwyn House since 1972, and is now in his 50th year of teaching. He has taught primarily in the physical education department although he once taught math in elementary school. Coach Govan was the driving force behind the rugby program, winning multiple championships at the juvenile level. He was the Head Coach of the first city championship team at the school in rugby. He is a standard at all of the school’s virtual Old Boys’ Chapters reunions and has the uncanny ability to remember every student he ever taught, and every sports play that they ever made.
Cindy Morton became Advancement Office Assistant at Selwyn House in September 2012, but she already had roots in the school community: her brothers Derek Morton '67 and Peter Morton '70 attended the school, as did her nephews Jeffery ‘02 and Alex ‘05. A beloved figure at Selwyn House, Cindy’s friendly smile was a constant at the registration table at golf and hockey tournaments, reunions and many other Old Boy events. Cindy retired in October 2020 and sadly passed away on April 16, 2021, following a long and valiant struggle with cancer.
For just over two decades, Richard Wills has been working behind the scenes to capture the memories of Selwyn House both as a writer and as a photojournalist, acting as the school’s main event photographer. Over the years, he has produced 21 Veritas magazines, writing stories about students, staff, Old Boy events, Old Boy updates, and full exposés on different facets of the school. A talented musician, Richard joined former Headmaster Hal Hannaford's H2O Band with other Old Boys performing on many occasions. He recently spearheaded musical productions with seniors from Contactivity which have been featured on Global News.