VOCS is an unincorporated association with a Constitution, Board of Directors and officers. Its members are alumni of Oxford University and Cambridge University and other persons with connections with the Universities resident in Greater Vancouver, but also including others living in or near British Columbia. We have some overlap and warm relations with the Vancouver Island Oxford and Cambridge Society (“VIOCS”), the Oxford-Cambridge Society of Portland, Oregon, and the Seattle Oxford and Cambridge Society (“SOCS”).
Membership is automatic if you are an alumnus or alumna living in or around Vancouver and there is no charge to join. If you are a member unknown to us, please get in touch with us via the Member Registration page on this site. Currently we have approximately 600 members.
History of VOCS
VOCS has existed since at least 1929 when our first Boat Race Dinner was held. It is one of the oldest Oxford and Cambridge societies in North America. That said, fellowship among Oxbridge alumni in B.C. goes back to colonial times. Oxbridge alumni have shaped our Province from its earliest beginnings.
Read the VOCS Constitution (PDF 65 KB)
At the Boat Race Dinner in 2011, the members adopted the first written constitution for VOCS. The Constitution sets out the purposes of VOCS, a wide range of affiliations with the Universities that will entitle a person to be VOCS membership and various details establishing an ongoing governance structure for VOCS based on the Board of Directors elected at each Boat Race Dinner and officers appointed by the Board. The Constitution has allowed more members to become involved in running VOCS and the putting on of events. It is also hoped that it will assist VOCS to continue in existence as an active unincorporated organization for a very long time to come. VOCS is not a registered charity. It is not run for profit although it has some small accumulated savings which assist in holding better events and which are augmented, from time to time, with a little income from successful events. If you fit one of the membership categories in section 2.1 of the Constitution, and would like to become a registered member of VOCS, complete the Member Registration.
We are dedicated to the entertainment of our members. We have a number of events each year including:
- Boat Race Breakfast at a pub on Boat Race Day
- Formal Boat Race Dinner held in the Great Hall of Green College, UBC
- Potluck Picnic at Bard on the Beach
- Warren-Dunn Croquet Match, complete with Pimm’s #1 Cup and cucumber sandwiches
- Annual Family Picnic
- Occasional “feasts” in some of Vancouver’s best ethnic restaurants.
Please check our Events Calendar for information on upcoming events and if you have an event idea, get in touch!
VOCS also welcomes newly arrived graduates and persons who qualify under the categories in section 2.1 of the VOCS Constitution and provides “how to” information about going to the Universities for the next generation of B.C. members.
Connect with Us
One of the best ways to stay connected with VOCS is to join our LinkedIn Group. Our Group allows you to send out messages of any sort to over 200 VOCS members on everything from a recipe for Plum Duff to the sale of a used Hood and Gown.