A History of Swans

SWANS was formed in August 2002 as a third group to accept the Graduates of the Saanich Newcomers Club (SNC). The other two groups were the Saanich Newcomers Alumnae Club ( SNAC)  and GRADS.  There were close to 80 members that first year. Initially we met for Luncheons on the Fourth Wednesday of the month at the Princess Mary Restaurant, which was a Victoria landmark and is no longer standing.  We then moved to the scenic Royal Colwood Golf Club where the beautiful scenery, accommodating staff and delicious buffet have kept us there since 2007.

As Saanich Newcomers (SNC) was such a successful club, SWANS adopted the same format for their Policies and Procedures as well as the Activities that were offered. Over the years SWANS has participated with both the Newcomers and GRADS in certain activities. 

We have maintained the practice of using seating tiles and round tables at our Luncheons to foster friendship and communication. All our Interest Groups are self managed and members are expected to actively participate in running the group.

There have been many changes over the years. SNC was renamed NCGV, Newcomers Club of Greater Victoria, to better reflect the membership. SNAC closed in 2018 as their membership was too small to remain viable. GRADS closed in 2021 as a result of Covid shutdowns. SWANS membership increased to a high of 268 in 2014 and slowly decreased to approximately 200 in 2021-2022, the 20th Anniversary of the Club. The SWANS website was started in 2017 for Membership renewals, Luncheon bookings and club information.

During the Covid shutdown (March 2020 – December 2021) of the Golf Club, SWANS remained somewhat active. Several Interest Groups continued to meet, outside and in a safe manner; the President sent out monthly messages to the membership; the Executive held Zoom meetings and Membership renewals continued without fees.

 The first Luncheon during Covid was held December 2021 but we were not back on schedule until March 2022 when we celebrated our 20th Anniversary in person. SWANS is continuing as normal in the 2022-2023 year with eight luncheons from August to May.

As of 2022 – 2023, SWANS Interest Groups may accommodate members of the Victoria Region Men’s and Newcomers Club (VRMNC) in a shared activity provided there is a convener from each group. SWANS membership is open to the members of the Victoria Evening Newcomers’  Club (VENC) and the Newcomers of Victoria Alumnae (NOVA).

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