A Man’s *Office* Is His Castle

This morning I was emailed by a guy I met a few weeks ago at a beer garden. He’s seen my website before and told me he had something to post. He attached several photos and explained a little story, so I’ve decided to post the photos he sent me and paraphrase his email. He requested that I not name him, and that’s a good thing cuz I only know his nickname anyways! :-D He has blacked himself and his friend out in a couple of photos, for obvious reasons.

Essentially, some people went to the UBC Alma Mater Society (Student Government) President’s Office in the SUB and decided to have a bit of fun with the incoming president. The old president, Spencer Keys, was to hand over power to the president-elect, Kevin Keystone, on Monday.

Apparently there is a tradition of welcoming new presidents to the office, and this year was no different. Someone decided to build a castle in the president’s office, and so a castle was built out of bricks and mortar.

The foundation was laid and row upon row of bricks were stacked with mortar to hold them together. It seems they didn’t do as good a job as a trained bricklayer, but from these pics it’s still fairly impressive. The middle stack – a buttress if I dare call it that – is quite interesting.

What really makes the buttress stand out, I think, is the sailor that has been mortared onto the top. Quite a nice touch.

When the castle had been built, the individuals involved proceeded to paint a large black hand and a small red E on the castle. The small red E symolizes the Engineering Faculty, which seems to have been involved in this endeavour. The symbolism of a black hand, however, is unknown.

Here’s a pic of the sailor from close up.

The masons left this message-on-a-brick for the incoming president, which explains some things a bit:

The black hand reference is still rather mystifying – is it one UBC’s clubs? Possibly the bricklaying or pottery club’s nickname?

I also received this photo, spliced together it seems, from two photos. It shows the perspective from the president’s desk. Sort of a fisheye effect, nifty.

I must say I’m impressed. In the photos, judging by the height of the corner towers (turrets?) in relation to the ceiling, I would guess their height to be a bit over 6 feet or so. The buttress with sailor is definitely my favourite feature. It must have taken quite some coordination and effort to carry this prank out.

The one real question I have, however, is: what does Kevin Keystone, the new UBC AMS President, think of his new office?


  1. Anonymous February 28, 2006 at 02:30 #

    Chris honey, I thought the sparkles were a wonderful finishing touch.

  2. Anonymous February 28, 2006 at 02:42 #

    The Black Hand is apparently a group of people who pulls a prank on the new President every time a new one is elected. It’s a UBC tradition. I have no idea how one gets involved though!

  3. Tawcan February 28, 2006 at 08:03 #

    Now that’s a sweet prank!!!

  4. Anonymous February 28, 2006 at 10:04 #

    The Black Hand is a very old UBC institution, mostly involved in creative prankstering (and not just for AMS presidential inaugurations).

    A few years back, the Black Hand laid down a nice fresh layer of sod to replace the carpeting on the old AUS office. It certainly cheered the space up!

  5. Howard makes nice February 28, 2006 at 11:41 #

    The new president/king of UBC didn’t even have to build his own castle? I mean, it’s wonderful that his followers were nice enough to do this for him, but is this a sign of what’s to come? All the most powerful nations in the world were built on slave labour and asshole leaders. I fear for the student body of UBC.

  6. Starlet in the Making March 2, 2006 at 14:30 #

    Wow, would you happen to know how long it took them to build that thing? I was thinking of hiring them to build a castle for my office at work. Just wondering you know, in case they charge by the hour.

    And whoever gets stuck with cleanup duty is in for a real treat!

  7. Anonymous March 4, 2006 at 20:13 #

    i hear he loves it…

2 Trackbacks

  1. By The Barn on June 12, 2010 at 16:15

    […] A man’s office is his castleFoiled! […]

  2. By Foiled! on June 12, 2010 at 16:22

    […] in AMS President Kevin Keystone’s office last February, with a large black hand painted on it (see here for the photos). Incidentally, it was the same informer who sent me those photos… coincidence? Note the plate […]

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