The Order of the Vest: From Prank to Tradition
APEGA’s Order of the Vest ceremony is an honoured—and often joked about— rite of passage for Council’s past-presidents. When they leave office, they’re presented with vests or sashes to recognize their service.
The first vest was presented in 1955 as a prank. It went to retiring President LeRoy Thorssen, P.Eng.
Thorssen liked to start meetings with a little laughter by poking fun at the plaid vests worn by some of his colleagues. As payback, they presented him with a bright green tie and red vest at the annual general meeting.
The following year, a tacky yellow vest was presented to outgoing President Tom Stanley, P.Eng.
And so the tradition had begun. It continues today, as APEGA embarks on its second century.
(Left) APEGA celebrates some of the professions’ major success stories each year at the Summit Awards. APEGA’s 97th President Dr. Steve Hrudey, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), FCAE, FSRA, wearing his own past-president’s vest, presents a sash to new Past-President Jane Tink, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) at the 2017 Summit Awards.
(Right) Dr. Hrudey presents Past-President John McDougall, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), FCAE, OStJ with the Order of the Vest, who accepted on behalf of his father. Mr. McDougall’s father was recognized for long and outstanding service to APEGA, including – from 1947 to 1960, when he was volunteer registrar – counsel to many APEGA Presidents.
In 1979, Past-President Gerald Maier, P.Eng., was “floated out” of office with a life vest. He’s shown here with other past-presidents, sporting their own vests.