Tita Dieza flanked by Pearson College alumni Iggy Sison and Chris Geater, advancement and external relations officer. (Photo contributed)

Alumni moved to honour former host family volunteer

Dieza Dolencio first began hosting students in 1975

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

Dieza Dolencio has been a source of comfort for too many Pearson College students to count during the more than 40 years she has volunteered as a host.

Dolencio – or Tita – as she is called by the students who have stayed with her during holidays, first began to share her Oak Bay home in 1975 with anywhere from a couple of students to up to 27 at a time for holidays and dinners.

“I just felt the kids, so far away from home, needed some good food and company and a safe place where they can stay and relax,” explained the native of the Philippines who moved to Canada in 1964.

Although Dolencio has reduced the number of kids she takes under her wing following her 8oth birthday in May, she continues to do what she can, in part because of the lasting connections she has made over the years.

Three Pearson alumni who share a special bond with Dolencio honoured her for her contributions by establishing a scholarship in her name. In just a few weeks, they launched “The Legacy Project for Tita Dieza” and raised enough for a one-year scholarship at the Metchosin-based United World College campus.

Alumnus Iggy Sison, a graduate in 1983, said that during his time as a student, Dolencio provided a home away from home. “Tita was so much more than a host,” he explained. “She always made us feel at peace and nourished us with happy company, a delicious meal and emotional support. I know she would like to see us helping others, so we created this legacy project in her honour because she exemplifies the spirit of generosity.”

Dolencio said she was moved by Sison’s efforts. “He’s been very faithful keeping in touch all these years and I really appreciate what he has done,” she noted. “He’s like my son, he adopted me as his Canadian mother.”

To learn more about Pearson’s host family program, contact Deanna Cuthbert at dcutchbert@pearsoncollege.ca or phone 250-391-2416.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Dieza “Tita” Dolencio (centre) has hosted a number of Pearson College students in the more than 40 years she’s volunteered with the school’s host family program. A number of those students recently helped her celebrate her 80th birthday. (Photo contributed)

Just Posted

Humboldt bike lanes next in Victoria’s Biketoria plan

Public input sought on new designs; protected two-way, shared lanes being considered

Smouldering U-Haul snarls Pat Bay traffic

Afternoon commuters were reduced to one northbound lane after a U-Haul cube… Continue reading

Oxford Dictionary responds by video to Victoria boy’s bid for levidrome

William Shatner tweet garners attention of Oxford

Students set to design Oak Bay travel corridor

Architects, politicians, police, and HASTe advise students on Cadboro Bay Road project

Ghost Cat disappears on Beach Drive

Sculpture sold, set to be replaced by Ocean in Motion

VIDEO: Sara-Jeanne Hosie adds music to Wintertime in Oak Bay

Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Company C stages Wintertime starting Nov. 29

Victoria hit and run suspect sought after pedestrian struck by truck

VicPD ask for the public’s help with incident at Cook and Yates streets

Saanich among safest communities in Canada

It is the sort of list where you want to finish near… Continue reading

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

15 arrested as Duncan police raid yields drugs, stolen property

Arrests made, drugs and stolen property seized

English Inn offers public tours of Esquimalt redevelopment

General manager wants to clear up miscommunications and gather community input

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Most Read