| Dec 03, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - December 3, 2009 Movember at SHSBy Jeff Green

Staff  and students at Sydenham High School sport their 'staches.

It all tarted on November 1, when about 20 male teachers and senior students at Sydenham High School arrived at school in a particularly clean-shaven state.

And it culminated on Monday, November 30, when a group of moustachioed men, and some sympathetic women teachers who drew on moustaches for the occasion, celebrated the end of the Movember fundraising drive for the Prostate Cancer Association.

The SHS event was initiated by teachers Mark Richards and Greg Legge, linking to the Movember movement that has become an international phenomenon.

It started back in Australia, where they call moustaches mos. After drinking a few beers some friends were lamenting the demise of the fashionable moustache, which had gone into the dustbin of fashionable history since the 1980s, along with big hair, shoulder pads and the Canadian mullet.

They wanted to bring it back, and they decided to hold a moustache-growing contest. They also figured they might was well raise some money too, so they contacted the Prostate Cancer Foundation in Australia, and the rest is a hairy bit of history,


Mo Bros in Australia, South Africa, and throughout Europe and North America have turned November into Movember, raising money and awareness about prostate cancer, which is as common in men as breast cancer is in women.

While prostate cancer is curable in 95% of cases, early detection is critical, but there are no symptoms in the early stages.

So the message from the Prostate Cancer Society is for men to know their risk factors and to consider screening when they reach their forties and fifties.

The money raised in Canada during Movember goes directly to the Canadian foundation, and is used for research into prostate cancer and to fund public awareness campaigns.

“When people ask about our growing moustaches during Movember it also gives an opportunity to talk about prostate cancer, which is good as well,” said Brian Legge at SHS, “and cancer in general is something that affects us all.”

The Movember website includes a section devoted to the Sydenham High School Mo show, which lists the participants and has space available for photos as the month progresses. The comments section allows for supporters to comment, rib the men about their moustaches, and generally create a buzz around the event.

As the month crew to a close, over $1400 had been raised officially at SHS, and more money was coming in, including about $150 from the “mo sisters” who painted on moustaches for the final day of the event. The total will be available by the end of the week.

But in terms of converting the Sydenham men to the ranks of the moustachioed, Movember has been less successful. All of the men said they planned to shave immediately, citing itchiness and their wives’ dislike of moustaches.

On a national level, Movember is a growing phenomenon. This year’s target of $4 million has been surpassed easily, and the total stands at $6.5 million and counting.

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