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Gryphon Gallery: Colin Bonneau

Colin Bonneau attended Glenlyon Norfolk School (Glenlyon Preparatory School) from 1956 to 1960, graduating from Victoria High School in 1965. He left the University of Victoria with a BMus. and Dip. Ed. and taught in a number of schools between 1974 and 2011. During these years from 1965, he has been a church organist, currently serving as Director of Music at St. David’s United Church in Leduc, Alberta. 

“I’ve been a church musician for over 50 years. I pride myself on the fact that I never play a verse the same in church; I always play it differently, decorate it, that sort of thing. I do a lot of jazz and blues in my playing, too. I like improvisation—I have my own arrangements to some of the standard hymns,” he said. 


Besides being a proficient jazz pianist, trombone and bugle player—he summoned guests on his trumpet to dinner at Glenlyon’s 60 Anniversary—he is also a competitive powerlifter, having broken dozens of age group world records, and could very well be the world’s strongest church musician. He is undoubtedly a powerlifting legend!

Power-lifting is a fun hobby that he started at age 50. ​​In 1998, when he was 51 years old, Colin entered a local “strong man” competition and shortly after, broke his first Canadian record. 

“I then got my first world record in Luxembourg. It was pretty cool, just a great feeling. I beat a record that had been held for about 14 years. They put the Canadian flag up and played O Canada. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s fun to know that, for your age, you’re one of the strongest people in the world,” he said. 

This is the twenty-first instalment of a series of articles entitled “Gryphon Gallery” created by our School Archivist that provides snapshots that celebrate the achievements of a variety of alumni and staff from throughout the history of GNS.