Celebrating Eggy

Sixty years ago Ryerson’s men’s varsity teams were called the Ryerson Rams. Why the ram? One theory is the school’s namesake, Egerton Ryerson, was born on March 24, 1803 – the ram in the zodiac.  Aries the ram is described as an extrovert with energy, assertiveness, a competitive nature and while courageous, impulsive and stubborn.

We all know our beloved Eggy.  We see him at school events. Not so long ago, in the near-distant past of 1961, Eggy had a, shall we say, realistic look.  Four students from the Student Administrative Council, wanting to boost school morale, acquired a ram for a reported $25 from the Toronto Stockyards.  The little ram, decorated with Ryerson pendants and ribbons made his grand debut at a Varsity Arena hockey game with Waterloo University.  Ryerson subsequently won the game, the little ram became a hero, and the rest is history.

Eggy I‘s debut at hockey game with University of Waterloo, Varsity Arena / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Hockey, 1960/61

Then, as today, Eggy attended celebrations, sporting, and parade and picnic events.

Eggy I in his finery / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Eggy, 1960/61

Eggy I oversees the band at a football game / Ryersonian, RG 95-1, Football, 1961/62

Eggy II attends Convocation, ca. 1962-1968 / Photographer: Roy Nichols, Cliipping file Eggy

Eggy III helping with 1970 Shinerama fund raising / Ryersonian, RG 95.6.24.45

There were a total of five real ram mascots between 1961 and 1991.  Eggy I lived on campus during the school year in a pen and shelter behind Oakham House (then called Kerr Hall) and spent the summer on a farm outside the city.  Eggy II did the same until the mid 1960s.  From that time, Eggy II through V lived on a farm year long and was transported to campus for events.

Living on campus, Eggy II with his caretaker “Poppa” Wycik and his companion dog Lucky / Toronto Telegram, 24 April 1964 / with permission from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC07139

Eggy II’s chariot / Ryersonian, February 22, 1963, Clipping file Eggy

Eggy III was known to be a little ornery, charging bales of hay, fence posts, his handler, and just about anything in front of him.

Eggy III, 1975 / Ryersonian, November 13, 1974

Eggy III reviewing frosh contestants / Photo: Brenda Lee Allan, Ryersonian, October 17, 1970, Clipping File Eggy

Eggy IV is reported to have been gentle and willing to pose for photos.

Eggy IV debuts on campus in luxury / Photo: Fred Lum, Eyeopener, February 4, 1982

Eggy IV had very curly horns / Ryersonian, September 11, 1987

Eggy V was the last live mascot.  He died in 1991.  The Human Society pressured universities using live animals as mascots to stop the practice due to cruelty.

While the real Eggy was still making appearances, Athletics and Recreation had a costumed Eggy from about the 1980s.  Possibly the first costumed Eggy – we’ll call him Costumed Eggy 1 – had a triangular nose and had developed floppy horns.

Eggy with his floppy horns gets his send off, as seen in this strange double image / Photographer: Bogdan Hoshowsky, Ryersonian, March 1, 1989

This variety of Eggy is a little frightful / Eyeopener, September 10, 1997

1989 – 1997 : An Eggy to be proud of – Costumed Eggy 2 – Note his
heart-shaped nose with hoofed hands and feet.

Eggy pumps hand weights in front of the RAC entrance, 1989 / RG 76.14.576

1997 – 2004 : Costumed Eggy 3 had an upward sweeping, sharp-
cornered nose with hoof hands and running shoes.

Eggy helps at the Community Barbecue with then Chancellor, John-Craig Eaton, 1999 / Forum, October 1999, RG 395.38.126

2004 – 2011 : Costumed Eggy 4 had a distinctive nose outlined in
grey/silver and flatter sitting horns.

At the basketball court / Photographer: Don McHoull, Eyeopener, February 11, 2004

2011 – present : Costumed Eggy 5 – This academic year started with
a new look – a trimmer, fitter Eggy with two faces:
his mean face and his party face.

He’s muscular and mean / Courtesy of Athletics and Sports, RAM 4879 (cropped)

Party-face Eggy shows off his dexterity by holding a cup of coffee. / Courtesy of Athletics & Recreation, RAM 4378-1

To learn more about Eggy and other Ryerson history facts, visit the Ryerson Archives, 3rd floor of the Library, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  And visit our new Archives and Special Collections website.
http://www.ryerson.ca/archives/

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  1. Pingback: The Toronto Telegram photograph archives: preserved with the assistance of the Canadian Council of Archives | News from the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections

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