Queen’s EngSoc grease pole stolen after Sci ’19 completes their climb

U of T’s “Brute Force Committee” steals back their upright pole on the 60th anniversary of its original theft

Sci '19's climbed the grease pole in one hour and 58 minutes
Supplied by Curtis Shewchuk

For the second time in 15 years, Queen’s Engineering Society’s grease pole was stolen from them by a group known as the “Brute Force Committee” (BFC) — a group of engineering students from the University of Toronto.

According to a press release posted on the BFC website, the pole was stolen the morning of Sept. 13, less than 48 hours after it was climbed.

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Once a goalpost at the U of T’s Varsity Stadium, the grease pole was stolen by a group of Queen’s students after a football game in 1955. The pole is now an icon in the Engineering Orientation Week pole-climbing event, which took place Saturday morning, Sept. 12.

After first-year students retrieve a tam from the top of the greased pole, they’re responsible for its safe keeping until the next year.

According to a statement by Julie Tseng, the president of the Engineering Society (EngSoc), the theft is merely a “continuation of a light hearted rivalry between engineering schools.”

EngSoc stated that they only became aware of the grease pole’s disappearance at 6 p.m. on Sept. 13.


“We are quite impressed with the BFC and their creative tactics that enabled them to find the pole,” Tseng wrote.

The pole was last stolen by BFC in 2000. Following its retrieval, BFC made a list of demands for EngSoc to fulfill, including beer in a tree, two turtle necks, three French toasts, four pounds of back bacon, five golden toques, six packs of 24s, seven packs of cigarettes and eight comic books.

The pole was returned to Queen’s in 2001 and has since been hidden during the school year to protect it from any potential retaliation, according to coverage by The Journal.

According to Tseng’s statement, the society is still awaiting a list of demands.

The Journal was unable to be present at the grease pole event itself.

“Unfortunately, due to the timing of The Journal’s request, all car and media passes for the grease pole were already distributed for the Sci ’19 climb,” Tseng told The Journal via email. “There are a limited number of these passes due to parking constraints and the offsite location of the event.”

Studio Q was the only media outlet provided with car passes, acting as media passes due to the limited parking.

According to EngSoc, the Class of 2019 finished the climb in one hour and 58 minutes — one minute faster than the Class of 2018.

This year’s Tam Frosh — the first-year engineering student tasked with climbing to the very top of the pole to get the tam — was Jayden Dube, Sci ’19.

“It was such an exhilarating experience at the top of the pole, hearing everyone cheering when I finally got the tam was definitely one of the highlights of my life,” Dube told The Journal via Facebook.

“Those 15 seconds I was struggling for the tam seemed to last a lifetime.”

—With files from Victoria Gibson

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