November: The Month for Manly Moustaches

Graham Hyslop (12) and Spencer Cooper (12)

November has been a month that, for upwards of 10 years now, has been known colloquially as Movember. A fun spin to the title of a month dedicated to raising awareness for prostate and testicular cancers, mental health, and moreover, men’s health in general. But whether or not its original intention was to raise awareness among men, it is also pertinent to women, and is especially important for today’s youth because it emphasizes the substantiality of physical activity and its health benefits while being a part of a larger community.

Movember began in Melbourne, Australia under the leadership of two ‘Mo Bros’ by the names of Travis Garone and Luke Slattery. In 2003, they sparked the idea of a month dedicated to fashionable ‘staches and raising awareness for people’s personal well-being. They inducted thirty more Bros to help kickstart the campaign and, in 2004, had already set up a network of over 480 members (including women) that spread to Queensland and raised CAD $50,000. That money was directly donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. It was the largest donation through a single cheque received by the organization, who then came on board with the initiative and partnered with Garone and Slattery in 2005. By 2006, the network had spread to New Zealand with over 65,000 members and raised about $9,500,000 while being granted official Australian charity foundation status.

This trend of expansion continues even today, changing Movember into a global charity that is recognized in 21 different countries, with over 5 million members and $667 million raised since 2003. It has received official charity status from Canada, Scotland, Wales, England, Australia, New Zealand, and the US with partnerships made between organizations of each country and the Movember foundation.

Interested yet? If so, and you’re looking for way to contribute, then you can attempt one of two challenges (or both):

  1. Grow a moustache. If you’re in Grade 11 or 12, there are a few perks you have over the younger grades; this is one of them. Take advantage of seniority and grow out that gorgeous, or struggling, ‘stache of yours. We won’t judge.
  2. Get active with MOVE. It’s time to strap on those athletic shoes and turn on the inspirational tunes. Physical activity, whether strenuous or just a walk in the park, has shown to decrease the chances for a multitude of diseases and disabilities, including prostate and testicular cancer, that affect millions of men across the globe.

Locally however, much like the two young friends that sparked this momentous foundation, the initiative is traditionally led  by two individuals. This year, at the helm of the student body is Grad Sam Turner alongside teacher Mr. Mike Stiles. When asked about his motivation for Movember, Sam stated, “Movember is all about the progressing of men’s health, which I feel is a topic that is not discussed openly enough.”

For those still interested in becoming involved with Movember, Sam has this advice: “It is never to late to come and help raise money for a good cause. Men’s health is a topic that is not discussed enough as a society, and you get to grow a moustache! How great is that!”

But if there’s any single idea that you can take away from Movember, it’s this: Movember is a  campaign for raising awareness.  It advocates for men’s health and health in general, especially the declining health of society where one in every four Canadians is obese (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2012). This is a statistic that continues to climb; with more campaigns and  initiatives like Movember, these numbers can drop, and thanks to Sam and his Movember Team, the St. George’s community is playing its part in  the journey to a healthier Canada.

If interested, you can join Sam’s team at the hyperlink below:

Or email Sam or Mr. Stiles at:

[email protected]

[email protected]