100 years of memories celebrated at Toronto's St. John's School

  • May 4, 2010
Old St. John's schoolTORONTO - Aside from the annual Lenten Masses at St. John's School, alumni Angela Carroll remembers joining her Grade 4 classmates in the hallway as the school set up TVs in the hallway to watch Paul Henderson's 1972 history-making goal against the Soviet team.

Carroll is now a teacher at her old school on Kingston Road in Toronto's east end and will be joining alumni in celebrating St. John's centenary milestone May 8. Carroll says the event will be special, not only because she is an alumni, but her husband also attended the school, and their children are now students there.

On its 100th anniversary, the St. John's School community was to mark the occassion with a May 8 Mass at St. John's Church, followed by a school open house from 2:30-4:30 p.m. An evening reception was also to take place at the Balmy Beach Canoe Club.

Carroll, who's been teaching at the school for a decade, recalls the few seconds after Canada won the 1972 hockey series against the nation that would become its long-time rival.

“It was just mayhem. The entire school just roared as the entire country did,” she said.

St. John School was built in 1910, starting out with a small building in 1909. It began with 25 students, ballooned to 1,300 in the mid-1970s, then dropped to about 300 students. Currently, it has about 550 students.

Some notable events at the school included the filming of a TV special by singer Anne Murray at the school's gym in the late 1960s.

Among her many memories of the school, Carroll says she recalls the Notre Dame Sisters, whose convent is beside the school, teaching at St. John dressed in their full habit.

“I'm walking into these classrooms and remember that plaque or statue,” she said. “It's precious, I cherish it. It's part of who I am, having spent all my childhood years here and more than half of my teaching years.”

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