Actor Enrico Colantoni, left, and former TCDSB trustee Paul Crawford took home an Alumni Award and an Award of Merit, respectfully, at the TCDSB Awards Night 2016. Photo by Evan Boudreau

Henry Carr community was actor Colantoni’s family

  • May 11, 2016

TORONTO – During five years Enrico Colantoni spent at the Fr. Henry Carr Catholic High School as a student, the religious and lay educators became his family.

“Family for me was chaotic, sometimes violent, it was confusing, hypocritical,” the Canadian actor said. “So for five years I was the first at Fr. Henry Carr to show up in the morning and the last to leave because that was home and they were family.”

Since graduating from the school in 1982, Colantoni has never lost touch with the place he considered home. This past March he uploaded a video to YouTube expressing his gratitude for the education he received and educators who taught him. The school also named its theatre after him.

His affection and connection with the school ran so deep that “people back then knew me as Henry.”

“It was just so much a part of who I was.”

The 53-year-old actor, who starred as Sgt. Greg Parker on the police drama series Flashpoint, as well as roles on American network television in Just Shoot Me! and Veronica Mars, took home one of three Alumni Awards on May 2 which recognize the contributions of former Toronto Catholic students. John Paul Antonacci, a Michael Power High School graduate turned journalist, as well as Juno-nominated composer Angelo Oddi, a product of Chaminade Secondary School, also took home Alumni Awards.

Looking back on his time as a student, Colantoni said what defined his Catholic education was a sense of integrity rooted in Roman collars and habits.

“Catholic education is like any other education except that there are priests and nuns around,” he said. “And nothing embodies integrity more than seeing someone with a collar or a habit because not only did they devote their lives to the vocation of God, they dedicated their lives to educating children. That’s what I remember, that is what I brought to my career as an actor (and) I’m always filled with that integrity.

“That will always stay present with me.”

The board also honoured three men with an Award of Merit. Lawyer Peter Lauwers, former superintendent of education John Kaposy and former trustee Paul Crawford all were recognized.

“I was elated, I was dancing, because to be recognized after the years of service you’ve put in there by your peers, it is just a beautiful feeling,” said Crawford, who was a school trustee from 2000 to 2010.

Dozens of students were also honoured that evening for their various accomplishments.

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