For Notre Dame Grads and Friends

The 60’s


O'Connor Hall was blessed on May 4, 1964,

During the 50’s and 60’s  enrolment at Notre Dame High School continued to increase and the new ‘Main Building’ soon became overtaxed. In September 1963 the sturdy old “Malvern House,” which had served in turn as church, parish hall, school and Sisters’ residence, was demolished, and in its place was built the O’Connor Hall,image

named in honour of the long-time pastor of St. John’s parish whose wise and generous support had helped to make possible the beginning of Notre Dame High School.


Rev. Denis O'Connor May 1932-April 1966


O’Connor Hall was blessed on May 4, 1964, by His Grace, Archbishop Philip Pocock, and in September it opened its doors to 784 students. As the school grew, the CND’s sent more Sisters and in 1968, of the forty-one members of the Notre Dame staff, twenty were CND Sisters.

(adapted from ‘The Daughters of Marguerite Bourgeoys
in Toronto 1932 – 1982′ by Sister Calista BEGNAL, CND)



The 60s was a time of great change! It was a decade of civil rights, social justice, Vatican ll and great leaders like John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Jean Vanier, Mother Teresa  and Pope John XXIII. In step with the times, Notre Dame High School ushered in these changes with growth and expansion of its own.

Throughout this tremendous spiritual, intellectual and physical growth, Notre Dame continued to witness the ‘spirit of Notre Dame’  as it rippled and widen from the individual to the almost one thousand student body whose burning desire was to further peace, harmony and love as we unearthed new avenues to continue the work of the Spirit in our school, our community, our church and our world.


Notre Dame Principals of the 60s

imageSr. St. Helen of the Saviour (Sr. Ellen Pickett) another former teacher from 1947-1951 returned as principal from 1959-1961. One of Sr. St. Helen’s big interests was the library. Up until this time it had been funded by the Parent-Teacher Association which donated $100 a year for the purchase of library books. In her last year Sr. St. Helen spearheaded a drive which raised $700 for this purpose.


imageSr. St. Catherine of the Eucharist (Sr. Mary Collingwood) a teacher from 1953-1961 became principal in 1961. By then Notre Dame was a large up-to-date school whose complex and modern organization she ably administered. During her years the old parish hall was demolished and O’Connor Hall was erected on the site. O’Connor Hall was officially opened in 1964.



imageSr. Mary Meagher (Sr. St. Anne of the Angels) who had taught at Notre Dame from 1943-1947 returned as principal from 1966-68 and the returned to teaching her beloved mathematics at Notre Dame, Toronto.




imageIn 1968 Sr. Lucille Corrigan (Sr. St. Rita Helen) a former student and a teacher on staff took over the principalship at a time when great changes were in the offing.

Jeannette Pitre (nee Farrell), `65 

Click on Jeannette and relive the 60s at NDHS

Click here to hear about `Mother Beloved`


click on this image and view a 60s video


Click on this image and view more pictures from the 60s

Take the  Notre Dame 60’s  Test

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1 Comment

  1. Lea (Pennylegion) Burton's Gravatar Lea (Pennylegion) Burton
    November 1, 2011    

    I have been married for 43 yrs., have a son , two daughters and seven
    grandchildren. I live in the country just north of Burlington, On., and
    love to look after our grandchildren as well as golf and travel.

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