For Notre Dame Grads and Friends

Class of ’58: 50th Anniversary

Graduating Class, June 8, 1958, 50th Anniversary Reunion

God bless modern technology!  Using the computer was largely responsible for finding many members of our 1958 graduating class and making our reunion such a success.  The Telephone White Pages and parish bulletins were also used, but email was the most popular and effective mode of communication.

Wilma Stoyanoff (Hynes) played Mrs.Sherlock Holmes and was largely responsible for tracking down 79 of the 91 living graduates.  She worked with a small team consisting of Mary Ruth Bauer (Aykroyd), Dorothy Flynn (Arthurs), and Marie Mannone-Guimaraes.  Joan Godsoe (Boyce) provided the important function of liaison with the church.

The former graduates gathered in St.John’s Church for the 11:00am parish Mass on Sunday, June 8, exactly 50 years to the day of our graduation at St.Michael’s Cathedral.  Several rows of pews had been reserved for us.  The organizing team participated in the Mass by doing the readings and carrying the Offertory gifts to the altar.

After Mass, we proceeded downstairs to the pleasantly cool church hall where much needed name tags awaited us and where displays of memorabilia had been set up.  Among them were a gym uniform, several school blazers, a beret, the school banner and many photo albums.  Everyone enjoyed the journey back in time which these mementos had inspired.

Before a delicious, catered lunch was served, our two “nuns”, Clara Nasello CND and Mary Jane Leonard CND, had a difficult time calling the excited group to order. After several attempts, they managed to create an atmosphere where we could participate in a most meaningful Grace before Meals.

Later, while coffee and tea were being served, Wilma addressed the group, relating statistics that had been gathered that day.  Of the 96 girls who graduated in1958, 5 had passed away.  79 of the 91 living had been contacted and 50 attended the reunion.  Also in attendance were 2 of our 3  remaining former teachers, Sr.Margaret McKenna (Mother St. Agnes) and Sr.Denise Burns (Mother St. Margaret).  Sr.Irene Morrisette (Mother St. Irene) was not well enough to travel to the gathering.  Several of the girls had come great distances in order to join the fun…..Miami Fl., Boston MA, Calgary, Quebec, Ottawa and various other Ontario cities and towns outside the GTA.  Many had become teachers and nurses. Others were employed in a variety of occupations.  Most had married and become parents.  The women in attendance were responsible for 135 children and 133 grandchildren.  Our group had really taken seriously the mandate to “produce and multiply”.

The singing of the Notre Dame School song and Mother Beloved closed the afternoon.  As the voices soared, so many memories of former days came flooding back and more than a few tears were shed.  What a memorable reunion it had been!

We all agreed that we want to meet again, but promised not to wait another 50 years to make it happen!

Submitted by,

Marie Mannone-Guimaraes, class of ’58.

PS

It had been planned that any surplus money from the event would be presented to Notre Dame High School in the form of a bursary to help a student in financial difficulty.  Happily we can announce that $ 400 will be made available to the school for that purpose.

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