Wednesday, April 8

Ecole secondaire catholique Algonquin celebrates 50 years of French language training

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The sound of laughter and shared memories echoed during the halls of North Bay’s Ecole secondaire Catholique Algonquin over the weekend.

Approximately 500 humans, from throughout Canada and components of America amassed to rejoice the school’s fiftieth anniversary.

In 1968 Rheal Perron become hired as the high college’s first important.

“It becomes tough because we were the primary French language school technically in Ontario, French public school. It becomes approved in March, however essentially, we had no building,” recalls Perron.

“Finally, we opened in Widdifield on a day shift 2:30 p.M. To 8:30 p.M. And this went on for 2 and a half years because, at that point, they have been building West Ferris excessive faculty.”

Perron says it did no longer take long for the pupil population to develop.

“There becomes no public francophone faculty before then, just a small non-public college known as L’Academie Notre Dame in front of St. Vincent church. The first yr we had over 525 youngsters, the second yr seven hundred plus and while we moved here, there had been 900 children. The college speedy grew to 12-hundred children,” stated Perron.

“This is when the sports have been visible, and it has become very clear that we ought to contribute something to our society. It is critical to recognize that the school is not a building. A school is human beings. The reason of this faculty is to provide bilingual graduation, folks who can communicate in each legit languages.”

Carole Laperriere, formerly Martineau when she became a student, attending the first grade 9 elegance.

Her three sisters also attended Algonquin, and eventually all in their youngsters.

She was part of the organizing committees for the college’s 20th, thirtieth, and fiftieth anniversaries.

“It is in our blood. It is who we’re. We participated in more than one activities. We live our lifestyle every day at Algonquin. Algonquin is truly important to each person in North Bay, due to the fact our dad and mom, manner back while, fought very, very difficult to get this school. French college students had to pay to go to non-public faculty to get a French education,” stated Laperriere.

“When it opened, teachers had been teaching in the afternoon and the evening, due to the fact we shared Widdifield Secondary, and we have been oblivious. We had been teens. We just notion we were given to move to high school till past due at night time and sleep in inside the morning. How cools is that,” grinned Laperriere.

“But backstage became a whole community of people working tough so that we could get an education. Our school was a family unit. We had been the sort of small organization that everybody felt like we belonged. The own family feeling that we had right here became exceptional.”

Lucien Chaput is currently the essential for grades 9 thru 12.

“This is a milestone in the faculty’s history. We’re celebrating 50 years of French education within the North Bay network. We have been the primary French public high faculty that was set up right here in North Bay,” said Chaput.

In current years, the faculty brought grades 7 and 8.

Michel Page is their fundamental.

“It is massive to be here 50 years later. I don’t assume they imagined how a whole lot the college could grow and thrive in those 50 years.”

Rene Champagne who now lives in eastern Ontario made the trip domestic for his first reunion given that graduating.

“It was splendid because we still had the OAC’s, so spending 5 years in the school changed into in reality wonderful. The environment changed into extremely good. The teachers had been superb. They had always been there to guide you. It becomes exceptional to be part of the own faculty family,” remarked Champagne, who turned into flooded with memories while he walked via the doors.

“It became exciting to see my picture on the wall in the Sports Hall of Fame. It becomes very nostalgic. It has changed lots, although. It is lots greater cutting-edge than back inside the ’90s. I just desired to show my youngsters in which I grew up and went to high school and see my antique friends again. It has been exquisite. The alumni did a great activity hosting absolutely everyone. It became a variety of amusing.”

With the fiftieth anniversary now within the books, human beings are questioning if there’s a destiny for school reunions while this current generation remains connected thru social media.

“I think, for the most element, this reunion changed into from about 1968 to approximately 1995. Those after are not attending,” said Carole Laperriere.

“One of our committee participants stated that this era grew up with social media so that they see each different all of the time on Facebook. With us, we just started seeing every different once Facebook took over our lives. So, the older generation remains right here, the more youthful ones now not so much. If they celebrate the 75th, I might be 89 years vintage and I don’t assume I’ll be on the social committee,” she laughed.

“But I’m thinking with all of the generations it may even be virtual by using then. I suppose the generation of reunions might not be as famous because it turned into in our day due to the fact youngsters are connected thru social media.”

While Rene Champagne has the same opinion social media is the popular form of verbal exchange, he continues nothing beats face to face interplay.

“We had a bond. Our time turned into spent with every different. With social media now it is unique, and you get to observe all of us now. So, it sort of takes away that marvel of what have you been doing for the beyond 10 or 15 years. I’m not a massive Facebook user, so it’s miles high-quality to capture up with my friends and other those who aren’t necessarily your Facebook friends or your social media buddies,” said Champagne.

“You can position snap shots on there. However it is talking approximately the recollections that absolutely stand out.”

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