CORNWALL, Ontario – After more than 50 years in operation, the curtain has closed on the last day of class at St. Columban’s Catholic School.
St. Columban’s celebrated its first day of classes in 1960 and now, on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 students and teachers alike said goodbye to an elementary Cornwall school that had seen so many students pass through it.
Judy Legault had taught at St. Columban’s for 19 years, she is also a former student, and her mother also taught at the school as a kindergarten teacher.
“It is sad, it truly is a community school,” she said. “Here we could draw on all of our community resources, we are right near a public pool, Lamoureux Park, the police station, we held our graduation party at Esca yesterday all because it is within walking distance.”
“It is time to move on though. We are going to a bigger facility, with a bigger play yard and the students joke that we are finally getting grass,” she said. “I was in the first French Immersion class when it started here in Grade 4. My favourite memories are of the teachers and of all of the activities. We want to wish everyone the best no matter where they are going.”
Some of the students will be going onto St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School if they are in Grade 7 and 8, or to St. Matthew’s Catholic Secondary School, depending on where they live. The rest will be going to Sacred Heart Catholic School, which is getting a new building to accommodate the influx of new students from St. Columban’s and Immaculate Conception Catholic School, which is also closing.
On the last day of school, all of the students gathered in the gym for one last time. They sung the national anthem, prayed together, watched a video about the school, thanked their teachers and enjoyed some ice cream and cake. There were four cakes, one celebrating St. Columban’s, two wishing the students the best of luck and one celebrating their new school, Sacred Heart.
Earlier in the month, the students performed a musical play in honour of the school in which every member of the student body took part. There was also one last group photo including all of the students and staff at the school.