‘Tis the season to get festive! To share warm thoughts and reflect on the journey to where we are today. And what a year it has been!
We’ve made it to the second edition of our CCAA newsletter and guess what? It is a super special one – one that sums up our activities over the past few months and helps us to usher in the spirit of the holidays. I’m proud to say we’ve been up to many things as our active and dedicated Canadian tribe continues to find creative ways to further the mission to uplift our alma mater.
Firstly, I must inform you that we have revised the schedule for our newsletter. Instead of publishing every quarter we will now be publishing twice per year. This new schedule will allow us to be more efficient and we’ll have even more exciting news to share each time we publish.
Now, on to the business at hand. We have oh, so much to share with you as you celebrate the festive season. We’ll take a walk down memory lane with a throwback to our Christmas party vibes, flip through highlights of our Fall walkathon, and take a look at a feature on one of our super special members, Valrie Bucknor-Grossett.
Valrie has been a beacon of hope cooking and delivering food to the seniors and those who are shut-in across Markham, Pickering, and Scarborough, with the kind assistance of her sister Shorna. The sisters do this catering consistently, at their own expense, and we so proud to see them demonstrate a spirit of perseverance. Even amid the COVID-19 restrictions, they found a way to fund, cook, and deliver meals to those who need it most.
In this special edition, we’re happy to take our members back to the 1950s to see what life was like at our beloved alma mater. Thanks to one of our foundation members, Loris Mills, for sharing your beautiful journey, it’s one for the record books and we appreciate it.
Finally, we say a hearty congratulations to the CC Class of ’83 on the success of their campaign to purchase a new school bus. We have photos and highlights and we’ll give you a bit of background into their incredible campaign.
I’m pleased that our members have been purchasing our CC-branded t-shirts and masks. This is another fundraising activity that is being supported by past students in Canada and in other countries. We are truly happy to wear brand CC and even happier to support students on their educational journey while we’re at it.
The end of the year may be fast-approaching, but we assure you, we have no intention of slowing down. We have many fun-filled, socially-distanced activities in the pipeline that are sure to keep you engaged while furthering our mission to uplift the students at CC.
As we head into the festive season, I want to wish you and your family good health and the best that the season has to offer. May we take the time to love those around us and find someone to give to and share the joy of the holidays. COVID-19 has created more gaps and needs than ever, so it shouldn’t be hard to find someone to support and uplift (you can take inspiration from Valrie and Shorna). I’m hopeful that 2022 will be an even better year for all of us.
I want to thank you all for all your support and enthusiasm. Stay tuned, like, and share our updates on social media and remember to keep the CC torch blazing wherever you happen to go.
President, CCAA, Toronto Chapter
Editor, CCAA Newsletter.
Throwback! Christmas Partaaayyy!
If we knew that a global pandemic would prevent us from throwing our Christmas party for two years straight, we would have partied a little harder each year. Those were the days! And if you know you know – the laughter, the food, fun and frolic. We miss it! Hopefully we’ll get to have a ball next year. In the meantime, here are some throwback pics to remind you of all the fun we created at previous Christmas parties.
Events? Yes they are happening and our Fall Walkathon was a big hit!
We don’t just talk the talk. We also walk the walk!
Thanks to everyone who supported our second FUNdraising walkathon on September 28, 2021. Our members in Canada gathered at the Port Union Waterfront Park in Scarborough, Ontario. We walked for the cause and it was so refreshing to see each other in person.
Thanks to those who walked all across Canada individually or in groups, and even as far as Florida where our Immediate Past President, Jacqui Mills gathered and walked with her very own group of CC supporters in Florida.
Our giving is possible because of you. Let’s keep the CC torch blazing!
We love, appreciate, and thank you for joining us on our journey to raise funds for our alma mater.
Good Samaritan – Valrie Paying it Forward in Canada
Just like the ever-blazing torch that represents our alma mater, past students and CCAA members Valrie (pictured here) and Shorna (behind the scenes) are shining brightly across several communities in Canada. The sisters regularly prepare and deliver meals for the seniors and those who are shut-in across Markham, Pickering and Scarborough.
Shorna cooks and packages food while Valrie prepares savoury baked treats. And if you thought COVID-19 would derail the sisters, think again! They upped their game – extending their services to frontline workers deemed most important in the fight against the pandemic.
“We both drive and do deliveries. We see it as just a way to give back and to care for those in need,” Valrie explained.
Both sisters are passionate about raising funds to support the educational advancement of students currently attending CC. That’s the CC spirit, we keep the torch blazing wherever we go!
A Walk Down Memory Lane – Loris Shares Life at CC in the ’50s!
It was the early fifties and Clarendon College was one of only three co-educational boarding schools on the island, with an enrolment of approximately 300 students.
Most of the students were boarders, and males lived in dormitory at Tavanore, the old “Great House” and females on the hillside above and just below the main classrooms.
Some “day students” travelled from the May Pen area on the Kalamazoo (a one-unit rail car) while others arrived by bus. Several of us in and around Chapelton walked to school. I looked at the school gate from my house and heard the ringing of the bell.
Devotions were held every morning and evening in the main corridor where passages were read from the Bible by a staff member, followed by a hymn and prayer. If anyone was caught talking during assembly, they could receive a demerit or detention, and that was not something they needed to have on their records.
At Clarendon College, discipline was strictly maintained and enforced, especially by the Headmaster, Mr. Stuart who was affectionately called “Pops Stu”, and a member of the Board of Governors, Mrs. Lena Harvey.
Mrs. Harvey introduced the weekly deportment classes and this became a main feature of our lives. On Wednesday afternoons, the entire school sat on the big verandah at Tavanore. We listened to interesting guest speakers from all walks of life and there was an abundance of amazing stories. Included in the list was the Governor General’s wife and other dignitaries, who held us spellbound with stories of their travels and adventurous exploits. I remember one woman of colour with a French name who arrived in an unusual outfit which matched her blue-green hair. During her talk my entire focus was on her hair and attire instead of her speech. I was mesmerized at this beautiful woman who looked like a mannequin dressed in rainbow.
We were taught etiquette, table manners, aesthetics, grooming, hygiene, and the importance of always speaking proper English and in all places. At one of the deportment classes, Mrs. Harvey brought a set of her cutlery, which included every possible piece that is used on a table. She laid them all out and explained that when using same, start from the outside in. With the spoon it is, “porridge–point, soup –side,” and to serve meals on the left side and take away from the right. Boys were taught how to properly ask a lady for a dance. “May I have this dance, please?” and, “Thank you,” after escorting her back to her seat.
For musical appreciation, we listened to Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss, and other great musical masters. This was also done regularly on Sunday evenings for the boarders, and it was something that we all looked forward to.
Lessons learnt at deportment classes were practiced at “Formal” nights held on the second Saturday of each month, starting at 7:00p.m. Our Matron and her kitchen staff worked diligently to prepare their best “Special Dinner” and the mouth-watering culinary delights they shared were always highly anticipated. The boarders and a few day students, including me, were invited all dressed for this special occasion, enjoyed a three-course meal and later danced to our favorite music until 10:30p.m. Yes, that’s how ‘early’ everything ended back then.
We all felt excited when our entertainment improved. How? The Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Sharp donated a sound projector and Saturday night movies were introduced. I can tell you; things were never the same after that. The first show held in the dining hall, was Student Prince. On other weekends we had Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights and other classics. One Saturday night, the movie Blackboard Jungle was shown. The following Monday a group of us acting as if we were in the movie, started referring to our teachers as “Teach.” We also entered each classroom and wrote on the blackboard “STRIKE” in large letters. These rebellious actions were not tolerated. We were severely reprimanded and given detentions and one or two-day suspensions. Luckily, no one was expelled, but that was it; there was a pause on the Saturday night movies.
Academic achievements or lack thereof was on full display after the “tri-weekly” tests. It happened in my class when the Headmaster had each student, depending on their marks, from high to low, form a line in order of their position. As the student, head bowed, slowly walks towards the end of the line Pops Stu sang “Down and down and down and down and down she goes.” This was totally embarrassing, as others walking along the corridor, giggled. I made sure to be among the top five positions to avoid being ridiculed.
Inspiring activities and clubs such as Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, 4H Club, and Spanish Club, Debating Society, Student Christian Movement, Public Speaking, and various sports kept us mentally and physically engaged throughout our time at CC. We visited schools where we competed in Drama and Music festivals. We cheered and fervently supported our footballers and we soaked up every glorious moment of the games. Playing Football against Cornwall College was always a big excitement, especially when we were the host. Of course, we know who is the real “CC”.
The elegance of the Senior Cambridge Dinner was the perfect “Grand finale.” For most, it was the end of school life and out to the working world. So, the girls had their hair done and the boys went to the barber. Us, girls arrived looking confident in the latest style dresses and high heels shoes, while the boys in their white shirts, neckties and well-polished footwear, looked proud as they strutted around like peacocks. After the grace, a toast to Her Majesty, the Queen; speeches, and a sumptuous dinner, we danced to the latest music including one of the top favorites at the time, a song called “Memories are made of this” by Dean Martin. The evening closed with the National Anthem, “God Save the Queen”.
These are some of the pleasant memories of my high school years. Looking back, I am thankful for those beautiful, life-changing years. Even up to this day, I jokingly remind my friends that it was not necessary for me to travel to Switzerland and attend “Finishing School” as it was available at Clarendon College.
Yet still we rise. Thanks to the graduating class of ’83 on their hard work to raise funds and donate a new bus to CC.
The group raised US$35,000 via crowdfunding platform – GoFundMe, US$10,000 through a dinner event staged in Florida and J$1.5 million from a lyming event held in Clarendon.
We applaud you!
New school bus courtesy of the Class of ’83.
Pay it Forward!
Have you paid your membership dues? Did you know that our membership dues cost only $25 for the entire year? Funds go towards keeping the CCAA up and running and help us to roll out initiatives and fundraising activities to support and give back to CC. Send us a message today to play your part in keeping our organization’s mission alive!