|Gym class behind CHS, circa 1963. Dr Karl Hackstetter walking off field|
The retirement of Ross Hryhorchuk from Chapleau High School after 45 years as a teacher and then principal really marks the end of an era in the history of secondary education in the community.
Arriving two years after the "new", to all those who attended the "old" Chapleau High School on Pine Street, opened on the hill in 1966, Ross has witnessed the stages of expansion both in terms of the student body and physical space, program changes and in more recent years declining enrolment. Most recently Ross has been part of the merger of Chapleau Public School students into the high school building.
Ross is also responsible for the very successful extra-curricular sports program in which students have been able to participate during his years at CHS.
For the moment at least, Ross is also the last principal of Chapleau High School as a distinct entity as his successor will be the high school and public school principal.
|George Evans, Margaret Rose Fortin, Mansel Robinson, 1997 Reunion|
When the new school opened in 1966, it consisted of a gymnasium, library, two shops, two science labs, five classrooms, one typing room, an office and staff lounge. Today, with expansions, it is capable of housing the students from public and high schools. the old school opened in 1922.
As changes come as they inevitably do in this life, while reflecting on the history of CHS, some words the late George Evans wrote in marking the school's 75th anniversary came to mind.
|Margaret Rose and Alex centre, M. Levesque, F Corston left , Kay Broomhead right|
George wrote: "Over the years, this unique school has changed its location, its colours and its name. It has been there for generations of students and teachers passing through on their way to destinies all over the world...
"What will draw us to Chapleau is not a building with classrooms. The great magnet pulling us home is the hope of seeing the people who, at a pivotal time in our lives. made up our small intense world. In our lucid moments. we will be aware that we are paying homage to the fate that placed us in Chapleau so that we could be part of that world...
"When Chapleau's high school celebrates, the whole community celebrates. The high school is the place where the community comes together.
"It is the possession of everyone, regardless of mother tongue, religion or ethnic origin. It is, in its best moments, the expression of Chapleau at its best. This is the truth that sets Chapleau's high school apart from all the others."
To me, as a person who attended the old CHS, and actually taught in both the old when it was being used as a senior public school, and the new school, George summed it all up. There have been reunions in 1982, 1997 and 2012, marking the 60th, 75th and 90th anniversaries, and I hope in 2022, all will return again again to the place where the community comes together for the 100th anniversary.
|Front O. Warren, M Fortin, F. Corston, L. Martel, H Delaney, M Levesque back T. Collins, E Collings, A Babin, D. McEachren, T Bryson. 1982 committee|
Although I was working as a newspaper reporter at the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix in November 1966 when the new school was officially opened, I think it must have been a bit of a mini-reunion in itself. The gymnasium was packed for the occasion, and my grandmother, Lil (Mulligan) Morris, attended. I still have notes she made and pinned to a program she sent to her daughter, my aunt Marion, a CHS grad, with comments about it. My father Jim Morris and
mother Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris also both graduated from CHS.
D.J. 'Jim' Broomhead, a former Chapleau reeve, who was master of ceremonies and member of the school board commented "We think we have done something good for Chapleau." Len Harris was school board chair.
Imagine, a year ago now we were converging on Chapleau for the 90th anniversary reunion festival, so I will close with another vote of thanks to the organizers, and co-chairs Graham Bertrand and Nadia Fortin, and give recognition to Margaret Rose (Payette) Fortin and the late Alex Babin, who co-chaired the two previous reunions.
To Ross, who is now the Principal Emeritus of CHS, congratulations on taking "early" retirement at 70 instead of 75, and my very best wishes.
To everyone, Happy Canada Day, and have a great but safe summer. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org