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 St. Boniface Catholic School

 

His­to­ry of St. Boni­face School

This year St Boni­face Catholic School cel­e­brates its 120 th Birth­day. But our school dates back to 1834. St Boni­face is the old­est Roman Catholic school in the present Region­al Munic­i­pal­i­ty of Water­loo (for­mer­ly Water­loo Coun­ty) still in exis­tence. It is believed that as ear­ly as 1834 New Ger­many had a school – prob­a­bly dou­bling as a Church. In 1843 land was trans­ferred from Lucas Zettel to the com­mis­sion­er of com­mon schools for the con­struc­tion of a pub­lic school. The orig­i­nal deed had spec­i­fied “for the Roman Catholic inhab­i­tants,” but this was crossed out because the land was for a pub­lic school and they could not pre­vent non-catholics from attend­ing. This was a two-room struc­ture made of red brick. In the 1851 cen­sus it was list­ed as thir­ty by thir­ty feet. In the win­ter over one hun­dred stu­dents attend­ed, learn­ing Ger­man, Eng­lish, arith­metic, writ­ing, read­ing and geog­ra­phy. This school was locat­ed at 1366 Mary­hill Road. Con­struc­tion of a larg­er school began in 1886 and by Decem­ber 1st of that year the build­ing was blessed and its doors opened to schol­ars. On Jan­u­ary 2, 1882, the School Sis­ters of Notre Dame, Sis­ters M. Michael, M. Evan­ge­lista and M. Beg­ga arrived to teach in our school and assist the priest. The first lay teach­ers were Theobald Wadel, Jacob Leyes (who mar­ried Car­o­line Brohman), Mr. Gfor­erer and Mr. Troy. The nuns taught the younger chil­dren. By Jan­u­ary 7, 1884 the Sis­ters had tak­en over the boys’ school as well. In Sep­tem­ber of 1890, the school trustees, dur­ing the absence of Father Foer­ster, hired a male teacher, Mr. Louis Krae­mer, for the old­er boys. This move was opposed by Father and many ratepay­ers. In 1895 a vote was tak­en at the August school meet­ing to decide whether a male teacher was to be hired for 1896. Not one per­son vot­ed in favour; there­fore the Sis­ters again took over teach­ing the old­er boys. In 1898, once again the com­mu­ni­ty erect­ed a new [ our present] school. The old school was dis­man­tled and sold when the new school was com­plet­ed. The final result was a two-storey brick school thir­ty-six by six­ty-four feet. It con­sist­ed of four well-lit and ven­ti­lat­ed class­rooms, two halls and cloak rooms. Class­es began there on the 16th of Octo­ber 1898. On June 19th, 1899, the chil­dren were called to school by the new bell for the first time. This bell now stands on a spe­cial cairn between the school and the Edward Hal­ter Home. The school was sur­round­ed by an immense play­ground, which was bor­dered by maple and ever­green trees. For­mer stu­dents have fond mem­o­ries of build­ing leaf hous­es in the fall when the maples were los­ing their leaves.

to be con­tin­ued.

 

 

 

 

In 2018 St Boni­face CS cel­e­brates its 120th birth­day.  We are work­ing to cre­ate a part­ner­ship with the school by seek­ing involve­ment of stu­dents .  In 2016 we estab­lished a Grade 8 His­to­ry Prize for a deserv­ing grad­u­at­ing stu­dent.  Cur­ricu­lum based tours of Hal­ter House are also avail­able upon request for school groups.

 

 

 

2017 MHS His­to­ry Prize Win­ner, Alex Zettel

Pre­sent­ed by Tom Schell, Pres­i­dent.

2016 MHS  His­to­ry Prize Win­ner, Seth Doerr,

Pre­sent­ed by Tom Schell, Pres­i­dent

 

 

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