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, which gave a lot of refresh­ing shade in the warm weather.

The play­ground had two base­ball fields, one for the younger stu­dents and one for the old­er stu­dents.    There was a big slide and teeter­tot­ters and swings, an out­door drink­ing foun­tain with deli­cious ice cold water.  In the autumn the stu­dents made leaf hous­es.  There was an alter house for Cor­pus Christi near the fence beside the Hal­ter House which served as an “Annie Annie Over” game build­ing.  And there were often games of ‘Red Rover’ and lots of skip­ping games.

There was a  won­der­ful hill on which to slide in the win­ter.   Lat­er Ice rinks were built in the bot­tom field for skat­ing and hock­ey at recess, lunch and after school, and often there were snow­ball fights, snow­hous­es and snowmen.





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.





2020 His­to­ry Prize Win­ner, Ian Gallagher

Pre­sent­ed by Trea­sur­er, Fran Vegh



2019 His­to­ry Prize Win­ner Mason Garret

Pre­sent­ed by George Isley



2018 His­to­ry Prize Win­ner, Cameron Rebelo

Pre­sent­ed by Pres­i­dent George Isley



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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