St. John Bosco Kicks Off 50th Anniversary!

From California to Calgary to Ville-Émard, over 180 people descended upon St. John Bosco Elementary School in Ville-Émard for the 50th anniversary Kick-off celebration and to celebrate the elementary school, its rich history, and its service to the community.

The sold out event saw former students, teachers, administrators, and staff as well as current teachers and staff sharing stories about the “good old days,” and celebrating the “passing of the torch” to the current team of teachers, professionals and support staff. On hand to emcee the evening was SRC/CBC journalist, comedian and musician Christopher Hall, who led the crowd through laughs over the many memories that were shared during the wonderful festival which was planned by parents of former students Roma Ali Bocas, Janet Weddell and Maria Barbato.

“It is a wonderful celebration that shows how much the community cares for this school!,” said Rita Della Rocchetta and Laura Agnessi, parents of former students, former students themselves, long time school volunteers, and lead members of the organizing committee. Their own, now adult, children served the buffet and helped host the event.

“This is where I went to school, where my children went to school, and now where my grandchildren go to school,” said one proud grandfather, whose sentiment was echoed many times over by those in attendance. One family of three sisters, who arrived from Italy 40 years ago, remembered fondly the teachers who took the time to help them become more settled in their new country and learn English and French.

Decorating the gym were drawings and comments of current St. John Bosco students attempting to answer to the question of what was it like to go to school at St. John Bosco 50 years ago. “The students either walked, or rode horses to school,” said one person. “They did not have computers or cell phones, because electricity was not invented back then,” another added. “In those days, people lived in black and white,” someone else stated.

This event was the kick-off to a year of activities which will include: a St. John Bosco time-line project; poetry writing; an oral history and archival project; a new school song and many more events to celebrate the past 50 years, and look forward with hope to the next 50.