“Labor Omnia Vincit”-My High School’s Motto
Last weekend, my high school in Toronto celebrated its Centennial! I have attended the past celebrations of its 75th and 90th, but wasn’t so sure I would participate in the 100th. I’m only in touch with a handful of my friends from back then, after all. But, the literature started arriving and then I ended up ordering a commemorative book, so I had to go pick it up, right? In any event, the old building was demolished two years ago and a brand new building and field have been erected. Old ghosts gone!
Coincidentally, I ran into one of my dear high school friends at work; she was as non-committed as was I in terms of attending; nonetheless, we agreed to meet up and drive over together. As I said to my husband, how high school-ish…we didn’t even want to walk into the school by ourselves!
The upshot was that we both had a fabulous time and each of us bought more souvenirs and mementos. The classrooms were decorated according to decades and we both enjoyed catching up with old classmates and teachers. Members of the marching band paraded around the school playing the school song with great gusto.
When I arrived home, my daughter, who is in her last year of high school, eagerly started looking through the commemorative book. The editors assembled a wealth of stories and photos from each decade; there are also some letters included written by servicemen in 1942 to the school as a thank-you for the Christmas cards they received overseas from the Girls’ War Service Club. This book is a priceless testimony to the students and teachers who lead the school through good times and bad from 1912 to 2012.
Am I happy I attended—of course! Was it worth the fifteen-minute drive from my house? You bet!
Well, San Diego isn’t a fifteen-minute drive from my home, but never in my mind would I hesitate to travel to our upcoming WRJ Centennial celebration at our next assembly in December, 2013! As the WRJ board heard, from Dr. Gary Zola, executive director of the American Jewish Archives at its recent board meeting, to be worthy to inherit the past of our foremothers to move toward our next centenary, we must not only acknowledge but also assiduously study the remarkable achievements of our founders.
Centennial celebrations are just that—celebrations. For any organization or school to reach that milestone deserves recognition for its past, its present and its future.
The doors that I entered last week were different from the ones I entered over forty years ago, and isn’t that a good thing too.