By ALAN SHACKLETON
A large number of former students and staff are expected to attend events surrounding the 120th anniversary celebration of Malvern Collegiate Institute on Saturday, May 13.
Along with an Open House at the school (55 Malvern Ave.) that day from 1 to 4 p.m., there will also be Pub Nights for students who attended during different decades on the Saturday night.
Sandy Kaskens, principal of Malvern, said the celebrations are a chance for current students to learn more about the school’s past while also celebrating its long history in the community.
“Malvern has always very much been a community school,” she said. “The students really have a well developed sense of belonging in the school, and a strong sense of their community. This is where they grew up and so did their families…There’s such a long history at this school and that builds a school community that is closely connected.”
Kaskens said there are many of examples of students at the school whose parents and grandparents also attended Malvern.
Principal at Malvern for the past three years, Kaskens has also done her part to help celebrate the school’s history. She has made it a point to display collages from old school yearbooks going back to 1926 in the halls, and to also celebrate the successes of recent graduates.
There is a section of the school that for decades had wooden panels with the names of scholars and other students written on “gold” leaf. That then stopped, but Kaskens has returned the tradition of honouring the school’s scholars along the walls though no longer on the large wooden panels.
“When you walk the halls you are walking the history of the school,” she said.
Though she did not attend high school at Malvern, she also has a strong family connection to the school. A neighbourhood resident for 27 years, Kaskens’ daughter, stepdaughter and two stepsons all went to Malvern.
Randy Deflett, president of the Malvern Red and Black Society (which is the alumni association), attended the school in the 1970s and agreed that there has always been a closeness and strong sense of community among the students and the teachers at the school.
The vast majority of alumnae did their entire high school careers at Malvern and had lived in neighbourhood their whole lives so they also went to elementary schools together as well before going to Malvern, he said.
“We found that the vast majority had been there for the entirety, they didn’t just come for a year or two,” said Deflett.
“They were there for their whole high school career and for their public school as well. People don’t move, they stay here.”
He said the connections that were built among the former students remain strong, and that is one of the reasons why there is so much interest in the upcoming 120th anniversary celebrations and the events surrounding it.
“I met my best friend there and still socialize with people from high school,” said Deflett. “Even if you moved out somewhere, the vast majority had positive memories of their time at Malvern.”
Organizers said there is interest by many who will be coming for the 120th anniversary to walk the halls of the school again, while for others the thought of the Pub Nights and meeting old friends from their high school years is what is making them look forward to May 13.
“The Red and Black Society found that overwhelmingly people want to have the social events,” he said of the various Pub Nights and gatherings being organized for former students.
“Some also want the opportunity to go to back to the school once more.”
So far, he said more than 1,400 people are expected to attend the Open House at the school, while more than 600 tickets have been sold by the different Pub Night organizers.
For those attending the Open House, all floors of the schools will be open with Decade Rooms also set up.
An official Welcome Ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. in the school auditorium that will feature a performance from the Malvern Alumni Band and the Alumni Quartet along with greetings from dignitaries.
The following Pub Nights and social gatherings have also been organized:
A Pub Night for students and staff from the 1940s (and before), the 1950s and the 1960s is set for the Tara Inn on Kingston Road in Scarborough. A Pub Night for students and staff from the early 1970s is at the Quarry Cafe on Gerrard Street East.
A celebration for students who attended in the middle 1970s is at the Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club starting at 6 p.m. This event is not organized by the Malvern Red and Black Society but any profits will be donated to the Society. For info on this gathering, go to www.eventbrite.ca/e/fifty-years-since-malvern-more-or-less-pub-nite-tickets-571139322087
A Pub Night for former students and staff from the late 1970s will be at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall Branch 13 on Kingston Road.
A Pub Night for students and staff from the 1980s and onwards is at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 73, on Robinson Avenue.
For Pub Night tickets, and more info on Malvern 120 celebrations, please visit the Malvern Red and Black Society’s website at https://malverncollegiate.com/events/reunions/mci-120/
Residents in the area of the school are reminded there will be additional cars in the neighbourhood on May 13 as those attending the Open House will be looking for parking.
Did you enjoy this article? Become a Beach Metro Community News Supporter today! For 50 years, we have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who is making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support your Beach Metro Community News!