Community celebration hosted Sept. 12
© Scott Anderson
A series of games and activities were part of the community celebration hosted on Sept. 12 to observe O.M. Irwin School's 50th anniversary.
The grand ole halls of O.M. Irwin School have reached a milestone by turning 50, with a community celebration hosted on Sept. 12 to mark the occasion.
The first class of students graced the halls of Irwin for the 1963-64 school year, with the school originally operating as a Collegiate Institute before an incarnation as a Grade 7 to 9 Junior High before its current Grade 6 to 8 configuration.
Principal Larry Kielo said Thursday's modest celebration was an important way for both the community and student body to recognize the school's achievements over the years.
"One of the stimulus that we had was we did a lot of work with our mission, vision and values last year. Looking at the present and the future, we wanted to certainly acknowledge the past of our school and the history and tradition behind it. Honouring the 50 years that the school has been in the community by taking a moment at the beginning of our school year was just something that we thought was extremely important to recognize and to celebrate the learning that's taken place at Irwin in the last 50 years, and hopefully look forward to at least another 50 years of our school being an important part of our learning in our community, and part of our community itself."
"When you talk about a school, it's the fibre of the community. Seeing generations of kids who have gone through Irwin, it allows us the privilege of being able to be a part of families," Kielo added.
Irwin staff members are highlighting to the current student body that the school is more than just bricks and mortar.
"We've discussed with our kids for the last number of years the fact that this is their school. It's not my school, it's not their teacher's school, it's their school - and encouraging our kids to own it and be able to understand that their school experience at Irwin is a result of what they put into it."
The school has seen a series of second generation students and families attend the school, as by showcasing the past they are allowing their current students to see how education will impact their future.
A collection of yearbooks were on display during the celebration, along with some pieces of school memorabilia. A yearbook saluting the 1963-64 graduation class reflected the many clubs and different activities the students participate in five decades ago. While there was the familiar Meistersingers, the yearbook showcased students participating in the Red Cross Club, Library Club, Stage Light and Sound Crew, Variety Night, Citizenship, Malta Exchange, Glee Club, Cheerleaders in vintage 60s style uniforms, and a full costumed Freshie Day.