This impressive trophy was awarded to young women for Proficiency and Leadership in Athletics. First presented in 1939, it was last awarded in 1975.
The origin of the trophy is a bit of a mystery. The inscription reads that it was presented to N.T.C.I. for Proficiency and Leadership in Athletics. It might have been donated by the Ostrander family, owners of Ostrander’s Jewellery, a well-known Ontario chain. Although the main Toronto store was on Queen Street near Yonge, their North Toronto location was on the east side of Yonge at Castlefield, so it could well be that there was a strong connection between the Ostrander family and North Toronto CI. *
A look at the trophy reveals the names of all the accomplished young women who had the honour of receiving it. Two winners from different times, Nina Lancaster (1947) and Mary Ellis (1974) were randomly selected for a closer look. According to the 1947 yearbook, “Nina – always bubbling over with enthusiasm for sports… Dancing eyes and a merry laugh are the first impressions of Nina – Headed for Honor [sic] Science at U. of T.” While additional information about Nina was not found, such was not the case for Mary Ellis. Her intriguing yearbook entry includes: “adidas, football shoulders, moon boots, ice cream parties, Vermont, Frans, Hubert!” and ends with “Queens”. Her school records indicated that she moved to Whistler after graduating from NTCI. Sadly, further research revealed that Mary Elizabeth, known to her friends as “Mary-Liz” passed away on December 4, 2009. Her obituary highlighted that she lived in Banff during the 80s, attended the University of Calgary, was a member of the U of C rowing team and after receiving her B. Sc., pursued a career as a pharmaceutical representative for Novo Nordisk. Her obituary also mentions the fact that she was the NTCI Female Athlete of the Year when she was in Grade 13 so it is clear that receiving the award meant a great deal to her. * If you are able to contribute information regarding the Ostrander Trophy’s origins, please contact Ron Wakelin, Chair of the North Toronto Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org
As an important part of the school’s legacy, North Toronto C.I. is fortunate to have a large collection of trophies, plaques and awards. Many of these artifacts, recognizing the varied achievements of NT students, are found in the school’s Archives Room. In a recent visit to NT, Nancy Baines, the Foundation’s archivist and a member of NT’s staff from 1969 to 2000, identified some of the significant trophies in the collection:
Ostrander Trophy for Proficiency and Leadership in Athletics (girls) – awarded from 1939 to 75;
J.M. Greene Music Company Trophy for Citizenship, Scholarship and Music –awarded from 1947 to 1978;
The Sifton Trophy for School Citizenship – awarded from 1939 to the present;
The Kerr Trophy for Student Leadership – awarded from 1928 to the present 2018 (awarded for 90 years!).
She also pointed out some of the lesser known trophies in the collection:
Hill, Ford and Kaethler Trophy for Leadership and Co-operation in Grade 11 and 12 Music – awarded circa 1967
The North Toronto Trophy for Junior Oratory – awarded from 1957 to 1962.
NTCI Juvenile Sports Champion Trophy – awarded from 1957 to 1978;
The Seaforth Cup Interscholastic Sports Competition – awarded in 1958;
TS Harbord Invitational Jr. Basketball Tournament – awarded from1960 to 1996.
There are many fascinating stories behind these awards and of the students who were honoured to receive them. Throughout this year watch for articles featuring a closer look at NT’s trophies and their recipients.
On September 30th, a celebration was held at the Toronto Skating, Curling and Cricket Club to remember the life of Elvino Sauro, who graduated from North Toronto Collegiate in 1952. Ron Wakelin, chair of the NT Foundation, spoke of Elvino’s involvement and the love he held for his high school. North Toronto was such an important part of Elvino’s life, and he always remembered a loan he received as a student to buy a trumpet and take music lessons.
In the past few years, he showed his gratitude by giving very generous endowments to our music program through the Foundation. After the speeches, 16 NT students, led by music teacher Liz Monteith, played some themes from movies. This was a fitting tribute to a man for whom film had been a lifelong love. After their performance the band played the school song, and over half of those in attendance rose to join in.
One interesting fact that emerged among the many tributes to Elvino was that he had a keen interest in gardening and planted a vegetable garden every year for over four decades. In some ways, this may be an apt way to remember Elvino: a person who planted seeds, cultivated healthy crops and lived to enjoy the results of his efforts.
While Elvino is no longer with us in body, the seeds he has sown will continue to bear fruit for generations to come. Many have benefited from the life of Elvino.
He will not be forgotten!
Last week the Foundation hosted our Semi-Annual Dragon’s Den, where students ask for funding for their various clubs. The Foundation gave out a total of $3500.00 to a variety of clubs.
As usual, the Foundation was happy to support Grafitti, the student newspaper – a long-established publication at the school. The Foundation also saw the merit in donating to the Prom Committee, who will set aside a lump sum of money to help those students who need financial assistance for this costly but memorable event. The Robotics Team received support for the cost of building their robots, as well as subsidizing the cost of attending competitions around the GTA.
For the first time, the Foundation donated money to the Archery Club. This club, affiliated with the NTCI Archery Team, received funding that will go towards the purchasing of bows and arrows, which often need replacing. Archery is currently one of the fastest growing sports in high schools around the province, and the Foundation is happy to promote its growth at the school.
In keeping with a long-standing tradition, the school’s annual Remembrance Day assembly, which is funded wholly by the Foundation, once again received support.