North Toronto CI Commemorates Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day, originally known as Armistice Day,  commemorates the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918. While the original reason for the event took place 100 years ago, its observance has taken on new meaning with each armed conflict involving Canadian soldiers – most recently Afghanistan. While most alumni will recall an assembly or other observation of this special day during their years at NT, in recent years Remembrance Day has become even more profound for NT students.

This year’s assembly on Friday, November 9 was held twice in order to accommodate the school’s population. It began with a song video, Pittance of Time, featuring the ghosts of former soldiers visible only to those willing to partake in a moment of silence in the modern setting of a convenience store. The emotional pull of this piece set the atmosphere for the rest of the event. A bagpiper led a procession of NT veterans into the auditorium. Spanning several generations and representing different conflicts, each veteran was introduced by a student volunteer. A slide show followed featuring photographs of NT grads who lost their lives in World Wars I and II. The young faces in the images looked like many of the students in the auditorium.

Addresses were given by two NT grads currently in active service: Captain John Stevens (’83) and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Clarry (’82). A second slide show outlined Canada’s involvement in peacekeeping missions around the world. Music was provided by the Symphonic Band, and Choir. To draw the assembly to a close, there was a reading of “In Flanders Fields,” the playing of The Last Post, a minute of silence, and Reveille.

This outline does not do justice to the organization behind the event nor to its impact. After the assembly, a reception, supported by monies from the Foundation, was held for the special guests, staff and organizers. During this, it became clear how much the assembly reflected the students who produced it, and how deeply they were invested in its meaning. We need not worry that today’s students “don’t get it”. They do – and at NT they created a powerful reflection of this important day.

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NTCI’s Second Annual Homecoming: October 11-13, 2018

All NT Alumni are invited to attend to this year’s Annual Homecoming. Be sure to mark your calendars and check out the schedule of events.

Thursday, October 11th: NTCI’s Red and Grey Day followed by Pub Night

  • 1:00–4:00 pm
    • attend Red and Grey Day’s afternoon sporting events
    • light refreshments served in the second floor Staff Room—a great vantage point to watch the Senior Boys’ football game on the field and peruse archival items on display
  • 5:00 pm onwards
    • following the football game, head to the Granite Brewery, 245 Eglinton Ave. East at Mount Pleasant for a Pub Night. You don’t have to have been athlete attend!!

Friday, October 12th: Show and Share, School Tours and Class Pub Nights

  • 1:00–3:00 pm
    • join us in the second floor Staff Room; bring your NT mementos and NT archivist Nancy Baines will show you ours as she shares some of the amazing treasures found in the NT archives!
  • 3:15 pm
    • NT Buddies lead tours around the “new” school; tours leave from the second floor Staff Room.
  • Evening
    • this is an opportunity to organize a get together for your year!
    • years with significant anniversaries in 2018 are especially encouraged to plan something; i.e. 1948, 1963, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1993, 1998, 2003
    • 1968, 2008 and 2013 have already had reunions this spring/summer!
    • check the list of Class Reps to see if anything is planned for your year; if not, start something!
    • Planning an event? Let us know and we’ll post it here!
  • List of Get Togethers To Date:
    • Girls of the 50s Luncheon – Thursday October11th: Cucina di Paisano, 865 York Mills Rd; contact: Joan (Morrison) Grosse at mgrs.@sympatico.ca or Carol Kaltenbock at 416-755-3915 by October 4th
    • Class of ‘82 55th Birthday Party – Friday October 12th, 7:00-10:00 pm: Prohibition Gastrohouse, 696 Queen St East; contact: lisa-ian@rogers.com
    • Class of ’88 30th Anniversary Party Saturday October 13th, 8:00 pm: 487 Oriole Pkwy contact Hilary Newman at hilarynewman@sympatico.ca

Saturday, October 13th: NTCI’s All Years Mix & Mingle 7:00-10:00pm

  • NOTE: venue changed from NTCI to Prohibition Gastrohouse, Midtown 40 Eglinton Ave. East
    • to reserve your spot for the “mix and mingle”:
    • call 416-406-2669 ext. 2 by October 6th; be sure to mention you are with the NTCI group.
  • OR
    • reserve online at www.myprohibition.com; be sure to reserve the Midtown location and note you are with the NTCI group in the comments.
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Richard Van Praagh (’47)

This past summer, Ron Wakelin, Co-chair of the North Toronto Foundation, received a delightful letter from Dr. Richard Van Praagh (’47), Harvard Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School that was written on letterhead from Boston Children’s Hospital. The following excerpts are from Dr. Van Praagh’s correspondence.

I graduated from NTCI in 1947 (I’m 88 now). I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. I graduated in 1954 with an MD degree. Then followed 10 years of postgraduate work. I fell in love with pediatrics and then with pediatric cardiology…

After 10 years of postgraduate work, [in October 1965] I was invited to join the staff of Boston Children’s Hospital where I have worked ever since as a pediatric cardiologist, pathologist and embryologist. I have written more than 310 scientific papers, published a video series, edited a book on congenital-heart disease and have just finished writing a medical book, The Diagnostic and Surgical Pathology of Congenital Heart Disease. I have also written a book for the general, non-medical reader, Survival: A New Approach from the Life Sciences to the Major Problem of Our Time

Returning to NTCI, I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to NTCI for the excellence of its teaching. I remember Betty Bealey (English), Hal Brown (Athletics), Bob Gladish (Athletics) and “Bud” Page (Latin). A great crew; a wonderful beginning…

NTCI was an important part of my foundation… This is one graduate’s THANK YOU to NTCI.

 

We found this YouTube interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNp2vwgLDGk

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Charles Albert “Bud” Hill, NT Staff (‘62-’69) (1929-2018)

Bud’s obituary was simple – “Charles “Bud” Hill was born on July 12, 1929 and passed away on May 3, 2018”. No doubt somewhere along the line, Bud had told his family that he wanted nothing fussy, “just the facts, man”. However, in between the day he came into the world and the day he left, there was a whole lot of living! As a musician and educator, Bud touched hundreds of lives and inspired more young people than any of us will ever know. Although he was on staff at NTCI for just seven years during the 60s, his impact on the music program was enormous. Never short on opinions, those of us who were in his class can never forget his rants about the proper way to play a dotted eight and sixteenth, the virtues of an Alford March (as opposed to a “never-to-be-played” Sousa March), the necessity of attending TSO Student Concerts in order to pass and, of course, this reminder to any brass player, “don’t play like a girl” and to just “pick up the horn and WAIL, man!”

Even NTCI music room’s organizational system was a Bud original – his duct tape labelling system for school instruments was yellow for grade 9 instruments, gray for grade 10 and white for senior instruments. A novel system but clearly developed by Bud as it was dictated by his colour blindness. There was good reason why he drove a yellow car and most of his ties were yellow as white, black, gray and yellow were the only colours he could see.

However, there was much more to Bud! Behind the passionate and charismatic educator, there was a superbly talented composer and arranger. His iconic march written for NTCI, 17 Broadway, was praised in Kiwanis competitions, as was his captivating Chant and Dance for Solo Piano and Concert Band. As an arranger, he had an uncanny ability to score perfectly for his performers and in doing so, delighted his audiences. There was nothing as carefully and caringly written as Bud’s Maytime Melodies medleys. His arrangement of Oh Canada is still the standard at NT and for many years was used to open the annual concert of the Toronto Board of Education Secondary School Music Teachers’ Association. In later years, when playing tuba with The Band of the Royal Regiment of Canada, Bud also composed the delightful Brutish Tubadiers featuring a tuba trio!

Bud’s contribution to music education is best measured by the tributes to him. As one his former students wrote, “inside the tiger was the most gentle and caring soul” – a truly insightful description of an unforgettable teacher who was passionate, inspirational, dedicated, and fiercely patriotic.

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James Laxer (’60) (1941-2018)

On February 23 2018, during a research trip to Paris, France, NT grad James “Jim” Laxer, suffered a fatal heart attack. A political economist, well-known intellectual and political activist, Jim was a professor in the Department of Equity Studies, York University at the time of his passing.

Born in Montreal on December 22, 1941 into a politically active family, Jim started his high school career at Oakwood Collegiate but after two years, transferred to North Toronto CI. He found NTCI a less militaristic and rigid environment and thrived in its learning environment. Those in his year will no doubt recall that he ran for president of the student council, narrowly losing to Peter Acker, a family friend.

After graduating from NTCI, he went on receive his BA from the University of Toronto followed by an MA and PhD from Queen’s University. While at university, he was active student journalist, first at The Varsity and later at the Queen’s Journal. In 1965, he was elected president of the Canadian University Press.

In the 1960s, along with economist Mel Watkins and others, Jim played a central role in founding the “Waffle” – a left-wing nationalist movement within the New Democratic Party. In 1971, he ran for the leadership of the NDP and surprised many by coming in second to David Lewis.

The Waffle was ultimately forced out of the NDP and briefly became a separate political party under the name “Movement for an Independent Socialist Canada”. In 1974, Laxer and others from the party were unsuccessful in their bid to be elected to the federal parliament; this defeat led to the Waffle’s demise and Laxer’s decision to concentrate on his position at York University and writing. To this end, he authored over twenty books on the Canadian economy, Canadian politics, free trade, the oil and gas industry and Canadian History. In the 80s, he also hosted a current affairs show, The Real Story and hosted the 1986 National Film Board series, Reckoning: The Political Economy of Canada. His essays and opinion pieces also appeared in many Canadian newspapers and magazines and for several years he was a columnist for the Toronto Star.

At the time of his untimely death, he was researching his next book examining Canada’s role in the Second World War. His teaching, writing, activism, concern for greater equality and the future of Canada motivated him throughout his life; he will be missed.

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The Class of 2013’s Five Year Reunion

The Class of 2013 is delighted to announce that their Five Year Reunion, held this past August, was a successful and enjoyable event! With 65 tickets sold, the venue proved to be a great choice. The organizers were able to decorate the room with helium-filled balloons, control their own music and project a “remember when” slideshow on a wall. In keeping with their nostalgic NT theme, food included an Uber food delivery of 200 chicken nuggets and 50 small fries from McDonald’s! This was an interesting accompaniment to the event’s signature drink of vodka-cranberry – aptly named “The Roehampton”.

All those who attended enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect and catch-up. Although they don’t know what lies ahead, rumor has it they are already looking forward to their Ten Year Reunion in 2023! The North Toronto Foundation is also very grateful to the organizers for their very generous donation of $475, the proceeds from the event.

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Class of 2013 Reunion!

What’s up, NT! 

Five years is a really long time and well, the truth is, we miss you! So we were thinking a reunion is in order. Let’s celebrate the fun (and super cringey) memories we made all those years ago.

All ’13 NT alumni and plus ones are welcome.

Tickets on sale now ($35-45) include the price of admission and two drink tickets.

Prices will go up, so make sure you get your ticket(s) soon!

Date: Saturday August 25th, 2018
Time: 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Location: 360 Geary Avenue
To Register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/ntci-class-of-13-reunion-5-years-later-tickets-45326306202

You’re welcome to contact Marcus Gottlieb, Rachel LooJill SmithRobert ZhangMegan AbbeySabina WexShane WrightNoam Hacker or email us at northtoronto13@gmail.com with any questions!

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REIGNITE! An NT Athletics Fundraiser

Photos of the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3606879832718391.1073742671.144748248931584&type=1&l=c3d747613c

  • May 17, 2018
  • 7:00 pm to 11:45 pm
  • Safari Bar & Grille (1749 Avenue Rd, Toronto)

Greetings Fellow NT Athletic Alumni!

A group of dedicated NT Alumni from the 70s, 80s and 90s, have been working with current and retired NT Staff to create the new “North Toronto Collegiate Athletic Parents Council” (referred to in an earlier article as “The North Toronto Athletics Committee”).

Committed to raising an awareness of NT’s athletic legacy and furthering the school’s winning traditions, the new council aims to “Connect the Past with the Present and Build Towards the Future” by providing financial support for equipment, uniforms, AV equipment, sports science and more. Why let the Music Department have all the Fun.

NTCI has an incredibly rich Sports History thanks in no small part to your contributions.

To Celebrate the Inaugural Friend-Raising Event we have invited Dr. Ron Taylor – affectionately referred to as “Dr. Baseball” to join us along with several other Notable NT Athletes as well as significant members of the Retired Coaching Staff will be in attendance.

Please grab a few old NT Friends and plan to attend this exciting event.

For more information and tickets: https://northtoronto.snapd.com/events/view/1138475

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Elvino’s Trumpets

Regular readers of the Foundation news will recognize the name, Elvino Sauro (’52)—NT’s benefactor extraordinaire! His financial contributions include the Heritage, support for the “Memories Forever” concert (part of the 100th anniversary celebrations in 2012) and an endowment leading to the establishment of the Elvino Sauro Music Award, ensuring that deserving students in need continue to experience private lessons and other enhancements to their music education.

Elvino’s original trumpet, purchased in the 1940s and willed to NT

Although Elvino passed away on September 8, 2017, his spirit of giving back continues. A star trumpeter in his days at NT, he purchased his own instrument and took lessons, thanks to a loan from the school. Although he paid the loan back long before graduating, he made sure that the instrument “came home,” as he bequeathed this trumpet to NTCI’s Music Department in his will. The instrument, a good quality student model, is well travelled—note two faded travel stickers, one from Cunard Lines! There is even music inside the case that looks like marching band music! However, Elvino’s legacy doesn’t end here!

Nicolette and Dong performing on the trumpets donated to NT from Elvino’s estate

When NT’s 100th anniversary approached, Elvino decided he wanted to play again. So, at the age of 79, he bought two professional level trumpets, began practicing and performed in the band and orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. In the spirit of Elvino’s generosity, his estate representatives donated these instruments to NTCI. Thanks to Elvino, students have the opportunity to play professional level instruments, not the kind usually found in a high school music room!

Elvino’s life was strongly shaped by his years at North Toronto CI and he has left a wonderful legacy that continues to inspire. Bravo, Elvino!

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