April 30, 2010

CCI Marks 100 years

Central Collegiate marks 100 years

With his face painted in school colours, Grade 12 student Kody Morland was beaming 100 years worth of pride as he and fellow Central Collegiate Institute students, both past and present, celebrated the school’s centennial birthday on Thursday.
“It feels like such an honour,” Morland told the Times-Herald from the bleachers in the Central gymnasium. “It’s great to be a part of all this.”

The 17-year-old student said he felt a great deal of excitement and spirit as Saskatchewan Lt.-Gov. Gordon Barnhart and other dignitaries acknowledged April 29, 1910 — the day Central officially opened.

“Happy Birthday everyone,” Barnhart called out during his speech at the morning celebration. The lieutenant governor said high school is a time in someone’s life when he or she meets mentors, forges strong friendships and learns ideas and skills that last the rest of his or her life. At Central, he said, a multitude of individuals have enjoyed such school benefits over the past 100 years.
“I think education is so important.”

Several members of Coun. Don Mitchell’s family graduated from Central and at one time the city’s representative at the centennial event was himself a student at the high school. During his speech on Thursday, Mitchell reminisced about the school principal back in the 1950s and how that person helped shape Mitchell’s, and other students’, sense of character.
Mitchell said Central was noted at the time of its creation for bringing an element of “collegial gothic” architecture to the 1910 Saskatchewan landscape.
He added it is his hope the school will survive government budget cuts down the figurative road and continue to shape young characters well into the future.
“Central has a vital role in Moose Jaw’s next 100 years, you can be sure.”

Prairie South School Division board member Joan McMaster said that, although it’s hard to imagine now, the land around Central was essentially “bare prairie” when crews built the school. She said a whole neighbourhood sprouted around Central and that neighbourhood remains a vibrant part of the Moose Jaw community 10 decades later.
“Today is the first of many days we can celebrate 100 years of Central.”

School principal Scott Williamson said the board of education in 1910 wanted to create an institute that was serious about learning and could prepare young minds for the 20th century.
“Today we feel a strong connection with the past,” he said, adding the school cost $125,000 to build at the time.

For Morland, the build up to Central’s centennial has been “crazy.”
Morland said it’s exciting to be part of a 100year-old tradition, albeit a tad intimidating at times to realize the multitude of talented Central graduates who have preceded him. “It’s hard to live under this school’s shadow.”

- Carter Haydu, Times-Herald, April 30, 2010


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