20 April 2008

Window to the past

Reader and former parishioner of our church Mary sent us a note of her reminiscences of our parish as it was about 50-60 years ago. It is an interesting portrait of a typical parish of the time.

There were three choirs at St Clare's church' There was the boys' choir. the kids dressed in black cassoocks aand white surplices, a high collar and a bow. They were trained by one of the Christian brothers at St Clare school. They were beautifully trained and two of the boys, both brothers, became well known as singers, one of which became an annoucer at CTV. They were from the Cushinen family. Ruby Cushinen, their sister. was also an organist at St Clare and she trained her bothers in music.The choir sat in the sanctuary at the the right side of the altar.

There was a girls' choir from the school who sang at the 10 o'clock Mass up in the choir loft.

The adult choir sang at the 11 o'clock mass and were conducted by Mr Leon. Wonderful,talented singers. The organist was Clement O'Brien.

We also had very active parish organizations. The Christian mothers preceeded the CWL. The women undertook to outfit the poor children of the parish for first Holy Communion and Confirmation. This was during the depression and we were outfitted from the skin out, including shoes, wreath and veil and long white stockings.
There was a very active Holy Name Society. There was an annual Holy Name Society parade down Avenue Road and our men marched in it. There were the de la Salle band with them and I think St Michael's College School. Not sure about that.

There was also a St Vincent de Paul Society and the less fortunate children of the parish were sent to Camp Ozanam, funded by the Toronto SVdePaul society. The camp was for 10 days and was in the Pickering area by Duffin's Creek The SVdeP society has no record of the camp. It was a life saver for many of us.

St Clare's really blossomed for the children of the parish when Father Kehoe became
our Pastor. There were sports teams for both boys and girls. Hockey, baseball, CYO and a Tiny Teens club. There were tennis courts in the boys' school yard during the summer, open to the kids of the parish and there was competition among the CYO tennis groups in Toronto. In the winter there was an ice rink in its place.

The boys and girls school yards were seperated by a chain link fence and the class rooms were segregated as well.That is all I can recall as of today

Thank you for sharing that with us.

No comments: