LETTER: Lamenting the loss of Northern Bay school

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As a former resident of Northern Bay and attendee of Corpus Christi Parish School, I wish I had been able to have a vote on the tearing down of the school.

The former school in Northern Bay, as seen in this memorable photo.

I would I have voted "No," but at least I would have felt that I had a say.

Wikipedia states the following in the full page synopsis of Northern Bay: "The closing of the school has left an indelible impression on local life, particularly as it was also a centre for community gatherings and a symbol of growth and autonomy for not only Northern Bay but the entire North Shore region."

No words could never be more true. I did have to look up the word "indelible," however, you're never too old to learn something new. Indelible: not able to be forgotten or removed.

The school — home of the Comets — was closed down in 2002. It has been hard for me to accept and I'm not even living home. I can't imagine how those who live at home and have to pass it every day feel. Maybe it's actually easier for them than seeing the land empty and bare every one two two years.

Even though I was a socially awkward child/teenager, I still have wonderful memories of the school. A few are not-so-wonderful, but the good definitely outweigh the bad. We had some great times as children playing Jacks in "The Hall." Skipping groups all over the grounds and playing chase. Some great concerts were held there too, and some great teachers, especially Mr. Mike White, God rest his soul.

The adults enjoyed it too; many a Bingo game, New Year's dances in the gymnasium and even wedding receptions were held there. I remember the older crowd would have volleyball tournaments, which were fun to go and watch, never mind participate in.

It's all gone now, but will it will live in the memories of all who attended. It left an indelible impression on all of us.

— Alicia "Celeste" Loughrey is a former resident of Northern Bay. She now resides in Ajax, ON.

Organizations: Northern Bay school

Geographic location: Northern Bay, North Shore, Ajax

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Recent comments

  • John Cornick
    May 26, 2015 - 06:03

    Re: Ed Chafe. I met Ed a number of years ago when he was teaching at Gull Island, I believe. I was researching our Chafe (Petty Harbour) genealogy. He was a wonderful source of information.

  • Dominic McCarthy
    January 25, 2015 - 13:32

    I attended this school from 1943 until October 1946. Many good memories. I also attended a one room school called the Club. This was across from Neish Hogans Forge in a part of Northern Bay we called up the Harbour.

    • Celeste Delaney-Loughrey
      January 26, 2015 - 16:58

      I never heard of that part (close to where I lived) of Northern Bay being called 'up the Harbour' before. Good to know; love hearing the history-I do know that the upper part/next to Ochre Pit Cove was referred to as 'The Highlands' I believe and the lover which was close/next to Gull Island being called 'Long Beach'.

  • Jackie Pitcher-March
    January 24, 2015 - 15:59

    Our school students in Heart's Content played many competitive sports at that school and had a great time. It's a shame it was torn down.

  • Celeste Delaney-Loughrey
    January 13, 2015 - 10:09

    Because the question was asked when was this school built: "In a book 'A Historty of Corpus Christi Parish-Northern Bay' that was written by Edward Chafe, it says that the 1st school was built in 1846 and refurbished in 1864. But then in 1891, the school was replaced and built with free labour and materials. Then it says that shortly after Fr. O'Brien arrived at Northern Bay (1915), he initiated the construction of a new school. The high school was built and opened 1964 and by 1972, all students from Kingston were bused to Northern Bay."

  • Betty Hepditch (Doyle)
    January 12, 2015 - 08:16

    I went all through from Grade 1to 11. I have some amazing memories here. I had many great teachers through the years, too many to mention esp Peter Doyle, who when I see what's happening in school with sports now think how much time he spent making sure we had competitive sports teams among all the schools. I was home a year and a half ago and everything is gone and it was so sad but the memories will never go away. I have been in Ontario now for almost 25 years.

  • theresa delaney kehoe
    January 11, 2015 - 19:04

    was a student there myself back in the 60ths wow thats a long time ago

  • Celeste Delaney-Loughrey
    February 19, 2014 - 11:11

    A former student said it best about this picture-"The Old School in all her Glory"~

  • Josephine lush(Doyle)
    February 19, 2014 - 01:34

    Yes I agree I miss the school to I grew up in Gull Island and went to the school the elementary and high school it is so sad to not see it there any more

  • Josephine lush(Doyle)
    February 19, 2014 - 01:34

    Yes I agree I miss the school to I grew up in Gull Island and went to the school the elementary and high school it is so sad to not see it there any more

  • Annie Johnson hall
    February 18, 2014 - 23:04

    I left gull island in 1984 I attended Corpus Christi in norther bay and I have some great memories there the school may be gone but the memories never will.yes mike white was the best teacher to ever teach there.R.I.P