Former grads look back as Rossland Secondary marks 60 years

ossland Secondary School celebrated its 60th anniversary Friday, with three cakes and the company of graduates from many decades.

Rossland Secondary School celebrated 60 years in Rossland Friday with an open house. Grads from various years attended the event. Above

Rossland Secondary School celebrated its 60th anniversary Friday, with three cakes and the company of graduates from not only this year, but from as far back as 1951/52 – the original grad class. The cakes were topped with photos of the original and the present classes and the school’s motto, which in Latin is Temporibus Construimus Futuris, or “build for the future.”

Lois Hayes was in the original class of ‘52 and said that not too much has changed in the school from then to now, other than the gym being replaced after a fire.

The class of ‘52 and the years following that mingled with current students, many of whom were quite interested in their school’s history.

Hayes was hoping to help the school complete its photo collection , as they are missing a class photo for the 1953 grad class.

“If anybody has a class picture, please bring it to the school. If you go out and walk down the hall way it’s the only one missing,” She said. “I don’t think anybody ever gave the school a picture.”

The past grads discussed the days long gone by and even sang a couple choruses of the old school song, both the legitimate version and the “student” version.

Ron Mallette, also in the first grad class, said he was always in trouble back in those days. Mallette said a lot of the school is the same, but a lot of it’s different as well..

The biggest change he could see was with the classes.

“Probably industrial arts, we didn’t have those.,” he said. “The equipment that they have to work with has changed a lot.”

When he went to school students took the basics; math, chemistry, physics, english and latin or french.

He said the culture has changed a lot in Rossland in general since then.

“It used to be a bedroom community for Cominco, but now I think it has a lot more influence from the outside,” he said.

Rossland twice had  senior matriculation in Rossland and he took that in 1953, after graduating.

“So I stayed here for an extra year,” he said. “That was equivalent to first year university. They only ever had that in Rossland for two years once in 1926 the other was 1953. It was infrequent because a lot of senior matric students would do the classes in Trail.”

Dale Matthews, who graded in ‘56, agreed that the curriculum had changed a lot, with the addition of things like computers, and expects that things will continue to change.

“I don’t know what will eventually happen to some of these schools,” Matthews said. “In my opinion, they should keep this school. I remember them driving the piles into the ground here, because it was soft ground. It could last a long time more. It was well built and well designed. Very simple, straight-forward building.”

He said it’s interesting to note the number of people in Rossland that have gone on to do some interesting things, for instance ambassador to Greece.

“This is a great place to grow up,” he said. “But, I suppose everyone says that.”