About 500 people attended the 100th anniversary celebration of Edmonton's Grandin School June 5, many taking time to enjoy a large display of photos and other memorabilia.

WCR PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ

About 500 people attended the 100th anniversary celebration of Edmonton's Grandin School June 5, many taking time to enjoy a large display of photos and other memorabilia.

June 15, 2015
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Grandin School, the oldest Catholic school still in operation in Edmonton, marked its centennial June 5 with a large outdoor party that included a barbecue, music from the 1930s, school tours, speeches and the unveiling of a huge mural.

Roughly 500 people attended the celebration, many of them former students and staff.

Dianne Sevigny, who attended Grandin from 1957 to 1965, said the school formed her well for life, both spiritually and academically. She attended Mass daily at St. Joachim Church at noon.

At age 14, Sevigny became a dance instructor after taking dance lessons at Grandin. She gave dance lessons for 15 years before becoming a lab assistant and then a manager of a day home that she operated from her Sherwood Park home for 18 years.

Dianne's older brother Richard Sevigny attended Grandin from 1955 to 1963. All those years little Richard travelled alone to school from Westmount using public transit.

Grant Irwin and Swing Emporium Big Band provided entertainment at the centennial celebration of Grandin School.

WCR PHOTO | RAMON GONZALEZ

Grant Irwin and Swing Emporium Big Band provided entertainment at the centennial celebration of Grandin School.

Every day at 6 a.m. he was at St. Joachim's Church where he was an altar server and had breakfast with the priest.

Richard eventually obtained a master's degree in social work and worked for Catholic charities and other faith-based organizations in both Canada and the U.S.

"They taught me very solid Catholic values (at Grandin)," the father of three said.

Under a large white tent that protected attendees from the scorching sun, Aboriginal dancers performed traditional dances, and dignitaries lined up to praise the 100-year-old school.

MODEL FOR THE FUTURE

As a school that offers a solid French immersion program and an ever-growing Spanish-bilingual program, Grandin School is a model for nation-building, said event emcee Manuela Ninassi, assistant principal from 2001-05.

"Grandin is the link with the past, the program for the present and a step into the future."