Browse the links below to experience the rich history of Galt Collegiate.
Galt Grammar School opens on Monday February 2, 1852, under Master Michael C. Howe, A.B. The costs for the courses are: Classics and English $4.00 per quarter. Just English is $3.00 per quarter. In 1853 William Tassie is brought from Hamilton to be the all boys’ school master. Sports played this year are football, baseball and cricket. In this year the school was moved to a stone building which formed part of the now present structure.
Queen’s University recognizes Tassie’s achievements by giving him a degree of Doctor of Laws (L.I.D) in 1871. He is given the name Doctor Tassie. At this time, the number of students at the all male school is 120 boys. The school structure was among the first in the province to attain the status of Collegiate Institute in 1872.
In 1881, the school is increasingly required to make Provincial standards. Tassie is enraged at the idea and resigns along with half of the staff. The new master is George F. Bryant, M.A.With this change, girls are now allowed to attend G.C.I. A literary and musical society is also founded and an art course is started. Master Bryant loses his hearing in 1884 and resigns, leaving the job open to Thomas Carscadden, an English teacher since 1881 at G.C.I. Also, Mr. Stanley Hough of Winnipeg donates The Hough Cup to Galt for football. The cup is soon passed onto many schools as they win the championship. The tablet in front of Tassie Hall is erected in 1887.
The first science course is offered in the year 1894. The first commercial work course is started in 1895. The school newspaper begins in 1896. It is five cents per copy. The twenty-first cadet corps is organized and trained by Col. A.J. Oliver in 1899.
Miss Janet W. Carter, of the French department, is the first women to be hired at G.C.I. Also in 1901, a new building was required, so the corners of the cross shape of the old structure were filled in, and a third story was added on. In 1905 the cornerstone for the first addition to G.C.I is laid by Mr. David Spiers, Chairman of the Trustee Board. In the years following a wider range of courses is offered, including agriculture, manual training and household science.
Miss K.E. Jaffray joins the school staff as the first permanent secretary in 1911. Additions are added to both ends of the school, and the third floor, which at the time was the Assembly Hall and Girls’ Physical training area in 1919. In 1921, a memorial tablet is erected in the main hallway in memory of those who died in W.W.I.
The first yearbook, named Specula Galtonia, is put together in 1922. Tassie Hall’s cornerstone is laid by Dr. H.J. Cody, a former student from G.C.I and the technology area, along with two gymnasiums, are added in 1923. In 1926 the idea of rotating classes, instead of teachers, is introduced. In 1928 and 1929 the sports achievements are: Senior football wins the Hamilton Cup; Senior Girls’ basketball wins the Ross Cup; Senior Girls’ softball wins the Wholton Cup, named after the sixth principal of G.C.I.
The Depression brought huge numbers of enrollment, because jobs were scarce. Galt Collegiate now has had a library in it since at least 1931. It was possibly the third school library in Ontario. Miss Margaret Fraser was the first librarian. Miss Fraser worked in the library for 31 years before her retirement in June 1963. Galt Collegiate wins the Galt Y.M.C.A. school song contest with “To Thee Our School” in 1932. Galt lost 175 students in 1934 when Preston built their high school.
Second World War saw many G.C.I. students joining the Canadian Forces along with many teachers. Galt Collegiate raised $1,500.00 per year to aid the war effort in the years 1939 to 1945. The first student council was formed to direct student activities in1946. The Galt Collegiate Senior Football team won the championship under Mr. R.A. VanWagone in 1947. In 1948, Galt C.I.’s yearbook, Specula Galtonia was resurrected after a absence of 17 years. In 1932 the depression era forced the discontinuation of the yearbook. In 1951, Galt C.I.’s orchestra re-organized under the leadership of Mr. W.J. McFadyen. Also, the Head of the Industrial Department, Mr. P.F. Unsworth retired.
Galt C.I. celebrated its 100th birthday with a centeniary dinner held in the Gymnasium # 108 on February 9th, 1952. Head of the Commercial Department, Miss Helen Weatherill (1918 – 1953) retired in 1953. In 1954, an Interscholastic Drama Festival, involving the Collegiate Institutes in Kitchener, Guelph, Brantford and Galt, began on the basis of each school taking turns at hosting the event. The G.C.I. Tennis Team won the C.W.O.S.S.A championship for the first time and repeated their victory in 1955 and 1956. Mr. Don Rope (staff member) re-introduced hockey as an intercollegiate sport at G.C.I. in 1955. A Girls’ Hi-Y club was organized in 1956 by the G.C.I students and the Y.M.C.A to parallel the Boys’ Hi-Y club which was revised in 1954.
G.C.I. was filled to capacity with 1350 students in attendance in 1957. Lunches had to be eaten in classrooms, on the main floor and Tassie Hall, since there were limited cafeteria accommodations. Glenview Park S.S. opened in 1957, and some of the G.C.I faculty and students moved to the new school. The G.C.I. staff Players’ Club presented the satirical comedy “The Masque of Aesop’s” with a cast of 40 staff members and their spouses in 1958. The G.C.I Boys’ curling team won the C.W.O.S.S.A. curling championship in Owen Sound in the year 1959. The G.C.I. Girls’ Junior Basketball team won the league championship under the leadership of captain Mary Newland and coach Miss Joan Curlock in 1960. In 1961 the former G.C.I. 1951-1952 school captains, Mrs. John Woefle, nee Jessie Purdy, and her husband, Mr. John Woefle, left for a five year post in India to serve as administrator and nurse at a boys’ school in Visakhapatnam, India. The stately brick home, on the north-east corner of the G.C.I campus, was demolished in 1962 to allow for the expansion of the campus facilities as the smaller north campus was to be used to build the planned addition to Galt.C.I and V.S.
Bob Brown and Jim Taylor brought honour to Galt. C.I and V.S in 1963 by winning the Ontario Schoolboy ploughing championship at Caledon. Also, Eric Larson, a grade 9 student, fell from the east end of the C.P.R. Bridge while walking to school with other G.C.I students who used the route daily. The G.C.I Girls’ Senior Basketball team won the C.W.O.S.S.A. championship by defeating Brantford in 1964. G.C.I.’s office and guidance departments were constructed in their present location on the main floor. The first Winter carnival was held in 1965 and included broomball competitions, snow-sculptures, skiing, and a car rally. G.C.I. held its first graduation ceremonies for the 2-year Occupations Students in 1966. Tassie Hall stage was enlarged and redesigned as part of G.C.I’s renovations in 1967.
The last G.C.I graduation ceremony under the Galt Board of Education took place when the 1968 Commencement Exercises were held in Tassie Hall on October 4th, 1968. The G.C.I Drama group presented “The Private Ear”, directed by student Rick Percival, at a Studio Night to mark the opening of the theater auditorium in the new Galt Public Library which opened in July,1969. The first edition of “Graffiti”, a bi-monthly school newspaper was published in 1970. In 1971, Dr. Gordon L. Clubine, Head of the G.C.I Art Department, and Mr. Carl Featherson, a G.C.I. geography teacher, retired after 26 and 16 years, respectively, of teaching at G.C.I..
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Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau paid a brief visit to G.C.I in 1972, when his helicopter landed on the front campus. G.C.I’s Soccer team captured the C.W.O.S.S.A High School championship as well in that year. The staff and students of the G.C.I presented the historical revue “Bubbles from the Boiler Room” to commemorate G.C.I’s 120th Anniversary in 1973. Community-minded Galt C.I and V.S students set-up a toll-gate roadblock on Water street in front of the school campus, and collected $2000.00 for “The Cambridge Flood Relief” over a 15 hour period in 1974. Construction of G.C.I’s new 400m track and football field was completed in the summer of 1975. G.C.I’s track was officially opened in 1976 when Mayor Robert Kerr cut the ribbon.
1977 was G.C.I’s 125th Anniversary year. All activities, sponsored by the Student Council, had “125” as a theme. The first edition of G.C.I Hallmarks was printed by Highland Press, Cambridge. G.C.I’s Greek – style Amphitheater was officially opened for school and community use in 1978. The G.C.I Ghosts Senior Girls’ Basketball team won its first championship in thirteen years and became the first title winner in the newly-formed County Athletic Association in 1979. The G.C.I bi-monthly newspaper, Omega, won a trophy for the best school newspaper in Waterloo County for 1979-1980. The Junior Soccer Ghosts won the W.C.S.S.A.A championship tournament for 1981. Also that year, a bequest of $41,000.00 was received by G.C.I and V.S from the estate of Joseph S. Stauffer to provide scholarships to G.C.I students entering university.
On November 12th, 1982, G.C.I held its first Honour Graduation Commencement Exercises since the Second World War with eighty graduating students receiving diplomas. The G.C.I track team was revitalized in 1983 under the leadership of coaches Jim Wooley and Diane Boonstra. A Hawaiian 12-hour dance-a-thon was held by the students of G.C.I in 1984. $7000.00 was raised and donated to Canadian Cancer Society. The G.C.I tennis team tied for top spot in C.W.O.S.S.A tennis while W.C.I. Junior Soccer Ghosts won the C.W.O.S.S.A championship, also in 1984. The Senior Girls’ relay team added to its 1985 record breaking season by winning Cambridge’s only medal at O.F.S.S.A. G.C.I also won the C.W.O.S.S.A Senior tennis title that year, led by Michelle Greenan and Peter Kowaleski who took the mixed doubles. The 133 year old G.C.I. was prepared for a $6.5 million renovation project in 1986. In 1987, the school opened without the major additions to the school finished. G.C.I students made do without a school library or cafeteria, and were waiting for other facilities to be completed, namely, music rooms, dramatic arts room, welding shop and an expansion to the auto shop.
On Wednesday, January 27, 1988 the official Opening of the renovations and additions at the Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School took place with representatives of the Waterloo Board of Education present for the Official Opening Ceremony. In 1990, the G.C.I Junior Ghosts boys’ Basketball Team qualified for C.W.O.S.S.A boys’ basketball championship by winning the W.C.S.S.A.A. G.C.I Ghosts Volleyball Team became the first Cambridge team to win the O.F.S.S.A championship since the Ontario Federation was formed in 1947. G.C.I’s Football team won the W.C.S.S.A.A Senior Football championship in 1992. For the 141st Commencement Exercises of the Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, officials organized a spring-summer graduation ceremony in 1993.
In 1994, the “21st” Cambridge Sports Award night was held in the Beehive Community Hall in Hespeler’s Memorial Arena. In attendance was the Cambridge Team of the Year, our own Galt Track Team. The second of the Galt Collegiate Institute 1996-1997 reunions took place at the school when the Grade 12 graduates of 1979 and Grade 13 graduates of 1980 gathered here. Two new courses, “Enviro-Tek” and OAC Philosophy, were introduced in 1996 and each had a successful start.
The GCI track and field team won WCSSAA and CWOSSA championship in 1996 with a great ‘all-round’ team. The GCI band has won gold medals regularly at the Kiwanis Music festival and the school choir has earned prestigious invites to the Canadian Vocal Competitions four years in a row from 1999 to 2002. The first province wide teachers strike occurred in October 1997 for a period of two weeks. As a promotional activity for the 150th reunion, GCI set a Guinness World record for the largest group hug of 1858 students, staff and alumni on May 1st, 2002 – exactly one month before the reunion. May 31, June 1,2, 2002 was the celebration on the theme “The Tradition continues… “.
Veteran Summaries by English Language Learners
To Honour the Former GCI grads who fought for freedom
To Honour the Former GCI grads who fought for freedom
Evelyn V. McKay
A student in G.C.I died. Her name was Evelyn V. McKay. She was born in Galt on November 24, 1892. After she had graduated from high school, she was wanted to become a nursing sister in war. She trained as a nurse at Grace Hospital. In 1915 she had enlisted in the army medical service. In 1916 she served at the Base Hospital and Exhibition Camp in Toronto. For eighteen months, she served in Boulogne. Just seven days before the armistice was signed, she died from an attack on November 1918, before she contracted a dinguses case or bronchial pneumonia. By AYSHA BIBI
Horace E. Bray
27 March 1896- 9 July 1918
Horace Bray was considered one of G.C.I important collegian during his enhance from 1911 to his matriculation in 1994. He was actively in the school’s literary and Musical society, where he became well he was also about to enter university when the war broke. He decided to instead to English with the 7th Canadian mountain reifies at the age of the eighteen. He was in France with during his serving. He was a transferred to the royal air force. He was killed by accidentally in England from the collision in the air.
Capt. J. Frank Welland
Frank Welland was a captain in 1914. He was born on a farm near Galt on July 21, 1893. He attended Dickson Public School and graduated from Galt Collegiate Institute in 1911. He was in England specialized in bombing and becoming a well- respected instructor. He was determined to serve in France and didn’t the Medical Board, He reduced his rank to Lieutenant to reach France in May 1917. He was killed atPasschendaele, Belgium in 1917 November 6, He was only 24 years old when he died. By: Vincent
George J. Beaumont
George J. Beaumont was a lieutenant of the 11th East Lancashire regiment in the British army. After his duty in Egypt he was going to battle in Somme. He was a bombing instructor at the 31st Divisional School of instructors in a village near theVerdun at this time. A bomb exploded prematurely and he was badly injured. Some pieces of bomb entered his brain which damaged his brain functions. He was immediately sent to hospital but unfortunately he died on the way to the hospital.
Carl Green used to go to GCI. He was a captain in the army. He was a news reporter inNiagara Falls. He was killed instantaneously by the brushing of a shell on his dugout. He died when he was fighting against the Germans. He was born in 20 June in 1888 and died in 1916. By: AK
Capt. J. Frank Welland
Frank Welland was a captain of all soldiers. He was born on 21st July 1893. He was the son of Joseph and Lydia Welland. He attended Dickson Public Schooland graduated from Galt Collegiate Institute in 1911. He was a specialist in bombing and eventually became a well-respected instructor in England. He also became an efficient officer. He was later killed at Passchendaele, Belgium on 6th November 1917 at a very young age of 24. BY: SHAHNAWAZ KHAN
Jamie. C. Holder
(1 April 1992-4 August 1944)
He was overseas for about 11 months when on 4 Aug.1944; he was reported missing following a reconnaissance flight of the coast of Holland. A couple of weeks later information was received by the international Red Cross that Holder was killed when his plane a typhoon fighter bomber was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire when he attacked a coastal vessel Oasterchilden. Holder was posthumously awarded the Gold operation wings of the R.C.A.F.
Evelyn V. MC Kay
Evelyn McKay was born on 24h November, 1892. The daughter of Mark and Sarah McKay grew up in Galt, Ontario. She was a graduate of Macdonald Italia, in Guelph, she all so attended the Galt Public School, and G.C.I. In 1915, she was being trained as a nurse at the Hospital in Toronto. Evelyn helped out for a whole year at the BaseHospital and Exhibition Camp; in December 1916 she went overseas. She was all so inFrance for 6months, and there she was stationed at no.3 Canadian General Hospital inBoulogne. After 18 months at the General Hospital she contacted a dangerous case, and died from the attack on November 1918 just seven days before the armistice as sighed. BY: Kp
Capt. Herbert C. Rounds
Herbert C. rounds received his education public school education in Drumbo before rounds family moved to the Galt at time Capt. Rounds attending G.C.I. Capt. Rounds continued working with units. In September 1916 Capt. Rounds was arriving to France. In following November where he became the 4th Canadian mounted rifles battalion forces Capt. Capt. Rounds send back to France before the world war one starting on 26 august 1918, Capt. Rounds were killed by instantly while his company landing on a strong enemy position near monarchy of disposition attacked.
James R. Baird
(29 Jan 1910-23 Sep 1994)
James Robb Baird was born and raised in Galt, he was one of the greatest means that people ever new. Robb was well known for young people. On 10 July 1140, Baird enlisted went to a private with the Royal Canadian Engines, and in a short period of time received his sergeants stripes. James went to Petawawa for 21 months as an instructor in the demolition school. Later on, that year he flew to Quebec where he was in charge of demolition instructor. On 22 September 1944 Baird was wounded in action.
J Pomery Caver
J Pomery Caver was one of the soldier of GCI .He was on escort duty protecting a reconnaissance machine when he was suddenly attacked by six enemy planes. Everything was happing so far in order for the much slower machine to escape, Caver fought the odds against the enemy until his own plane was hit and fell into a lake, Caver struggled to swim to shore but was not successful and sank .He was reported missing in 1917 September 3 two weeks and after he was labelled as killed in action. By DVN
Stanley Batters was born in 14 Sept 1892 and raised in Galt by his parents, William and Margaret. He was in Dickson Public School before him entering G.C.I in 1906. He left his position in 1912 when the travelled west and became employed by Albertagovernment in a surveying party. When he left for France, he was attached to the 49thBattalion. In France he was only few months before he was killed in 9 June 1917 inBattle.
William Cyples was born on 15march 1919. He attended Manchester Public Schooland GCI. Before going to the navy in 1935 he practiced his to meet the requirements of Royal Canadian Air Force as pilot. He got his transfer to the air force in 1942. He was to lead the first Canadian destroyer to leave a Canadian port on Submarine patrol. He lost his life by a bomber crash when taking off on Nov 17 1944. By Iftikhar Ahmad
James R. Baird
James R. Baird was born in 29 Jan 1910 in Canada. He was a Royal Canadian solider. He works in a demolition school. He died in the action on the Western Front. He was overseas by July 1944 he several in Belgium with the Royal Hamilton light infantry and in braid were wounded in action on the western front. He died the next day.
Maj. John H. Ratz
Maj. John H. Ratz was born in 7 Sep 1869. He fought to freedom for Canada in Canadian army. He was going in Canadian army after taking his degree in medicine three years later. He was appointed assistant medical Advisor to the pension Board. He suffered with illness. So, At last he died in Ottawa in 11 Feb 1918. By Jaspreet Brar
Alfred Lloyd Norman
Alfred Lloyd Norman was born in Ingersoll, Kitchener on August 18 1897. He was not 18. When he joined the Canadian army force then he transferred to Nova Scotia. He served in France for 13 months. After he get gunshot on his head on august 8 1917.
J .Ronald Chapman
A man name J .Ronald Chapman was a solider. J .Ronald Chapman was born on Oct, 30, 1894. He studied mechanical engineering while at the university of Toronto from 1912 to 1916. J .Ronald Chapman was involved in the First World War and he died by a shell stuck. He died on 31 Oct, 1917 in Passchendaele.
J. JAMES CAMPBELL
J. James Campbell was in a war at Passchendaele. Campbell was employed with engineering he joined the 11th battery at the Somme and served through the battles ofRegina trench vimy ridge and sub quest engagement to hill 70. Campbell obtained a commission as a lieutenant in charge of the first draft of 50 men from the battery. He died instantly by a shell. By Rida Liaquat
Hugh C. Campbell
Hugh C Campbell was born in 25th of January 1917. He attended Dickson public school and G.C.I and then graduated. And went to the Ontario agriculture college during attending college he got interested in flying and aviation technology so after finishing college he then went to the Kitchener-Waterloo flying club to get his private flying license. When war broke out in 1939 he joined the Canadian forces in the summer of 1940 when he received his international flying licence he was the first person from Galt to receive his licence in the world war two. He was sent to Manitoba and then was posted to Saskatoon as a flying and navigation instructor with the R.C.A.F .He was killed in a plane crash near Vamscoy, Sask.
Evelyn V. Mckay
Evelyn V. Mckay was a nurse at the Toronto and enlisted war camp. She died from a dangerous case of bronchial pneumonia and died from the attack on November 4th, just 7 days before the armistice was signed. Overall she was a nurse and had the cure for taking care of her patients at camp