Celebrating Creative Graduates of Malvern Collegiate Institute

Malvern Collegiate Institute, Toronto

I feel very privileged to have attended Malvern Collegiate Institute, Toronto, for all five of my high school years (we still had Grade 13 in Ontario at that time) from 1967-1972. All three of my siblings also attended, so the school was a big part of our family life while living in The Beach neighbourhood during the 50s, 60s and 70s. I definitely know that who I am today was molded by my years at Malvern, where the emphasis was on scholastics, music, and athletics. Those of us who chose to take part in the excellent Music programme at the school have terrific memories of that time – we wore kilts!, had several band exchanges in other cities, we marched in the Toronto Santa Claus Parade every Christmas, and left school with a lifelong love of great music, and even professional performance for many. This was all engendered by the best teacher we could have only ever imagined having in our lives … George McRae! But then there were so many other teachers at the school who were equally as encouraging and knowledgeable about their areas of expertise that we had many opportunities to enjoy and excel in whatever it was that interested us. (And a special shoutout here to Muir Sumner who may not have been successful in making me especially fond of chemistry or the sciences in general, but has since that time been very encouraging to all of us Malvern grads via Facebook!)

For me, it was all about reading and books, when I wasn’t playing in the Malvern Band or swimming competitively on the swim team. One English lit. teacher in Grade 13, Miss Mogan, definitely encouraged us to read outside the curriculum and to even begin writing our own stories. She had graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, which was where I had already been accepted, so I paid close attention to all she told me of her time there. Miss Mogan and Mr. Sage (my other English lit. teacher) accompanied a group of students on a trip to England, which is another great reason to thank Malvern! What a trip that was! Well beyond my wildest dreams! So many good memories from that time, and it was the only visit I ever made to England during my life, as it turned out.

So, what this is all getting around to is that Malvern Collegiate Institute is celebrating its 120th anniversary on May 13, 2023!

I had been planning to attend, as I did the 100th Anniversary in 2003, but I find now that I am unable to make it there this time. I’m still following all of the postings and messages from various groups and old classmates and friends, so I feel as though I’m still a part of the school and this current celebration.

It had occurred to me though early on in the planning for this reunion that there are many graduates from this high school who had gone on to become creative in some way, whether it be musical, artistic, photographic, dramatic, written, or recorded/filmed. So I proposed putting together a listing of these graduates in order to inform classmates of what they’ve (we’ve!) been up to all these years since graduating. So I am creating a dedicated permanent page on my Blog with links to all those who respond to my request to participate in this list, and it will be available long after the reunion is over and only a distant memory. This is my way of celebrating the creativity of fellow students and the school that, in many ways, helped to engender and encourage that creativity from a young age.

I will post the link to the page, Malvern Collegiate Institute Creatives, once I have gathered information from some participating creatives, and then will add to that page when I hear from more who wish to participate. My hope is that everyone reading this list – and that doesn’t need to be just Malvern graduates, but ANYONE who is interested in creative pursuits and activities, has a chance to see how good a school Malvern was at sowing the seeds and how many grads went on to become very creative indeed! (In some cases, links will be included so that anyone can show their support of this creativity by purchasing or even just following the Creatives.)

As our school song said, “Onward Malvern! Onward Malvern, Fight on for our Fame!”

Well, this is my way of giving some recognition, and fame, to more than just the winning sports teams!!

Malvern school trip to London, 1972 (Page of photos from the school yearbook, The Muse ’72 – That’s me on the right side of the table in the pub photo!

9 responses

  1. Hello, Susan! My first question is which Toy family you are related to? I had a classmate named Betty Toy, Malvern 1955-60. We also had family friends who lived on Briar Dale Blvd., but I believe they spelled it Toye. Where did you attend Public School? I went to Adam Beck and my husband (Malvern Grad 1956) went to Balmy Beach.
    Anyway, I am also an author! I have self-published two historicals set in Muskoka. (Is that by any chance where your family cottage was?) and have just received a contract from an American publisher for my thriller, “Dead Serious”. This is a lovely idea. Looking forward to hearing from others. http://www.wendytruscott.com

    1. Yes, Betty was my older sister. Sadly she died in 2019. I do remember her talking about the Truscott family, however. I attended Williamson Rd./Glen Ames/Malvern. Our cottage was near Minden in Haliburton.
      I have added your name to my list and will contact you. Thanks for getting in touch with me!

      1. I am very sorry to hear about Betty. My condolences. What a small world indeed. Truscott is my married name. I was Wendy Lawson. Coincidentally, I taught at Williamson Road from 1961-63 in the kindergarten with Marilyn Prucha, who might have been retired when you arrived. Thanks for your reply.

  2. Brilliant idea! šŸ‘ Looking forward to seeing many contributions!

  3. Wonderful summary of Malvern and what it meant to many of us as we wandered through this journey called life. The creative initiative sounds like a great idea – look forward to seeing what my fellow Malvernites have been up to. Cheers.

    1. Thanks, Mark! And thanks for all your support of this idea.

  4. Sounds like a great school. It’s amazing the difference a couple of good teachers can make. I’m sure the trip to England was memorable.

    1. It definitely was a great school for me!

    2. What a brilliant idea! Looking forward to seeing the many contributions to this blog.

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