200 Years Ago Today...

by Paul Saulnier - Saturday, March 5, 2005

... A Tradition of Excellence began. An act passed by the New Brunswick Legislature on March 5th, 1805 led to the creation of the Saint John Grammar School with the purpose of "encouraging and extending literature in the province." With 200 years of history, Historic Saint John High School is the Oldest Publicly Funded School in the country. Celebrations of our Bicentennial took place on Thursday, March 3rd.

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CTV's Breakfast Television spent the morning at the school meeting with students, and having fun. Live at 5 focused on various educational issues during their broadcast from the school, leading up to the ATV Evening News with Steve Murphy, a graduate of Saint John High School, hosting his broadcast from the auditorium.

Thornes sign history book
Richard and Sandra Thorne
At 7:30 PM, the official Bicentennial Service was held at Trinity Church, featuring many established dignitaries that have graduated from our 200 year old institution. One of the great moments of anticipation was the the unveiling of the painted renditions of all four school buildings used by the school since 1805. Lynn Wiggington, the artist and graduate, attempted to capture a sense of community in her beautiful artwork.

Barry Harbinson with Helen Miller
Barry Harbinson with Helen Miller
Richard and Sandra Thorne (left) were also on-hand at the reception back at the school to sign copies of their book, Saint John High School: A Tradition of Excellence. The book is still available from the school for $40.

Helen Miller, shown in the picture at right with Mr. Barry Harbinson, was part of the first graduating class of the current Saint John High School building, back in 1933. She is a retired school teacher, and is likely one of the few surviving alumni that would have actually had the opportunity to attend one of the old, long-demolished Saint John High School buildings.

More 200th Anniversary events are planned leading up the Grand Reunion this summer. Enjoy today's photo gallery. More photos will be posted later during the break, this is only half of them.

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