Trinity College School

TCS Lore

This coming weekend, students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and friends of Trinity College School will run the Oxford Cup. This annual event, run now on the third Saturday of November, first started in 1896. Originally, it was a competition between the fastest five boys in each of the upper and lower flats (which, of course, are now known as "houses"). The competition has evolved over the years, to its present form, in which participation is as important as identifying the fittest and fastest.

I recognize that the annual running of this race really stands out as a unique TCS community event which is both reflective of the character of our learning community and very much tied to our history. Considering this, I was prompted to identify a number of additional unique occasions, people and programs that have contributed to our school community over the years, and certainly also contributed to TCS lore. What follows is but a small sampling of these incidents and anecdotes for your enjoyment, amusement and edification; more details associated with each can be found in our sesquicentennial history book, Hearts and Minds: 150 years of Trinity College School.

  • Teachers' nicknames have included: Goo, Darth Vera, Chinney, Fuzzy, Rig and Goat.
  • Governors General of Canada have visited the School on multiple occasions as have Prime Ministers. Sir John A. MacDonald visited Port Hope in 1889 to recognize Colonel Arthur Williams (a local hero who was also instrumental in Trinity College School relocating from the town of Weston to its present location). Sitting Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau landed his military helicopter in the middle of the sport fields in May 1975 to visit his friend, Headmaster Angus Scott.
  • In 1912 there was a "wildcat strike" by a group of 70 boys which lasted for one night. The strike was precipitated in part by the senior boys’ opposition to the stiff and starched collars that had to be fastened onto their shirts!
  • TCS alumnus, Frank Darling (class of 1866), became an architect and went on to design both Convocation Hall and Trinity College at the University of Toronto, as well as the Toronto General Hospital. He also contributed to designs for the Parliament Buildings in our nation’s capital, Ottawa. And, one of his first significant commissions was to design the headmaster's residence – The Lodge – at TCS.
  • Former Head of the Junior School, Charles Tottenham, served TCS for four decades and lived on campus for nearly 70 years!
  • The School had an indoor rifle range for students use as part of their cadet corp training in the 1950s!
  • The painted frescoes in the Memorial Chapel of the 12 apostles were originally commissioned in 1963 and painted by Sydney Watson, principal of the Ontario College of Art.
  • Between 2000 and 2011, our female tennis players (under coach Jennifer Powles) won the CISAA gold medal in 10 of the 11 seasons.
  • Internationally-renowned Canadian print-maker and artist, David Blackwood, taught at Trinity College School for nearly a quarter of a century.
  • The School has hosted many engaging guest speakers over the years, who have included: Dr. Jane Goodall (founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace); Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire (author and retired Canadian senator who had formally led a UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide); Ken Dryden (former NHL goalkeeper and federal cabinet minister); and Farley Mowat (acclaimed Canadian author and environmentalist).
  • Oh, and let’s not forget: there are many who believe that we have the best food in the North American independent school system!

I look forward to seeing many of you at the 123rd running of the Oxford Cup this Saturday where we will enjoy another shared and unique TCS experience.

Comments

"Darth Vera" was a wonderful person, and although she was responsible for discipline, and we had more than a few chats during my time, she always treated me fairly and kindly. That name should be retired! :-)

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