Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Generations invited to celebrate school's 50th

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WHEN Peggy Ansons went to Carpathia School during the late 1950s, it didn't have a library. Rather, young Peggy Butler (her maiden name) and her friends relied on the resources of the city library's bookmobile that would stop at their school.

Today, Ansons is a teaching assistant/library clerk at the River Heights elementary school. Like many former students of the school, her children also attended Carpathia, and she continues to live in the neighbourhood.

Carpathia School will celebrate its 50th anniversary on June 5, and all current and former students of the school, parents, staff, neighbourhood residents and friends are invited to stop by and share in the celebration, which begins at 5 p.m.

"Our school is neat," says Susan Brown, chairwoman of the 50th anniversary committee, and a teaching assistant at the school. "A lot of people attended the school or their kids did, and they come back and help out. We have an anniversary committee of 20 parents and staff. The school's 300 students from nursery to grade 6 will also eagerly take part in the celebrations and host the event."

The celebration will include a memory room with photos, past student workbooks, and related memorabilia. Each classroom will present an overview of a decade in the school's history, allowing the kids to learn about life in those days. Students and staff will host the event.

Prominent graduates of the school include children's entertainer Fred Penner, NHL player Mike Keane, and jazz musican Walle Larson, who will be organizing a musical performance with past students. Young Elvis impersonator Adam Tarnowski of Gimli will also perform. Tarnowski is not a Carpathia grad.

To commemorate this golden milestone, current students and staff members have created personalized tiles to be compiled into a permanent wall display to be unveiled at the anniversary.

Ansons attended Carpathia from 1957 to 1963 (kindergarten to grade 6), and has many fond memories. She remembers playing marbles, baseball and dodgeball on the school grounds, where the school picnic was also held. For track and field day, kids got a safety pin and earned little coloured ribbons for various events. (Today the kids earn jellybeans). She played first base on the softball team. In Grade 6, she was a school patrol and wore a white belt rather than the current patrol gear and flags.

Every year, the school held a tea and the moms would make fancy sandwiches to be served by their kids. The military would also put on a fireworks show once a year for the neighbourhood kids. The show was in the big field at the corner of Kenaston and Tuxedo, where the post office and Rady JCC parking lot are now located.

"That was a really big deal," says Ansons.

In her days as a student, Carpathia took on the shape of a horseshoe. There was no big gym (opened in 1979), just the small gym. The school's exterior was painted a pale orange, she recalls.

"The neighbourhood kids walked here. It has always been a very family-oriented area," says Ansons. "In our day, there was no lunch program. The kids all walked home for lunch. And there was no nursery program."

When her kids started attending Carpathia, Ansons returned as a parent volunteer, helping out in the library and on field trips. She got a job as a teaching assistant in 1996, and has also been a library clerk at the school since 1999.

These days, Ansons and other members of the Carpathia fold are eagerly preparing for the 50th anniversary celebrations. Ansons will be contributing photos and some of her old school work for the display, and she encourages others to lend their own Carpathia photos and bits of history to the event.

For more information on the anniversary, visit the school's web-site at and link to the anniversary site for the message board, photos, and more. For those who plan to attend, they can sign the on-line guest registry and stop by on June 5.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 28, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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