Alumnae Association

Ad Astra
is published by the
Immaculate Conception High School
Alumnae Association - Toronto Chapter
, 2003
Volume I,  No 30
I.C.H.S. Newsletter

Ad Astra
is published by the
Immaculate Conception High School
Alumnae Association - Toronto Chapter

I.C.H.S. Newsletter

Editorial Staff
Joan Chang
Ina Williams

Yvonne Lyew  Membership 

I.C.H.S Executive Committee 2002   
Yvonne Lyew            President
Sadie Wong        Vice President
Lorraine Chung         Secretary
Claire Haynes    Ast. Secretary
Paula Burke-Depass
Sylvia Tavares  Ast. Treasurer 

Floor Members
Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams
Joan Chang
Jeanette Chin
Laura Chin Pen
Sandra Hardie
Gloria Ho Shue
Jacqueline Lue
Celia Butler-Lindo
Donna Rutty
Cathrine Sani
Jilian Saweczko
Ina Williams
Olive Williams

Please share your' news with us Weddings, Births, Deaths, Academic Achievement: etc.


Yvonne 905 420 1264
Fax:  416 964 9605  




Ad Astra

Immaculate Conception High School
Alumnae Association
(Toronto Chapter)

April, 2003
Volume 1, Number 30

Valentine Dance 2003
'Let's Tango'

by Lorraine Chung

With candles lit among vivid blooms, fans with lace mantillas we had our dance. With 301 paying guests dancing to LIVE WIRE’s pulsating beat, the cold winter night got hot! hot! hot! Dinner was nicely prepared by Essie Williams and the desserts as usual went like hot cakes .  A few people at the end lost out on the sweets and fruit but concluded that they did not need it anyway. Bar sales were down because the drink of the night was coffee and tea. Water, hot and cold was also very popular. Maybe we are all getting a little more health conscious! 

The night was a great success with lots of happy people leaving with goodies won from gate prizes and the 50/50 draw. We also had some happy people leaving with great bargains from the Silent Auction; 

A pair of Maple Leaf tickets going for only $215! For leafs fans you will understand it was the May 8th. game featuring Nolan in his first Leaf game. Tickets like these are priceless! A pair of Raptors court side tickets plus parking, a $865 value went for a mere $495. A spice basket  valued at $100 went for $55. A Tahitian wall sconce valued at $110 fetched $60. A cookbook went for $25. Tupperware valued at $80 went for $30. A 3-month membership at Sean Wong’s Karate Studio valued at $300 went for $120. If you were not there to place a bid on these items then plan to be there next year. 

The event was successful but very tiring and stressful for the handful of us who always end up doing all the work. Much thanks and loads of prayers to all the helpers - Sadie and her ladies, Trevor and Eddie, who served the food; Joan , who did the dessert tables,  too big a job for one person; Laura, who manned the silent auction table; Jonathan and crew who hung out in the coat check room all night; Alex and Christina who sold the raffle tickets and the bar crew. 

As you can see we need lots of people to put on the dance and we need more help. One hour for the night is all you need to volunteer. Five more people giving us an hour each would be great. All members are encouraged to volunteer but most do not.

Help is always welcome! Please call and offer to help.

Annual Mass & Luncheon - December 2002

Ina Williams 

It was another inspirational celebration in the hall at St. Thomas the Apostle Church on December 8th 2002. Fr. Basil Breen, the pastor celebrated mass for us with the assistance of deacon Patrick Chang. Leslie Chin, daughter Valerie and her husband, Terry, accompanied our now well established Toronto Chapter Glee Club - many thanks everyone! Because people complained that they can hardly hear the glee club, we tried seating them separately, next to the altar - I don’t think it made much difference, ladies. Next time let’s have you facing the congregation. We were happy to welcome “official” representatives of St. G.C. and Alpha alumni....but don’t we always see you guys at our gatherings anyway?!! So having fed the soul, we proceeded to feed the body - with nuf, nuf nice stuff! You know how we Jamaicans love walk wid we belly... but not with our wallets apparently, since we did not sell any souvenir plates, cards, or mats! So we took back all the souvenir items with the empty pots! Till next year, walk good with God! 

PS. Bring your wallets on May 25th!

Annual Mass and Luncheon

ICHS Alumnae Association
(Toronto Chapter)

25th Anniversary Luncheon 

Sunday, May 25th 2003, 12:00pm
Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham
8500 Warden Avenue, Markham

Sr. Mary Catherine Aarons, O.S.F.
Sr. Maureen Clare Hall, O.S.F.

President's Message  

My Dear Fellow Alumnae,

Time seems to go by so quickly!  One can hardly believe that it is almost 25 years ago when the association was formed on June 12, 1978 with founding members Sadie Wong, Juliette Wong-Young (deceased), Shirley Hugh, Adrienne Aarons, Donette Chin-Loy, Marlene Li, Beverly Lue, Beverly Richards, Ina Williams, Janet Wong , Norinne Wong and Laraine Phillips. Fortunately, almost all are still around and very active. However, age is catching up with us and we do need some new, young blood! 

Fr. Basil Breen of St. Thomas the Apostle Chuch was kind enough to celebrate our annual Mass due to the fact that our Spiritual Director, Fr. Jules Wong, was re-assigned out of the country.  Our pot-luck luncheon was successful as always. 

Let’s not forget our faithful, hard-working members, their husbands and friends  who have been most supportive over the years in making our annual Valentine Dinner/Dance “Let’s Tango’  a great success. We had a great time and many thanks to  all who contributed to the dance. 

Sr. Mary Catherine reports that the students placed first, second and third in both R.E. and French in CXC 2002. Also, first and second in Spanish, second and third in Computer Studies; first amd third in Biology; first in Physics, second in English and F.N. and third in Math. In the C.A.P.E. (Advanced Level) exam they placed first in Physics, Mathematics and Computer Studies. ICHS received the most awards! 

A proud moment for one of our past presidents, Mary Anne Chambers. She has been chosen by the Scarborough East Provincial Liberal Association and the Ontario Liberal Party, to represent the riding of Scarborough East in the upcoming provincial election. 

Looking forward to seeing you all on May 25th to celebrate our big event!


Yvonne Lyew

We Are 25!!

Ina Williams 

I still remember getting that fateful phone call from Adrienne Aarons so many years ago, inviting me to come to her home for a meeting with Sr. Maureen Clare. Sister was in Toronto and was visiting with some alumnae, she had already met with some girls at Sadie Wong’s home. It was winter and I was a new mother. I was not yet “Canadianized”. I mean, who wanted to go out on a cold, slushy winter night to visit with an ex headmistress with whom I had not spoken for years! (Sister, please note I said “ex” and not “old”). Well, I did attend the meeting and have never regretted my decision. I did not actually volunteer to start the new Toronto Chapter of the ICHS Alumnae Association. It was a few months after that I received another phone call asking me to join the founding committee. 

As it happened, I was working with a lady who was involved with high profile community work and had garnered some “Canadian experience” in how to get free publicity, support, information and so on. In fact, when we got down to serious business, we discovered, and I say this with due humility, just how well educated, astute, and talented we were - that came from our ICHS education. As well as what shameless beggars we were - that came from our Catholic upbringing! And ladies, we are still as magnificently capable, even if these days we can’t remember where we left our bifocals and our children complain that we keep telling them the same story over and over! So technically, our Toronto Chapter is older that 25, but we use the date on which Pamela Chin Fook registered our organization with the Ministry of Consumer Relations as our birthday. 

Committee Members

Whether deliberate or not, Sr. Maureen Clare accomplished many good deeds with her trip to Toronto 25 years ago! Not only did she establish a source of financial aid for a needy ICHS, but she also created a lifeline for a bunch of newcomers in a strange land. Back in the seventies the exodus of “middle class” Jamaicans was on. Most of us had not connected with lots of friends, we were struggling to launch new careers without “Canadian experience”, while at the same time caring for young children - a byproduct of those cold Canadian winter nights! When that first group of ladies got together, we found ourselves connected by the commonality of culture, morals, and memories - especially of ICHS. It was a very grounding experience, and I remain amazed and grateful for the strong bonds of friendship which crossed the barriers of age and backgrounds and which have lasted to this day. Committee meetings became synonymous with therapy sessions! Life in North America really is a stressful rat-race, nothing like the life we left behind in the 70’s and 80’s. The rewards for running a successful race are all materialistic - pleasing for the body to enjoy, but useless to the soul. Those meetings were the stress busters we needed. We shared jokes and memories, especially of ICHS (remember Marlene Taylor’s impersonations!). We exchanged tips and remedies. We laughed and complained about our jobs and our families, including our husbands! (all of whom we still love dearly). But mostly we laughed, while at the same time demonstrating our collective skills and talents and raising thousands of dollars in aid of educating young minds at ICHS and at Rasalie Hall. And remember; young minds trained by balances, genuine, good educations is one of the best solutions to many of mankind’s problems. 

The point of all this, is to say to ALL ALUMNAE; COME OUT AND JOIN UP! This alumnae association is a good thing. It is a fun group of which you should be a part. It is a way to network. It is a means of doing good charitable work. Yes, 2003 offers a much wider choice of family, friends, organizations, obligations, and worldly distractions - in 1982 Toronto did not have 100 TV channels and most of Markham was still farmland! But carrying on the good works of ICHSAA is worth the effort. You will enjoy the camaraderie. You will appreciate the sisterhood. You will feel good about working to help others. And if we each do a little, the demands on YOU will not be much.

In particular, younger alumnae, we need you! Our functions will never have a younger crowd until YOU attend and BE the younger crowd! You can come and audit a committee meeting or just volunteer to be a helper anytime. Just call one of us. You want ICHSAA to be new fashion instead of old fashion - then I invite you to help make the change. Stop being just a spectator, be a part of the solution - come on down, the group is right!

Prayers and condolences are extended to:

 Sr. Mary Agnes, alumna Joyce Young and other family members on the passing of their brother, Maurice Wong in February. 

Alumna Bev and Joe Richards and family on the loss of Bev’s brother, Robert B Lewis, on January 26th. and Joe’s brother, Albert, in March. 

Alumna Anna (nee Figueroa) and Del Jarvis and son, David, on the passing of her aunt, Mavis Alexander, on February 10th. We also offer condolences to extended family members, as Mavis’ family has many direct and indirect connections to the Catholic Church in Jamaica as well as to ICHS. 

Ann (nee Rousseau) and Ernest Chestney on the loss of Ernest’s mother on March 26th. 

Congratulations to alumna, Paula dePass, on another successful concert! Paula is a founding member of the musical group, “Muzik ‘N Motion”, which presented a delightful concert at the Church of St. Andrew on April 5th.

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