Alumnae Association

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

I.C.H.S. Newsletter
, 2005
Volume 1,  No 33

Editorial Staff
Joan Chang
Laura Chin Pen
Ina Williams
Yvonne Lyew  Membership 

Executive Committee 2004-6   

Yvonne Lyew         President
Sadie Wong     Vice President
Jacqueline Lue        Secretary
Sandra Hardie   Ast.Secretary
Cathrine Sani          Treasurer
Sylvia Tavares  Ast.Treasurer 


Floor Members
Paula Burke Depass
Joan Chang
Jeanette Chin
Laura Chin Pen
Betty Chung
Lorraine Chung
Ethlyn Ho Shue
Gloria Ho Shue
Jacqueline Lue
Tanya Hugh
Suzanne Read
Donna Rutty
Ina Williams


Please share your news with us
Weddings, Births, Deaths,
Academic Achievements etc.
Yvonne 905 305 1727
Fax:  416 964 9605



Ad Astra

Immaculate Conception High School
Alumnae Association
(Toronto Chapter)

January, 2005
Volume 1, Number 33

Thank You, Sr. Mary Catherine

Fellow alumnae, as you may already have heard, Sister Mary Catherine Aarons retired as principal of ICHS at the end of the 2004 school year, after holding this office for twelve years.

I met Sister Mary Catherine when she taught Latin to the second form (Grade 8's), and what an eye opener that year was! For a supposedly dead language, it was a lively class, with lots of history about Pompeii and Herculaneum, and stories about Patrius, Metella, their son, their dog and their servants. Sister had decided to use a new approach to teaching/learning Latin, through colourful booklets from Cambridge University, rather than a dry textbook of grammar and drills. Alas, the booklets did not arrive in time for September, so she copied madly for us until they did. She spoke Latin in a very precise voice, and encouraged us to read out loud, without feeling geeky or shy. I wished that she also taught French, so that I could have had her again, but she taught Spanish and I had already made my choice the year before. Fortunate were those who had her for Spanish; she was equally dynamic, and truly made her subject come alive. I remember thinking that she was so young and pretty, yet how similar she was to Sister Maureen Clare in her sometimes stem demeanour and commanding use of her voice. Little did I dream that she too might become principal. When she left the following year for South America, we envied those lucky students who would have her. Latin classes just were not the same with Mrs. Hall, even though we would be reading Catullus' love poetry for the GCE exams.

Sister Mary Catherine did not return to ICHS until after I had graduated. She eventually stepped into the role of Principal when Sister Maureen Clare retired. Those were big shoes to fill, especially in a time when the school was under pressure from the government to increase the school enrolment, possibly by introducing a shift system. Added to all this was the challenge of maintaining high academic standards, coping with the attitudinal changes in the student body (and society in general), and the continued struggle to find and keep good teachers.

Sister Mary Catherine grew to fill those shoes and maintained the status of ICHS as the premier secondary school in Jamaica. Under her determined leadership, and assistance from Major Williams, the school established an orchestra, a concert band and a steel band, building on the music program and Glee Club founded by Lisa Narcisse. Students were able to prepare successfully for international examinations set by the Royal Schools of Music, Trinity College, and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The swim team continued to win many meets, the track and field team began to win meets, and the scholars continued to earn places to universities and colleges of their choice.

Sister's relationship with the Toronto chapter of ICHSAA was initially cool, and I think this was, in part, because few of the active alumnae had been her classmates or her students, and were unfamiliar with how she operated. We often become comfortable and complacent with the familiar, and suspicious of the new and different. Her passion, drive and vision for the school, however, very quickly convinced the alumnae that the reputation of ICHS would be safe in her hands, and that the values which we all hold dear would continue to be held high.

Sister: on behalf of the Toronto Chapter of ICHSAA, I congratulate you on this momentous occasion. Thank you for your many years of service to the hundreds of students who have passed through the school gates. Your pursuit of excellence set a fine example for us all. Your passion for your subject inspired us to seek passions of our own, and to share it with others. Truly you have lived up to the motto of our alma mater, ad astra per aspera. We wish you much happiness and many blessings in your next endeavour.

Suzanne Read (nee Chen See) class of 1975.


President's Message

My Dear Fellow Alumnae,

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. As we begin 2005, I wish you all a New Year of Good Health, Happiness and Prosperity. Let us remember in our prayers all our families and friends who are experiencing illnesses, bereavement and so many other "casualties" of life. We pray God in His wisdom and mercy will guide us "safely through all things".

It is an honour to be re-elected as your President for another (and my final) term. Our Toronto Chapter is very active and dedicated and we are glad for the support of our Alma Mater. However, there is need for "new blood" with fresh ideas and continuing energy. I invite the "younger" alumna group to come on out; join us in all the activities, be a committee member and help us to continue the strong sisterhood we have created.

Rev. J. Basil Breen, parish priest at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, was gracious in officiating at our annual Mass to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception in December of last year. He will be retiring this year and we all wish him good health in his retirement.

Our annual dinner/dance will be held at a different venue this year - Grand Baccus Banquet Hall  on Saturday, February 19. So have your dancing shoes ready and come spend an evening of fun and laughter with old and new friends.

To the outgoing committee - many thanks again for all your support and dedication. I look forward to working with the new executive to a happy and successful term."

Yvonne Lyew

Annual Mass to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

On December 5th, the ICHSAA held their annual Mass to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception at St Thomas the Apostle Church in Markham. The sounds of the music and lyrics from Fr. Ho Lung's Mass filled the church hall. We seem to have adopted it as our own, in addition to Miss Narcisse's Mento Mass! With the guitar skills of Leslie Chin, his daughter Valerie, her husband, Terry, and the well rehearsed voices of the Alumnae Glee Club with Carol Case as soloist, it was truly a joyful sound unto the Lord.

Father Breen's homily reminded us, as always, to prepare for Christ's birth (Advent was already upon us), and commended the remembrance of Our Lady on one of her special feast days. This was followed by a delicious pot luck luncheon including jerk pork and chicken, stew peas, salad, a special treat of mackerel rundown, boiled bananas and dumplings, and of course, sumptuous desserts.

Who was present of note, you might ask? The "usual" friendly faces, but for me, the special faces were Alison Payne and Lauren Chung, whom I had not seen in many years. I remember Alison as a diminutive prefect and "drama queen" in the absolutely nicest sense, and Lauren was a Queen's Guide, an award to which I had also aspired. Classmate Tanya Tenn was out with hubby Vernon Hugh and their two kids. Alex is the spitting image of Tanya's brother. Donna RutTy's gorgeous grandchildren were there with mommy Lara, who has launched a sweetie/bakery business. Karen Sue breezed in (better late than never!) with her brood. Diane Collins was quietly elegant as always. Loraine Lee, President of Alpha Alumnae Association and Danny Ho Lung, President Elect of St. George's College Old Boys, also joined us along with his wife, Jojo.

So ladies, please mark your calendars for - Sunday, December 4th, 2005 for the next annual Mass. We have celebrated this feast day for many years since the inception of the Toronto Chapter of ICHSAA. The location and time (noonish) are the same, unless otherwise posted. You can count on it as a great way to see familiar friends and faces, their significant others and offspring, catch up on "news", hear and sing favourite hymns and a glorious Mass, sample someone else's cooking (do you like jerk dry, or jerk with gravy?), and maybe take home a little leftovers for later! What a sweet run-down Donna made!! See you all in 2005, same time, same bat channel!

Suzanne Read

Standing: Yvonne Lyew, Paula DePass, Gloria Ho Shue, Jacqueline Lue,
 Ethlyn Ho Shue, Ina Williams, Sylvia Tavares, Laura Chin Pen.
Sitting: Tanya Hugh, Jeanette Chin, Donna Rutty, Lorraine Chung.
Kneeling: Suzanne Read, Sadie Wong.

ICHSAA (Toronto Chapter)
Extraordinary Bi-Annual General Meeting


Our Toronto Chapter held an extraordinary general meeting on September 12th 2004 at Armadale Community Centre, 2401 Denison Street, Markham, Ontario. It was very extraordinary indeed because YOU ALL WERE NOT THERE!! We had 12 members in attendance, far short of the 25 required as a quorum by our constitution. First we thought of following the rules to the letter and postpone the GM for a future date; but the majority of those present had no faith that we would get a quorum then either. So all those present happily consented to serve on the committee together with others who had said they were available although not present at the GM. Your executive committee for 2004 - 2006 is listed on page 2. Now seriously ladies, why are you so afraid of attending a general meeting?? Are you all 5 years old? No one can force you to serve on the committee - all you have to do is say: Sorry, I cannot serve! We know most of you care about the alumnae association. This Is a VERY BURDENLESS AND EASY way for you to do some charity/community service before you are called to give an account of your living by the Almighty. So anti up ladies and help out! You will be happy you did. If any member in good standing objects to the aforementioned

GM proceedings, please contact Yvonne.

Ina Williams

August 2004 Picnic

at Milne Park

Class Reunion

Calling Class of 1965 and Beyond
June 3 - 5, 2005

Can you believe it was 40 years ago that we stood on that graduation stage!?! Well hopefully all those schoolgirl rivalries and grudges have faded away with our failing memories, so now is a good time to catch up on a lifetime of living - it will provide us with fresh gossip with which to entertain ourselves for the next 25 years, by then we will be 80 and gone on to a better life! (we hope!) So "girls" start "training" for the beach and pack your bags. Families are welcome and we were/are so sociable, we are inviting the alumnae of 1964 - 1968 to attend. Gigi's is Pauline's place and Palmetta Travel is Gerry's agency.

The Miami girls are doing all the planning and guarantee fine weather with no hurricanes! See you all in Florida June 3 - 5 and if you are not Bringing the family, bring pictures! Mek sure yu come 'cause we will be too old for the next one!

Gigi's Resort by the Beach
3005 Alhambra St.
 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
1-800-910-2357 or (954) 463-4827


lna Williams (Yap) 416 299 0031
Betty Chung (Lue) 416 308 3010
Paula dePass (Lew) 905 799 6271


Nancy Cera (Lee) 954-659 1969 ceranl@aol.com
Vicki (Althea) Silvera 305-225 1738 silverav@fiu.com
Florence Keane 305-233 3095 fkb01@aol.com
Jackie Fraser (Clemetson) 954-384 5971 jqu123@aol.com
Winsome Hew (Chai Chang) 954-463 8247 wh@exselsiortrading.com
Carol Yeung (Chin) 305-254 8339 cyeung17@aol.com
Pauline Terrelonge 305-661 4790 www.gigisresort@aol.com
Geraldine Fung (Young) 305-238 6111 palmetrvl@hotmail.com

Prayers and condolences are extended to the families of:

Osra Graham Ramsey, who passed away in Jamaica, mother of Jilian Saweczko and Susan McCrindie. She was one of the oldest members of the ICHSAA in Jamaica.

Pansy Ennever, mother of Angela Diaz (Class of '59)

Sarah Simm-Service (Miss Sores), mother of Daisy Tai, Pauline Stines and Ruby Fraser (Miami)

Juan Alberto Alvarez, devoted husband of Daphnie, father of Yolanda Hindle, Maria Montgomery and Carol Alvarez.

Beryl Enid Narcisse-Mair, L.R.S.M., L.R.A.M., ,A.R.C.M.,M.R.S.T., Gold Medalist, Royal Academy of Music, London, England. Senior music teacher at I.C.H.S.; founded the Narcisse School of Music; the oldest member of our Alumnae in Canada, passed away peacefully in Kingston, Ontario.

In her memory, donations may be made to:
The Beryl Narcisse-Mair Music Fund
c/o ICHSAA (Toronto Chapter)
19 Briarwood Road
Unionville, Ontario L3R 2W7



Rachel-Lea, daughter of Peter & Diane Rickards, who performed in 'da KINK in my HAIR' at the Princess of Wales Theatre.


Welcome ..........

Gabriella, sister for Jessica - proud parents Judith (Bubb-Clarke) and Paul Williams.

Daryn Isabella, second granddaughter to Donna & Franicis Rutty. and sister to Deni- Teresa.

Layla Elizabeth Burke Graves, born in Michigan, 1st granddaughter of committee member Paula DePass and RobertBurke.


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