Cam and I went to visit Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute in Toronto yesterday … our high school. I had dropped in once as an adult, probably twenty years ago, but that had been a very brief peek at what had been. Yesterday was the full meal deal.
After parking, we could have gone in the main entrance or the one by the auditorium. Since as a teenager I was never allowed enter the school by the main one, I decided that as an adult I would stay consistent. Besides, I used to hang out by the auditorium, sitting on a low wall next to the lawn. In 2015, a wheelchair ramp was right up against the wall, making it impossible to sit in my spot. Sigh.
As we walked inside, I looked at the left wall in the foyer for the many plaques which had featured the names of Lawrence award winners over the decades. I was especially looking for one certain plaque from 1967 which included “Bruce Kerr” in yellow calligraphy on dark brown wood. But the wall was blank. Double sigh. “No! They can’t have gotten rid of us. It’s my history.”
Cam and I slouched down the hallway to the office, where we explained our ancient status and asked permission to look around. The secretary was most obliging and gave us guest badges to wear around our necks. Before leaving the office, I did what any normal person would have done – I sang Lawrence’s school song:
Give a cheer for the good old gold and blue
Our sons will be always strong and true
We’ll go in fighting and get a victory
Our foes we’ll soon subdue
For Lawrence is going out to win
We’ll fight through our foes through thick and thin
Give a cheer for the team that’s out to win that game
And make that cheer a victory cry
Let’s go – we won’t stop until it’s victory
For the gang at LPCI
Victory, victory is our cry
Are we champions? Well, I guess
Can we beat ’em? Yes, yes, yes!
Two secretaries smiled big time. They told me that most of those words had been scrapped a long time ago. Politically incorrect, you know. Guess it was hard to fit in “Our sons and daughters will be always strong and true”. Plus “fighting”, “subdue” and “fight through our foes” were just a mite too violent. So today’s kids don’t know the song. Triple sigh.
So began three hours of exploring our youth in the halls and classrooms of Lawrence Park. The best was yet to come.