The gathering in 1986 was not the only major reunion in recent years. The Graduating Class of 1952 made a promise to itself that the students of that year would assemble for a celebration in twenty-five years. As the organizing group began the process for this event, students from other classes in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s thought it would be a good idea to expand the 1952 class reunion to include all former graduates of St. Ed’s. And so, in the summer of 1978, after a year’s planning, a weekend-long celebration took place at the school, church, convent, arena, golf course and lake. The Reunions of 1978 and 1986 were very similar in format and in numbers – with over 500 attending each one, from present students through to graduates from the 1920’s! At each reunion, graduates told stories of their school days at St. Ed’s. Some of these were in personal conversations, others were from the stage in the beautifully decorated Westport arena at the dinner and dance on Saturday evening. People recalled humourous times, special events, times of sadness and loss. Above all else, the raconteurs spoke of their love, admiration and indebtedness to the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame for their learned instruction, leadership and care for students. Without a doubt, these Sisters were the heart and soul of the school and parish for one hundred years. Each generation recalled the influence of a Sister on individual lives and on entire classes of students. The Sisters served the school-parish community well and were welcomed into the families’ homes on a regular basis. They were gracious hosts at the convent, welcoming parishioners and students alike. There was a special bond between the Notre Dame nuns and the people of Westport. The 1986 gathering was thus a bittersweet time - one of joy and thanksgiving for the CND Sisters’ century of faith-filled service to St. Edward’s, one of sadness as this year marked the end of a special era for the school and parish. The very next summer, after one hundred and one years, the last of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame took their leave from Westport. The Convent as it was being demolished during the Summer and Fall of 2011 This stone from the foundation of Notre Dame Convent (1886) in St. Edward's Parish, Westport, Ontario was presented to the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame during the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of St. Edward School in May 2012. The Sisters were central to the life of St. Edward's Roman Catholic Continuation School and active in the Parish from 1886-1986. The Convent then served as a centre for parish activities until its demolition in 2011. 4

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