The Holland Marsh
student body created a human 70 last fall, in honour
of the school's anniversary.
The Holland Marsh
student body in 1949-1950.
OACS member marks 70 years, looks ahead to new beginnings
Holland Marsh District Christian School in Newmarket is oldest Canadian Christian
school of its kind
It was during the dark times of the Second World War that a tiny new entity was
born: Canada’s first Christian school of its kind. Nineteen students and
a Dutch principal/teacher began learning together in the back room of a Christian
Reformed Church (CRC).
Seventy years later, more than 70 schools in Ontario have also sprung from the
And this same school, Holland
Marsh District Christian School, is still providing
The Newmarket institution is making plans to celebrate its seven decades of education
this month with a chapel service on Thursday, Feb. 14.
The annual winter carnival the school throws as a kind of school birthday celebration
will also take place — hopefully with lots of snow, principal Sherry Bokma says
with a chuckle.
A gala dinner is slated for Feb. 23 at the Cardinal Golf Club, where people can
reminisce, and a video of the school “past, present and future” will
be presented. Local dignitaries are expected to attend, says Bokma.
Asked how she would describe the season Holland Marsh is in — for people, 70
years typically denotes the beginning of “winter” — Bokma says the
school is looking ahead to a kind of revitalization as the season of spring denotes.
This is particularly in light of plans to move into a new building in a couple
In fall 2005, the “Growing our Future...Child by Child” capital
campaign was launched to raise funds for a new building. A 15-acre parcel of
land was purchased, and in 2010 the school launched the “Building
upon the Legacy” capital campaign, which has resulted in ongoing fundraising
for a new building.
The school will move to its brand-new structure in January 2015, pending the
meeting of fundraising goals.
“In some ways a building, a physical structure, contributes to what a school
is about,” says Bokma, noting she sees the school’s move playing
a part in its offer of 21st century learning.
“(The building) is not everything, of course, because clearly it’s
about the people, but it does contribute to who we are.”
Holland Marsh is looking ahead to a significant splash of a celebration marking
75 years, once it’s in the new facility.
To learn more about Holland Marsh’s 70th anniversary
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