Century Celebration

A group of passionate alumnae who attended Miss Lightbourn’s School in the 1960's has invited former students of Miss Lightbourn’s School, a pioneering school for girls, in Oakville, to attend a special 100th anniversary celebration and reunion that will take place at St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School on Friday, April 19th at 4:00 pm.
“As far as we know, this is the first reunion of alumnae who attended Miss Lightbourn’s School since the school was founded by Miss Ruth Lightbourn in 1923,” says Debbie Scott, a volunteer Class Representative for the Class of 1965. “We know it’s a moment in history to be celebrated, and have undertaken the challenge to find and contact as many alumnae as possible.”
Over 50 alum will be gathering, including students from the 1940s to 1970s, and even a few boys who attended JK and SK in the early years. “Everyone is excited at the prospect of reconnecting, sharing memories and celebrating the legacy of the school and a remarkable woman,” says Scott.
In 1923, Miss Ruth Lightbourn, was asked to take on the education of the two daughters of prominent members of the Oakville community. She agreed and started teaching in the sitting room of her parents’ house on the corner of Dunn Street in the town of Oakville.  
Word quickly spread about this exceptionally gifted teacher and eventually enrollment grew to a full-size elementary school teaching students from kindergarten through Grade 8 on Reynolds St. 
Miss Lightbourn owned and operated a school at a time when women had only just won the right to vote. Her principled and progressive thinking meant that she did not believe women should be restricted in their learning. A true trailblazer, she believed in the importance of giving girls a broad, rigorous education incorporating a variety of academic subjects and experiences. 
When Miss Lightbourn decided to retire in 1959, a motivated parents’ committee worked hard to secure the future of her school.  Before long a board of governors took over the administration of the school and relocated the school to 1080 Linbrook Road, which provided a large two-story home with a new wing, six-acres of grounds, and ample room for playing fields and future buildings. In 1964, the board asked the Anglican Sisters of St. Mildred’s School in Toronto to take over the administration of the school. Finally, in 1969, the two schools at the Oakville location merged to form St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School, an all-girls school for students from JK to Grade 12.

“As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Miss Lightbourn’s School, we also celebrate the countless individuals who have helped to keep alive the spirit and community that Miss Lightbourn created all those years ago,” said Catherine Hant, Head of School at SMLS. “This milestone is about embracing our founding principles and looking to the future with renewed enthusiasm and dedication to fostering academic excellence."