Hundreds of graduates – or those whose families graduated – from Holy Rosary School attended the 130th anniversary and Fleur de Lis dinner over the weekend.
Held on Saturday night at the school’s community center on California Street, the event allowed people to recall the school fire in the 1950s or simply read letters from family members who graduated. graduated decades ago.
Steve Tappel was one of those visitors. He was deeply immersed in a note written by his father, Dr. Aloys “Al” Tappel during the 1962-1963 school year, which had been placed in a colored wooden album. He eagerly called his sister, Mary, to look at the faded document.
Now the oldest Catholic school in Yolo County and the third oldest in the Sacramento area, Holy Rosary School was established in 1886 by the Holy Cross Sisters of South Bend, Indiana, as a boarding school for young girls, later becoming mixed and rewarded. full accreditation in 1920.
Known at the time as Holy Rosary Academy, the school was located on Main Street in a beautiful three-story Victorian-style structure and has become one of the best-known educational landmarks in north-central California. .
According to Dotty Pritchard, whose children attend school and who helped organize the celebration, the Academy was renowned not only for its academic excellence, outstanding music and fine arts program, but also for its spacious grounds and well appointed and its serene atmosphere.
Tragically, a fire swept through the wood-frame building in October 1952, ending the Academy.
That fire was still very much in the mind of Gloria McGrew, who was Gloria Marquez, when she was a senior at the time.
“When the school burned down in 1952, we had to go to Sacramento,” she recalls, browsing through old newspaper clippings and school history copies with Norm Silva. “We graduated, but I don’t think I ever got my class ring.”
After the fire, classes for others continued in the remaining buildings until the school was rebuilt and renamed Holy Rosary Parish School. It opened in 1956 at its current location at 505 California St.
Today, Holy Rosary School welcomes students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 in transition and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools Colleges and the Western Catholic Educational Association.
It’s important to others like Izabelle Ponce, who brought a beanie worn by her mother, Christine Hernandez, to display. The powder blue beanie was adorned with “HRS” and placed in a display case for others to view.
Ponce noted that his own daughter “has been to school since wearing diapers.”
Ponce’s daughter, Giorgina Ponce-Simm, attended school from 2 to 14 years old. On Saturday evening, Giorgina was to be a waitress at the celebratory dinner, which drew several hundred people.
But for many, the thrill of the event was viewing photographs and other memorabilia, as well as taking tours of the building to relive forgotten memories.