The History

History of St. Margaret’s School

A School for Girls

As St. John’s School (Elora) grew in numbers, the idea of offering the same academic opportunity for girls began to take shape. Jim Chalmers joined a new steering committee to develop a plan for a new school founded on the belief that it would help each girl reach her maximum potential and “make a substantial contribution to the world of today and tomorrow.” 

On May 16, 1975, during the International Year of Women, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario passed the St. Margaret School (Elora) Act. The Board of Governors held their first meeting soon afterwards, on June 25, 1975. They decided that a nursing home would be purchased and converted to classrooms.  With that, the new St. Margaret’s School opened in September of the same year.  Named after Queen Margaret of Scotland, the school’s motto was “Faith with Virtue, Virtue with Knowledge.”  Mr. MacNelles (“Mac”) P. Hardy was chosen as St. Margaret’s first headmaster, and worked diligently over the next few years to establish the School as a unique educational opportunity for girls. 

Although both Schools were distinct and separate, they were also interconnected. For example, while the boys had morning chapel in the Church from Monday to Thursday, the girls had afternoon chapel on the same days. The boys and girls, as well as faculty and staff, came together for Friday afternoon Evensong. The two schools shared some faculty members and on occasion special programs. Furthermore, the Church organist was also the choir director for the two schools.

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