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Father Turcotte School holds its biggest birthday party

Students of Father Turcotte School lead fellow students, faculty, and alumni in song during the ceremony that celebrates 50 years of Father Turcotte school in operation. Photo taken by Phil Wood.

Father Turcotte School opened on Franklin Ave. the year man walked on the moon.

It housed 14 staff alongside some 300 students.

Opened in 1969, hundreds gathered to celebrate Father Turcotte’s 50 years in operation.

Former students and teachers joined present students, staff, parents and Fort McMurray Catholic School District (FMCSD) trustees.

Numerous dignitaries from the local faith-based community and MLA Tany Yao also attended.

Deputy mayor and FMCSD trustee Keith McGrath extended birthday greetings from the RMWB.

“Father Turcotte School has been a place where everyone is welcomed and supported. The school has a history of welcoming students from other neighbourhoods and schools, [and] I know the spirit of compassion and community will continue for years to come.”

Faculty and staff at Father Turcotte teach children from grades one to six.

Upon graduation, kids of the feeder school go on to attend Father Mercredi or Holy Trinity.

Chair of the FMCSD board of trustees, Paula Galenzoski called Father Turcotte a training ground for today’s leaders.

“We have been and continue to be blessed by the legacy and longevity of Catholic education in our community and province, and make no mistake this is precisely because of people like Father Turcotte.”

The namesake of the school, Father Turcotte devoted his life to spiritual and Indigenous communities.

School alumni recalled with fondness his numerous dogsled treks to Fort Smith.

During the ceremony, those gathered enjoyed student-led multicultural dances and musical performances.

They also had a chance to celebrate the “biggest birthday party in Fort McMurray” with a giant cake.