Several students from Baron Byng’s class of 1939 eventually settled in Cote Saint-Luc in the late 50s and early 60s. They became the pioneers of modern CSL following their return from service in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Read about two of them, Eddie Wolkove and my father, George Nashen in this article from the Canadian Jewish News:  2014-11-13 CJN Baron Byng.

The fabled Baron Byng class of ’39 included such notables such as Mortimor “Michael” Fainstadt, City Councillor in the Jean Drapeau administration, Eddie Wolkove and Mel Dobrin of the Steinberg grocery chain empire.

Sollie Goldfarb hosted many reunions at his country estate in Plantagenet, Ontario.

My father’s closest friend, Jacob Singer, went MIA while laying mines in the North Sea in 1944.

Sylvia Bercovitch is a noted Montreal artist.

My father recounts that the favorite teacher of the class was Mr. R.A. Patterson. “He was the nicest person.”

And what was the favourite school yard pastime according to my dad? “Chasing girls!”

“All my classmates lived close by and walked to school,” my father recounts.  The school building still stands at 4251 St. Urbain St.

Baron Byng High School is notable because it had a virtual who’s who of Canada’s academic, arts, business and political leaders. It has been immortalized in many books, including many by Mordecai Richler.

It was named after Julian Hedworth George Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy, the Governor General of Canadafrom 1921 to 1926. Byng was a World War I hero at the battle of Vimy Ridge, an important battle that many historians, like Pierre Berton, believe formed Canada’s national character. Byng was also involved in a political scandal dealing with the succession of the Canadian Government, the King-Byng Affair in 1926.

From the 1920s through the 1950s, the school predominantly catered to Montreal’s lower-income Jewish population. From the 1980s onwards, the building is the home of the non-profit community organization Sun Youth (Jeunesse au soleil)

CJN Article about 65th Class reunion

Canadian Jewish News | Nov. 17, 2011 | Click to enlarge

Canadian Jewish News | Nov. 17, 2011 | Click to enlarge