By George Nashen:

Baron Byng Class of '39. Left side: Classmates Eddie Wolkove, Nina Cass, George Nashen and his wife. Right side: Mildred Leiter, Samuel Levy and his wife.

Baron Byng Class of ’39. Left side: Classmates Eddie Wolkove, Nina Cass, George Nashen and his wife. Right side: Mildred Leiter, Samuel Levy and his wife.

 

Once again, as we’ve done year after year, the notable Baron Byng high school graduation class of 1939 met recently for our annual reunion, this one being the 77th anniversary.

The sad news is that our numbers are dwindling, as we reach the age of 93. However, six graduates met recently at a West End breakfast place and we hope to continue to meet as long as possible, even if only two of us are remaining.

Mamie Trager had this to say: “It’s a miracle that we are still here.”

Sam Levy said, “We produced many medal winners in various fields.”

From Nina Cass, “I am happy to be here.”

Eddie Wolkove, who has been the reunion organizer for more than fifty years, stated, “We are truly blessed.”

Mildred Leiter added, “Although our numbers are dwindling it is still a pleasure to be here.”

George Nashen, Class of '39

George Nashen, Class of ’39

As for me (George Nashen), “What a wonderful feeling it is to meet with classmates from 80+  years ago. Although there are a few more classmates still around, the inability of them meeting with us varies from distance in other parts of the world whereas other ones are closer but unable to attend because of illness, either physical or emotional.”

Baron Byng High School. Established in 1921 by the Protestant School Board of Greater Montréal, Baron Byng High School taught mostly Jewish students and has several well-known graduates including Irving Layton and Mordecai Richler. Circa 1970. Source : Jewish Public Library. Historical Photographs Collection, 88-107.

Baron Byng High School.
Established in 1921 by the Protestant School Board of Greater Montréal, Baron Byng High School taught mostly Jewish students and has several well-known graduates including Irving Layton and Mordecai Richler.
Circa 1970.
Source : Jewish Public Library. Historical Photographs Collection, 88-107.

The Baron Byng class of 39 included:

  • Mortimor “Michael” Fainstadt, a Montreal City Councillor from the Drapeau era
  • Mel Dobrin of the Seinberg empire
  • Sollie Goldfarb, who hosted many reunions at his country estate in Plantagenet, Ontario
  • Jacob Singer, George’s closest friend, who went MIA laying mines in the North Sea in 1944
  • Sylvia Bercovitch, noted Montreal artist

I recall some other interesting tidbits from way back then:

  • Favourite teacher: Mr. RA Patterson, the nicest person
  • Favourite schoolyard activity: chasing girls
  • We all lived close by and walked to school
  • Baron Byng was made even more famous by Mordechai Richler
  • Who was Baron Byng? He was Governor General in 1923, the year I, and most of my classmates were born. He was a WWI hero.

CJN Article about 65th Class reunion

Baron Byng High School Museum

 

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