I hope you all heard the good news last week on Groundhog Day – apparently Wiarton Willie says it will be an early spring! I also heard that certain other rodents have disputed his claim, but I am going along with the little furry guy from the Bruce Peninsula. Early spring – bring it on!
We also received some other hopeful news late this week. The Ministry of Education has announced that schools will be allowed to resume high-contact sports and activities effective immediately. This is a welcome update, as we prepare to resume and roll-out many of the activities that were paused since our return after the holidays. Teachers and students will be organizing and planning for the return to co-curricular activities throughout the month and, hopefully, our spring slate of sports and clubs will return to normal. We are really looking forward to the sights and sounds of bouncing balls, shouts, and laughter all around us. There is such a thing as too quiet sometimes!
On another optimistic note, we are moving forward with our plans for Founder’s Day on February 23rd. Our Grade 8s (the Class of 2022) will be recognized during our traditional evening reception at The London Hunt and Country Club in the company of their parents and teachers. All safety measures and precautions will be in place for this special event. Like you, we sincerely hope that more opportunities for such gatherings with our school community will lie ahead as the spring approaches. A committee of great parent volunteers has been working with our Advancement team to organize an outdoor evening event for school families at Storybook Gardens on February 27th. We hope to see many of you there for an evening of skating and family fun.
Speaking of family fun, the Family Day long weekend is approaching soon and we hope you have plans for some rest and relaxation. If there is anything that the past two years has taught us, it is the importance and blessing of families in all their many forms with all their many members. We hope our Matthews Hall family is also a dimension of yours and that you will enjoy the time together – and maybe even have a getaway planned! If you are traveling that weekend, don’t forget that classes resume on Wednesday, February 23rd – the birthday of our school’s founder, Kate Matthews.
As we celebrate our families, Valentine’s Day, and the promise of spring, we will also celebrate the life and legacy of our school’s namesake with our students. Many people pass through the halls of our school each year, but most do not know who Miss Matthews was. Each year in February, we strive to keep her memory alive in the minds of our students whose school would not exist if it hadn’t been for her. At 104 years young (!), Miss Matthews’ School has endured for more than a century – passing through some of the most challenging moments in history. Even at the present hour, in the midst of a global pandemic, our “little school that could” looks forward to the future with the optimism and creativity of Dr. Matthews herself.
If you are “draggin’ your wagon” this February, look to the legacy of Kate Matthews for inspiration as, together, we strive to sustain our kids (and ourselves!) as optimistic learners and adventurers. I often reflect on the fact that our school was forged during a difficult and frightening time in history – and yet here we are.
And here we shall be – all the noise, chaos, and distractions notwithstanding. Patient endurance attains to all things.
Let’s keep remembering this as we implore Wiarton Willie to keep his promise!
Ric Anderson, Head of School