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St. Thomas College, North Battleford

Entrance of St. Thomas More College, Saskatoon.
University of Saskatchewan Archives A-6497

The Oblates of St. Mary’s Province founded the Oblate House of Studies in Battleford in 1932. As the junior complement to the education of their seminarians, they also established a boys’ classical college named St. Thomas College. In the fall of 1932 the college opened with twenty-two students and offered Grades 9 to 12, plus the first two years of a BA program (in affiliation with the University of Ottawa). In 1946 the Oblates decided to build new college facilities in North Battleford, and the city offered them a site overlooking the North Saskatchewan River valley. In October 1950, the new St. Thomas College opened with 120 students. In 1966 St. Thomas College became part of the North Battleford Separate School system, and a shift in the student population occurred: most were now day students. Enrolment peaked in 1975 with 425 students, of whom 90 were boarders. The change in direction in education and the decline in demand for boarding schools for boys led to the closure of St. Thomas College in the summer of 1984, and to the transfer of the student body and teaching staff to the new John Paul II Collegiate. The former college facilities are now part of North Battleford’s Don Ross Community Centre.

Nestor Gregoire

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