‘It’s an end of an era’, Sydney, C. B.

April 4, 2012

Hundreds of people gathered outside of Holy Angels High on Saturday waiting to buy some of the furniture and souvenirs on sale inside.

Greg McNeil -CapeBretonPost Published on April 1, 2012

Contents of Holy Angels go up for sale

SYDNEY— Bargain hunters and nostalgia seekers gathered by the hundreds Saturday to sort through remnants of 127 years of history atHolyAngelsHigh Schooland Convent.

The crowds peaked in the hundreds at the contents sale at the former school inSydney’s north end before its 9 a.m. start, and many more people throughout the day made their way in search of their personal piece of history.

“I was looking for bookcases and I did get one. I’m very happy about that,” said Tammy MacNeil, a 1996 Holy Angels graduate.

“It’s something that I really wanted. I’m a librarian now and I actually got interested in becoming a librarian because I worked in the archives here when I was a high school student.”

Because of the mass interest in the sale, tickets were handed out early in the morning and then people were admitted 50 at a time

MacNeil picked up her ticket at 7:30 a.m. and entered the sale with mixed emotions as part of the first group

“When I first saw the ad that these things were for sale, I didn’t know if I should be happy that I had the chance to own a bit of this history or be really sad because there’s no going back now.”

The school gymnasium featured large pieces like cabinets, desks and grand pianos. There were also boxes of yearbooks and fixtures.

Another room featured religious articles, statues and paintings, while yard sale items were placed in another area.

“The memory I wanted was gone when I got there,” said Rose Marie MacLean, a 1967 Holy Angels graduate.

“I was a music student and the teacher had this cabinet. Each drawer in it was for a specific grade.

Some people were in search of bargains, while curiosity brought others to the door.

“I was just puttering around today so I stopped in to view it,” said Debbie Kyte, one of the first to be admitted.

“I just wanted to see what they had inside,” added Charlotte Brown

Beverly MacGillivary, whose company is handling the sale for the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, said it was mostly memories that attracted people from across the Maritimes.

“It’s people who were sentimental because of attending the high school and people who remember the convent being here,” MacGillivary said late Saturday afternoon.

“It’s an end of an era, no question. It’s sad to think this will no longer exist because the school is a wonderful building and still in great shape, but everything changes.” 

The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board had been leasing the school building from the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame before the congregation announced intentions to sell the property.

Supporters of the school hoped it could be saved but the provincial government stated it didn’t have the $750,000 to buy the school and fund the renovations required to bring it up to standard.

The school’s final class graduated from the school in June.

The sale continues today.

gmcneil@cbpost.com

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