The Institute of the Sisters of Service of Canada

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Peace River (1950-1981)

In preparation for the establishment of a Catholic school, two Sisters arrived in Peace River in September 1950 to take a census of the Catholic population in this northwest Alberta community and the surrounding area. The Sisters also organized religion classes, home and hospital visits as well as formed a choir and taught music lessons.

In the fall of 1953, the Sisters taught in the two classrooms of the temporary Catholic school. A year later, Immaculate Conception Separate School with four classrooms was built and enrolment grew. Four more classrooms were added in 1958 as well as a science lab, a typing room and a teachers’ staff lounge. Sister Ruth Mill, the first principal of Immaculate Conception separate school (1957-1960), was succeeded by Sister Marge Denis, who was instrumental in establishing the Glenmary High School, which opened in January 1963.

As superior of the mission (1956-1967), Sister Rita Sullivan continued the tradition of visiting the sick and always had a bag of treats for visiting children. Later she nursed at the Peace River Auxiliary Hospital (July 1972-March 1980). Sister Marilyn Gillespie taught in the separate school (1980-1981). The mission closed in 1981.

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