The Institute of the Sisters of Service of Canada

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Christian Island (1941-1968)

Sisters Agnes Black and Dorothy Daley arrived to teach in the Christian Island Roman Catholic Indian Day School on November 19, 1941 through the efforts of Father Oscar Labelle, S.J., and Dr. J.M. Bennett, Catholic School Inspector, who had opened the school in 1937. Located on the southeast corner of Georgian Bay, Christian Island — originally called St. Joseph’s Island — is the home of the Beausoleil First Nation of the Ojibwa.

The Sister companion/housekeeper looked after the house, the altar, choir in the church, supervised the Ladies’ Club and taught music and home economics in the school. After 1943, the Sisters were in charge of prayers in the church on Sundays.

As the teacher, Sister Mary Jackson (1943-1945) did much to set up the traditions of the Roman Catholic school, leaving written records of social and school events, the fall fair, school concerts and 4-H club.

On 1960, fire destroyed the old school. It was replaced by a prefabricated building and a new residence for the Sisters, who left the island in June 1968.

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