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New bronze statue celebrates founder of St. Joe's

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WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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A special celebration was held at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute Tuesday to honor the founder of the school. If you drive by the school on Kenmore Avenue in Kenmore you will see a large, bronze statue of Saint John Baptist de La Salle.  

“[We've] been here 155 years. It took 155 years to put La Salle here,” declared Robert Scott, President of St. Joe’s.

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Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
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Inside St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute lobby a painting of Saint John Baptist de La Salle is on the wall.

Scott said the statue has a very simple meaning, a "visual reminder" of the mission of all-male Catholic high school, established in 1861.

“Because he founded schools for poor boys and the idea is to be a big brother, to mentor them, to guide them, to teach them, to help them learn how to prayer,” explained Scott.

The school held a Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Malone, after which the Bishop presided at the dedication of the statue. The school conducted fund raising to get the statue, which is located in front outside the school's chapel. There was volunteer support to create a meditation space. 

“We found a man from up Toronto, who had put a statue for one of our schools in Toronto. This man took it an artist in Italy because they’re not done around here, and then there were several renderings that were done over the course of perhaps four, five, six months until we finally settled on one,” Scott explained.  

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Credit WBFO News photo by Marian Hetherly
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Outside St. Joe's on Kenmore Avenue.

The bronze statue of de La Salle features two school boys – one sitting down and the other standing. Scott would not reveal the cost of the statue only indicating it was "expensive." 

“It’s going to be here for the future and future Lasallians to really remember who they are and what he asked us to do,” Scott remarked.