By Katherine Al, Marketing and Communications Specialist
Our story begins in the school year of 1976-77 with a brawny young fellow. A football player from Merivale High School, who found himself invited to a dance at Elmwood School. This was the realization of his dreams you see, as his invite came from one Cathy Anderson (née Ashton), the young woman who had stolen his heart. However, one most important detail is that this dance was to be attended only by Elmwood girls and Ashbury boys. Our hero suddenly found himself to be an outlaw. After a couple of slow dances, Cathy and her beau’s evening was rudely interrupted. Noticing an intruder in their midst, the Ashbury boys began to question him and urge him to take his leave. Begrudgingly, he surrendered, but not without the last laugh. As he left, unlike Cinderella who left behind her shoe, our prince charming left with Elmwood's school bell, as a memento of the fleeting dream of the "Elmwood ball".
Throughout the changing seasons of life that followed over the next 45 years, our hero carried the memory of the “Elmwood ball” with him. Although this love story does not end in a classic “happily ever after”, the event is remembered fondly. He took great care of the stolen bell, eventually confiding in a cousin how he felt that the bell should be returned to its rightful place. Though he feared repercussions for his act of youthful rebellion - and not just with a stern lecture from the Headmaster! Thus, he enlisted his cousin John to return the bell in his place.
On November 11, 2022 the prodigal bell’s nearly 50 year long journey reached its final conclusion, as it was returned to James Whitehouse, our head of school. John was not met with handcuffs and a warrant, but instead with warmth and humour. Let this be a lesson dear readers, honesty and integrity are rarely met with hostility. Be honourable in all your encounters, and learn from our prince. Take not what does not belong to you, but do not let anyone tell you you do not belong at the ball.