Memories like birds, fleeting--one must grasp and hold in heart's hand.
The time came for the groundbreaking itself, originally thought to be problematic if it rained. As predicted, May 5th began with hard rain which was still falling when the time for our big celebration was to begin, but this did not stop us. The whole celebration was held in the gym instead of the soccer field—the planned site.
After all the usual formalities were honored, i.e. introductions and speeches, the MC, Ms. Lisa Cooney calmly and deftly moved the program on to the May Crowning with the statue of Mary close to the stage. Our senior Katie Schawe, after scooting past the bishop (the sage was pretty crowded) placed the crown on the Mary’s head. This was accompanied by the Panda Tones singing of Gounod’s Ave Maria. Katie would read her lovely speech that earned her the honor of crowning Mary at the final Mass of the year a week later.
Next came the ceremony of groundbreaking. Tim Moeller, our maintenance man, solved the problem of the earth turning indoors by spreading a turf rug near the platform, putting a substantial heap of dirt on it, standing the necessary number of gold spades on the heap, and crowning the spades with yellow construction hardhats. This made the groundbreaking remarkably easy for the four groups who turned the earth there, and just as easy for all of us in the audience (on the floor and in the bleachers) to feel a part of the occasion. The applause after each designated group had its turn at the spades was enthusiastic, especially after the Student Council members had theirs. The four digs were accomplished thusly: 1) Bishop Foys, Sr. M. Ethel, SND Provincial Superior, the clergy and other special guests; 2) the Board of Directors and a few more special guests; 3) the academic department chairs along with supporting staff; 4) members of the Student Council with their moderator and Lori Alcantara representing the Panda Parent Club.
The school has broken ground several times over the years--July 1875, April 16, 1961, May 19, 1995, May 5, 2008, and most recently on May 5, 2017. Who knows was wonders the next one will bring!?
Unfortunately, we have none for July of 1875, but here's one from 1961:
and the one from 2017: