Nova Scotia

Emotions high as Holy Angels school closes

The last students at Holy Angels High School headed home Thursday, toting T-shirts, pens and mugs as a final reminder of their 126-year-old school.

The last students at Holy Angels High School headed home Thursday, toting T-shirts, pens and mugs as a final reminder of their 126-year-old school.

The all-girls school in Sydney is being sold. Efforts to save it have failed.

For students, parents and staff, the final day of the school year was an emotional time.

"I am feeling sad," said principal Theresa MacKenzie. "But at the same time, I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to be here."

School staff went through cupboards and gave away everything with a Holy Angels logo on it.

In a last symbolic gesture, student Alison Crosby taped herself to the doorway and said she didn't want to leave her beloved school.

"This is the kind of school that you want to tape yourself to," Crosby said.

Holy Angels was established in 1885. The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board ran the school, but the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame owned the property.

The community tried to save the school after the nuns announced they were selling the building. A Sydney businessman offered to buy the school and lease it back to the board, but that deal fell through.

Brenda MacMullin, from Glace Bay, is disappointed her daughter can't return to Holy Angels for Grade 11.

"This is the first year of school that I never had to wake her. She was at the bus stop at 20 [minutes] after 7 every morning and got three buses," MacMullin said.

The students say the day is bittersweet. They're happy to finish the school year but sad their school is closing.

Parents and teachers say the girls got a good education at Holy Angels and have the confidence to succeed at their next schools.

now