Wellesley PS seeking recipes for cookbook marking 50th anniversary

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For 50 years, students and staff have been filling classrooms and walking the halls at Wellesley Public School on Queen’s Bush Road. With a golden anniversary to mark, a party is in the works.

Opened for the 1966-1967 school year, the school has seen significant growth in student population and in square footage since then, but some things remain the same – the spirit of community, for instance. With that in mind, the committee organizing next spring’s anniversary activities wants to put together a cookbook chock full of recipes, celebrating the history of the school, its current and former students and staff, and village residents.

Jeanette Pretorius is the crossing guard and a volunteer at the school. Although her children are almost in high school and don’t attend Wellesley PS any longer, she still has a love for the community and the school as a hub.

“A cookbook is such a fun idea. I was involved with the last one, and I go to Wellesley Mennonite Church and we have people that have been in the area for three or more generations. I just started talking to them and asking what they can share,” she said.

The committee is looking for as many recipes as they can get, from anyone who has one to share. It doesn’t matter if you are 80 or eight.

Margit Fritsch and Barb Nowak display some of the artifacts found in the Wellesley Historical Society archives while looking for additions to go in the community cookbook. Wellesley PS is celebrating their 50th anniversary and are on the hunt for recipes to put in the cookbook, celebrating the milestone anniversary for the school building. [Liz Bevan / The Observer]
Margit Fritsch and Barb Nowak display some of the artifacts found in the Wellesley Historical Society archives while looking for additions to go in the community cookbook. Wellesley PS is celebrating their 50th anniversary and are on the hunt for recipes to put in the cookbook, celebrating the milestone anniversary for the school building. [Liz Bevan / The Observer]
“The idea of a cookbook is so awesome because it will be filled with people’s favourites. We have a great population here and you know there are awesome recipes out there,” she said, adding that cookbook profits will be going right back into the school, benefitting the students. “People can get behind this and people can get behind supporting the school.”

The group has already received a few recipes, but are looking for much, much more to fill the pages with classics and original creations.

Wellesley PS principal Brent Morgan says the recipes can be for any kind of meal.

“We want all different types: appetizers, beverages, soups, salads, whatever the community wants to see in there. All varieties,” he said, adding that food is something that brings people together. “There is a lot of history here and people love to share and they love to eat. Going into the 50 year celebrations, it is a pretty big milestone.”

What started as a hunt for recipes has turned into an exploration of history for Pretorius and the committee.

“The more we found out, the more we wanted to include,” she said. “We are looking for people who have been here for a long time so we can put their names in the cookbook and everyone will recognize them.”

Along with some great eats, the cookbook will also include pictures and pieces of history in its pages, making it all the more interesting for readers.

The goal is to get the cookbooks printed and ready for sale just in time for Christmas shopping, so the deadline for recipe submissions is Nov. 8. The books will cost $10.

Anyone with recipes they want to add, can email them to WPScookbook@hotmail.com, or drop off a written copy at the school’s front desk.

The school will be celebrating the 50th anniversary on Apr. 22 with a party and historic displays with help from the Wellesley Historical Society.

Liz Bevan
Liz Bevan is a reporter and photographer for The Observer. She has written for community newspapers in western Canada and has been published in national newspapers and magazines.