By Kathy Yanchus
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board’s Education Centre has been renamed the Father Kyran Kennedy Catholic Education Centre in honour of the long-serving Catholic trustee.
In his opening address on Dec. 4, re-elected board chair Pat Daly said he would be bringing the motion forward at the next board meeting, which took place on Dec. 18.
“His contribution needs to be recognized, not only as an expression of gratitude to him, but as well, to ensure that ‘how’ he served as a Catholic trustee is remembered by those who follow in his footsteps.”
Father Kennedy passed away in September after serving as trustee for more than 40 years. He was not only a veteran politician, but served in a number of parishes over the years and was himself a product of the Hamilton Catholic school system.
“Father Kennedy, perhaps more than any individual, understood the important role of Catholic school trustees and Catholic school boards,” said Daly, a longtime friend and colleague.
Kennedy’s contributions to Catholic education were immeasurable, added the board’s chairperson.
“He was at all times well prepared, respectful of his colleagues, trustees, and administrators, totally committed to the well-being of staff and students, and relentless in his efforts to promote the mission of Catholic education.”
Renaming the Mulberry Street education centre will ensure his legacy and example will never be forgotten, said Daly.
The recommendation was supported by a number of former directors of education, including Patrick Brennan, Jerry Ponikvar, Jim Daly, Len Varrasso and Marcel Castura, who wrote, “It is fitting that the centre of Catholic education for Hamilton be named after someone who provided outstanding Catholic-Christian witness and ensured the best interest of students and Catholic education always remained at the centre of his work.
“We wholeheartedly and with deep respect support the recommendation that the Catholic Education Centre be named the Father Kyran Kennedy Catholic Education Centre.”
The recommendation, according to a report presented to trustees at Tuesday’s meeting, also garnered the support of current board staff, including director of education, Pat Amos, and all members of the senior administration.
A ceremony, including representation of Kennedy’s family, will be planned to mark the naming.