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Hall of Merit 2015

The following individuals were inducted into the Hall of Merit this year: Rev. Eric Maclean, S.J. '60 (1943 - 2007), Mr. Bruce Kelly '63 and the Honourable James (Jim) Flaherty '66 (1949 - 2014).

On behalf of the Selection Committee, we are pleased to announce that, after due and serious deliberation, and faced with the arduous task of having to select three individuals from among the many deserving candidates nominated, the Committee members have made a decision.

Rev. Eric Maclean, S.J. '60 (1943 - 2007)

Since its inception, Loyola High School has benefitted from visionary and outstanding leaders and one of the brighter stars in that constellation was Eric Maclean, S.J.

A former student, teacher, Chaplain, Principal and President of Loyola, Eric Maclean embodied the best of what a Jesuit education in general, and Loyola High School education, in particular, represent.

Bright, well versed in both the arts and finance, continuously curious to learn new things, he was a wonderfully extroverted character, blessed with a disarmingly self-deprecating sense of humour. Over the years, Eric Maclean not only served Loyola High School well in many different capacities, but also, at a critical juncture in its history, helped fashion and realize the vision that brought it to where it is today.

Building on the groundwork laid by his predecessor, Len Altilia, S.J., Eric Maclean fostered the evolution and development of Jesuit collaboration with lay counterparts serving on the Loyola High School Board of Governors. He helped Loyola focus on and invigorate the Jesuit characteristics of secondary education through closer links with the Jesuit Secondary Education Association and through the introduction of the Kairos program and the implementation of a Jesuit Education Survey for the High School. He oversaw a major change in the faculty as an older generation of teachers retired. He piloted the purchase of the "southland" fields and thanks to his canny business sense, later sold a part of those assets at a healthy profit to the benefit of the Loyola High School Foundation, thus generating additional bursaries. Above all, his presence and participation were critical to the vision, daring and ultimate success, of the "Reaching New Heights" Capital Campaign that resulted in a major physical and pedagogical transformation for the school.

Given his many-faceted, yet unquestionably singular contribution to the development of Loyola High School, the Selection Committee has recommended that Eric Maclean, S.J., be inducted to the Loyola High School Hall of Merit.

Mr. Bruce Kelly '63

As a teacher and volunteer extraordinaire, Bruce was unwavering in his commitment to those young men and women whose lives were constant struggles to integrate into society. He made a difference in the lives of those whom he taught "beyond the curriculum".

Bruce Kelly taught in the public school system for over twenty-five years, in challenging and demanding classroom environments. In effect, Bruce taught kids who had dropped out of the public education mainstream and for whom his classes were a last chance, so to speak. He taught basic curricular courses in the morning and devoted his afternoons to sharing with his students, his skills in carpentry and furniture refinishing. The link he established with them and the trust they put in him, went beyond the classroom. For many, Bruce was their only resource and their only go-to person. On more than one occasion, Bruce used his own money to bail a student out of jail.

Now retired, Bruce and his wife Brenda have, over the last eight years, volunteered for the "Fondation d'Entraide en Santé des Bénévoles de Ste-Anne". The Foundation runs the Thrift Shops for NOVA (formerly the Victorian Order of Nurses), raises money exclusively for Nova nurses and is by far, their major funder.

Bruce has acted as collector, dispatcher and distributor for the Foundation. He is actively involved three to four days a week in organizing, overseeing and actively participating in the pickup and delivery of donated furniture and clothing that constitute the main source of income for the Foundation. So vital is his presence to the operation that he rarely takes more than one week's vacation at a time.

For his sustained dedication to, and support of those in need, for the quiet and modest manner in which he has carried this out over the last forty years, for his living testament to being a "Man for Others", the Selection Committee has recommended that Bruce Kelly be inducted in the Loyola High School Hall of Merit.

The Honourable James (Jim) Flaherty '66 (1949 - 2014)

Canada's Minister of Finance from 2006 - 2014, this caring individual inspired all Canadians by his life of service to others.

Though small in stature, Jim Flaherty played a giant role during his years at Loyola High School between 1962 and 1966. Whether it was as class president, or as a member of the Sodality, or as a stalwart member of Loyola's "Reach for the Top" team that competed successfully week after week on CBC television in Montreal, or centering a senior hockey team line flanked by Dave Humes and Barry Fisher, Jim Flaherty was the quintessential Loyola High School student. In addition to his many extra-curricular activities, Jim Flaherty excelled academically in the honours-arts program - a stellar preparation for his future contribution as Canada's Minister of Finance. It is no wonder that upon graduation from Loyola High School, he was offered and accepted a full scholarship to attend Princeton University.

Jim was very aware of all that Loyola had done for him and he once told a reporter that Loyola High School formed him intellectually, physically and spiritually and that he carried the Jesuit principles of hard work, self-reliance and service to others with him for the rest of his life.

Jim Flaherty was more than one of Canada's great Ministers of Finance. He was a faithful, present and supportive spouse and an engaged father. Inspired by the life-threatening challenges and subsequent health-related problems endured by his son John, Jim readily acknowledged that "... John gave us context about what really matters." As a result of living through, and with, this challenge with John and the rest of the family, Jim worked tirelessly to promote the cause of disabled persons. He was instrumental in the creation of the Abilities Centre that opened its doors in 2012 in his home riding of Whitby. He lent his support to the Special Olympics, as did two of his sons, Galen and Quinn, both coaches for the movement. As Minister of Finance, he created the Registered Disability Savings Program, which makes use of the tax system to create more independence for the disabled.

Shortly after he had been appointed Minister of Finance, Loyola High School invited Jim Flaherty to give the commencement address to the graduating class of 2007. True to himself and to the formation he had received at Loyola forty years before, Jim focused his address on the graduates' social responsibilities to society.

Given his exemplary leadership and his consistent adherence, both in his public and personal life, to the principles and practices instilled in him as a student at Loyola, the Selection Committee has recommended that Jim Flaherty be inducted to the Loyola High School Hall of Merit.

Fr. Michael Murray, S.J.

Mr. William Hlibchuk
Board of Governors