Toronto District School Board War Veterans’ Association

Cenotaph at Toronto’s Old City Hall, Remembrance Day, 1930 (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 41, Item 250)

In 1931, Mayor William James Stewart asked the Toronto Board of Education war veterans to take part in the Remembrance Day service at city hall. Thus began an annual tradition.

In 1936, the Toronto Board of Education War Veterans’ Association received its charter from the province. By constitution, membership is limited to any person who is “employed permanently or has been employed regularly by the Board and who has had active service in any of the armed forces or auxiliary services or in similar allied forces or services.”

Members have included employees of all departments of the Board: services, trades, administration, teachers, principals, superintendents, and directors.

When the school boards amalgamated, the Association changed its name from Toronto Board of Education War Veterans’ Association to Toronto District School Board War Veterans’ Association. Meetings moved from 155 College Street to 5050 Yonge Street.

The Association was organized by World War I war veterans. In time World War I veterans passed away and only World War II veterans made up and still make up the membership. Membership is a fraction of what it was and is declining rapidly. Ways are being considered to perpetuate the Association in some form.

Toronto Branch thanks Anton Kulchin, president, and the 2006 executive, who offered encouragement and direction when Toronto Branch sought permission to photograph and index the memorials.