DECADES – 1970s


The 1970s were a decade of change.  By the end of the ’60s, the Beatles had split up, Jimi and Janis were dead, and the innocence of Woodstock had given way to the violence at Altamont Speedway.  Rock and roll was still here to stay, but now it was hard rock edging towards heavy metal, with forays into punk and disco.  David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Blondie, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Ramones, Queen, The Sex Pistols and the Bee Gees were all on our turntables.  Pierre Elliott Trudeau was Prime Minister. The decade began with the FLQ “October Crisis” and the imposition of the War Measures Act.  “Just Watch Me” and “Fuddle-Duddle” were oft-quoted.  The recession of 1974-75 was the worst one since the Great Depression.  And although the war in Vietnam finally ended, it seemed the ideals of peace and brotherly love were being pushed aside to make way for the coming “Me Generation”.  At Malvern, life moved on…

I attended Malvern from 1971 to 1975.  The school uniform at the time was blue jeans (Lees or Levis only).  Most girls had long straight hair parted in the middle, and so did most boys.  You either took band, or you took art, or you took off!   For Noreen Tomlinson’s art class, we had to bring $2. to cover the cost of the live nude models (my Mom objected to paying for that!).  Mrs. Tomlinson looked younger than most of her students, and probably got asked for ID more often than we did.  I admired the artwork of fellow students Tina Poplawski, Bonnie Bennett and Barb Mollet, and the singing voices of Dawn Aitken, Thom Cadeau and George Dillworth.   I was inspired by Mrs. Wakelin’s English classes and confounded by Mr. McEwan’s math classes (okay, maybe it was his thick Scottish brogue that confounded me!).  I lost count of the number of times Mr. Brown told us to “listen up” during Geography class.  (If you had to ask which Mr. Brown, you’re in trouble.)  Remember those cute blue bloomers, I mean gym suits? And what wouldn’t we pay now for those hockey, tennis and golf lessons?  Theatre Arts was always fun, that is until you had to get up in front of everyone.  I remember having lunch at Scott’s Chicken Villa (think KFC) and the Three Star Restaurant or, if my babysitting earnings had run out, in the basement cafeteria.  How many Malvernites tasted their first beer at either the Benny or the Alpine, perhaps before a school dance featuring “Fludd” or “A Foot in Cold Water”?

Thought you might be interested in a few updates on former students and staff from the ‘70s era:


Matthew Jocelyn (1971-76):  Matthew was Malvern student council president for several years in the mid-1970s.  After Malvern, Matthew attended Mount Allison University in New Brunswick and Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar. Matthew lived in France for many years, directing and teaching theatre and opera.  For his work there, he was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2008.  Over the years Matthew has worked in many countries, including France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Germany and Canada.  He had a part in the film The Man in the Iron Mask with Leonardo DiCaprio and in 2006 he directed The Liar at the Stratford Festival.  In 2009 Matthew was named Artistic and General Director of the Canadian Stage Company in Toronto.  Matthew was an inspirational keynote speaker at Malvern’s 2010 Commencement ceremonies.

Marthe Jocelyn (1970-74): Matthew’s sister Marthe did grades 9, 11 and 12 at Malvern (she spent Grade 10 in an English boarding school.)  The mother of two daughters, Marthe lived in New York City for many years but now resides in Stratford, Ontario.  She is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books (Check out Mable Riley, winner of the 2005 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, or the contemporary teen novel Would You.)

Eric Reguly (1973 -1976 ):  Eric earned an Honours B.A. in English and French Literature and a Masters in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario.  He has worked for a number of publications, including The Times of London, The Financial Post in New York and London, The Financial Times of Canada and The Globe and Mail in Toronto.  He co-hosted a daily business program on Report on Business Television and is a regular guest on CBC Radio.  He has won several awards for his work, including the 2007 Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism.  Since 2007, Eric has been The Globe and Mail’s European business correspondent, based in Rome, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Briar Duckworth (1970-1975):  Still crazy after all these years.  Divorced.  Father of teenaged son and daughter.  Survivor.  World traveller.  High priest of sales.  Front man for  rock band the VodkaSonics – they play in the Malvern area sometimes, so check local listings.

Dave Dignard (1971-1975):  Dave is married (we won’t say how many times), with two children and seven grandchildren. He was with the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division for over 30 years and recently retired.  In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and fishing.

Bonnie Leigh-Bennett (1972-1976):  Bonnie was a talented artist (some of her work can be seen in the 1974-75 Muse) and an outstanding triathlete.  If you’re a “Beacher”, you probably saw Bonnie running on the boardwalk.  Sadly, Bonnie passed away in Toronto in January, 2009, from cancer.

Tyrone Banavage (1973-78):  Tyrone is married with two kids and lives in Scarborough.  He is the On-Street Co-ordinator for the Toronto Parking Authority.  Tyrone says that he often runs into former Malvernites, usually in the beer store.  Onward Malvern!

Frank Lenzi (1969-1974):  An owner of a tool and die-making company, Frank is now semi-retired.  He is married with two children and lives in Cambridge, Ontario.  Frank enjoys flying his own plane and wintering at his condo in Florida.

Kevin Petherick (1969-1974):  The “King of Scarborough Road”, Kevin was a multi-talented individual.  He passed away unexpectedly in October 2008.


James D. Hogarth (Principal of Malvern from 1971 to 1976, and later principal of North Toronto C.I.):  In his black leather jacket and sunglasses, he brought cool to the school.  Mr. Hogarth passed away August 1, 2008 in North York.

Lucile Wakelin (English, 1969-88) and Gerald Dunlevie (Vice-principal, 1970-74):

Mrs. Wakelin earned a Masters in 1991 and, while in her 70s, a doctorate in Medieval Studies at U of T in 1998.  Not to be outdone, Mr. Dunlevie earned his PhD in Italian Studies at U of T in 2005, at age 76.  He established the Lucile Wakelin Dunlevie Graduate Award in Italian Studies in honour of his wife.  Mr. Dunlevie is quoted as saying “Education is a contagious passion that is communicated from teacher to student.”  (And also from teacher to teacher, it seems!)

Noreen Tomlinson (Art 1971-1974 ):  Noreen Taylor, formerly Tomlinson, is an OISE alumna and a Toronto-based painter. She exhibits on a regular basis and her works can be found in a number of public and private collections and on the covers of several literary books.  She has been an arts administrator and educator, and was the first Artistic Program Director at the Claude Watson School for the Arts and Chair of the Art Department at William Lyon MacKenzie Secondary School.  In 2000 Noreen received an Arbor Award from U of T for her work in advancing the Centre for the Study of Drama.  From 2004 to 2010, Noreen was Chair of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.  She is currently a director of The National Ballet of Canada, Vice-President of Windfields Farm and also a trustee of the E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund.  Noreen created the Charles Taylor Foundation in honour of her late husband, a celebrated Globe and Mail journalist, essayist and horse breeder.  The foundation funds an annual award for literacy, the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.

Roger Mesley (Art 1971-1973): Roger Mesley has been teaching at Carleton University in Ottawa since 1981, specializing in 19th and early 20th Century art.  He has headed the Art History unit, as both Chair and as Assistant Director.  In the 1980s he was Curator of the University’s art collection, which led to the publication of his book Art Carleton.  His hobbies include wine-tasting and record collecting (what – not art collecting?!?)

Maureen Mogan (English):  Miss Mogan was tiny but tough.  She passed away in Toronto in April 2008 at age 70, but will live on in the memories of many of her former students.

Bob Rowland (Industrial Arts): Sorry to report that Mr. Rowland passed away in July, 2009, just a few months after Hillary, his beloved wife of over 50 years.  Mr. Rowland attended Malvern C.I. (as did his wife and, later, his five children) and then returned and taught Industrial Arts here for many years.  He also coached badminton, swimming, hockey and tennis.  He retired from Don Mills C.I. in 1989.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for the ‘70s decade page, please feel free to contact me at

Sandra Burk

1970s Decade Coordinator

Malvern Red and Black Society

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