South Perth Centennial School’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

South Perth Centennial School has taught 3 generations of our family!

It started with my mother, Heather Benner (Bilyea), who was in the original kindergarten class of 1967. Then myself, Ashley Swarthout (Benner), starting in 1991. Now my two children, Liam and Hayden Swarthout who started in 2010, attend school there.

Students, parents and teachers of South Perth Centennial School maintain a strong school and community relationship that we hope will continue and prosper for many years to come.

Please join us in celebrating 50 fantastic years! It will begin with a Teacher Alumni Luncheon on Friday, June 16th from 11:00-1:00 p.m. The ticket cost and place is yet to be announced.

On Friday June 16th, there will be a night of dinner and entertainment. It will begin with a Meet and Greet at 4:00 p.m., and a chicken dinner starting at 5:00 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by past alumni, as well as by Steph and Dustin from Deep Waters. The meal will be catered by Pine Ridge BBQ. Tickets are available for purchase from Dowler Karn, Cascade Cleaners, The Glo, the Kirkton store, or in the office at South Perth Centennial School. Ticket prices are $20 for adults or $10 for children (under 10 years of age).

On Saturday, June 17th, there will be an Open House at South Perth Centennial School from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Please come and reconnect with


We are also selling special 50th Anniversary t-shirts that can be purchased by filling out an order form at the school or by accessing it online.

As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration, don’t forget to join in the fun at South Perth Centennial School’s annual Family Funfest. This year it will be held on Thursday, May 18th from 5-8:00 p.m with a BBQ and much more!

Historical Background:

South Perth Centennial School in Blanchard Township began with the union of 16 one room schools. It was in the year 1965 that the Township Area School Board was formed to build a centrally located school and to include the 16 rural one room school houses.

The location of the lot of land was purchased from Mr. King for the sum of $12,000.00. Mr. Norris Athill (recently deceased) was one of the original township members and recalled that he had made the motion that all meetings be adjourned at midnight. Several meetings had lasted into the wee hours as the committee was going over the detailed plans ensuring that the school would be a success.

The name was chosen from a contest among the Blanchard students.

Two students from SS#9 Science Hill submitted the name South Perth Centennial School. The students were Margaret ( Peggy) Simpson (Green) and Teresa Zurbrigg.

The rural schools were closed in June 1967 and the new classes began that September. This new place of learning gave the students many new opportunities such as a gymnasium, a library, a kindergarten, a rotary system, as well as the physical education and arts programs.

Every second week a school assembly was held in the gym. It was evident that by the end of the first year a tight school spirit had been formed, making it very commendable to have survived the winter snow storm over two nights and three days at the school in 1971.

One of the highlights of the June 16, 2017 celebration will be opening the 25th Anniversary time capsule, and the addition of the 50th Anniversary time capsule.

Tell your friends and family! We hope to see you there!

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