Celebrating 80 Years of The Crusader News: In the Beginning…

Baljot Rai ’24

Deputy/ Religion Editor

Around 80 years ago, on the frigid morning of December 15th, 1941, a new chapter began in the history of St. Paul’s College, and chatter about “The Crusader” spread throughout the halls. Consisting of four pages, this newspaper was the first ever official newspaper of St. Paul’s College. Starting off with a captivating article titled “Catholic and Socialist are Contradictory Terms” and wishing a merry Christmas to the St. Paul’s community, Volume 1 Edition 1 of The Crusader also included Christmas greetings from the rector and a festive poem. Featuring the successes of the St. Paul’s Dramatic Society, and various sports teams around the institution, The Crusader had humble beginnings and was run by a competent team of 11 students under the leadership of Paul Adams, the first Editor-in-Chief, who became the pioneers of The Crusader. It also aimed to form strong bonds with alumni, featuring various articles about St. Paul’s alumni and their successes. But most interestingly, it included advertisements! Featuring products such as sporting equipment from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and local dry cleaning companies and breweries, The Crusader worked to form strong corporate connections as well.  

The Crusader continued to grow year-by-year into a publication to which both students and staff contributed. In 1942, the headline of the paper’s first edition of the year was “Seriousness in Studies Stressed by Rector”, a concept which, I must say, is relevant today as well. Furthermore, as the Second World War came to its peak, many volumes of The Crusader published between 1942 and 1945 had substantial portions dedicated to honouring former students who were killed in action, as well as alumni serving in the Armed Forces. In fact, in 1942, the newspaper mentions that over 650 alumni of St. Paul’s College were serving in the Canadian armed forces, a substantial amount, considering the college was only established 16 years prior. In 1944, the 60 alumni and former staff who had lost their lives in the war were also commemorated and condolences were extended to their families.  

The Honour Roll was also published in The Crusader for many years. Back in the day, the requirement for the Gold Honour Roll was 85% and was achieved by only one or two students per grade. Alongside this, there was a sports section in The Crusader consistently featuring the successes and rivalries of the various Crusader athletic groups, primarily focused on rugby and football. The Debate club was also in full swing back then, with Volume 5 of the newspaper mentioning the championships of St. Paul’s debaters various times.  

The history of the glorious Crusader News that we all admire today is one that is extensive, and for justice to be done to it, must be articulated upon thoroughly. Now with a team of over 50 contributors, and in its 76th edition, The Crusader began with humble beginnings, but amassed an abundant history, which we hope to expand upon more in future editions.  

Photo credit: St Paul’s High School Archives

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