‘South Dundas Iroquois High School’ was Seaway District High School’s original name

A 1966 photo of "South Dundas Iroquois High School" — the year before it was renamed Seaway District High School, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend.

Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

IROQUOIS — Perhaps a long forgotten memory, even by former students of the period, but “Iroquois High School” did not exist between 1957 and 1967 — at least in name.

Officially, anyway, the 2 Beach Street school opened as ‘South Dundas Iroquois High School.’ But in the popular vernacular, recalls lifelong Iroquois resident Jim Millard, residents simply carried on calling it ‘Iroquois High School’ — the same monicker as the demolished predecessor that South Dundas Iroquois High School replaced during the upheaval of the St. Lawrence Seaway construction project.

Millard wasn’t sure who gave the new secondary school its “ostentatious” South Dundas title at the time. But that was the official name affixed to the front of the building “from the time it was built in 1957 until it became Seaway [District High School in 1967],” he said, although “it was always referred to as Iroquois High School.” 

“Morrisburg could easily have claimed that name as well,” he added via Facebook messenger, referring to the former Morrisburg Collegiate Institute. It was MCI’s 1967 closure and consolidation with the Iroquois site that led to South Dundas Iroquois High School’s renaming as “Seaway District High School” half a century ago. Seaway celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend.

In a twist of history, the former MCI building now carries the words “South Dundas” as headquarters of the modern municipality — formed in 1998 — by that name.

‘South Dundas Iroquois High School’ just might have helped establish the half-county naming convention adopted a few years later by North Dundas District High School — and decades later by the area’s amalgamated municipalities.

Update: A 1960’s newspaper advertisement supplied by Cindy Peters — member the 50th anniversary committee — refers to the Seaway campus as South Dundas ‘District’ High School, shedding the reference to Iroquois altogether in that instance.

The name Seaway District High School was adopted in 1967, after Morrisburg’s high school was closed and its student population merged into the Iroquois site. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

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