Havergal College Archives
Toronto, Ontario

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GIRLS ON THE HOMEFRONT: A Toronto Girls' School 1894-1945



The Havergal College school song, written in 1924 by Toronto composer Sir Ernest MacMillan, is entitled 'Vitai Lampada Tradens'. The words were written by Dr. C.V. Pilcher. The title refers to the school motto, translated as 'Passing on the torch of life'. This motto, adopted by the school in 1920, replaces the earlier pre-war motto: 'Operacto Peracto Ludemus' ('When our work is done, we shall play'). It is, of course, no coincidence that the later motto and resultant song is highly evocative of literary themes coming out of the First World War. It is still sung today, along with the official school hymn, 'Unto the Hills'.


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