The History of Germania Language School
Germania Language School in Hamilton, Ontario is the oldest German language school in Canada.
In 1864, at the request of its German speaking member parents, the "Germania Club" founded a German Language School.
For three hours every Saturday morning, it was the task of the teachers to support parents in raising their children by keeping German values and traditions alive.
This was done to ensure that future German ethnicity would be upheld in Canada.
Germania Language School was the only language school in Hamilton that offered Grades 1 through 13.
Even back then, students were able to attain recognized credits through the local school board.
Instruction was held in the building of the "Germania Club" and membership at the club was a requirement.
Total enrolment went from a mere 42 students at the outset of the program to 190 in 1970 during the wave of immigration.
A new era followed. In 1982, a decision was reached for Germania Language School to become part of the "Heritage Languages Program", now named the "International Languages Program".
This was a significant step - and a defining moment in the school's future.
Since 1983, classes have no longer been held within the "Germania Club".
The venue became Scott Park High School and, since 2005, Ray Lewis School.
As a result, while the school continues to enjoy good relations with its founder, the "Germania Club", it is no longer required to be a member in order to attend classes, and applications are accepted from all interested students.
As in times past, it is still the school's objective to support those families who wish to pass on the German language as a cultural value to their children.
Nonetheless, the school is also proud to acquaint students of culturally diverse groups with the German language and culture.
We look optimistically toward the future while graciously reflecting upon those who laid the early foundations of Germania Language School here in Hamilton 155 years ago.