Bancroft Elementary School marked its 100th anniversary with a gala event that attracted former students and staff from the past eight decades.

All were there to celebrate the mark the school made on their lives and the community.

Among them were Phil Gold and Mort Levy, two men who have been friends ever since they met in the first grade, 75 years ago.

"Up on the first floor outside room six, at about 8:45 in the morning, Tuesday September 8th, 1942," said Dr. Levy.

Those six year old boys grew up to become physicians.

They both credit their adult success to childhood influences, including their teachers.

"We had a woman by the name of Miss Hoffman, Esther Hoffman, who I think ,probably if you go through life, she was probably the best teacher that we ever had. She liked what she was doing, she liked the kids and she wanted you to learn something from her," said Dr. Gold.

Retired teachers said they have students who have gone out of their way to visit.

"I have students who do get in touch with me - not a lot, but there are a few - by email and I've had students visit me, gone out for lunch," said Ida Ripley.

She taught at Bancroft for 30 years, and saw the school through its ups and downs.

Over the years enrolment at Bancroft dwindled. Ten years ago just 173 students filled the classrooms and the school board seriously considered closing the school.

Now attendance is up to 275 pupils.

Current principal Dorothy Ostrowicz said the school, today, represents Montreal is all its cosmopolitan glory.

"Our population here is very, very diverse. So we enjoy a very multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious environment which is very enriching for everybody," said Ostrowicz.

Bancroft was first opened in September 1915, so the centennial celebration is actually a bit late.

But those in attendance didn't care. They're just looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate more anniversaries.