The Clarion from St. Bernard’s School

The Clarion was St. Bernard’s School newspaper, published four times a year; the publication was a member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and had won first-place awards in 1938, ’40, ’41 and ’42. I have the Christmas copy from 1943, courtesy of my friends John and Mary Peria. I also have a copy of the 1944 Clarion yearbook with a photo of my graduating class along with individual photos.

There were two editorials in this issue – one by Father Patrick O’Connor on a interesting aspect on the origin of the word Christmas, and James Sheil had written this: “Our Bishop, the Most Right Reverend Francis J. Monaghan, the fourth Roman Catholic Bishop of Ogdensburg, passed to his eternal reward on Nov. 15.”

The Right Reverend Msgr. Clarence A. Kitts was pastor; Rev. P.J. O’Connor and Rev. W.J. Argy were assistant pastors. On Sundays and holy days, Mass was celebrated 6, 7:30, 9 and 11 a.m.; on weekdays at 7 and 7:30 a.m.


The “News” page carried this story: “Two Eighth graders, Robert Carter and Walter McGovern, witnessed the Notre Dame-Army football game. The two boys went by bus and returned by bus. They went Friday, saw the game Saturday, and returned the day after. After the game they went to 42nd Street and Broadway where they walked around for awhile. As it was Saturday, you can imagine the crowd.”


This was right in the thick of World War II, so the poetry page carried this poem among many others:

“Many children buy War Stamps

“To help us win this strife,

“And most of us could but more stamps,

“You just bet your life.

“Uncle Sam is fighting hard,

“And bravely too,

“So let us buy War Stamps and Bonds,

“And our part try to do.”

Anna Oberst

Grade 6


“Some winter sports are sliding, skating, skiing and bobsledding. My favorite winter sport is skiing. I like it because you ski for awhile and then fall down. I have a lot of fun.”

Elizabeth McKillip

Grade 3


Allen Oehler was the humor editor:

“Chemistry Professor: What can you tell me about nitrates?

“Student: Well-er-they’re a lot cheaper than day rates.”

“Teacher: Name two pronouns.

“Student: Who, me?”

“Teacher: What is the most common impediment in the speech of American people?

“Freshman: Chewing gum.”

The staff and advertisers

The Clarion carried 14 pages of copy and nine pages of advertisement. The editor was Janice O’Neil, who became a nun. Here is just a partial list of her staff: Patricia Duffy and Eileen Meagher were art editors, Walter McGovern and Paul Reiss were news reporters, David Winderl and my brother Charles “Chic” Riley were compliers, and my cousin Anne Sullivan was one of the business managers. My sister Theresa was on the pray-for-a-soldier list.

My pal, Louise Branch Wilcox, was on the honor roll; apparently I somehow got dropped from that list but I really did enjoy the three years I spent in the seventh grade.

The ads were all handwritten inside drawn squares of equal size, and in those nine pages of ads were 78 businesses or organizations represented. Here are a few of those names: Wilson Clothing Company; Carlin’s Home Bakery; Endicott Johnson; Loretta Leonard, Piano Instruction; Newman & Holmes; Horton’s Greenhouses; The Post Office Pharmacy; Kolleckers; The Oxford Market; Bouck’s Delicatessen; Carson Brothers; D. Cohen and Son; Gladd Brothers; Thomas and Mary Hair Stylists, second floor of Leonard’s; Saranac Lake News Company; Ryan’s Greenhouses, corner of Ampersand Avenue & Broadway; F. H. McKillip Diary; Leahy Farm Dairy; Green Valley Dairy Farm; Crystal Spring Dairy; McMaster Brother’s Farm & Dairy; Dwyer’s Drug Store; Katherine Hoctor, Dresses and Coats; Jaeger Sweaters and Skirt Shop; The Anne Foley Dress Shop; Acostas Studio, Portraits of Quality; Vitullo Brother’s, Custom Tailoring and Modern Dry Cleaning; the Leis Music Store; King’s Barber Shop, 71 Broadway and the St. Regis Hair Cutting Parlor at 77 Broadway.

Listed is a sampling of more than 150 students who were praying for individual men or women in the service. The copy over the several pages read:

“The following children in first, second, third and fourth grades have adopted a soldier from the Parish Honor Roll to pray for each morn and night.”