In Tassy McEntyre’s home in Westmount, there is a Selwyn House School Old Boys’ tie, framed and hung on the wall. It was presented to her three decades ago by then-Headmaster Will Mitchell when she completed her first year of volunteering in the Wanstall Library.
After 31 years at Selwyn House—most of that as a volunteer—Tassy is ready to retire from being a fixture in the Library and turn over the job to a younger person.
The mother of three SHS Old Boys (Patrick ’92, Peter ’94 and Duncan ’99), Tassy began her volunteering career serving lunch to Grade 1 students in the old Coristine Hall, located in what is now the Middle School Science Lab. “I got a free lunch once a week,” she recalls. “I thought that was pretty good.”
While vacationing In Maine, she got a call from Headmaster Mitchell, asking her to accept a paid position as a library assistant to Head Librarian the late Virginia Ferguson, temporarily replacing Lorraine Wynn, who was ill.
She had no training in library science, but was fascinated by what makes a library work, she says. She accepted Will’s offer, splitting the full-time position with fellow volunteer Susan Lord.
She did this for over a year, and when Lorraine returned, Tassy carried on in the library as a volunteer.
“It was fun,” she says. “Virginia was such a nice person, and could not have been a better teacher. She made it possible for me to continue to work here.”
She also admires what she describes as the “genius” of present-day Assistant Librarian Carol-Ann Hoyte and retiring Head Librarian Lis Clemens. The librarians, she points out, have made a lasting impression on many of the students who have gone through Selwyn House.
“It’s astonishing how many boys have enjoyed sitting here and being read to over the years,” she said.
After leaving this position at the end of 2018, she may volunteer at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in a position that will not be compromised by her failing eyesight.
She comes from a long line of volunteers, she said, so it’s all in the family.
She will be missed as a long-serving and dedicated member of the Selwyn House family.