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So you think you know Petra Grantham

Petra GranthamYou may well have run into Petra Grantham at a Rolph Road school event, on a soccer field,  or on Bayview, but you probably are not aware of what an extraordinary woman she is. Read on.

Petra Grantham has stepped down as the administrator of the Bennington Rolph Road Soccer Association after more than eight years at the helm. With 250 kids from senior kindergarten to grade 8 participating each fall, that is a lot of local families she’s been involved with. She is happy that Susan Scandiffio has taken over so the league can continue, but is grateful to no longer be the one on the chase for referees, managers, coaches, field permits, sponsors, etc., etc.

One of the by-products of her involvement with the association was keeping in touch with the various principals and staff at Rolph Road long after her own sons, Kurt and Karl, had gone off to Bessborough and then Leaside High. This led to her involvement in Rolph Road’s participation in the Leaside 100 celebrations. She was asked to help, and came up with a Scavenger Hunt that had whole families searching for answers around Leaside,  in Jane Pitfield’s Book, Leaside, and whatever other sources they could find.

This led to her being asked to help with the Rolph Road 75th anniversary celebrations. She helped build up a huge database of former students and staff to be part of the celebration, collected and catalogued memorabilia and ultimately produced a DVD that is a history of Rolph Road school. You can still get a copy of that DVD by emailing rolphroad75@gmail.com and paying $10 plus $5 for delivery. All proceeds go to a special fund, Archive Project at Rolph Road School, to protect and preserve what they already have, and ensure future donations are well treated as well. The DVD cover is a copy of an etching that former Rolph Roader Peter Joyce, of Glenvale Blvd., had commissioned.

An ongoing part of what Grantham  is involved with is beyond our Leaside community. She is the president of the Canadian Baltic Immigrant Aid Society, CBIAS, started in 1948  to provide assistance to German Balts coming to Canada after World War 11. As a result of a pact between Hitler and Stalin in 1939, German-speaking people who had lived in Estonia and Latvia for hundreds of years suddenly became German citizens and had to leave their homes. Grantham’s father’s family arrived in Germany from Riga, Latvia early in the war.

When her parents came to Canada in 1963, they soon met and became friends with families who had come earlier, and had been helped by, and involved with, the CBIAS.  Grantham’s love of history, and the friendships established, have kept her involved with the society over the years.