As a point of interest in Holyrood Community League, the name “Holyrood” comes from medieval English and literally means the Holy Rood – that is Cross of the Crucifixion. Holyrood District joined Edmonton a year after the amalgamation of Strathcona in 1912. Toward the end of World War II, the area experienced a housing boom and by 1955, had over 1,000 homes. During the 1960’s, the community was renowned for its large and vigorous contingent of young people. The community league was formed in 1956 with D. M. Hodges as our first President. The purpose of having the league was to build an outdoor rink before the snow fell that year. Under the leadership of the first executive board, President Hodges, V-P Arthur Cross, Treasurer R.P. Laurie, and Secretary J.E. Mead; an extensive door-to-door canvass was organized. When completed, there was enough money to begin construction at 95th Avenue and Holyrood Road, where the rink is currently situated. During the 1970’s, much effort was spent by the League on Holyrood Community Park. When completed, the park featured baseball diamonds, soccer fields and creative play equipment.
In 1979, the Community League executive board spoke out against proposed development and usage of St. Helen Elementary School after its closure. The School board was willing to lease the premises to a non-profit organization for the development of a training centre, mostly because of the appendices to the proposal to allow construction of six greenhouses. The Community League felt that these structures would occupy scarce recreational land and act as a magnet for commercial traffic. As a result of this opposition, plans for the training centre were dropped. Consultation with the community began shortly thereafter. With great interest from the area senior population, the Community League approached the School Board to lease the property to a Senior’s Recreation Centre. Under the leadership of Laurie Sims and John Sandercock, the proposal for a centre was accepted by the School Board. Today, that building is widely known as the South East Edmonton Seniors’ Association (or, more familiarly SEESA). SEESA now provides services to many seniors in the area and is currently considering expansion to meet the needs of their members.
Years of fundraising paid off in 1985 when Holyrood Community League was granted $117,000 for the construction of a Community Centre. The year 2005 saw completion of the Rink Shack, while 2006 is the start for major renovations on the hall. As with any maturing neighborhood, on going maintenance is an issue, and we are addressing these needs as funds become available. And the rest they say, is history.