Philip Francis Pocock
Most Reverend Philip Francis Pocock was born on July 2, 1906 in St. Thomas, Ontario. He studied theology at St. Peter's Seminary, London and received a degree of J.D.C. from Angelicum University in Rome. He was ordained in June, 1930 and served for several years in Ontario. At the age of 37, on April 7, 1944 he was appointed Bishop of Saskatoon, to succeed Bishop Gerald Murray, who was named Archbishop of Winnipeg at this time. Bishop Pocock was the youngest bishop in Canada and served the Saskatoon Diocese until he was named Archbishop of Winnipeg in 1951. He retired as Archbishop of Toronto on April 29, 1978 and died September 6, 1984 at the age of 78.
Bishop Pocock loved to celebrate mass for children and confirmed many students during his time in Saskatoon,. He was a strong supporter of interfaith activities and harmony. He spoke out for unions and strongly supported separate schools but urged priests to stop coercing parents into moving their children from public to separate schools. Bishop Pocock was a living examples of a man who served the church and preserved that essential quality, humility, without which no man of God can serve God.
Bishop Pocock School
In September, 1977, construction of Bishop Pocock Elementary School was not quite completed. The first principal, Don Mansfield, describes the situation for those first few months. "Students and staff were housed at St. James School until Christmas of 1977 and moved into Bishop Pocock after the holidays in January." The 77 students who entered the school on the very first day were a small part of Saskatoon Catholic elementary schools' total enrolment of 5,984 students. The population of Bishop Pocock grew during the first year to a total of 111 students by the end of 1977-78.
The Official Blessing and Official Opening of Bishop Pocock School took place on Friday, November 3, 1978. Director of Education, Mr. Walter Podiluk, was the Master of Ceremonies. Blessings and special greetings were given by three Bishops, Most Reverend P.F. Pocock, Most Reverend J.P. Mahoney, and Most Reverend A. Roborecki. The program for the evening included greetings from Hon. Herman Rolfes, then Minister of Education, His Worship Mayor Cliff Wright, and Chairman of the Board, Mr. Phil Hammel.