The Roman Empire of WCI

Talk of Carthaginian Wars, word derivatives, ancient slavery, and Zeus’s various wives filled the bus while the WCI Classics Club made its way to Bear Creek Secondary School in Barrie for the bi-annual Certamen academic contest Wednesday, November 17th.

The small and tight-knit club makes the trek twice a school year to a fellow Latin carrying school in Ontario to compete in a “Reach For The Top” style buzzer contest with the four base subjects of Mythology, History, Roman Life, and Vocabulary.

Although WCI’s senior and intermediate teams did not place in this year’s competition, the new junior team made it to the finals in their first ever Certamen, beating some of the most competitive schools in the province.


Many WCI students likely do not know much about what the Classics Club is or does, Certamen being only one of the many events the club participates in. Based out of room 322, any student taking the Latin courses offered by Ms. Hensel can participate in whatever exciting event is coming up next.

Anyone interested in topics that range from language to history to science could get something out of taking Latin, as it’s not just about the “dead” language that somehow sneaks into many aspects of education. On top of covering a large variety of topics such as everyday life in Ancient Rome, history, and literature, Latin is taught in a fun environment and in a way that makes it easy to grasp.

Taking Latin offers multiple opportunities to participate in North American and Canadian wide contests on mythology and etymology as well as scholarship opportunities. The senior class also gets to organize and put on an all-day event called Saturnalia that includes skits, activities, prizes, and food, all based around a classics education.

Photo Credit: Regan Kat

The main event of the year is the Ontario Classics Conference that takes place in the spring at Brock University. For a weekend, the club stays on the campus, participating in academic contests, skits, fashion shows, sports competitions, musical numbers, and many more, ending the weekend with a banquet with everyone decked out in the fanciest toga they can find. Participating schools come from all across Canada and they all have one thing in common: they all offer at least one Latin course.

These gems, the Latin course and Classics club, are little known despite the opportunities they provide for students. These gems offer a challenge and entertainment for anyone looking for a new way of looking at something very old.