Remembering Bernard Lecerf

A message from Principal Sam McKinney on the passing of a treasured Prep educator.
It is with sadness that I share news of the passing of Bernard Lecerf.

Beginning in 1968 and continuing for the next 46 years, Bernard served the College with distinction and dedication. He is remembered as a wonderful role model to the thousands of students fortunate to have known him. Amongst his former colleagues, he was a steadfast supporter and mentor to many. He was valued by all for his gentle and calm manner, his sense of humour, his passion for teaching and learning, and his commitment to making UCC the best experience possible.

Bernard’s wide range of roles at the school included form master, boarding housemaster, guidance coordinator, director of student affairs, Admission counsellor, assistant head of programs, and director of studies. He led the French department with expertise and vision for 20 years, authoring textbooks, teachers’ guides and other materials to the benefit of the greater scholastic community. He retired from the role of Middle Division head, where his deep interest in pedagogy helped drive curriculum improvements. He was also a member of many committees, including two headmaster’s selection committees. As an esteemed athletics coach, he led soccer, volleyball and track and field teams to outstanding results.

Throughout his years of service, he always put the best interests of our students first, and for this we are grateful. Bernard’s legacy at the College will endure, in part through the annual academic prize in his name awarded for exceptional performance in Year 7 Enriched French.

At our Middle Years Assembly last Friday, the sound of a soccer whistle marked the beginning of a moment of silence in his honour. He will be missed.
Back

Post a comment

Comments

Date Posted Arrow down
  • Peter Labancz
    M.Lecerf hired me as a Form 5 teacher at UCC. He showed everyone kindness and compassion as we navigated our personal and professional lives. He was a proud UCC man. My condolences to his entire family and grandson, Nikolai, you are in our thoughts.
  • Claire Barron
    My first meeting with Bernard was in my interview to work at UCC. I caught the twinkle in his eye and his encouraging smile and it made all the difference. He knew how to put anyone at ease. He truly listened with his heart to everyone. His kindness was extraordinary. I send my warmest wishes to his family as they navigate this tremendous loss.
  • Sunir Chandaria
    Bernard was one of the most engaging teachers I had the privilege of learning from and with in my time at UCC. He would challenge me and compel me to bring out the very best that I had to offer during our enriched French classes. In time, he became a friend, always ready with his warm smile and unrelenting in demanding the very best out of me. He shall be missed. Seemingly gone too soon! May his wonderful soul rest in eternal peace...
  • Tim Jancelewicz
    Mr. Lecerf was my form master in 1986-87. He was the kindest, gentlest soul and I recall he was extremely patient with me. His passing is a great loss for us all, but I will always cherish the memories of my time in 4L.
  • Dave Bullock
    I never heard anybody say a negative comment about Bernard. Whether in the classroom, office, pitch, or parking lot. He was a true gentleman, educator, administrator and coach. His presence is missed, but his spirit lives on in the hallways. My deepest sympathies to his family. RIP
  • Patti Cawker
    Bernard was such a gentleman with a calm and thoughtful nature. I often went to him for advice and he always made time to listen and guide. He will be truly missed.
  • Carly Crippin
    Bernard was a credit to our community. I remember well how he would always stop to hold the door for you and offer you a smile and a kind word. Our community was much better for having Bernard as one of our cherished members. I wish his family strength during this terrible time. Carly
  • Kerry Dupuis
    Bernard will truly be missed. He was a true gentleman in every way. I will never forget his kind spirit, which often bubbled up with a little grin, a joke, or his warm and unique laugh. Always a teacher, soccer coach and champion for the school. Salut, mon ami.
  • Jill Stewart
    I could sit and listen to Bernard speak for days - he was such a calming, wise presence in the class, in the hallways, and in our meetings. He always had the boys' best interest at heart and gave each decision he made great thought. He listened so attentively and loved to chat about my uncle Andy's jazz career. He had a great smile and a winsome laugh. Thinking of his family as they remember him moving forward.
  • Dianne Jojic
    It was such an honour and privilege to know and work with Bernard - counted on for sage advice and kindness - such a lovely man. Love to his family at this difficult time.
  • Martin Cloutier
    Bernard représente le meilleur modèle qu'on puisse imaginer pour tous les étudiants et tous les collègues qui ont eu le privilège de le connaître. Son sens de l'humour, sa passion pour l'éducation et son humanisme font de lui un homme remarquable que je n'oublierai jamais. Merci Bernard et repose en paix.
  • John Booth
    In his capacity as both a french teacher and soccer coach, Monsieur Lecerf was the source of so many wonderful moments during my time at UCC. He was a great leader in both disciplines. I'll never forget watching him dance around our whole team in a particular student/master soccer match. After deking out half our squad, leaving boys sprawled haplessly on the field after useless tackle attempts, he glided over the halfway line and promptly hammered the ball into the top corner of our net. Our unfortunate goalie broke down in laughter at the sheer ridiculousness of how hard the ball entered our net! It was a beautiful skill to witness. Monsieur Lecerf gave us his casual smile and that knowing look that he could easily perform these miracles at will, earning our everlasting respect on the soccer field. He will be sorely missed.
  • Anders Jorgen
    They don’t come anymore genuine, kind-hearted, and wise. Was an example of the best a person can be. He was also a great soccer coach. I still have vividly fond memories, usually triggered by the smell of freshly cut grass, of playing U13 soccer for him during my first months at UCC, 19 years ago. I was surprised to find us winning everything in sight, including nationals; but Mr. Lecerf wasn’t surprised at all. (It wasn’t his first rodeo …)
  • Reid and Susan Barter
    Susan and I spent our first years at UCC living in the same building as Bernard, Monique and their daughters. Saturday mornings began with a pot of coffee from Monique! The comments from former colleagues and students portray the man accurately. He taught in the classroom and on the sports field: winning was not the prime motivator, but to encourage each student/player to be the best he could be. Our son Scott had the good fortune to be coached by him and his fellow coach J McGrath- they left an indelible imprint on his years at UCC. RIP Bernard...you amplified all that is good.
  • Gavin Nardocchio-Jones '20
    Merci monsieur Lecerf. Non seulement avais vous été pour moi un mentor et guide dans mes études francophones, mais pendant les moments les plus dure dans ma famille - vous m'avez guidé à chaque stage. Que la terre vous soit légère.
  • Abhimanyu Sud
    When I think of the ideal teacher, I think of M. Lecerf - kind, attentive, genuine, encouraging, enthusiastic. I feel very fortunate to have known him. My sincere condolences to his family.
  • Sarit Seeman
    M Lercerf is a legend in the UCC community. There is no one then or since who understands the beautiful game as he did. His genuine, authentic and quiet leadership was noticed and appreciated by everyone. His spirit lives in so many of us who were privileged to know him. My deepest condolences to his family.
  • Richard Vien
    Bernard was a true gentleman and one of the most kind-hearted and supportive people anyone could hope to meet. It is a sad loss and my condolences are extended to his family.
  • Benjamin Loh
    Condolences to the Lecerf family. I'll always remember M. Lecerf for his kindness, patience and huge smile. Thanks for all the memories from Grade 3 to graduation!
  • Calvin Kwong
    Never had Bernard as a teacher but shared many games of pickup soccer with him during my time as a student and afterwards as alumni. His smile and that cheeky wink always gave you a sense of assurance ... He'll be missed!
  • David Wild
    M. Lecerf, together with Mr. Robinson, were Prep soccer coaches for me in the early -80's. I was rotten in French. M. Lecerf always greeted me before first team practice with what I assume was a question in the language. We looked at each other, then he would say with that rye smile, "Perhaps tomorrow, Wild". As a pack, the team would chase him all over the field, trying to get the ball away. He eventually got tired and just gave it to us. I hope he would be pleased that my children are in French Immersion. Thank you, Sir.
  • Bruce Ryder
    Really sad to learn of the passing of M. Lecerf. Such a lovely guy. When I arrived at the prep in the fall of 1970, a little squirt in form 6L, I remember how warmly he welcomed a nervous new kid like me. He made his room a good place to get down to the serious fun of learning. I was an undisciplined nuisance, 65.5 lbs of pure mischief. What did M. Lecerf have to say about that in his “form master’s remarks” on my first report card? A few lines beneath Mr. Fletcher’s annoyingly perfect script, he wrote, signed lower case “bl”: “I would like to see Bruce busier during the Reading-Homework period.” Loved this man.
  • Derrick Chow
    Truly amazing was Mr. Lecerf's inspiration in capturing the loving and learning French in just 1 year. Dodo-Metro has been imprinted in my head and I will always remember his smiling eyes as the class sang. Fond memories forever.
  • Ian and Jennifer Robinson
    It was my immense good fortune to work so closely with Bernard for 19 years. As a teacher, mentor, athlete, coach and as a human being, I learned so much from him. In his positive, quiet and unassuming way, he was a leader and influencer for good. That was Bernard. Jennifer and I have lost a great friend, Monique her life partner and supporter, and their family a sensitive, much loved and cherished role model. He will be so missed by all.
  • Mary Gauthier
    Bernard Lecerf was one of the first people I met in the early days of the Wernham West Centre for Learning. I appreciated his thoughtfulness and his dedication to teaching and learning. A great listener, with a twinkle in his eyes, he was a source of consistency and strength at the Prep. My condolences to his family of whom he was so proud.
  • Samir Lakha
    Merci pour toujours m’avoir supporter même quand ça n’allait pas bien chez moi…je vous apprécie énormément et suis heureux de venir vous visiter when you we’re leading the Prep a few years ago. You taught me so much… “empathy” being the most important lesson.
  • Scott Manning
    The weight Bernard had in my life as a learner and a leader pales in comparison to the weight Bernard had as a friend and mentor. UCC welcomed me, through Bernard I knew it was where I belonged.
  • Phil Winters
    One is the finest educators you could imagine. Kind, funny and gifted in his craft. He was my form master and French teacher in 1983/84 and has always remained one of my most cherished memories of UCC.
  • Jamie Lougheed
    I was very fortunate to meet Bernard in my first year of teaching in 1995 at the Prep and as green as I was, Bernard took me under his wing and made me feel like I had been there for years and was so helpful in teaching me the ropes. A true gentlemen and teacher extrodinaire.
  • Alan Hall
    Monsieur Lecerf was a great teacher and a gentle, friendly man. J'habite à Montréal maintenant où j'enseigne l'anglais, et je parle français tous les jours! My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
  • Alex Gordon
    Mr. Lecerf was an incredible guy, remarkable coach and teacher! I am truly sorry to learn of his passing. He cultivated and maintained a unique relationship with La Source school on the outskirts of Paris for Prep boys to go on exchange. For those of us who had the opportunity to live and learn in France, it was a remarkable and life changing experience. And the French students, who returned to the Prep in the spring, had an incredible experience while adding to the diversity and richness of the UCC community.
  • chris holland
    I had the pleasure of being taught French and coached by Bernard. He was equally outstanding at both. His kindness stood out to me and I will never forget the first time I blew up my knee he carried me from the commons field all the way back to the prep. While not large in stature his spirit sure was. He will be missed
  • John McKinlay
    Humility, humour, intelligence, and true fellowship. His example was very rare, and for me it will remain.
  • William Plaxton
    I was fortunate to learn from Bernard in my prep school days. His positive and lasting impact on so many young men will never be forgotten and will not be replaced - from the classroom to the sports field. My sincere condolences go to the Lecerf family at this difficult time. Thank you Bernard !
  • Richard Turner
    I knew Bernard Lecerf mostly as a colleague and mostly through soccer, as a most highly respected coach and mentor, as my greatly skilled teammate in many an Old Boy’s game, and as a formidable and admired opponent in every Collegial Bowl. He approached his sport, as I know he did the rest of his teaching and work as an educator, with intellect, wisdom, empathy, grace, a healthy sense of fun and a quiet yet unmistakeable passion. As an inspiring role model, he was the ideal balance of competitiveness and sportsmanship, for whom success was not defined primarily by ‘wins’. One of my most frequent and most enduring memories of him is as I approached the pitch, I would see him working with a few or even one of his players, long after the scheduled practice was done; he’d then pack up and shoulder his equipment bag and walk and talk with them across the field; he’d pause and we’d talk and laugh, he’d ask all the right questions, listening intently; and then he’d rejoin his players. I also knew him as a caring and generous friend, with an ever-present spark in his eyes. I am deeply grateful to have known him in these ways. “See the ball. See the goal!”
  • Andy Mizen
    Many have mentioned M. Lecerf's humility. I have an anecdote another wonderful Master and gentleman from my days in the Prep. Around 1974, Tony Hearn and I were talking about my French teacher's extraordinary athleticism, and he recounted this observation: (roughly verbatim) “I was standing at my office and the (Prep football) field was covered in ice. M. Lecerf was walking down from the Upper School across the field carrying an armful of books, picking his way very carefully over the ice. He suddenly realized that there was a storm fence in his way, and in order to get to the other side he would either have to detour all the way to the doorway 100 feet in One Direction or the field corner 100 feet in the other. He looked around cautiously, I think wanting to make sure that no one was looking. Then he took a couple of steps back bounded to the fence executed a forward flip over his head still holding the books landed on his feet, and kept walking. I have never told him that I was witness to it: I think he’d be deeply embarrassed.” How I wish I could have seen Bernie do that. How I wish we all could have. But that would not have been the M. Lecerf way. In his immediacy, his warmth, his thoughtfulness, he was a resource, and an inspiration to students, friends, colleagues; but, for generations of us boys, it was his élan that made him a legend.
  • Vincent Barillaro
    My sincere condolences to the Lecerf family on the passing of Bernard. He was a tremendous educator and a terrific soccer coach. Bernard was always gracious in allowing me to visit his French classes for the purpose of promoting the Spanish program.
  • Douglas ‘Jake’ Caldwell
    A truly remarkable educator and coach. Bernard Lecerf always treated each student and player as an individual. He listened intently. He gave us tools in the classroom and on the field, and then he demanded your maximum effort. There were no shortcuts with M. Lecerf Give your best. My thanks to his family for sharing him with us. Merci Bernard. Merci. - Douglas ‘Jake’ Caldwell
  • Tyler Doherty
    Very saddened by this news. May he rest in peace. I'll never forget his special attention to his "keepers" as a soccer coach, and his signature move in the classroom: walking away from the blackboard with back turned, tossing the chalk blind over his shoulder from mid classroom, and having it land perfectly on the ledge with a puff of chalk-dust. A life-changing teacher with oft mismatched socks (due to colour-blindness). He will be missed.
  • Peter Varley Class of ‘78 (theoretically)
    Very sad to learn of Bernard’s passing. We met for lunch a while back - I can’t even recall how that came up - and the years melted away. A kind and gracious man. I had no involvement with him on the field as while I liked soccer, soccer didn’t like me. But my classroom experience with Bernard was unforgettable. “Les cornichons!” Sincere condolences to his family.
  • Doug Blakey
    It was always a delight to be with Bernard - he raised everyone's spirits and certainly mine with his warm and lovely smile and kind-hearted soul. He was a wonderful teacher, coach, colleague and friend. He has passed too soon but will be well remembered and carried with us in our hearts.
  • Simon Alberga
    So sorry to hear this news. I was at the Prep over 40 years ago, and I remember Mr. Lecerf as a fine person, as well as a great teacher, soccer coach and player. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.
  • FRANK Gerstein
    Bernie was an exceptional teacher, mentor and friend. He was one of a few of that added to the celebration of my Bar Mitzvah so many years ago. His presence and guidance at UCC, I hope, will be a lasting positive influence on the development of young boy, like I was. Bernie, thank you for so much and RIP.
  • François Kenny
    Mr. Lecerf was always so kind towards me during my time at the college. He was also a very important mentor to my mother as she navigated her early years teaching in the French Department. Very sad to hear of his passing.
  • Gordon Forstner
    Wonderful guy. A light hearted sense of humour. A respectful and inclusive approach to teaching. Loved watching him play soccer. Sorry to hear of his passing.
  • Tom Heintzman
    What a profound influence a supportive, positive teacher who asks the most of you can have. Bernard was both teacher and soccer coach for many years. I haven’t turned my mind to him in a number of years, and yet to hear this news hits very deep, revealing the importance of those formative times
  • Rob Cunjak '92
    I am grateful to have had Monsieur Lecerf as my Form Master (4L) and French teacher. UCC was incredibly fortunate to have had someone of his talent, character and demeanor serving it for almost half a century. My condolences to his family and all those who were close to him.
  • Jacob (JC) Chung '18
    A few weeks into September of my first year at the Prep, Mr. Lecerf spotted me off-task and watching Youtube with my earbuds in at the back of science class. He asked to see what I was watching -- I was halfway through a well-known video of Miles Davis playing "So What" live. Instead of reprimanding me, he smiled and whispered to me that Miles' Kind of Blue was one of his favourite albums. I will not forget how validated I felt in that moment. I am now trying to make it as a jazz musician in NYC. May Mr. Lecerf rest in peace.
  • Anthony Wu
    'Do you live to play soccer, or do you play soccer to live?' I still remember these words from Mr Lecerf. Though I only started taking soccer more seriously during my university years, the weekly Old Boys games he was a part of was one of the most amazing 10 years of my life. He will be thoroughly missed.
  • Paul Braczek
    Thanks to M. Lecerf, who coordinated the yearly student exchange with a French school, I was able to live in Paris for a few months as a 13 year old, go to school there, and really learn the language. Rest in Peace, M. Lecerf!
  • Jim MacMillan '80
    Very sad to hear of Monsieur Lecerf's passing. As a Prep new boy in 1973 with a very rudimentary grasp of French, I was a little wary of him as he would often say "MacMillan, it's going to be difficult"! But any difficulty was countered by his sense of humour and desire to put us at ease by playing songs such as "Les Cornichons" (if you want, check it out here, it's a classic: https://www.bing.com/search?PC=YA02&FORM=YASBRD&q=les+cornichons+youtube). I believe his teaching helped instill a love for the French language that I have to this day. And as others have said, he was a true gentleman and sportsman. He definitely will be missed; my sincere condolences to his family.
  • Kris Jagasia
    A real football coach, not the North American kind, ditto can be said about his French teaching skills.
  • Michael HIll '86
    I remember well, M. Lecerf as my French teacher and soccer coach at tne Prep, with respect and admiration and a sense of admiration. Undoubtably he was a key part of my experience in my first years at the college. He will be missed. -mdh
  • Greg Skvortsoff
    I never had Mr. Lecerf as an official teacher. However, every soccer player knew about his uncanny ability to deke through talented 16-20 yr old players as if they had just learned how to kick a ball that afternoon. Your gentle and kind character will always be with us.
  • Sandford MacLean ‘80
    I was saddened to read of M. Lecerf’s death. My first classes with him in Form 3 instilled an interest in learning French which took me through the Prep and ended my senior year in college. I can only imagine just how bilingual I could have been if he had been the Junior Form French master in 1969! I did not excel at soccer, but what rudimentary skills I possessed I credit to M. Lecerf! He was truly a gentleman, devoted to teaching boys, and exemplified the best qualities of the legendary masters of UCC. And as my classmate Jim MacMillan mentioned, “Les Cornichons”!
  • Zachary Meyerowitz
    Such an awesome, genuine, nice guy. He will be very missed and condolences to the family.
  • Barbara Beecroft
    Such an amazing gentle man. I so enjoyed getting to know Bernard while at the Prep school, he had a keen wit, and was always the gentleman. Bernard spoke of his family so often he was so proud. My thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
  • Ari LARAYA
    He will be sorely missed
  • Roger Mortimer
    Mr. Lecerf was a gentleman. He had a lovely smile and a manner about him that could draw the respect of a group of restless boys, in a context and at an age where that wasn't always a given. I am so grateful that his long career at the college allowed so many to benefit from his expertise and support.
  • James MK Stuart
    Bernie Lecerf, back in the early 1970s, made French class come alive and his ability to connect with each student was truly remarkable. He genuinely cared about us and with humour and guidance, he ensured that we did our best and met the challenges before us. We did not wish to let him down; he was a great life coach/mentor and I really missed him in later years but was glad to have had the inspiration and positive encouragement.
  • Amin Lalani
    Great human. He will be missed. RIP
  • Jordan Golubov 79
    Bernard was a wonderful and caring teacher and human being. His passion for soccer and skill on the soccer field were inspiring. His positive influence is indelible. He will be truly missed. My condolences to his family.
  • David Anderson '99
    Mr. Lecerf was my French teacher and coach of our soccer team in the Prep. His approach on and off the field was one of encouragement and a commitment to building our confidence at a time in our young lives when we had not yet built a foundation of our own. In the hallways and around campus he would happily take time for short conversations beginning and ending them with a flash of his smile. I was pleased to see his long career at the College transition from teaching students to shaping the future fabric of the school inevitably weaving in a part of himself such that the next generation of students may benefit from his experience. We were all fortunate to have had him play a role in our UCC lives and beyond.
  • Spencer Lister
    I remember how kind he was and his passion for teaching. He was an amazing person and I will miss him.
  • Olivier Mugabo
    Mr. Lecerf was one of a kind. Always had a smile on his face whether it was on the soccer pitch, or the prep hallways. I’m grateful to have had him as a mentor and coach. He will be missed by all who knew him.
  • Frank Karantonis
    Inspiring coach and human being. Always took the time to teach on the sidelines and encourage. He made a positive impact on my life. My deepest condolences to his family.
  • Aleks Stosic
    What a loss. Mr Lecerf’s charisma and style, creative instruction both in French and on the soccer pitch, and flair from the other side of Atlantic left an indelible mark on me. One memory continues to stand out after all these years - Lecerf taking part in a teachers vs U16 friendly and quietly trying to coach us from the sidelines with strained expression, only to come on the pitch and “turn it on”, owning the field like a boss. I’ll miss you Lecerf. My deepest respects to his family.
  • Beau Hatcher
    He was a very good teacher and person.
  • Kent Hutton
    My sincere condolences to the family of Bernard. He was truly a gentleman. As a first year teacher at UCC he offered support and guidance to me. I respected his commitment to the teaching and coaching of his students throughout years at UCC. He touched many lives for the better. May he rest in peace.
  • Charles Bird
    Monsieur Lecerf was exceptionally kind to me as a new boy at the Prep. When I arrived at UCC, I had next to no French and was well behind my classmates. By the end of my first year, under his patient and expert tutelage, I progressed beyond all expectations. He was also my first and favourite soccer coach, devoting late afternoons and even weekends to his players' development. He reveled in the game and was highly skilled. Put simply, Bernard Lecerf and teachers like him allowed me to flourish at UCC. I feel his loss profoundly.
  • William MacBrien
    First met in the Prep. He would bicycle kick our football helmets with a wry smile as we stretched.
  • Matt Karmitz
    Mr. Lecerf welcomed me into the prep in Grade 7 with open arms. As a fellow Frenchman, he always took the time to speak with me in French and ensure I was doing well. He will be missed
  • Johnny Cassels
    A significant loss for the College - he embodied the "don't quit" mantra that defines Upper Canada College - be it on a soccer pitch or in the classroom. As a student who struggled in his Extended French class, struggles that were of my own doing, I saw firsthand the sense of agency he carried into his role as a teacher. Though a recommendation to transfer out of "The College" would've been understandable, he stuck by me - his steadfast commitment to my learning showed me I had to increase my commitment to my learning, an invaluable lesson for a teenage boy. Thank you for being a meaningful piece of the UCC puzzle Mr. Lecerf - you will be missed.
  • Alex Bishop
    A very kind man- he will be missed.
  • Jim Hayhurst
    That smile. That giggle. That move where you thought you saw the ball... and then you didn't. That patience and energy, so much all at once, in such a small package. Those track suits. That lifelong commitment to education the whole person. Adieu et merci, monsieur.
  • Adam de Pencier
    Perhaps one measure of Bernard’s influence on the College is the depth and breadth of the comments listed here: Old Boys, young and old, faculty ditto. Very few people in Canadian independent school education could match that…
  • Matthew Dennis
    I have fond memories of Mr. Lecerf. He was my first soccer coach when I started at UCC. I’m grateful for all that he taught me and for making my experience at the school so great from the start.
  • Chris McDermott
    I will always remember Mr Lecerf fondly as a great teacher who changed my life forever by allowing me to be one of two students to participate in the first UCC prep school student exchange with La Source school in Paris. He will be missed!
  • Steve Powell
    Mr Lecerf was a kind, thoughtful man and a wonderful teacher. I suspect he helped a lot of boys find their way at the Prep. I know he helped me. He and Monsieur Thibaut even managed to teach a unilingual American to speak French. It's heartening to read that he became "the Louis Paichoux of the Prep".
  • Jeff Chong
    I am deeply saddened by this news. As it did while in the Prep, his warm smile calmed me even in recent summers at Old Boys soccer. He always made me feel like he wanted to see me. A supportive coach who could teach the game, I loved that he was still competitive enough (in his older years) to subtly demonstrate his skill if he thought you needed reminding. I will also remember his raised eyebrows – a look that let me know I had done something questionable on the pitch. I will miss you, Mr. Lecerf – thank you for your guidance, sense of humour, love of the game and friendship. My condolences to his family.
  • Chantal Kenny
    Bernard Lecerf was a true mentor and gentleman.Whether applauding a player on the soccer field or mentoring new faculty in August, Bernard's quiet manner always conveyed trust.His impact on eight generations of UCC Old Boys and his institutional knowledge will be missed.But beyond the confines of UCC, Bernard was a family man, avid reader, film connoisseur, squash player, jazz lover and chocoholic! We shared the same birthday and every year, on September 14, Bernard quietly left a box of fine chocolates on my desk.Keeping dear Monique and family in my thoughts.
  • Stefan Garcia
    Sad news. He was a great coach and mentor, patient, calm, fantastic French wit, fond memories of his particular brand of almost ‘philosophical’ soccer coaching in Grade 7, condolences to the family.
  • Dave McKechnie
    M. Lecerf was a wonderful coach and role model at the College. I never had him as a teacher (which is very fortunate for him) but he always had an encouraging word and a kindness that was appreciated at the prep. He will definitely be missed.
  • Mark Mitchell
    Bernard taught us many lessons over his time at UCC. For me, his kindness, ability to listen and empathize, and show genuine interest in my well-being will always stand out. A true gentleman and role model.
  • Dave McKechnie '93
    M. Lecerf was a wonderful coach and person (unfortunately I never had him as a French teacher and fortunately for him he never had me as a student). He always took the time to say hello and ask after me and the family during alumni soccer games and at functions, and was one of the true mainstays at the College.
  • Jeff Howe
    Mr. Lecerf was my French teacher in Grade 7 in 1975-76 and as a new boy made a strong impression on me making me feel welcome to a new school and also a new language. Always had that smile on his face like he knew what you were thinking. Rest in Peace, Monsieur Lecerf.
  • Matthew Lister
    This is a sad loss for his family and the College community. He was my French teacher at the Prep for only one year, but made a much larger impression. Attentive, thoughtful, and gifted with wit, he brought a sense of European decorum to the school--Kraftwerk and Jean Michelle Jarre posters around the classroom. Does anyone else remember the Oxygene poster of planet Earth overtop a skull? As Patrick Shing says below, a true role model.
  • Dave MacFarlane
    I was in 4th Form when Monsieur Lecerf arrived at The Prep. He was so young I thought he was one of the LR students. Nothing but fond memories of my time with him.
  • Sandy Logie
    What a huge loss to everyone who knew him. Bernie was inspirational in his own special way. His love of life rubbed off on everyone who was fortunate enough to meet him. And those of us who could 'talk soccer' with him were just that much luckier!
  • Adam Menikefs ‘19
    Mr. Lecerf was one of the most caring, humorous and memorable teachers I met during my time at UCC. I had the privilege of playing on the U13 soccer team in one of his final years of coaching and the lessons he taught us almost a decade ago still resonate w me today. Rest In Peace.
  • Eric Armour ‘82
    Its with great sadness that I hear of Mr. Lecerf’s passing. I remember him with great fondness and respect. He was always energetic and gave a lot of time to all his students. He never gave up on trying to teach me French and would be proud to know I ended up at a bilingual University. My condolences to his family. He was one of the great teachers I remember from my time in the Prep.
  • Rich Fortnum
    Very sad to hear this. Mr. Lecerf taught me French and coached me in soccer. I was always happy to have him as a leader. And he could seriously kick a soccer ball. Very impressive. Devoted to UCC during my time, and onwards. I often remember great masters at UCC.
  • Patrick Shing
    My condolences to Mr. Lecerf's family. He was our form master for 4L back in the 80's, and a wonderful and caring man. I remember being so comfortable with Mr. Lecerf that I accidentally called him "dad" when asking him a question during class. He smiled kindly, called me "son," and denied my request to leave school early that day. Rest in peace. Tempus fugit. Patrick Shing '92
  • Kamran Ahmad
    So sorry to hear of Mr. Lecerf's passing. He was my French teacher for many years at the Prep and my homeroom teacher for form 4. He was a kind, patient, gentle educator with a great sense of enthusiasm and a wonderful sense of humor. Always a gentleman he was a fantastic role model. I'll treasure the lessons he taught about French, sports, and life in general! My condolences to his family and friends.
  • Sean Manucha
    Mr. Lecerf was such an incredibly generous and compassionate man. His leadership, wisdom, and charisma had a profound impact on all the boys who came through the Prep. I think I'll remember him for how he appears in the iconic Happy video UCC posted on YouTube back in 2014: smiling and dancing down the stairs of the prep.
  • John-Paul Cavalluzzo
    I was fortunate enough to be hired as a teacher by Bernard in 2008. His compassion and kindness are unmatched by any school administrator that I have experienced since leaving UCC. In short, Bernard was a gentlemen in every sense of the word. His mentorship and style of leadership continue to impact me to this very moment. Rest In Peace, Bernard. You will not be forgotten.
  • George O'Toole
    M. Lecerf was an excellent teacher and great person. I have fond memories of him taking me under his wing in the late 70s, which was much needed during my years in the prep school. Decades later, while exploring the school with my family, he greeted us with warmth and even remembered me. M. Lecerf was the type of educator and person to aspire to be. Rest in Peace.
  • Mark Yatchew
    Such an incredible man, I played soccer with him and he helped guide and shape the way I saw the game and life. He will be truly missed.
  • Richard Harvey
    Such a great teacher and infinitely better person. So saddened to hear the news, but so lucky to have had crossed paths with him during and after UCC. A kind and intelligent man and mentor. My sincere condolences and best wishes to the family
  • Mark Pentland
    Bernard was a wonderful teacher and mentor - he cared deeply about his students and the college. As my soccer coach with Johnny McGrath, he guided us all the way to Nationals as an encouraging and expecting force. The experience with him taught us all how setting a high bar, hard work and having fun along the way can bring success. I will remember his smile and charm, he will be missed. My best wishes to the family, Mr. Lecerf was a great one.
  • David Dickinson
    I started at the Prep in Form 6, and was fortunate to have Mr. Lecerf as my form master. While not one to put up with too much from us (I've already seen his memorable refrain of "STOP THESE GAMES!!" in the comments), Bernard was at the same time kind and welcoming. I'll always be thankful for the classroom environment he provided, which made for an easy transition to UCC life. I know Bernard will be sorely missed by the UCC community and beyond, and I'd like to extend my heartfelt condolences to his family.
  • Paul W Bennett
    One of the kindest, most considerate and supportive colleagues, I ever had the privilege of working with in four different independent schools. Working alongside Bernard was always a pleasure. He loved “ The Prep” and devoted his life to caring for its students. RIP, Bernard
  • Jonathan Burns
    I have very fond memories of Mr. Lecerf from my time at the Prep in the mid 1980's, both in french class and seeing him striding across the fields to a soccer practise. He was a kind and gentle teacher and I remember his smile! His four and a half decades of services to the UCC community is remarkable! A note of humour: my father, Alan Burns, was on his way to play squash with Bernard, a regular squash partner of his, at UCC one evening in Sept 1997. He ended up in a terrible car accident when the chute of a cement mixer swung into oncoming traffic. He suffered a head injury and was in intensive care at St. Michael's Hospital for 10 days. For the first week, when I visited him, he would call me "Bernard." I think his mind had latched on to that name because he was on his way to see Mr. Lecerf when the trauma occurred. With great intensity, he would pull me towards himself and say, "Bernard, we have got to check out of this hotel. The food is terrible. You get the car, and I'll meet you downstairs, OK?" After a week he remembered who I was, but for a short time, I was honoured to be called Bernard - a great teacher to me and a wonderful squash partner and friend to my father. Rest in peace! Jonathan Burns '92
  • Calvin Lam
    Very sad to hear of Mr. Lecerf’s passing. I dreaded French class and was no good at soccer either, but he was always patient and fair with me. Getting to know him was one of the most memorable things from my experience at the Prep.
  • Telfer Hanson
    As the only new boy in grade 6, way back in the 70’s, Mr. Lecerf went out of his way to make me feel at home. I will always remember him as a kind man, who cared about each of us and taking the time to speak to us as young men and not children. RIP
  • David Budden
    I was fortunate and blessed that my 35 years of teaching at Crescent School coincided with Bernard’s time at UCC. From the first time I met him at a Sunday soccer match with a team of UCC and Crescent teachers, we became close friends. He always treated everyone he met with kindness and respect and never wanted to be acknowledged for all the positive contributions which he made on any occasion. I would always make a point of attending U-13 soccer games between UCC and Crescent, not only to enjoy the quality of soccer but also to watch the coaching rivarly between Bernard and Terry Bidiak. They both wanted to win but more importantly they both instilled sportsmanship in their players, many of whom were close friends off the pitch. Bernard was a scholar and a gentleman and also a gentle man. I am saddened by the news of his passing.
  • Andrew Prowse
    So sad to hear the news. He was such a great person. Those twinkly eyes and wry smile. There was always something mischevious about him which I liked. He was one of my favourit teachers (I am indebted to him to have received the nickname Dede all these years still). I was so happy to reconnect with him years later at old boy soccer. RIP
  • Christopher Kololian ‘03
    Mr Lecerf was such a memorable force in my time at UCC. I had the great fortune of being coached by Bernard Lecerf and Johnny McGrath who probably could have coached an English premier league team, but instead were stuck with our U13 squad! I’ll never forget the intense classroom strategy sessions focusing on the importance of a strong defence that Mr Lecerf instilled in us. That was definitely the peak of my soccer career, but a wonderful memory all the same. Bernard will be missed. My condolences and best wishes to the family.
  • Paul Weiser
    Loved M. Lecerf. Remember him telling me about Just Fontaine. RIP to a UCC man through and through.
  • Judith Dennison
    Bernard was my colleague in 1970 as I joined what was mainly a staff of men at the Prep. He and I delivered the French Program from Grades 3-9. I remember him always as a gentle voice of support as well as a kind, intelligent and creative mentor. It was a privilege to have known and worked with him.
  • Sacha Diab
    A good, good man that made UCC what it is. My coach and my son's soccer coach. Kind, encouraging, funny, thoughtful, and always willing to listen. The epitome of what made a good teacher and more importantly a great man. He will be missed.
  • Sandy Waugh
    Got to know him a little as my u13 soccer coach. Got to know him better playing old boys soccer years later. Good men make great teachers. He was the epitome of that.
  • Stephen Johnson
    As Head of the Prep 2000-2005, there was not a more steadfast supporter than Bernard Lecerf. He had the educators knack with kids of all ages and supported his colleagues with every endeavour. Of course, soccer was his passion, but he always loved the Prep.. Bernard and I remained friends for many years after I left and enjoyed numerous remembrances at several French cafes. Au revoir my friend.
  • Austin Haber
    Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of such an incredible man. Mr. Lecerf's charismatic persona and kind heart were evident from the very first moment you met him. His passion on the soccer field and as a teacher made him stand out but it was the moments off the pitch and outside of the classroom when he was checking in with former students and players that showed how much he truly cared. He was always curious to hear about how you were doing and when you spoke with him you felt he had a genuine desire to see you succeed. I'm very thankful to have known him during his time at UCC.
  • Joseph Orozco
    Very sad news, we will miss him deeply. (Please let us know of any planned celebration of life)
  • Drew Halfnight
    M. Lecerf was my warm and welcoming admissions tour guide, my kind and caring French teacher, and my hugely inspiring soccer coach. He made an enormous impression on me at that time, and continues to influence and inspire my work as a middle school French teacher and soccer coach. In recent years, I was impressed to notice he was modelling scholarship and active community service by running Cinéfranco, a French film festival for kids. To this day, when I teach a kid to kick a soccer ball, I show them the Lecerf way. I send condolences to his family and the fondest farewell to a truly great teacher.
  • Andrew Heintzman
    I'm very sorry to hear about this. Bernard Lecerf was one of the finest people I have ever met. He was my teacher and soccer coach, and he was also my son's soccer coach. He was a true gentleman in ever way; decent, kind and good. Goodbye Bernard and many thanks.
  • Simon Mortimer
    M. Lecerf was a great teach and a great human. A true highlight for me was travelling to Normandy and the Loire with a group he organized. My condolences to his family and thank you for sharing his kind hearted nature with the School so many years.
  • Rodger Wright
    I was lucky enough to cross paths with the incomparable Bernard Lecerf for the first 9 years of my career in education. He showed me the power of humility in a school and taught me to do my best to know and love my students. Beati Mundo Corde
  • Blake MacIsaac
    This news has brought me great sadness. It was an honour to meet and share so many wonderful memories with Mr. Lercerf. His presence will be greatly missed by all of the UCC community.
  • Colin Robertson
    He made me appreciate French, even if I stubbornly refused to become very good at it. It is that genuine enthusiasm for a subject and his students that him a great teacher.
  • Andrew Turner
    Mr Lecerf was my French teacher and B1 soccer coach in the Prep during the 1980s. My oldest son Robbie was lucky enough to have Bernard as his U13 soccer coach in 2014. They won the CAIS national championship that year. That was the school's 5th championship in a row under the Leadership of Mr Lecerf. My time of UCC was full of tremendous teachers and mentors but few had the impact of Mr. Lecerf. My love of soccer was born under the coaching of Mr Reid, Mr Lecerf and Mr Robinson. Their love of soccer was infectious. Bernard's calm disposition and approach was perfect for a volatile kid like myself. He left an indelible mark on my character and I will forever be grateful for having him as a coach/teacher.
  • Premek Hamr
    Tu vas nous manquer Coach Bernard! Quelle perte pour le football et le college. Bleus (UCC et la France) pour toujours!
  • Daniel Bendavid
    Dans un premier temps je tiens à représenter mes sincères condoléances à l'ensemble de la mort de Bernard. Personnellement, je voulais mettre un point d'honneur sur le charisme et l'intégrité de Bernard que j'ai connu à travers ma carrière à UCC. Je n'oublierai jamais les bons moments que nous avons passés ensemble.He was always kind, caring and humble. His smile and clear blue eyes are seared in my memory. I will miss him so very much.
  • Bill Oxley
    When I was in LR and UR in 1970-71, the young "Bernie" Lecerf made French my favourite subject, and it would remain so in the Upper School. I've been out of touch, but it seems he grew into the role of "the Louis Paichoux of the Prep". I probably owe my career as a translator and translation manager to those two great educators. Sincères condoléances à la famille Lecerf et à la famille UCC. Bill Oxley ('70-'76)
  • Benjamin Gunn
    Your gentleness and kindness will be missed Bernard. Thank you for being such a wonderful human, educator, mentor and coach to me and so many others.
  • Bruce Taylor
    Bernard was always positive always encouraging - so much fun to play soccer with (and against) - remembering him fondly!
  • Iain MacKinnon
    This is very sad news. He was an institution at the prep, much like Mr. Bredin at the upper school. Whether he was teaching French or coaching soccer, his passion for teaching and helping kids shone through. His feedback and comments were always thoughtful and with a sense of humour. He always made you feel that he cared about you -- a lot. He was sorely missed at the school after he retired and he will be sorely missed even more now. Just a great person in every sense.
  • Paul Csagoly
    He was one of the best teachers I ever had. He felt more like a friend than a teacher. Learning, be it French or soccer, became a joy and something to become better in for good reasons. He will be missed.
  • Marshall Webb
    I'm so sorry to hear of Bernard's death. Too short a retirement! He was always a calm, steady voice in meetings. He loved UCC
  • Rob Mee
    Bernard was a wonderful and caring colleague with so many varied interests - academics, athletics & music just to name a few. As an administrator he was always calm and supportive of the boys and the faculty and staff. I last saw him when he invited me to a lecture at U of T about Duke Ellington and I knew I could almost always see him at the Rex listening to live jazz after his weekly squash game. He was a true "Renaissance" man and will be missed.
  • John Gouinlock '75
    Bernard was more than just an inviting kind soul. He inspired higher learning both through his teaching and demonstrated skills of ball control and athleticism on the sports fields. He made each of us a more complete and successful person. On his first days at the Prep, he was my form master - 6L. When I was recovering post broken leg, he and I would work on his English together. As if he needed my help (ha, ha), but it was rememberable time together. To those who behaved badly, his oft' heard shout was "Stop these games." Nevertheless, he was a true gentleman every step of the way. Rest well Bernard.
  • Joe Coneybeare
    I still recall his first day as a Prep School teacher in 1968. As boys are wont to do, we tested his resolve and it ended with a sharp "ca suffit". Indeed it was enough to snap us to attentiveness, and as I depart for a trip to France in 2 days time, it will be in no small part due to him that I'll be able to manage in "schoolboy French".
  • Tom Matthews
    My memories of Bernard go back several decades to when I was teaching History at UCC. Unfailingly professional, gracious and respectful, and fully committed to the well-being of the College and its students, Bernard was a wonderful role model. I feel privileged to have served along side him. I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to his family.
  • Neil McOstrich
    He was a gentleman through and through. As a teacher, coach and individual of great character, he made made impressions - and deservedly leaves one too.
  • Kyle Manji
    Mr Lecerf was one of the kindest teachers I had the pleasure to meet during my time at UCC. His warm smile and genuine interest in the lives of all students could brighten up even the gloomiest of winter days. I have nothing but appreciation for the impact he left on not just myself, but for all the students who had the pleasure of meeting him.
  • Robert Wilson
    Bernard introduced a young boarding student newly arrived from St. John's, Newfoundland, to a love of language and culture. He exemplified sportsmanship and grace both on and off the pitch. Thank you, Bernard, for your service! B
  • Neale Gillespie
    The world has lost a most sincere and revered gentleman. Bernard will be missed tremendously. I had the good fortune to know Mr. Lecerf as an exceptional French teacher, a passionate soccer coach, a dedicated school leader and administrator, and later in life as a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. One of my favourite moments of my coaching/teaching career was having the opportunity to coach against Bernard in the CAIS U13 National Soccer Tournament some 20+ years after he had coached me as a player in the same tournament. My thoughts are with his family and all who knew him. Rest well, Bernard. You have most certainly earned it. ??
  • Tina Brunelle
    I had the privilege and honour of working with Bernard for 18 years. He was a knowledgeable, personable, and hard working professional and true gentleman as a school administrator, as an educator, and as a coach. He influences many many teachers and students over the years, including myself and my son. Bernard was my colleague, my mentor, and my friend. Il me manquera et il occupera toujours une place spéciale dans mes pensées.
  • Lloyd Perlmutter
    So sorry to hear of this gentle and friendly soul's passing. He was a kind and thoughtful man who loved the game of soccer and that will be our class of 1978's unshakeable bond with him forever. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him and condolences to the family. LAP
  • Mark Hoel
    Bernard was consummate gentleman a great soccer player and coach. He encouraged so many kids (and young faculty!) over the years. Bernard's wisdom was particularly appreciated when selecting players for the U14 soccer teams. A real class act.
  • Max Ward
    Simply one of the nicest guys anyone could have the pleasure of meeting. It's not often someone so easily was able to change your day from a bad one to a good one just by one conversation and a smile in the hallways. The thing that special people do best is they make everyone else feel special.
  • Russ Chong
    He was such a great teacher, coach and human being. He soft ways were always encouraging and made you want to do better, whether on the pitch or in the classroom. I will miss his quiet smile very much.
The word experience The UCC Difference