A Toronto public school named after Nelson Mandela will have a special ceremony for the South African leader on Friday.

Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically-elected president after decades of apartheid rule, died on Thursday. He was 95.

After Mandela’s death, the flag at Nelson Mandela Park Public School was lowered to half-mast. Students and staff will hold a ceremony in his honour at 10:30 a.m.

Mandela visited the Regent Park school on Nov. 17, 2001, during his last visit to Canada. On the same trip, he was made an honorary citizen of the country.

Born in 1912 to the Thembu royal family, Mandela studied law and moved to Johannesburg where he became a part of the anti-colonial movement.

In 1961 he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe and led a bombing campaign against government targets. The next year Mandela was arrested and convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

He served 27 years in prison before an international campaign lobbying for his release was successful in February 1990.

His release was broadcast live around the world and would become a quintessential moment in the end of apartheid.

Mandela was married three times, had six children and 17 grandchildren.