Reunion brings together classmates from the 1950s

FORMER classmates of Bathurst High School got together last Saturday night to remember the days of the old schoolyard.

ALL CLASS: The 1949 school captains Arthur Baillie and Shirley (nee Richards) Grant and 1952 school captains Jenny (nee Medley) Evans and Kevin Chew at last Saturday's reunion. Photos: CHRIS SEABROOK 031117cbhs1

ALL CLASS: The 1949 school captains Arthur Baillie and Shirley (nee Richards) Grant and 1952 school captains Jenny (nee Medley) Evans and Kevin Chew at last Saturday's reunion. Photos: CHRIS SEABROOK 031117cbhs1

But what made their reunion different to the many others that are held in Bathurst each year is that they were reminiscing about school life in the early 1950s.

The reunion of the Bathurst High class of 1953 held at the Bathurst City Community Club was the 25th time the classmates had held an organised get-together since they left school.

The first reunion was held on December 27,1969 and was organised by the 1953 school captains Pam (nee Matthews) Burgess and Ian Beardwood.

In later decades, organisers Marie (nee Hargans) Ford and Jim Grives included two extra classes, 1951 and 1952, to attract a larger number of ex-students, teachers and friends. 

Special guests at the 2001 reunion were schoolteachers Eve (nee Turner) Harris and her husband Albert Harris, June Darke and Mary (nee Mallick) Sainty.         

“Our great schoolmate Robert North and his wife, Coralie, travelled from New York, USA to be at our 2001 reunion,” Mr Grives said.

“Robert was the head superintendent of the Trudeau Institute of Medicine of the New York State. Robert is world famous for his research into cancer and has travelled the world lecturing on his research.”

Mr Grives said last Saturday night’s get-together was attended by 35 ex-students and 15 friends, who celebrated 48 years of the reunions.

“Special ex-students attending were the 1949 school captains Shirley (nee Richards) Grant and Arthur Baillie, both retired school teachers,” he said.

“Also at the reunion again were two of the three students who were the outstanding Leaving Certificate students in the Western Area of Education in 1949, John Scott and Norman Dowton. The third student was Peter Beardwood, who moved to Canada about 50 years ago.”

In attendance as well were the 1952 school captains, Jenny (nee Medley) Evans and Kevin Chew.

The 1949 and 1952 school captains led the rendition of the high school anthem, which was sung by those attending with “great gusto and joy”, Mr Grives said.

The next reunion will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019.