The Yellowknife high school class of 1979 is coming from as far away as Saudi Arabia for what could be the first 40th high school reunion ever organized.
The St. Patrick and Sir John Franklin high school classes of 1979 will gather in the city June 20th to 23rd. Planning for the event started last fall and organizer Caroline Kasteel Bowler says she wants to hear from as many people as possible who went to high school around this year.
“We’re really keen on touching base with as possible, so that at least they know that this is happening and if they’re interested, maybe they’ll come and join,” Bowler says, adding the reunion is open to all those who went to high school in 1979, not just those who graduated that year.
Although 40 years is quite an achievement for any grad class, Bowler says the 79ers have always had a ‘unique connection.’ They’ve held reunions every 10 years, bonding and growing stronger as the years go by. Being able to connect via social media has also been a huge help in reaching out to people who are attending their first reunion since high school.
“These are the times when social media is a huge positive, because it’s far reaching and by putting a list out there we already have responses and tags and things happening,” she says, referring to a list she put out on the reunion’s Facebook page of the people who organizers still haven’t been able to connect with.
“The best thing about these reunions is that we get to reconnect with people that we wouldn’t necessarily reconnect with on a regular basis.”
Bowler says she has many fond memories of being a part of high school band with fellow students including Pat Braden, and while she says her flute playing skills are rusty the good memories of band concerts and trips remain. She says a school tour, led by their former English teacher, will likely jog some memories from high school days.
The 79ers will take in what the city has to offer during the four days they are here – they will revisit Old Town, tee off in the Midnight Golf Tournament and tour Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations.
Organizers are asking people to share this information with anyone they know who attended high school at this time. Grads and others interested in what’s planned for June can check out the reunion’s website, Facebook page or email [email protected]
Bowler says she is also looking for any businesses who want to add their goods to swag bags all attendees will get – she says some lodging providers and Canadian North have already offered discounts, but she’s hoping for more.