The weekend of July 13-15thwas a glorious weekend in the Port City as the Class of 68 came together to celebrate their 50threunion.
On Friday night 95 alumni and guests gathered together for a reception at SJHS to meet and greet old friends and classmates. Decorations for the Friday and Saturday night event were beautifully made by co-secretaries, Brenda (Pattman) Paul and Carol (Clark) Spencer. A sumptuous buffet was provided by Childs' Catering and Moosehead Breweries donated beer for the occasion. A special "vintage" wine with a custom made label to denote the Class of 68 50thReunion made by members of the Planning Team was also served. The bar was smartly attended by Dave McPherson (Class of 72), long time former teacher and rugby Hall of Famer as well as brother of Reunion Chair, Andy McPherson. His partner for the evening was Peter Fitzgerald ( Class of 92), a very talented rugby player in his own right and son of Kay and Clark (Class of 66) Fitzgerald. The School's primary custodian, Christian was a huge help during the set up and take down of the event and went out of his way to make sure everything was to our satisfaction. Grade 11 student, Jacob Gomke provided the A/V tech support for the evening.
It was an energetic and engaged group of classmates who clearing enjoyed seeing their former classmates. During the evening a video about the Class of 68 superbly produced by fellow alumnus, Dave MacGowan, was shown.
Valedictorian, Paul Selick was unable to attend but did send a photo of himself dressed in his old red and grey blazer. Paul provided a brief update on his career and a warm welcome to his fellow classmates. Paul, through his Selick Foundation donated $500 to the Class Legacy Project.
The Legacy Project, decided upon by the Reunion Planning Team, was to digitalize all the class photos (the ones hanging on the walls throughout the school) so they could be uploaded to the Alumni website. In this way, former students, family, friends can easily do an online search for their school photo or a family member's photo. A secondary benefit was the ability to preserve these photos for the long term. These photos will be available on line very shortly.
On Saturday morning, approximately 50 alumni and guests participated in a specially designed Walk and Talk tour of uptown Saint John. The theme for this 2 hour tour was "The Saint John You Thought You Knew' and was created and conducted by David Goss, a true Saint Johner who has been conducting Walk and Talk tours of the city for the past 40 years. His knowledge of the city's history is profound. Every participant in the Walk remarked how terrific it was and it is something every resident should do.
Saturday evening, the concluding reception and dinner was held at the historic Union Club. 85 alumni and guests attended this sold out event and were treated to a beautifully decorated room and an elegant dinner. Special guests for the evening were Lori Wall, Principal of SJHS, Maureen Desmond, Vice Principal and our main contact for all Reunion Events at the school and Drew Murdoch ( Class of 2018) who did all the photography for our Legacy Project.
During the evening the Class of 68 video was reshown to the delight of all present. Kay (McEachern) Fitzgerald presented a thank you to Dave MacGowan, in the form of a donation made in his name to Romero House, for producing our class video. Interspersed throughout the evening were the class photos that now comprise our Legacy Project.
Doug Holt, Vice Chair provided an overview of the Legacy Project and gave an elegant introduction of Drew Murdoch. Doug presented Drew with a special cash gift on behalf of the Class of 68 for his efforts. Maureen was also thanked by Doug and presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers and a "vintage" bottle of wine made especially for the Reunion.
Charlie Parker, Treasurer made the presentation to Principal Wall with the surplus funds we collected and made payable to the Dennis Knibb Scholarship Trust and to the Alumni Association. In total the Class of 68 raised over $5300 for the Legacy Project and of that approximately $4000 was donated to the Scholarship Trust and the Alumni Fund. Principal Wall, on behalf of the School and the Alumni Association graciously thanked our Class for its wonderful contribution and then took a few minutes to update those in attendance of the $20 million renovation/modernization program that the School will go through for the next 5 years.
Next was a Trivia Contest with questions posed about our school year and the city of Saint John in 1968. There was only one winning table, which got to share a case of that specially created wine. The other tables are now enrolled in summer school class memory improvement. The evening concluded with a reminiscing look back at 1968 by Reunion Chair, Andy McPherson along with a theme song chosen for the event, "We Didn't Light the Fire" by Billy Joel and a rousing rendition of the old high school cheer, Ringo.
A special thanks to Jane (Izzard) Craig, Anna Marie Hutton ( wife of Robert Hutton), Karen McPherson ( wife of Andy McPherson) and Kay ( McEachern) Fitzgerald for manning the reception desks for the Friday and Saturday night events.
On behalf of the Grad Class Executive, I want to extend my thanks to all who came and participated. We hope your weekend provided you with a memory or two and perhaps renewing old relationships. For those who were not able to attend and still contributed to our Legacy Project, we thank you. For those who could not attend for health reasons, we sincerely hope your health improves very soon.
Your Grad Class Executive and 50thReunion Planning Team:
Brenda Paul, Carol Spencer, Charlie Parker, Doug Holt and Andy McPherson and our number 1 volunteer, Kay Fitzgerald.
CLASS OF 68 PREDICTS 2068
During the course of the evening, Reunion Chair, Andy McPherson challenged dinner guests to make bold predictions for the world 50 years from now. So with apologies to David Letterman here are the Class of 68's predictions for 2068:
- A cure for cancer(s) will be found.
- Robots/AI will take the place of most jobs we now know.
- Tidal power will be provided by the Bay of Fundy.
- Fossil fuels will be passe.
- Autonomous/driverless transportation will be the norm.
- Climate change will be the number 1 problem for the world.
- Print media will no longer exist.
- Anonymity will no longer exist.
- Children at birth will have chips implanted detailing personal and health information.
- Retail shopping, as we now know it, will not exist.
Since none of us will likely be around to see if we were right, so can someone out there keep score and let our descendants know what a smart group of predictors we were.
Legacy Project Contributors (as of July 2, 2018)
|BAIRD||FOSS||JOSEPHINE ANN (JOEY)|
|BRITTON||N ANDREW (ANDY)|
|HUTTON||ROBERT J (RJ)|
|PEACOCK||KENNETH G (KEN)|
|ROSS||DAVID FENWICK (DAVE)|
|TEED||ROBERT C G|