Story by M. Maxine George Pictures by Fay Kovacs, Maxine George and Donna Logan
CHS looks much the same here as it did 60 years ago.
The cafeteria is ready to welcome the returning students.
Old yearbooks and memorabilia await their perusal.
Donna (Short) Logan, Annabelle (Leslie) Cook and Delores (Gaudette) Lehmann hurrying to finish.
A few last minute preparations and we'll be ready!
Annabelle bones up on the latest information. Delores warms up her smile. Moneca (Margaret) checks the list.
Ready to welcome our classmates.
Fay Kovacs, Moneca Walkert (Margaret Warkentin) and Maxine (Pfeiffer) George
Annabelle and Delores Donna is taking the picture.
On your mark, get set it's 12 Noon!
June is usually associated with high school graduations. However, Chilliwack Senior High School was home to a rather unusual event this June. A joyous luncheon was held in the school cafeteria, marking the sixtieth anniversary of the graduation of the class of '51. This was a reunion of classmates, some of whom started school in the Chilliwack school district in 1939. The students from that class were among the first students to attend the new school when it opened in 1950. The old school, on Yale, which had housed students from grade 8 to 12 had become too crowded, so the class went onto split shift, arriving at school early in the morning and having the afternoon off, until the new school across the street, was ready for occupation. The senior classes then moved into the new building, a building now in the process of being replaced.
Let's find the name tags. Someone might have forgotten your name! Good, here it is! Now people will know Jill (Ramage) Baron and Louise (Adams) Butler
John and Fay Kovacs getting their name tags prominently displayed.
Approximately eighty people attended the luncheon, former classmates, with spouses or companions some of whom were students in other years at the school. This class is believed to have been one of the largest classes to attend CHS. Excitement was in the air as people began to arrive. Surprisingly enough, while everyone had aged, the sparkle in their eyes and the happy smiles as they were greeted by old friends soon wiped away the years.
Ellen (Edmeston) and Hank Penner came down off the mountain for lunch. Jack and Gail Fotheringham arrived from Seattle..
Our pianist, June (Watson) and Gordon Dolman drove from Abbotsford. Vic and Pat Pauls came from the Okanagan for lunch.
We were pleased to see Esther Kerr, who has retired from teaching in Chilliwack. Elsie (Rempel) Williams arrived with a happy smile.
Abe Biickert and his wife Gloria came from Ontario.
Arnold Eaton and his wife Pat, now reside in Nanaimo. Robin Lister, smiling for the camera this time, is posing with his wife Sheila.
Helen (Moysa) and Harry McTaggert came from Langley. Tom and Gwen Beer are Chilliwack residents.
Students share a unique bond, because of their similarity of ages and life's shared experiences, as they move along towards their educational goals and physical maturity. Now sixty years later these people have not only that shared experience to build on, but now they are sharing their golden years, and the physical and mental challenges and the joys, like grandchildren, that come with this age. The room buzzed with conversation, cameras flashed, enthusiastic hugs were exchanged. The joyful atmosphere was tangible.
Donna, Maxine, Evelyn (Adams) Armitage, Louise and Jill
Irene (Froese) and Nick Thiessen reside in Burnaby now. Vella (Parkhurst) and Bob Henderson are local residents.
Allen and Joyce Wilkie reside in Vancouver between travels. Doug Robinson was patient while wife, Moneca Walkert was busy with the luncheon.
Doris and Bob McEachern Both couples are great supporters of our class get-togethers Abe and Betty Esau
Harold and Betty Brooks of Chilliwack Dennis and Claire Maynard came from White Rock
Lloyd Hayes is another person who came from the Okanagan for lunch Rachel (Ackerman) Wosk, finally a grandmother.
Shirley Mulder, John Kovaks and Terry Mulder Allan and Diane (Anderson) Fraser of Kamloops
Langley residents, Richard and Maxine (Pfeiffer) George with Donna (Short) Logan Ellen (Edmeston), Marlene (Wambolt) Whitehead and Agnes (Peters) Lewis
June and Peter Ratzlaff of Cultus Lake Agnes (Peters) Lewis, Agatha (Enns) Ratzlaff and Irene (Toews) Riediger
Walter and Matilda Hamm Donna (Short) Logan and Irene (Toews) Riediger
Barbara and Roy Stark Wilma (McKillop) Lewis hurried here from White Rock
Rae, Jill, June, Louise, Anne (Pringle) Dessario, and Donna
Nick Thiessen reconnects with the best man at his wedding, Ed Pahl. Gord Dolman, Bob McEachern, Bob and Vella Henderson
Sue and Lloyd Hayes also came from the Okanagan Irene (T), Irene (F) , Elsie , and Agatha, old friends reunite
The fact that the school cafeteria had been made available was particularly poignant to the former students. The culinary class at CHS catered the event. The luncheon guests were in agreement, that the food and service was excellent.
The luncheon was kicked off by a short speech by Allan Wilkie, who was the boy's Senior Ring of the class. Allan's speech was particularly appropriate for the shared experience of his audience. Allen also read the list of those who had passed on since the last reunion in 2006. Donna (Short) Logan, girl's Senior Ring, led the class in the school cheers. A fitting finale came when June (Watson) Dolman played the piano to accompany us, as she has done so many times in the past, while everyone sang the school song.
Following lunch, Annabelle announced that those of the group, who would like to visit longer, could adjourn to the Club Room at the Rainbow Estates. You can be sure quite a few took advantage of the opportunity to extend the get-together.
Parting came with many promises to "keep in touch" in the future. For those living locally that promise is not hard to keep. Regular luncheons are held in Chilliwack three times a year, on the third Wednesday in February, June and October. All former classmates (and their companions) are welcome.
If any of you have pictures you would like to share on this site, send them to Maxine @ firstname.lastname@example.org Forgive me Fay Kovacs for spelling your name wrong on the watermarks on each of your excellent pictures. I'll try to do better with all future pictures.
For further information contact:
Moneca at 604-792-2303; Donna at 604-795-5555; or in the western Fraser Valley contact Maxine at 604-534-2535.
Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don't recognize you.
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