The special bond among members of Ladysmith High School’s 1958 class has long stood the test of time before their 60th reunion.
The Ladysmith group, which included several Chemainus students at the time, recently gathered to mark the landmark occasion, beginning with a meet and greet and lunch at the Horseshoe Bay Inn Cafe in Chemainus.
“We got together for our 50th reunion and it was such a huge success we continued to meet for lunches,” noted Donna (Griswold) Curnow, one of the main organizers, who currently lives in Calgary.
“We discovered at our 50th, we really cared about each other. We were just happy to see each other.”
Every year since there’s been luncheons, leading up to the big event.
“We knew the 60th was coming,” noted Curnow.
And that began the preparations for a special three days that included 48 classmates at the meet and greet followed by an open house at the home of Jim and Tig (Gammie) Roe in Chemainus. The next day, there was a golf tournament and 43 attended a dinner at the Shoe Cafe, with 20 gathering the final day for a wind-up picnic at Ladysmith’s Transfer Beach.
“It all worked out really well,” said Roe. “We had a really good time.”
“The other thing we discovered all our spouses became part of the class and we’re all one big happy family,” Curnow indicated.
Ladysmith High in those days was for Grades 7-12. There was no high school for Chemainus students entering Grade 10 so they traveled by bus to Ladysmith each day.
“The students there welcomed us and we became good friends and we considered LHS our school, too,” Roe pointed out.
Not everyone graduated as different life choices directed some down other paths, but all classmates that started out together in Grade 10 were always included in any functions held over the years and invited to the 60th reunion.
Classmates from as far away as Ontario and California attended.
”We have become a very close knit group that truly cares for each other and enjoy our twice a year luncheons which we will continue each May and September for as long as we are able,” added Roe.
She praised Curwen for being “the glue that keeps us all together.” Curwen travels with husband Dave from Calgary for the lunches twice a year as well as doing all the email newsletters, phone calls and reminders about the next get-together and contributed greatly to the success of the 60th reunion.
The experience always leaves an impression on class member Mickey Gould. “I know kids that have never had a reunion,” he said.
“I’ve been having a blast 10 for 10 years,” enthused Curnow. “I keep in touch with everybody.”
“We were raised at a very lucky time,” she added. “We never had to go to war. We never had to do any of those things.”