As part of the 65th school reunion many former students of the Red Brick School toured Fort Ostell Museum

Former students relive their school days

Years after they left school, friends and classmates are still coming together to share stories and experiences.

Years after they left school, friends and classmates are still coming together to share stories and experiences.

The 65th school reunion of the class of 1948 from the Red Brick School swept through old haunts Aug. 2 and 3, bringing back graduates and students from across the country.

Part of the Hawaiian-themed reunion was spent playing a few games such as pineapple bowling but much of it was spent retelling old stories and laughing like schoolchildren.

On Aug 2. the returned students toured the Fort Ostell Museum, where a book featuring many of the woman of Ponoka’s history held Doreen McClaflin captivated. As she flipped through, faces on every couple of pages stood out and evoked a memory.

McClaflin and husband Gordon have attended the reunions since the 40th reunion was held. “I still have my autograph books with all my chums,” said McClaflin.

On Aug. 3 a tour of the Red Brick School had the former students exclaiming as soon as they got inside how different everything was. “It’s changed completely,” said Lux.

When she attended the school it housed all 12 grades with approximately 30 students per grade.

While a part of the tour involved looking around the unfamiliar building, more time was dedicated to telling old stories that still whispered through the halls.

McClaflin recalls one time when a teacher left the classroom and chaos ensued. “They got out the chalk rags and they started in … you could hardly see the kids in the room.”

Doris Harness and her friends were also up for making mischief in school by playing hooky. To sneak out of school they’d stash their coats in the bathroom, but one day those coats went missing.

“They put them up in the principal’s office and we thought, ‘oh my god how are we going to get out of this’.”

When they went to the principal’s office it was empty. “So we stole the evidence,” Harness recalled, laughing.

A few teachers also returned for the reunion, including Barbra Smith, a favorite teacher of James Beach.

“She used to shut everything down the first of December and we’d focus on the Christmas concert the rest of the month,” said Beach.

“I don’t think I shut everything down,” countered Smith. “We did reading, writing and arithmetic.”

A great deal of emphasis was put on the Christmas concert each year because teachers’ abilities were judged on how the concert went. “They thought if the concert was good you were a good teacher,” said Smith.

Stories of Christmas concerts led to talk of other memorable trees. Don Macleod remembers an immense hedge that ran all along the front of the building. “It was my job to trim that stupid hedge.”

Others who also remember the hedge joked, saying by the time Macleod finished trimming the whole hedge it would be time to start over again.

Visiting with all their old school mates also leads to remembering those who didn’t return this year. “I’ve lost many of my friends. Each time there are a few less people,” said McClaflin.

Just Posted

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Ponoka County approves $70,000 to dredge Parkland Beach

Parkland Beach to see some dredging support from Ponoka County

Ponoka sets bylaw on cannabis retail, pushes for quick public consumption regulation

Town passes first reading on retail outlet bylaw, questions staff on need to separate public usage

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Canada signs global pact to help rid world’s oceans of abandoned fishing gear

The federal Fisheries Minister says it’s a ‘critical issue’

GOP pushing forward for Kavanaugh, accuser wants ‘fairness’

Kavanaugh has denied al allegations of sexual misconduct

Rural Canada Post carriers could see 25-per-cent pay hike: spokesman

An arbitrator has released a ruling in a long-standing pay equity dispute at Canada Post

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

Bradley Williams takes over as Westerner Park Interim CEO

CFR expected to go on as scheduled with no disruption

Despite protests, Russia’s anti-doping agency reinstated

On a 9-2 vote, the executive committee declared RUSADA as having satisfied conditions

The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast.

Most Read