Reflections of Ponoka: 1972 PCHS grads home to share memories

Their appearance may have changed just a little over the years and they will surely be sharing lots of photos of their kids and

The class of 1972

The class of 1972

Their appearance may have changed just a little over the years and they will surely be sharing lots of photos of their kids and grandchildren but the Ponoka Composite High School graduating class of 1972 is really looking forward to meeting old classmates and rekindling great memories at their gala 40-year reunion Sept. 8.

The exciting evening of camaraderie, nostalgia, fine food and treats will be held at the Wolf Creek Golf Resort and there is no doubt these former Ponoka students, their spouses, teachers, and guests will kick up their heels and also do a little touring around their “old stomping grounds” throughout the fun weekend. All guests of course will be forgiven if they don’t cruise and party at the same speed as they did way back then.

Most of the members of the 1972 grad class began their exciting school adventures in Ponoka back in 1960 when they shyly enrolled in Grade 1 at the historic Red Brick School or the modern new Riverside School. As we welcome the class of 1972 back to their old home town, we sincerely hope that they enjoy every moment of their reunion festivities, as well as getting a chance to browse around our friendly community, meet and greet old friends, and do lots of reminiscing.

In honour of the occasion we have printed the Grade 1 class list in the Remember When feature, as well as presenting just a few delightful tidbits from the pages of the Quill and Shield Yearbook, which we hope you will enjoy.

• Do you remember when you registered with your parents on that scary but exciting First Grade morning? You got to meet your new teacher, listened quietly at what school supplies you would need, then dashed outside at 10:30 a.m. and went shopping for all those neat pencils, erasers, scribblers, crayons, and maybe even a fancy new lunch kit? In those days families could also purchase accident insurance for students, which cost $1 and offered 24-hour coverage.

• Coming back for your first full day of school the next morning, you loved your brand new clothes and shoes, and then quickly realized that you had to be quiet for longer periods of time, as well as put your hand up if you wanted to go to the bathroom. If you were like me, you fell in love with that colorfully illustrated book that featured the delightful story of Dick and Jane and Spot and Puff and all the rest, but then again, my favourite class was always recess.

• As you entered into your high school years with great gusto, your teachers were: Messrs. Anderson, Brulhart, Demanchuk, Dobi, Gill, Hemeyer, Hill, Jevne, Kalita, Kusiek, Lane, Lemke, Lloyd, Miazga, Nicholson, Olson, Vegter, Verburg, Dootson, and Kossack; Mrs. Nelson, Rees, Verburg, Taylor, Vold, Ashton, and Lane; and Misses Farrington, Coulombe, and Schultz. Up at the big office, where you did not want to ever get called on the intercom, was Principal Russell Peterson, vice-principal Halvor Jonson, vocational principal John Smith, business manager Anne Walker, guidance counsellors H. Moller and Gordon Currie, and secretary Mrs. Clyburn. Those strict but friendly Janitors were Mr. Jorgenson, Mr. Rausch, Mr. Jamison and Bob Evans.

• Some of your great accomplishments in 1972: Ponoka Comp received the IOOF Award for the greatest number of blood donors by a single group in the community; James Walls was a perennial chess champion; and the “brains” on the Reach for the Top teams coached by Mrs. Rees were George Ward, Robin Taylor, Becky Luce, Ken Fenske, Jim Lewis, Judy Tough, Lyall Riley, David Gunderson, Jan Nuefeld, Leslie Ward and Jack Elliot.

• Did you know that Ron Carlson, Rena Wright, and Beva Farnham loved to work in food services; and longstanding PCHS track records were set by: Don Lewis (junior boys’ javelin, 156 feet), Dan Schickerowski (intermediate boys’ javelin, 156 feet, 10 inches), Danny Liddle ran the intermediate boys’ mile in 4.50.6; burly Jim McCrimmon tossed the discus 122.1 feet in the intermediate boys’ event; while Wendy Elofson won the senior girls’ javelin event with an amazing 123-foot, 11-inch throw.

Some of those 1970s PCHS students who managed to combine education with sports were those who played on the Ponoka Junior A Stampeders hockey team, including Keith Silvernagle, Norm Hinkley, Don Brennan, Lyman Haakstad, Jim McCrimmon, Graham Parsons Stan Weir Bernie Comeau and Larry Nielson. There were always many sports, music, drama and extra events to choose from throughout the school years, where everyone cheered for each team, always led by those sassy cheer squads.

• There is no doubt on that special reunion evening that many will proudly be wearing their classic old school sweaters, maybe even white bucks and bobby socks but for sure there will be lots of photos taken and exchanged. Just in case you forget over the last 40 years, there class valedictorian and historian on that magic grad night in 1972 were William Bailey and Althea Rowland, so give them an extra hug and a high-five.

• The Class of 1972 Reunion Committee has worked hard to put this gala evening together, and deserve the accolades of their former classmates. They would like to extend an invitation to all former teachers and staff members to attend the Saturday, Sept. 8 festivities at Wolf Creek that will begin at 5 p.m. and carry on until all the stories have been told and the memories shared. Those wishing to register or receive more information are urged to contact Ryan Vold at or phone 866-783-6050.