The Ponoka High School graduation class of 1963 back row: Grant Gillund

Reflections of Ponoka: A grad class dedicated to the Soaring Sixties

As you glance through the 1963 Ponoka High School Quill and Shield yearbook, you will find many glossy pages full of smiling

As you glance through the 1963 Ponoka High School Quill and Shield yearbook, you will find many glossy pages full of smiling and busy students, teams, and supportive teachers, all with an obvious exciting outlook going into the future. Many of the 69 members of the 1963 Ponoka High School graduating class, teachers, spouses, and guests will return to their favourite old home town on the weekend of Sept. 13 to 15 to celebrate their gala 50-year reunion.

Of course, as we all realize, after a half a century, there will likely be some changes in appearance and a slight mellowing of moods and personalities. There promises to a wonderful mix and sharing of wonderful memories, mementos and camaraderie, as well as slightly exaggerated tales to tell about their life adventures of then, now, and everything in between.

What really impressed me the most about the 1963 yearbook were the lofty goals, ambitions and dreams those young men and women set for themselves in striving to become nurses, teachers, engineers, bankers, secretaries, athletes — and of course husbands, wives, and parents as they advanced proudly together into the next big chapter of the rest of their lives.

As we extend a warm welcome to the PHS Class of 1963 back to our friendly community, allow me to share some of that early youthful enthusiasm, habits, rambunctious personalities, and future goals (in brackets) that these classmates displayed and vigorously pursued during those best years of their lives.

Stan Lux- a sports wonder on and off skates. (Attend a university in the United States);

Carole Anderson- the whiz from Sylvan Heights. (Teacher);

Elaine Bailey- sweet, short, and snappy. (Secretary);

Roberta Bascom- gentle and friendly ‘Bobbi’ wants to be a nurse;

Vivian Baumgartner- easily flustered, but still yearns to become a teacher;

Gail Beach- our go-go sports girl wants to be a nurse at PTS in Red Deer;

Rita Bell- reliable and studious (Nurse);

Garry Bresee- this Crestomere lad is aiming for a career in agriculture;

Karen Calvert- outgoing and happy girl wants to become a great nurse.

Dianne Davies- loves taking part in community and sports activities. (Lab Technician);

Richard Clark- the guy with the meandering gait, likes to tinker with cars, and longs to go to university;

Violet Fleck- generous to a T, a great dancer who wants to seek a secretarial career;

Carol Frank- hails from Crestomere, this chick loves to chat, always agrees, and hopes to become a stenographer;

Martin Schmidt- tall, dark, and serious. (A career in sociology);

Garry Stafford- (El-Sid) is the guy with the great laugh and wants to be a gas technician;

Carol Stewart- a country girl who likes country boys and wants to become a nurses’ aide;

Jennie Risto- always a lively bundle of joy who will make a great banker.

Garry Rentz- is busy all the time, and would like to become a Draftsman.;

Dennis Johnston- a sports fanatic who wants the thrills of a career in aeronautics.;

George McKenzie- wants to be a Professor of whatever.;

Dave Gahr- mystic and passive who believes that what will be will be;

Grant Gillund- cordial but an admitted bad cook who would like to someday be a veterinarian;

Don Trennery- this big red head is great at sports and wants to become a banker someday.;

Ken Williams- pleasing personality. (Electronic technician);

Ian Thumlert- man about town and potential genius will soon be off to college;

Lynn Taggart- peppy and friendly and wants to be a nurse’s aide;

Ronald Sweet- our musical talented fellow would like to be an architect.

Patricia Bonnet- a pert and prissy miss. (To take a business course);

James Byers- tall, dark, and mysterious. (A career in airplanes).;

Gerry Field- Involved in everything school and community. (Wants to be a teacher);

Elaine Cissell- was the 1963 class valedictorian (Nursing).;

Dick Groom- everyone’s pal, hopes to take an agriculture course at Olds College.;

Anni Hansen- our Danish Miss is a neat and friendly individual who is seeking matrimony and a secretarial career;

Sharon Donaghy- The sweet blonde from Mecca Glen. (A nurse at PMH);

Donna Delong- always chatty and friendly. (Going into the banking business);

Beverley Hughes- quiet but mischievous. (To be someone’s secretary).;

Larry Henkelman- always relaxed and easy going, is planning to go to a tech school;

Gordon Jones- good sport, and great to be around (BSC degree at U of A);

Gloria McCue- witty but determined, and wants to be a French teacher;

Ken Pohl- a great goaltender who wants to play hockey of course;

Sheila Wilders- class Historian. (Nursing at U of A);

Christine Younge- sportswoman who would like to be a nurse in Hawaii;

Shirley Despegelaere- stylish and friendly. (Secretary).;

Jeannette Hingst- always active (Chartered Accountant);

Mavis Orom- our sewing wizard and hopefully later lab technician;

Shirley Roesti- amiable, enjoys drama class, and wants to be a secretary;

Gilbert Lance- an industrious lad who wants to get into forestry;

Carol Hughes- quite modest, but would love being a nurse.;

Arlene Sachs- sophisticated. (Nursing);

Carole Johnson- very gracious, looking at a secretarial career.

And good luck to all the rest.

A salute to those dedicated 1963 Ponoka High School staf: Principal Russell Petterson, Atha Topley, Miss Meikleljohn, Miss McPhie, Mr. Purnell, George Olson, Tom Dick, Mrs. L. Vold, Mr. R. Singh, Eileen Hailstone, Shirley White, Miss Toole, Bill Doran, Mel McCoy, Jim Day, Mrs. Wilson, librarian Mrs. Hutchison, secretary Ann Walker and janitor Howard Webb.

Those attending the 50th 1963 class reunion will enjoy tours around their old stomping grounds, as well as photo and mix and mingle sessions, a show and tell, Sunday breakfast for classmates and family members and much more. Ponoka High School alumni from the 1962 and 1964 graduating classes are welcome to register for the Friday, Sept. 13 evening mix and mingle event.

For more information on this 1963 class reunion shindig are urged to get in touch with Marty Schmidt at 403-550- 7885 or email

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