Here is a 1952-53 class at the Mecca Glen School. Shown from left to right

Here is a 1952-53 class at the Mecca Glen School. Shown from left to right

Reflections of Ponoka: Mecca Glen School to host 65th reunion

In what we hope will be a warm summer weekend of Saturday and Sunday-July 26 and 27, 2014

In what we hope will be a warm summer weekend of Saturday and Sunday-July 26 and 27, 2014, several generations of the past and present students, teachers, and support staff of the Mecca Glen School will gather together to celebrate their gala 65th reunion. Since 1949, hundreds of rambunctious boys and girls from the rural farming districts east of Ponoka have utilized all forms of transportation in all sorts of weather to attend yearly classes at the Ponoka School Division’s first pristine and friendly consolidated country educational facility.

The early district classrooms were neatly tucked into many tiny but cozy one room schools, then after a rapid influx of new families and students in the 1940’s into the farming areas such as Magic, Eureka, Climax, Concord, Asker, Waterglen and others, the need for a consolidated country school facility quickly became a reality. In the early days at Mecca Glen, the yearly enrollment of Grade one to 11 classes zoomed to over 180 students, then after the disastrous fire that destroyed the first Mecca Glen School in 1955, the need for a new modern and much bigger facility was fulfilled in only one year and has maintained that proud tradition of learning for an exciting 65 years.

With the ongoing keen support of the school division, the Home and School Committee, dedicated teachers and staff and avid parents throughout the districts, the Mecca Glen School has strived to provide a quality and most enjoyable combination of education and fun for thousands of young students for over six successful decades.  This most unique joy and experience of growing up and learning amongst family, friends and neighbours has created ongoing closely knit relationships that have carried on for generations of students, staff, and parents that will always be shared and never forgotten out and about the busy districts.

During this 2013-2014 school year at Mecca Glen School, there are over 140 Kindergarten to Grade 9 students, who, following their graduation, can look forward to their next education adventure at the large Grade 10-11-12 schools in Ponoka. Present staff team at the Glen include: Principal Alger Libby, Administrative Assistant Tristan Johnson, teachers-Jenny Ronnie, Michelle Merek, Lorraine Gladue, Rob Erickson, Richard Zandberg, Chris Aubrey, Adam Troitsky, and Jenn Tyler; Social Worker Deb Wiancko; educational assistants Adele Pederson, Rhonda Walter, Shauna Palsma, Heather MacMillan, Diane Hart;  Custodian Bev Carson; and of course all those dedicated and congenial bus drivers.  In addition, the programs at Mecca Glen School include the private play school taught by Kristi Padgham, and piano lesions offered by Christy Harsch.

The closeness and great community spirit of everyone involved in the Mecca Glen School over the years has been colorfully displayed by the hosting of the very successful and well attended  25th (1974) and 50th (1999) reunions for past and present students, staff, parents, and friends. There is no doubt that the gala 65th Anniversary reunion on July 26 and 27 at the Mecca Glen School will be a wonderful weekend for everyone in attendance. Scheduled events for Saturday, July 26 will include: Registration at 10:00 a.m., special program and entertainment at 2:00 p.m., delicious roast beef supper from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., then a delightful jam session, sing-along, and bonfire in the evening. On Sunday-July 27, there will be a pancake breakfast from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and a church service starting at 11:30 a.m.  Free camping will be available from Friday to Sunday on the school grounds (no hook-ups), and participants are asked to bring along their lawn chairs and musical instruments for the jam session. Special awards at each Mecca Glen Reunion will honour the guest from farthest away, families of three generations, oldest former student and oldest couple in attendance, former student with the most grand and great-grandchildren, and others.

Participants at the always casual and friendly Mecca Glen School Reunion are welcome to model your old school sweaters and favourite and sassy classroom outfits, as well as to bring along the photo albums, souvenirs, and stories, while taking lots of pictures, and sharing the history and magic memories of those glorious days gone by in those hallowed halls of learning.

Advance registration for the event is required by June 1, 2014, with fees including admission and participation in all the activities listed above. Cheques may be made payable to the Mecca Glen Reunion Fund and mailed to Sybil Evans at 5218-55 Avenue, Ponoka, Alberta T4J-IG9 or dropped off to Carmen Pritchard at the Ponoka Post Office. Extra copies of the registration form will be available at the Ponoka News Office on Chipman Avenue, and everyone is urged to phone or forward an extra copy of the registration form to anyone who may have been missed on the initial mail out or to others who would like to attend. Those wishing more information on the gala Mecca Glen 65th Anniversary reunion weekend are urged to get in touch with Rhoda Vold at 403-783-2488 or Sybil Evans at 403-783-4286. Anyone wishing to just pop in on the reunion weekend to tour the grounds or school are welcome.