Reflections of Ponoka: PCHS class of ‘63 returns home every five years

There is something very magic about a class reunion, a unique opportunity to get together and share the special memories after many years away from school, coming back to the glorious days of our youth, and acting just like a kid again…. if only just for a weekend.

The class of 1963 gathered in Ponoka on Aug. 29 and 30 for their 45th reunion. Shown in the picture from left to right

There is something very magic about a class reunion, a unique opportunity to get together and share the special memories after many years away from school, coming back to the glorious days of our youth, and acting just like a kid again…. if only just for a weekend.

What a treat it is to come face to face with those old classmates once again, sharing each other’s new life adventures that have occurred after the final school bell, and returning to the same schools and community where the best years of our young lives were fashioned. Those sweet little girls with the ponytails and bobby socks, and the nice young lads with their bright red suspenders and hundreds of freckles may have now changed in appearance and personality quite a bit, but they will never forget the many good times and the odd bad experience shared together along those beloved hallowed halls of learning from Grade 1 to 12.

Most of these happy-go-lucky former Ponoka students went on to pursue a wide range of occupations from nurse, to teacher, to CEO, to farmer, to doctor, to politician, to engineer, and more; and while many stayed close to home to enjoy their new lifestyles, others moved away from their favourite hometown to find their pot of gold. Now they have a cherished flock of children and grandchildren who just love to hear their exciting and often hilarious old stories of school, classmates, teachers, friends and adventures in and around Ponoka not that many years ago. Sadly, some former students and teachers are unable to attend these great reunions, while others have passed away; but their fond memories are always rekindled through pictures, memorabilia and wonderful chitchat for countless hours.

The Ponoka Composite High School graduating class of 1963 has been hosting their gala Alumni Reunion every five years since 1968. It includes a weekend of fun throughout the community, featuring tours of former schools, continental breakfast, classic alumni dance to the wee hours, class photos, a show and tell of pictures-rings-sweaters and much-much more. Friday and Saturday-Aug. 29 and 30 was the setting for the 45th Alumni Reunion this summer, with festivities centred at the Ponoka Scout and Guide Hall, and an excellent and spirited turnout of classmates, teachers, spouses and guests, as always. Among the many hours of keen camaraderie and activities there was a special tribute extended to congenial classmate Jennie Risto (Nauroth), who has diligently spearheaded the reunion festivities and spirit for many years. Needless to say, all had a good time, and everyone will certainly be looking forward to the 50th Class of 1963 Alumni Reunion in 2013.

Here are only a few of those special memories of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s (before and beyond) that many of us recall from those glorious noisy or quiet times spent at those classic hard wooden desks and around the blackboards of those friendly picture-clad classrooms; as well as the busy hallways, gyms, and grounds of our Ponoka Town and County Schools.

*There were always lots of school sports and group activities such as band, glee club, drama, and of course the always sassy cheer squad.

*Couples were an item but a lot of dates included hanging out in groups, and ‘Dutch treat’ was usually the popular Friday night outing to the local theatres. You were considered a ‘jock’ if you were one of the few students lucky enough to own a set of wheels, but the bike racks were always full.

*When I went to school the girls took shop and guys took home-ec, and we had to eat what we cooked. We took our lunch, and we ate our lunch at school.

*There was no option about dressing warm, because our wardrobe consisted of hot and cold weather clothes only. Homework was mandatory, and always had to be done before other activities, except on weekends and summer holidays.

*Fads and fashions were always changing with the times. Guys wore tight chink pants with narrow cuffs as well as white bucks or oxfords; while the girls looked pert in short sleeved blouses and sweaters, complimented by colourful neckerchiefs, brooches, necklaces and dickies.

*Next to team sports and band practice, the noisiest class was typing, where we started out with one finger and computers hadn’t even been invented yet.

*Teachers were strict in a nice way, but we respected them because they were not there to win a popularity contest, but to teach us that vital education which was the next step to the bright future. Most of us will never forget the inspiration that we always got from our special supporting cast, which included the janitors, the very patient bus-drivers, and our course our parents. I have no doubt that the keen spirit has and will always be a big part of our local classrooms, and hopefully will be celebrated at your next class reunion, when-ever it may be.


Just Posted

Ponoka’s ag society board under scrutiny during AGM

About 80 people attended the society’s AGM, which saw three directors replaced

Ponoka teen pedestrian suffers injuries after pickup collision

A pickup struck a teen on residential streets in Ponoka

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

PHOTOS: Battle of Ponoka basketball action

The first ever senior high basketball league game for both Ponoka high schools was high energy

Guards injured, money stolen during overnight blast at Edmonton bank

Alberta Health Services said the injuries to the male guard were serious

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Canadians spent almost $64,000 on goods and services in 2017

Households in B.C. each spent $71,001 with housing costs contributing to higher average

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

White House closer to partial shutdown with wall demand

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday, Dec. 21

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

Most Read