Watson High Class of 1969 - 30 Year Reunion

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It all began one evening in November with a phone call from Pam.
'Would you like to help organise a 30 year reunion for Watson High School?'
'Um, yes. When is it?'
'January 8th'

Yikes!! Not much time and so much to do. Annette and Kathy had also been enlisted and our first meeting was 10% organisation and 90% "Do you remember.?' Still, the plans were set, the invitation worded and the names and addresses divided between us. Pam sent Salli the makings and she designed the invitation which was quite impressive with the WHS badge in the top corner. The invitations were mailed out in a frenzy and we all did some detective work to chase up students with no contact details; luckily many of the parents were still in the phone book. I also contacted Peter Searle who had the names of teachers etched in his Random Access Memory.

As the RSVP date came closer the number of acceptances was a little disappointing and we were considering asking our spouses along to bulk the numbers! However, we did not count on Pam's enthusiasm which was contagious. She was adamant that we had to start ringing around to encourage people to come along. So we did and this elicited a great response. Most people had been caught up in the pre-Christmas madness and it had just slipped their minds. Our final figures were 48 (37 students and 11 staff).

At last the day arrived. Annette had made all the arrangements at the Italo-Australian Club who were most helpful. We decided to arrive early to put up the 'decorations'. Kathy had put a lot of work into posters of school photos and photocopies from the 1969 Namalata magazine. She had also forwarded all the e-mail responses to me and I had managed to enlarge them (easier on older eyes) and we put these up around the walls. It was interesting to read messages from Michael Penny, Pamela Bourke (Crooks), Shirley Brooks (Wind), Koby Boer, Chris Lumb, Debbie Vanvoorst, Paul Kwaczynski and Grahame Niemann. They were much appreciated on the night and caused much interest. Some of the class photos did also - there are still some faces that no one can remember. Balloons in the school colours added a festive touch and I can now add 'balloons, helium inflation of' to my resumé.

As people began to arrive the noise level grew louder. Those who hadn't seen each other for 30 years started catching up. Name tags were a useful fashion accessory. It was certainly great to see everyone again, especially the teaching staff. Photos of children were doing the rounds of the tables, and musical chairs and mingling were the order of the night. Giggling also made a comeback as memories long forgotten resurfaced with a little prompting.

Vicki and Yolanda (cheerleaders of yore) gave resounding versions of not only the WHS war cry but also that of Ku-Ring-Gai High! I will reproduce ours here because it is unusual to say the least:
'Aranda, Barada glubba glubba glot
Karumba, Pinjarra give it to them hot
Play the game, play the game, tackle them true
Red, white, aqua, blue
Glubba glubba glot - I kid you not. Who thought up that one?!

A good idea was to drift from group to group and catch strings of conversation. Guy Holden and Maurice Beatton shared memories of 'six of the best'. Jan Watson bravely admitted to 'being there' when Erika Wymark's school hat jumped train on the way to Ku-Ring-Gai High. Louise Blue revealed a much-loved piece of paper signed by teachers and staff of the very new school wishing her happiness in her upcoming nuptials. There were mutterings about the incident-packed science excursion to Gerroa near Kiama. Girls (and I say this unashamedly, because the years truly fell away) remembering what they wore to the Sixth Form Farewell (or 'Formal' in today's parlance). Visits to Ku-Ring-Gai High and the billets we stayed with and the distance some of us had to travel by bus to reach our accommodation. Memories, too, of many and varied extra-curricular activities that took place in the classrooms, especially when the teachers were called out. And who can forget the saga of the mid-calf socks and too-short sports tunics?
There was also a consensus that Errol Sweaney was a man before his time.

All of the memories must have been good ones if the smiles and giggles and even uproarious laughter was anything by which to judge. But it wasn't only memories of our school years; there was much swapping of information on what has been happening in the intervening years - further education, jobs/careers, marriages, children, grandchildren, travels, hopes for the future. And through all this ran a common theme: 'When is the next reunion?' Some want it at 35 years, others at 40. Whenever, I can recommend getting involved in the planning of same; the 'committee' meetings were almost as much fun as the night itself. And now we have your addresses!! Delegation is a wonderful art.

Salli displayed her considerable talent in organising a group photo - no mean feat with 48 people. Two young staff members very graciously took photo after photo after photo  with at least a dozen different cameras. It is a great photo. Kathy's determination and her son's expertise have resulted in this wonderful website - haven't things come a long way in 30 years?

On a personal note I would like to thank all who attended. It was a great night and for those who couldn't make it this time you'll get another chance. For a bunch of people close to 50 years of age we all look pretty darn good.

Beth Harris (Munroe)