COURTENAY HIGH SCHOOL graduates from 1963 celebrate their 50-year reunion with help from their Grade 1 teachers Anna Butler (nee Golicz)

Courtenay High School 50th reunion

Grads, teachers come from near and far to celebrate with former schoolmates

Plenty of smiles, laughter and excited buzz filled a room at Crown Isle Resort as Courtenay High School graduates from 1963 gathered for their 50-year reunion.

The reunion, which was held a few weeks ago, kicked off with a meet and greet for grads and teachers only.

“A lot of us go right back to Grade 1,” said grad Bob Ash, noting the last class reunion was 30 years ago. “And there’s some people we haven’t seen for 50 years, so people are pretty excited.”

A number of past elementary, junior high and high school teachers attended the reunion, and two in particular added a special touch to the evening; Shirley Grant, (nee Banks), 83, and Anna Butler, (nee Golicz), 79, each taught some of the grads during their Grade 1 year.

“Absolutely wonderful,” said Butler of seeing her old students, after a presentation honouring her and Grant. “I think it’s the greatest thing for them to even think of inviting us, and to see them all — it’s just the loveliest feeling.”

Grant added her past students appeared to have achieved great things in their lives.

“They certainly all seemed to continue with their education and have accomplishments that they’re proud of,” she said. “How wonderful for them to come back and see their friends but for us to be able to see them after so many years it’s — you just want to hug them.”

Grant was in her early 20s when she taught these grads and Butler was just 19 and in her first year of teaching. The two teachers grew up in Cumberland and have remained close friends over the years, attending each other’s weddings, and regularly corresponding and visiting once Grant moved to the Okanagan in the late 1960s.

Grad Ross Dingwall spoke about grad class’ early schooling years, noting many of them started their schooling in Courtenay in 1951 and 1952. He added there was a shortage of elementary classrooms in Courtenay during these years and classes in the late 40s and early 50s were held in ex-military buildings located where the Lewis Centre parking lot now is.

He recalled entering Grade 1 and not knowing any writing, reading or math skills, and noted the skill and patience Grade 1 teachers, especially, would have needed to teach students those essential skills.

“I think we owe a big thanks to all the teachers that we had over the years but I think these two ladies are extremely special and I feel really honoured to have them here tonight,” he added.

A big banquet for grads and their spouses also happened.

 

Ash noted Courtenay High School’s graduating class of ’63 was the first year students from Cumberland and Tsolum high schools were transferred over to Courtenay High School, making a larger grad class than previous years.

 

 

Just Posted

Stolen Victoria vehicle crashes in Black Creek

On Sept. 15, 2018 at approximately 10:45 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP… Continue reading

Valley Father-daughter duo share a special bond over a kidney

Annual kidney walk is set for Sept. 23 at Simms Park

Courtenay getting a tool library

New facility allows do-it-yourselfers to borrow tools

Pacific white-sided dolphins spotted near Little River Ferry Terminal

A pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins spent the evening of Sept. 13… Continue reading

Comox Valley Men’s Group meets Mondays

Where can men go when they are seeking a non-judgmental forum to… Continue reading

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Tilray to export cannabis formulation to U.S. for clinical trial

Marijuana remains illegal in most of the U.S.

Court of appeal grants injunction on Taseko’s exploratory drilling in B.C. Interior

The decision provides temporary protection and relief, said Chief Joe Alphonse

Ron Freeman running for seat on Comox council

My name is Ron Freeman and I am excited to put my… Continue reading

Pat McKenna running for a seat on Comox Council

Pat McKenna, who describes service and building community as his passion, is… Continue reading

Volunteer crew ready to build ramps for B.C. amputee

Jean Moulton will soon have an easier time getting in and out of her home.

VIDEO: B.C. tour offers unique underground glimpse of generating station

About 1,250 people expected at sold-out tour on Sunday

Most Read