Reunions of any type are always vexed, aren’t they! Particularly after some decades of not seeing old classmates or teachers. Will I recognise anyone? Will anyone remember me? Will they remember …. Embarrassing memories.
So it was in mid-October at a celebration of 50 years of the local school (no I wasn’t one of the original students!) The weather was glorious for a change and coincided with the local show which was smaller in scale than my memory but still the same town diehards winning all the prizes across multiple categories: jams, sponges, flower arrangements, needlecraft … Not many sheep except in the sheep dog trials which was also a new attraction along with herbs.
From a high school 50 years ago, Charlton College is now P-12 with a magnificant new 7 million trade training centre for the entire region. What some of my old classmates would have given for state-of-the-art facilities to learn about automotive, building, cooking or even hairdressing.
Up until recently, Charlton has been a typical country town where the most ‘exotic’ residents from Greece or Italy ran the local fish and chip shop. So to see a Chinese name on the honour board – as Dux – was startling. Not only that, venturing into the primary school section I saw Chinese flags, maps and words “Shuo zhongwen” – brilliant – a bit too late for me.
Then in another classroom – one with an English focus – was an eloquent display of all these ‘strange’ parts of speech we often hear about, but are never quite sure just what they are – onomatopeia (tick tick tick!)
So a trip down memory lane delivered some new and surprising moments. Oh and I met an old classmate – we used to sit on the school bus together – hadn’t seen her for – well must by 40 odd years.