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 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.
By Kate Ritchie, former student