School reunions… fun or fear?

Cleve Area School Class of ’74 Reunion

Cleve Area School Class of ’74 Reunion

After 40 years, the Class of ’74 Reunion took place on Sunday 10th August 2014 at the Saracen’s Head hotel in Adelaide. To say it was enjoyable is a very big understatement! Many from this class had not seen each other since 1994, and at the 20th reunion held at Cleve in July 1994, many had not seen each other since the last day of school celebrations in 1974.

We chose 1974 as our ‘Leaving’ year, as back then, children left school in what is now known as year 11, and only a few went on to do the equivalent of year 12 today. In fact, Cleve Area School did not provide year 12, then known as Matriculation, until 1975, even though there were over 550 students at that time.

A group of students and teachers ranging from as far back as our Grade 5 teacher, and including some of our high school subject teachers, along with partners making a total of 28 in attendance; I have included one photo here. I recall an older friend of mine attending her 40th school reunion about 20 years ago, and many of the women were fearful of seeing each other after so long as they were worried about how they looked so they dyed their hair and tried to lose weight! For the men of course, they are lucky if they still have hair!I don’t think this was the case for our class, we were simply thrilled to see each other again.

For us, looks and locks were not what it was all about, but renewed friendships! There was no fear at all, it was all about fun!


Whilst Peter Manual, our Headmaster from that year was unable to attend, he sent a letter with a few memories, reminding us that 1974 was the second year of the newly formed Student Representative Council (SRC); “most of the boys had long hair; it was a good year with great successes in interschool sports, a year where planning began for a school swimming pool, a community library, a school repaint and a cycle track.  we received two new school buses – but not with air conditioning.”  The old students recalled fundraising for the new pool and for the side-shows for the local show that year. According to some of the boys, the cane was still in use!


We enjoyed a wonderful day of shared memories and renewed friendships, many of us finding it difficult to call our teachers by their first names, especially Mr Farrant. We have all had interesting lives and careers, many having travelled extensively overseas. It was declared the next reunion will be in four years time, when most of the students will celebrate their 60th birthdays. We missed those who were not able to make it, and hope with more planning and longer advance notice, we will meet many more of our old friends and teachers.


13 thoughts on “School reunions… fun or fear?

  1. Aren’t school reunions awesome Kate!My primary school is going to be 100 years old in 3 years and there is going to be a big reunion for that!I am sooo looking forward to being there and will be going regardless of any other commitment! I will most certainly not miss it as i will have to wait another 25 years till my primary school turns 125 years old in 2046! You are so right Kate-we may not know everyone there but there is always someone else who has forgotten someone. I have remained in touch with 2 of my friends from primary school-i have lost touch with the rest-perhaps becuase i didn’t have a phone! Hopefully i will be able to rekindle some of my old primary school friendships and recommence them and be a part of my life again. Life is sooo busy! You will be having that school reunion this year Kate, right? Sadly, some are unable to make it due to various reason-i can’t wait to see some of the teachers at my school reunion! I still remember most people in my class/year at primary school but forgot some occassionally from time to time as you do! Have fun at your next one! Once i have rekindled some friendships(if i want to hang out with them as they could have change, who knows!?!?)i will try and organise get togethers on a regular basis as it is a great way to keep in touch. Old friends are awesome! Have a fabulous time at your reunion this year!👍😊🎈🎉👏PS Oh, and my parents remember the cane well!!! Glad it doesn’t exist in my generation though!😉😜


    • Sadly for me Sam, it’s unlikely I’ll ever go to another school reunion, as it was someone from this group who was one of the people who told a journalist I was a medical fraud… and another one who attended this event had warned me some years before, but was not kind enough to tell me who was saying such nasty things. Guarantee they are and probably never were my friends. Curiously these two females wrote me a very nasty letter when I was 14, which I still have. It seems the old saying leopards don’t change their spots is true!


      • Oh Kate, that is just cruel and I am so sorry to hear that-they sounds nasty. I thought school reunions were to reminisce and rekindle old friendships-not to talk about Dementia !?!?!?!?! They certainly don’t sound like friends-wonder if anyone at my school reunion would have changed. Most people in my year were lovely at primary school but as at any school there are a few who are not very nice. Hope you are still in touch with a few friends though-I hope to reconnect with a few at my school reunion although life goes on. A good idea for you not to go-no point going if they are going to be mean and make fun of your health. Take care


      • Kate, you have made a very wise choice not going-absolutely no point not going when your surrounded by cowards


      • And dare i add to that… cowards indeed! Those who knew of the gossip and those who defamed me. All too gutless to come to me and ask to see the truth! ⭐️⭐️


  2. Glad you had a good time!!

    We had one last year, and it was all organised via Facebook. People were called only if others knew them. This is sooo different to the reunion I myself organised 10 years ago … it was all done by phone and then followed-up with email!!

    Maybe you can start a Facebook page for your year in case anybody goes looking for it? A private group, of course.

    I found the reunion last year a bit overwhelming ….. so many people there etc.

    I was hoping that I’d rekindle some friendships but I realised that it wasn’t going to be anything other than a quick afternoon social and then everyone goes off on their own merry way. Maybe if I was able to drive more I could be more social. But it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped.


    • Sorry yours wasn’t as much fun, not encouraged any closer friendships… I’m not sure mine will do this, as suspect we’ll see each other at the next one, and probably not in between! Everyone is so busy these days, they can hardly keep up with their own families.. xx


  3. Glad you went and had a great time…It is interesting to see how different people grow and what directions they go in once they leave, how they think, what they are doing etc. I am so glad you don’t hold yourself back from doing these things. Bravo Kate! Blessings and love….VK xxoo


  4. I loved my high school reunion, I helped organize it and met my now husband – we were great mates at school and now great partners in life, everyone should go, if for nothing else than to share your adult life with people from your childlife.


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