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.