Monday, 8 September 2014

Blast from the Past

A few months ago Joyce an old friend and neighbour from Lucan posted some photos from our Grade 8 Grad in 1977 which brought back many happy childhood memories. 

Joyce posted this photo of the parents smiling and happy to see us graduate - Ferlin's Dad (no longer with us), Laura's Mom, my Mom, Ferlin's Mom (Joyce) and my Dad. They were neighbours and they were friends and they looked so young!! It took me back in time. I remember thinking it was great to have neighbourhood friends whose parents got along well and socialized together.
Jamie M., Ferlin, me and Laura (photo above). Laura and me (photo below). All of us were neighbours, friends and classmates.
I thought it might be fun to post our Biddulph 1977 Grade 8 Grad Class photo on Facebook as well. It generated a lot of activity and prompted a few friends to organize a class reunion. Teresa, Anna-Lee and Pam set the date for September 6th and announced plans for a party to be held at Teresa and Jeff's place. They created a Facebook group called "Biddulph '77 Graduates" and asked everybody to get the word out to as many folks in the photo as possible. 
Back Row: Shawn, Darin (deceased), Ferlin,Rob, Bernie, Chris, John Ha., Brad D .(deceased), Brian, Ron, Jamie S., Brad A., Jamie M., Mark
3rd Row: Chuck, Paul H., Ted, Stuart, Gord, Paul W., Erin, Eric, Steve, John Ho., Brad H., Doug
2nd Row: Melanie, Joanne, Lori, Anna-Lee (party planner), Lynn, Heather, Beth, Barbara, Pam (party planner), Tracy N., Carol, Tracy Q., Darlene, Kim H. (deceased), Jeannine
Front Row: Anne Marie, Kim S., Laura, Ethel, Sherry, Diane Y., Lisa, Kathy J., Diane G., Kathy R., Teresa (Hostess), Angela
It was quite a daunting task considering name changes for the married ladies and having lost touch over the years. In the end, 26 grads were able to attend. That's almost half the class if you consider there were 63 grads with at least 3 who sadly are no longer with us. An amazing accomplishment really. 

Many of our spouses joined in on the fun so there were a lot of people altogether. Teresa our hostess has the perfect place to entertain such a large group. She and her husband live on a large two acre lot in the country with a huge shed and plenty of space for parking. There were lots of tables set up inside for the food with lots of room left over for our chairs and coolers and to move around and socialize. 

The shed was equipped with a decent sound system for party music and there was a toilet conveniently located at the back. I would say it is the ultimate man cave and my husband who loves to work on cars would agree. He was totally impressed with their setup. 

After months of anticipation and preparation, the party was a huge success. As I was getting ready, I was all excited and nervous at the same time. The thought of seeing so many old friends after so many years was kind of freaking me out. I wondered what it would be like. Would we recognize each other? Would it be awkward after all this time? Would I remember all the names? And what about their spouses? How would they manage?

I need not have worried. Everybody was fabulous and fun. Yes we did forget some names and yes we did get a little confused about who was with who (at least I did) but everybody seemed to be OK with that. 

My husband and I arrived shortly after 4:30 p.m. and stayed until after midnight which is way past our bedtime these days. We really had a terrific time socializing, reminiscing and catching up on the past 35'ish years with everybody. 

Once all the guests had arrived and gotten reacquainted, it was time to gather outside to recreate the infamous Grad Photo from 1977. Our hostess, Teresa got everybody moving. Here she is with her husband Jeff leaning against the wall behind her.
It took a bit of effort to arrange as chatting and socializing continued. 
We needed somebody to take charge.
It's so much fun getting organized with so much laughter.
Let's have another drink and figure out how this might work. 
OK we have the old photo. Let's line up - oops are we in reverse order?
Finally Anna-Lee takes charge and we line up properly.
Almost there but the front row will have to kneel as we don't have bleachers this time.
Time to smile. I think some of us were looking. Let's try that again.
At last a perfect group photo similar to the original minus all the pretty dresses of course. Some changes were necessary to balance the gaps plus Brian had to be photo-shopped in as he was working and arrived too late for the group shot.
Back Row: Shawn, Ferlin, Rob, Paul W., Gord, Eric, Jamie S., Brian, Brad, Doug, Sherry
2nd Row: Laura, Joanne, Anna-Lee, Ethel, Heather, Beth, Barbara, Pam, Tracy N., Carol, Darlene, Jeannine
Front Row: Diane G., Kathy R., Teresa
A few photos were taken throughout the evening. We were all busy chatting and having a terrific time. Dare I say it was a Perfect Evening? Yes it was and I think everyone would agree. 
Tracy and Jeannine enjoy catching up.
Paul W., Joanne (married to Paul) and Jamie S.
Best of friends through grade school and high school. So many happy memories with Laura and her family.
Tracy and I started at Biddulph in gr. 5 but lost touch after her wedding 25 yrs ago.
That's better. Ditch the back lighting and smile, so pleased to have met up again.
Part of our neighbourhood 'gang' - Laura, me, Ferlin, Ethel and Darlene
To sum up our Biddulph '77 Grad Reunion, I have to say, seeing so many old friends and familiar faces was truly a 'Blast from the Past'. I loved seeing everybody, chatting, laughing, reminiscing and catching up. I loved every minute of it. 

We've gone our separate ways but will always have a common bond growing up together and sharing childhood memories. This reunion was a perfect opportunity to take time to reflect and celebrate. Family and Friends are the Best. 

You can just feel the joy as you browse through these candid photos. They help keep our memories alive. Thanks Ferlin!

Anna-Lee (happy party planner) and her husband. This photo captures Anna-Lee's expression from so many of her class photos...always laughing.
Joyce (Ferlin's Mom) got the party planning started and this is Julie, Ferlin's beautiful wife. So nice to meet Julie in person. FB is good but real life is better.
Joyce and Ferlin (Mom and son team) - great work tracking down so many people from our past and thanks for sharing these photos
Thanks to Teresa and Jeff for their generosity in welcoming us all into their home. Thanks to Teresa, Anna-Lee and Pam for planning and organizing this reunion. Thanks also to all your helpers. I know it must have been a lot of work. Your efforts are very much appreciated.

* * * * *
To respect the privacy of my friends, I have used first names only. Biddulph '77 Grads are welcome to share this post and these photos with family and friends.

Be the first to comment - click on No comments: below.


  1. Great photographs - you obviously all had a wonderful get-together!

  2. I'm glad you had such a good time.

  3. Thanks Beth. You captured the event very well with pictures and words. It was great to see you again and we will definitely keep in touch!

  4. Fanatic time, equally amazing write up! Thanks Beth for taking the time to capture the event. I love what you said "FB is good but real life is better". It was so easy to see that night :)

  5. Beth: this is fantastic. Thank you so much for writing it up. It was wonderful seeing you again!

  6. That was a very special event - great venue, great organization, great people. Nice to have pulled it off.


  7. Anonymous8 September 2014 20:01

    I, too, was looking forward to the event, but wondered how it would all go with so many years passed by. It was easy to see, early on, that it would go just fine. Common bonds of triumph and failure, blessings of family, spouses and children all intertwining stories and experiences to tell. I am so glad the reunion was organized and attended and I hope this gives us all a little opportunity to re-connect some old friendships....

  8. Thanks for all the positive comments everybody. I wish there was a 'like' button on the blog for comments.