Class of ‘66 re­unites after 50 years

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - El­iza Goetze El­iza.Goetze@news-mail.com.au

We had a great sto­ries that came out at din­ner. — Jen­nifer McKay

“QUIET over there! If you don’t sit down I’ll have to get out the cane!”

For a bumper crowd of 60 Isis Dis­trict State High alumni, it must have felt like the class­room all over again.

But in fact, for the class of 1965–67, it was their 50-year reunion on Satur­day, full of know­ing jokes hark­ing back to when they roamed the halls.

Col Tay­lor hosted the first part of the day at the Mango Par­adise prop­erty at Cordalba, which he runs with his wife Jan, who pro­vided the cater­ing.

Alumni trav­elled from as far as Syd­ney and Western Aus­tralia.

A roll call was con­ducted, but this time it was for­mer school cap­tains Jen­nifer McKay and War­ren Martin who led the call-out, each for­mer stu­dent an­nounc­ing them­selves to ap­plause.

Ev­ery­one paused their rem­i­nis­cences to lis­ten to one spe­cial guest – the prin­ci­pal dur­ing those three years, Ernie Gehrke.

At the age of 82 Ernie de­liv­ered an en­er­getic speech – as­sisted through­out by his wife, Joyce – re­call­ing a school with a great sense of com­mu­nity, right down to one bossy janitor, Jimmy.

Gay Lid­ding­ton (nee Whit­worth) hadn’t even planned to at­tend. She at­tended Isis High for “only” two years b was per­suaded to take the week­end trip and ended up pour­ing her pas­sion into cre­at­ing a book for all the at­ten­dees, full of mem­o­ries and up­dates, in­clud­ing cou­ples brought to­gether by Isis High.

“I love hear­ing peo­ple’s sto­ries,” said Gay, a fea­ture writer for the Hin­ter­land Times.

The group also paid trib­ute to those no longer with them in­clud­ing Ian Macken­zie, Marie Vacher, War­ren Zis­chki, Robert Shaw and Phillip Les­lie.

The for­mer class­mates de­scended on the school in the af­ter­noon be­fore re­group­ing for din­ner and drinks in the evening.

Jen­nifer McKay or­gan­ised the event, along with a com­mit­tee of Col Tay­lor, Liz God­frey (nee Case), Be­van Jamieson, War­ren Martin and Tony Pitt..

“We were thrilled with the day,” Jen­nifer said.

“Forty-nine stu­dents and five staff came along.”

She said it was par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing the staff could come back and join the cel­e­bra­tions.

“They all had some­thing to say at din­ner, which was great,” she said. “We had a few great sto­ries that came out at din­ner.”

Isis High hos­pi­tal­ity stu­dents pro­vided the cater­ing and an­other group of stu­dents took their pre­de­ces­sors on a tour to see how the school had changed.

“Chris Gill, the deputy prin­ci­pal, was re­ally good to us and put on a spread of mem­o­ra­bilia,” Jen­nifer McKay said.

The class of 1966 was also keen to give back to the school that had given them so many mem­o­ries.

A raf­fle held on the day, for a ham­per full of prod­ucts from Col and Jan Tay­lor’s farm Mango Par­adise, raised about $1000, which will go to­wards an out­door seat­ing area in the school grounds.

PHO­TOS: EL­IZA GOETZE

QUIET PLEASE: For­mer head­mas­ter Ernie Gehrke speaks at the Isis Dis­trict State High School reunion.

Year­books from 1965 and 1966 were on dis­play.

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