Category Archives: friends

’79 to ’09, has it really been 30 years?

Here are we, from N.P.C.,
Here for all to see,
Loyal to the green and orange
Through the years to be.

Far and near rings loud and clear,
Mighty North Park’s name,
May her sons and daughters
Bring her to Lasting Fame.

Give a cheer for N-P-C
Moving on to victory
North Park Collegiate,
Our hearts are all for thee.
Yea!

The old school song thundered out from the packed gym to close the opening ceremonies and begin a weekend of fun and reconnection with a distant past. It’s been 30 years since I graduated from high-school.

It was a full couple of days as I attended North Park Collegiate’s 50th Anniversary celebrations; it was an exercise in pure fun and self-observation with a lifetime of experience to benchmark progress by!

I’m pretty sure that our little town hasn’t seen such a party in quite some time and I was amazed at how flawlessly 2 and half years of planning a weekend came together – kudos to the organizing committee and small army of volunteers that pulled it all off.

Over 1500 graduates showed up ready to rock their high-school once again – and rock it we did! I hadn’t walked the halls of NPC since I left there in 1979. It seemed a perfect plan for a Thanksgiving long weekend. The hotels were booked up as folks took trains, planes and autos to join their fellow classmates and families in their old home town.

Everyone left their troubles outside the doors, those that couldn’t do that didn’t show up! A fabulous time was had by all while catching up with old friends and some of the teachers that helped shape our early philosophies. Friday night opening ceremonies kicked off with speeches from Parliament members, the Mayor and other distinguished guests and celebrities. We wrapped up the evening with two full rounds of the school song – which our children didn’t know existed. I wonder when they gave up having pep-rallies? (I had to perform it for my son Saturday morning as he snickered on in amusement.)

Saturday saw dozens of classic cars parked on the lawn and a packed cafeteria to meet the teachers of past and present and mingle with old friends. The evening was happy pandemonium as over 1100 former grads descended upon the gym, cafeteria and the halls in between for the first ever Pub night! The drinks were cheap, the dance floor full and everywhere I went I saw laughing, hugging and hand-shaking amongst throngs of excited and surprised people shouting variations on the greeting: “Holy s*#t! How are you’?!”

The word “surreal” was used frequently to describe the space and energy of the event, and I found myself reminiscing in thought more than once as distant memories came rushing back in the familiar surroundings and company.

Sunday night we all gathered again at a local club to be entertained by our most talented graduates, with great bands, comedians and dancers! With Monday a holiday it was another night of dancing and connecting into the wee hours.

As the weekend came to the closing ceremonies, we all agreed we should do this more often and get together every 10 years instead of every 25 or 30!

I am now a card-carrying NPC alumni member and am looking forward to contributing to special events going forward. Old friendships have been renewed and new friendships have developed. As usual I was too much in the action to take pictures, there was a photographer running around all weekend and now we’re waiting for the album to be posted to the website!

North Park Reunion