The Prairie Steam Train and Prairie Junction were the sites for a reunion 50 years in the making. The graduate class from 1968 of William E. Hay got together on June 9 and 10 to renew friendships, relive old memories and catch up with each other. Graduates from as far as California and Ontario returned to Stettler for the weekend of fun and reminiscing.
The activities began with a train ride to Big Valley.
“It was just like high school,” said Carol Isaman, who helped organize the reunion.
“No one was staying in their seats. Everyone was moving around, reintroducing themselves to each other. It was like we had never even left town.”
The fellowship continued around the dinner table at the event tent at the Big Valley train station, followed by self-guided walking tours of the village and the train ride back to Stettler, complete with on-board entertainment.
The evening was capped by a social event at the group events building at Prairie Junction. Pictures were taken and stories from long ago were swapped. Although the weather didn’t permit a campfire, the hall at Prairie Junction was a great venue for the grads to view 50-year-old souvenirs, read messages from those unable to attend, and reflect on the grads who had already passed.
The following morning featured an extensive tour of Wm. E. Hay, conducted by Dawn Mackay, a grad of ‘68 who spent most of her teaching career at the school. The tour brought back additional memories and even more stories and recollections were recounted.
“We had an exceptionally great time, made even better with the help of all the volunteers from the class of ’68. New bonds were formed and connections made that will last for years to come. People are already talking about the next reunion.”