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My 20th High School Reunion

Crest of De La Salle College 'Oaklands'.

On Saturday, I attended a reunion for the school where I spent grades 6 through 13 (back then, there were 5 years of high school in Ontario), De La Salle College “Oaklands”, a Catholic school located just north of downtown Accordion City. It sounds strange saying this, but it was my class’ twentieth anniversary of graduation. Twenty years!

It was good seeing some of the old gang — Nick Catre (the Filipino Eric Cartman), Steve Bucic (fun guy and troublemaker extraordinaire), Anthony Famularo (learned, impartial and very relaxed), Borys Gogus (always up for a drink), to name only a few. It was also good to catch up with one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Tony Ellis, who brought science to life with his giant slinkies (to demonstrate waves), his dead cat (which he used to charge plastic for electrostatics demos) and pranking us by nitrogen triiodide, a compound so unstable that it often exploded just just a touch. (Mr. Ellis also evangelized Crazy Go Nuts University, which played a role in my going there.) I wish my computer science teachers, Messrs. Joe Clarkson and Tony Etele and my English teacher, John Cheley had been there too.

The campus looks a little bit different now, but I’ve got to admit that it looks shinier — that’s the effect of their switch to becoming a fully private school after my departure. I’m sure that going co-ed (geez, why didn’t we have girls in our day?) helps too — we were always less slovenly when ladies were present.

Glenn Douglas made the best observation of the night: “The changes in us aren’t so dramatic as they were at our ten-year reunion,” and he’s right. It’s a much bigger leap from graduating from high school to having finished university and going to work or grad school.

It was also good to hear that “Del” is still known for academics. In our day, 90% of us who graduated went on to university or college; I’ve seen school where that number is closer to 15. This is still the case, and Del still has to turn away 2 applicants for every student they accept.

I had a great time catching up with everyone, and even the Ginger Ninja enjoyed herself. Thanks, guys!

(Maybe I’ll have to post some high school stories here.)

6 replies on “My 20th High School Reunion”

Del went private the summer I finished Grade 11. It was sad to go. I ended up finishing 12 and 13(the last year there was 13) at Michael Power Saint Joseph. MPSJ was co-ed and while it was nice to see short skirts everyday, I missed the small size of Del so much. A few of the MSSB teachers and a good number of Del students transfered to MPSJ, but it still wasn’t the same. Ahhhh at least I have the fond memory of Mr. Bondi giving me that five oh and go on my second attempt at grade 10 math. 🙂

I worked briefly at Del a few years ago. There were a lot of nice people there, but it’s sad to see the huge turnover on the staff list.

One more thing: anyone with a copy of the yearbook that included Keanu Reeves is holding eBay gold. Even the library copies went missing aeons ago.

I’ve got all the yearbooks from 1979 through 1986. I can’t remember which year was his era as “The Wall” (his nickname for his ability as a defenceman on our hockey team, not for his acting), but uber-mellow English teacher John Cheley remembers him (and does a good impression of his “I…want…room service!” rant from Johnny Mnemonic).

Look in the 80, 81 years, respectively. Particularly in the hockey team photos. He looks exactly like his Ted character from Bill & Ted Exc. Adventure. My idiot older brother tells me that he wasn’t acting in that role.

With love, Ignatz

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