Vic High grads celebrate, 50 years out

A lot of water flows under the bridge in five decades

The Vic High Titans rugby team poses for a photo. Shown are coach Don Smyth

The Vic High Titans rugby team poses for a photo. Shown are coach Don Smyth

Unlike one’s 10-year graduation reunion, when the peacocks are still strutting; or the 20th or 25th, when people are more likely to hear about kids and compare hair loss and waistlines, a 50th grad reunion has a different atmosphere, says Irene Pitt.

The former Irene Barrick, now 68, has been helping chase down fellow members of Vic High’s class of 1962 for this week’s festivities taking place at the school, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and the University of Victoria. About 125 former students and 35 spouses are attending.

“People have some good experiences and bad experiences in high school,” Pitt says, noting those times  tend to colour one’s long-term view of school.

The beauty of reunions taking place so many years later, she says, is that old hurts or grudges are often forgiven.

She recalls convincing some people to attend the 40th reunion: “A number of them who came had not been to any previous ones – they may have felt they didn’t measure up. Some people said after that they were so glad they were forced to come. It erased all that bad experience they had in the past.”

People who have long considered high school a time to forget can find reunions almost therapeutic, she says. Not only can they let go of many of the negative aspects by reconnecting with people, reunions offer an opportunity to link up with those with similar interests.

Extending that further, the chance of a new or rekindled romance sparking at reunions is always a possibility. While she avoided naming names, Pitt says the class of ’62 has not been immune to the phenomenon.

One couple who dated in high school and later married, then divorced, came back single for their 40th reunion. Each connected with an individual from the grad class – ironically, the new partners dated each other in high school.

“Anything can happen at a reunion,” Pitt says.

A common bond many classmates share through the years is their experience on the field of play.

Rugby, while it can be brutal during games, is an especially social sport when it comes to maintaining friendships and connections with current and former players.

In conjunction with the Vic High 50th grad reunion, members of the provincial runner-up 1962 Vic High Titans rugby team are gathering Friday (June 22) at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour. Part of the impetus for the separate get together is the return for a visit by team member Lin (Duke) Kepner, who has lived in England since 1967.

“It was a very good group,” says ex-Titan Emil Wegwitz. “There was a lot of friendships, a lot of laughter, a lot of hanging around together. I don’t see that so much in high school now.”

The team, comprised of a combination of Grade 12s and 11s, featured such players as the Dillon brothers, Nirmal and Ranjit (later of Victoria Shamrocks lacrosse fame); Ash Valdal, who also was co-most valuable player with teammate Neil Worboys on the 1961-62 B.C. champion Totems basketball team; and star kicker and Titans captain, Ron Gower.

Events begin Thursday (June 21) with a meet-and-greet at the school starting at 3 p.m., and an appy dinner/social at Royal Victoria Yacht Club at 5:30 p.m. Lunch at the Village Greens in Cadboro Commons at UVic happens Friday at 11 a.m. If you haven’t been contacted but are a 1962 Vic High grad, call Pitt at 250-592-4318.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read