It first happened in 2009. We had our thirtieth class reunion. The Queen’s College Class of ‘79 came together in middle age and began to get reacquainted with one another. And now it’s 2019, and we’ve been out of high school for forty years (forty …!!!) and it was reunion time again. Almost to the day we graduated, we had our reunion weekend.
And, as before, we were blown away with how much we liked one another. How much we still respected and loved one another. How many of us came in from around the world to get back together again for one weekend, with some sea and a couple of slices of sunshine between rainclouds, with meet-and-greets and a sunset dinner and a church service and a fun walk and a chill and chat. How we supported one another and how we cared about one another.
And the reunion wasn’t just our graduating class. It included all of us who were in this class, moving from QC Reception with Mrs. Lowe and Mrs. Albury, all the way up to our graduation in Grade 11. So unlike the earlier gatherings, this one included those who made part of the journey with us, but who slipped away before graduation. It was great to see old friends—and it was sometimes surprising who turned up.
And it made me think.
The cliché class reunion is an American one. It’s the stuff of countless TV episodes and movies, even of commercials, and it’s almost universally horrible. People endure their reunions, they don’t enjoy them. At least in the American narrative that’s the case. But that wasn’t the case for us—not at our thirtieth and definitely not at our fortieth.
So the question is this. What is it about our class that made us feel so connected and safe? What alchemy took place at Queen’s College between 1974 and 1979 — or even before, from 1967 onward — that created the space that allowed our class to bond and gel the way we did? Was it something that QC did? Was it the time—majority rule and independence, optimism and national pride? Was it the mix of people who were there? What?
It’s worth some consideration. But in the meantime …