An alumni association originally formed to plan a 25th reunion in 1999 has been resurrected this year in force to plan a 40th celebration and reunion for Parkland Secondary School.
“We formed the group in 1999 to put on the 25th anniversary and reunion and we really ended up forming a bit of a legacy,” said Eleanor Jones, one of the association’s main members.
Jones is one of the driving forces behind the organization of the school’s 40th anniversary event being held at the end of May. She said the group hopes not only to put on an event commemorating the school’s impact and role in the community but also to help build a future for the school by means of a legacy fund.
“The focus this year is on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the school but our association also takes our fundraising pretty seriously and we fund various projects and events at the school on an annual basis,” she explained.
The alumni association has, since its inception, rebuilt the courtyard at the school, purchased a new podium for speakers who come to the school, created a legacy wall in the school that acknowledges donors, given annual scholarships to two graduating students (one male and one female), a wall dedicated to documenting each year’s class presidents, valedictorians, top athletes and spirit awards, and payed for the caps and gowns each year for graduates.
“After the fire at the school in 2003 we also started to focus on archiving and keeping useful memorabilia and documents from the school. So much can be completely lost and we want to make sure as much of Parkland’s history is documented,” said Jones.
To that end, event fees, ticket proceeds and donations collected during the 40th celebration in May will go towards those types of projects.
“The 40th is going to be huge,” said Jones, adding that she’s hoping to see a large representation of graduating classes and others at the event.
“We want everyone to come,” she said.
“That means graduates, anyone who attended Parkland at one point or another, people who taught or worked at Parkland. We really want to draw the alumni out for this event.”
The weekend will kick off on Friday, May 30 and will feature an official welcome at Parkland Secondary School in the afternoon (everyone welcome) and an Alumni Social at the Mary Winspear Centre for past students, teachers and staff only.
On Saturday, May 31 a dinner and dance will be held at the Winspear for all to attend (both alumni and guests) and on Sunday, June 1, there’s talk of a golf tournament being planned.
“We’re very excited and the association is hoping to see a lot of people out for the events,” said Jones.
“We had great attendance at the 25th anniversary so we’re hoping for more.”
The current staff and administration at the school is also involved with the 40th celebration, planning events around the school and letting the community know the school is celebrating the big 4-0.
For registration forms and more information on the celebration visit parklandalumni.ca or email one of the following contacts: Eleanor (Elliott) Jones (grad 1974) firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-920-9234. Stasia (Gallagher) Hartley (grad 1978) email@example.com. Lara (Pomerleau) Collins (1985) firstname.lastname@example.org. Donna Rooke (2008) email@example.com.