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First grads of Kwalikum Secondary enjoy reunion

Some members of the KSS class of 1964 who attended a reunion last week, from left: (maiden names) Betty Brittain (currently lives near Edmonton), Linda Kelsall (Port Alberni), and Lucille Bishop (Kelowna). - Auren Ruvinsky photo
Some members of the KSS class of 1964 who attended a reunion last week, from left: (maiden names) Betty Brittain (currently lives near Edmonton), Linda Kelsall (Port Alberni), and Lucille Bishop (Kelowna).
— image credit: Auren Ruvinsky photo

When the class of 1964 graduated in Qualicum Beach, the village was a couple decades away from becoming a town, the population was under 1,000 and the 66 students comprised the largest grad class in the region's history.

The students, who gathered last week to mark their 50th anniversary, were mostly born in 1946, and they marked a number of important firsts, including being the first "baby boomer" grads, the first to graduate from the newly named Kwalikum Secondary School, though it was still on the spot where The Gardens care home now stands.

About 35 of the grads made it to the reunion Wednesday at the community hall, half a block from where they'd attended all five years of high school, before the middle school system was introduced in 1977.

Liz Holme, with the reunion organizing committee, estimated as many as 20 people from that class still live, or have returned to the region, but there are also members living in places like New Zealand and The Philippines.

Most of the people who attended the reunion came from a bit closer, with many local residents and some from as far as Alberta making the trip down memory lane with their old friends, many admitting they didn't recognize each other at first.

In 1964, the year The Beatles hit North America, KSS was the only school in the current School District 69, with those 66 representing the entire grad population between Nanoose Bay and Deep Bay.

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