BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF –
In September 1968, a young Trudeau was the newest prime minister of Canada, the Toronto Maple Leafs were beginning yet another Stanley-Cup-less season (albeit only their second in a row) and Grey Highlands Secondary School (GHSS) opened its doors, constructed at an estimated cost of $3.4 million, 86% of which was grant-funded.
The sleek, modern new facility drew students from Flesherton, Dundalk and Markdale to seek their higher grade level education. But GHSS quickly became much more than a place for academic pursuit with many intramural and varsity sports teams and other activities a source of pride.
Over the course of the school's history, musical performances were also a fixture every Spring and involved most students and staff. Many alumni might remember productions of My Fair Lady, Oliver!, Brigadoon, Anything Goes, Camelot, and Annie Get Your Gun, to name but a few. Shows included a full pit band, elaborate sets built by carpentry students and special effects generated by the science classes. Many others were enlisted to help with audio, publicity, photography, ticket sales, and backstage coordination. The community came out in droves to see each new production, often showing up in the thousands to be entertained by the latest staged offering.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the school's opening and plans are ramping up for the GHSS 50th Reunion to take place June 1-3 in Flesherton. Organizers are hoping to recreate some of that entertainment magic with a full weekend of events and something for everyone. It’s all about sharing those great memories with past friends and faculty and having a lot of fun too.
Here is a run-down of confirmed events for the reunion weekend offering many opportunities for alumni to reconnect with high school friends, teachers, coaches and school staff:
Black Water Draw, performers at Saturday's Reunion Dance. Source: FredHale.ca
The Saturday night Reunion Dance promises to be the highlight of the weekend with Black Water Draw providing the evening entertainment. The group is fronted by well-known GHSS alumnus Fred Hale who plays guitar and provides lead vocals. The band boasts 25 years in the Ontario music scene and covers all popular styles including current pop, R & B, Rock, Americana, and Old School. Fred and his wife Janet lead the group through a mix of covers including songs from well known artists Mumford and Sons, Spirit of the West, Eric Clapton, Serena Ryder, KT Tunstall, Linda Ronstadt and ABBA, to name a few.
Tickets for the dance will be limited, so getting them well in advance of the event will be the key to securing attendance. It will be held at the Flesherton Arena from 8 pm - 1 am. To purchase tickets, people will be required to register for the weekend online. Dance tickets are $25 each.
Committee member Rob Scott is organizing the “50 Years of Talent” Show on Friday evening, 7:30 - 9 pm at GHSS. He will be dipping into the school's vast pool of artists and musicians to showcase a variety of talent that literally spans 50 years at GHSS. Poet Sharon Sinclair, singer Kim Stewart and musicians Kim Magee-Jackson and Sebastian Ellis are among the confirmed performers with many more to be added as the program is filled out. Rob Scott himself will reunite with former bandmates in a repeat performance of Glenn Miller’s Little Brown Jug some 30 years after their original rendition on the GHSS stage. Tickets are $10 each.
To register in advance and purchase tickets to any or all of the events, visit the GHSS 50th Reunion website.
Many other events not mentioned in the list above are still in the planning stages and will be confirmed over the course of the next few months. Organizers are also looking for more volunteers to help with or participate in the events. To perform in the “50 Years of Talent” show, contact Rob Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org. To volunteer or become a sponsor, contact email@example.com.
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