Hundreds of former students, staff and friends turned out to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Surrey’s oldest high school last Saturday afternoon.
The festivities kicked off with an opening ceremony and welcoming remarks in Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary’s gymnasium, were as many as 1,000 people gathered.
A very special guest, Deborah Buchan – Lady Stewartby – is the granddaughter of the school’s namesake, John Buchan, Canada’s 15th Governor General and Lord Tweedsmuir.
The organizing committee extended an invitation to Lady Stewartby, and her family, a year and a half ago.
“We wanted to encourage her family to come, but of course, they were tied up with the Queen’s jubilee celebrations” this weekend, said Alan Clegg, president of the Lord Tweedsmuir Alumni Association.
Her brother, the current Lord Tweedsmuir, had social commitments, as did her husband, Lord Stewartby.
“She made a decision to come all the way out here for our reunion,” he said. “We were elated. She was so sincere, she was so genuine, and so many people wanted to talk to her and get her to autograph their programs.”
Other dignitaries included superintendent of Schools Mike McKay, school board chair Laurae McNally, and Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode.
At 100 years of age, Burnaby’s Kay Charter [pictured at left] may well have been the oldest alumna to attend the June 2 celebration. Charter graduated in 1927, and used to work at the Bank of Montreal in Cloverdale from 1930 to 1940, and the Royal Bank before that.
Former students and staff came from as far away as Canada’s east coast, Hawaii and even California, and there were various informal class gatherings over the weekend.
Former staff were on hand, too, including Clegg’s Grade 9 home room teacher and his Grade 10 English teacher.
“Those kinds of people make the day for you,” said Clegg, Class of 1960.
Attendees enjoyed reminiscing and chatting about old times, he said. Displays on school history – including a 10-minute film created by Surrey Archives – were another hit.
“Some people brought in memorabilia that nobody has seen,” Clegg said. “We had a whole gym full of it. But people still bring stuff in the front door.”
The school’s alumni association organized previous reunions in 1993 and 2000.
“Once they get into their ages of 50 and 60, these kinds of events become very significant in their lives,” he said.