Smithers Secondary School (SSS) is getting two new benches after an SSS alumni group found itself with some extra net proceeds following a recent 50-year reunion.
The glossy plaque affixed to two new benches donated to Smithers Secondary School (SSS) by the schools 1968-1970 alumni group reads “Gift to SSS from Grad classes of ‘68, ‘69 & ‘70, 50th Reunion, 2019”
Speaking to The Interior News Sandy Morris, one of the individuals involved with the alumni committee responsible for organizing the 50-year reunion, said the donation of the benches was a happy surprise after they had a bit of money left over from the event.
“We didn’t know what to do with it so then we had another committee meeting and decided [it would] be a good idea to donate benches,” she said.
A number of alumni from the three graduating classes will be at SSS on Feb. 28 as part of a ceremony to present the benches to the school.
Two other SSS grads, Morris’ husband Doug and Jeannette Malkow, were also part of the committee.
For Malkow, the donation was a way for the years to leave their mark at the school.
“I’m sure a lot of students will look at the plaque and go, fifty years ago they graduated?” she said.
“It’s even hard for us … we’re not that old you know.”
The trio attributed the success of the 50th anniversary to a solid group effort in tracking down graduates from the three years, which sometimes required quite a bit of detective work.
Alumni divided up the task between a number of individuals, with a few people from each year taking it upon themselves to try and find graduates through social media and the phone book.
But as Morris explained, sometimes it took a little more sleuthing.
“Some they couldn’t find [and] they’d say, Sandy can you find this one?” she said.
“So I’d phone somebody who was an old neighbour or I knew somebody’s kid married into that family and we tracked them down eventually.”
She said while it was hard, at times, to track people down often all it took was just finding one individual from a certain friend group.
“Once you got ahold of one and said can you find somebody else [it] just was a chain reaction.”
Malkow said the reunion itself was an amazing opportunity to get to catch up with former friends and hear about what everyone had been doing over the past years, which she said included an extremely diverse array of careers.
That included everyone from a chiropractor to teachers to two seperate Supreme Court judges.
But she said when everyone got back together for the night all of that was forgotten.
“It didn’t matter who or what you were it was just like, oh remember when teacher so-and-so did this?”
It’s unclear where the benches will be located but the group said SSS has plans to put them someplace within the building’s interior.
As for Morris, she said she is already looking forward to the next big reunion, adding that perhaps they’ll be able to raise some funds again.
“Maybe we’ll all be well enough to do it at 75 [years],” she said with a laugh. “You never know.”