OLDS — Those who attended a reunion celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Olds High School (OHS) 1972 graduation included one person who’s been to every reunion and one who attended her first one ever.
The event, held June 11 at a farm just northwest of Olds, was the first class reunion Wanda Budd Okamura has ever attended.
Budd Okamura didn’t cross the stage with her classmates in 1972.
She moved to Lethbridge after Grade 11, then went to university in that city.
From there, Budd Okamura worked for RBC across the country.
In 2010, she and her husband retired and moved back to the family farm in the Olds area.
Budd Okamura was asked what it was like to attend her first class of ‘72 reunion.
“It's very interesting, because you’re trying to – you look at the yearbook and you’re trying to kind of picture how people looked back then and what you think they might look like now, so it’s a bit of a challenge that way,” Okamura said.
“But I’ve been lucky enough to have a visit with quite a few people, so it’s very nice.”
Ken Machell has attended every OHS class of ‘72 reunion since the first one was held in 1982. They’ve been held every five years since then.
After graduation, Machell worked in the oil patch way up in the Arctic.
However, he found that to be pretty isolating, so a few years later he went to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and became an instrumentation technician.
He stayed in that career for more than 42 years, before retiring in 2017.
Machell was asked why he continues to come to grad class reunions.
“It’s fun to sit with people and visit that you haven’t seen for some time and catch up on what they’ve been doing with their lives,” Machell said.
“I’m just curious about many of the people that I graduated with. It’s a good time every time; for sure.”