Skip to content

Olds high school class of '72 holds 50-year reunion (6 photos)

On June 11, the Olds High School class of 1972 held a reunion at a farm just northwest of Olds, marking 50 years since they graduated

OLDS — The Olds High School class of 1972 held a reunion June 11, marking 50 years since they graduated. 

The original high school building was demolished. Now a Ford dealership and a dental office occupy much of the land.  

The school, now located in a new building adjacent to Olds College, is now known as École Olds High School.  

Reunion celebrations were held at a farm just northwest of Olds.  

Gloria Ulry, one of the main organizers, says nothing special was undertaken to mark 50 years since graduation. 

Some members of the class golfed. Some just stayed and caught up with old friends. In the evening a barbecue was held, some photos were taken and lots of time was spent reminiscing about their years together. 

She said another fun activity is to draw up a list of questions. As people try to answer, that can spark a lot of hilarity. 

Ulry said she and other members of the committee were just too busy tracking people down to think of doing anything special to mark the occasion. 

"I know for me, I guess it’s just the planning and organizing,” she said during an interview. 

“If I had a few more people on the committee, maybe we would have gone in that direction, what can we do that’s special about 50? 

“I know it was special to me after 50 years to still be able to gather people together.” 

Ulry estimates that about 90 people graduated back in 1972. She said about 45 people were expected to attend this year’s reunion. 

The group held its first reunion 10 years after graduation and reunions have been held every five years since then. 

"We’re now at 50 years out of high school and you know, it’s just kind of cool to be celebrating 50 years. And it’s also really hard to believe we’ve been out of school for 50 years," she said with a short laugh. 

Ulry began thinking about this year’s reunion last fall. Work by the committee began in earnest this year, with the invitations going out in March. 

She said getting ahold of everyone became much easier with the advent of email and social media.  

“We do have a Facebook page, but not everybody goes there," she said.  

“And we still have a couple of holdouts who don’t use email or text, so we sent out some (invitations) by snail mail to those people. 

“We’ve done Facebook searches and Google searches and we’ve managed to find quite a few of the people that way. 

“It’s always somebody who knows somebody and we were able to find out. 

“I did have a few returned mails this time but not very many.”  

Sadly, about 21 members of the class have now passed away and the committee was unable to track about seven people. 

Attendees actually include more than the graduating class of 1972.  

“What we’ve always done is we’ve gone back to Grade 7. Anybody who was with us from Grade 7 forward,” Ulry said. 

“We didn’t just do the graduating class because we had some people who went to school with us from Grade 1 to 11 and didn’t graduate. 

“And we never felt it wasn’t right not to include them because they didn’t cross a stage in a graduation (ceremony) because they were a very big part of our lives for Grade 10, 11 or years.” 

There have been some very enthusiastic attendees. 

Ulry said one guy has attended every reunion, even though he moved from Olds in Grade 8 or 9. 

Some indicated no desire to come to a reunion because their high school years weren’t good ones. 

But Ulry has proof that in least one case, that can be turned around. 

“We had one young fellow who probably wasn’t treated real well at school,” she said. 

“He came to our 10-year reunion and it was just amazing to me to watch how people treated him – probably for the first time in his life – as equals. And I know he got some apologies for things that people had said or done. 

“He passed away before our 15-year reunion and I so was just so glad that he got to feel included in a way that he never got included in school. 

“And so that’s why I say to people, you know we’ve all matured. It gives people an opportunity to say ‘I was acting like a jerk’ or just to include people and be as inclusive as possible, rather than what kids tend to do in school, which is to form groups and you’re kind of in or you’re out. 

“So that’s why I think it’s important,” she added. “Some of our most important, developing years were with all of these people.”