The MCHS 60s Reunion organizing committee met in Kitchener on Sept. 24, 2014

Old Mill Toronto, site of the Oct. 17, 2015 MCHS 60s Reunion, is located by the Humber River, which Étienne Brûlé visited in 1615. The reunion will take place at the Brûlé Ballrooms at the Old Mill. In the photo, Étienne Brûlé Park is visible on the north side of the river. Jaan Pill photo

The photo shows the Humber River on a later day, when the water has not turned muddy following runoff from a recent rainfall. Jaan Pill photo

As we noted in a previous post, on Sept. 22, 2014 two members of the organizing committee visited Old Mill Toronto, where the Oct. 17, 2015 MCHS 60s Reunion will take place.

On Sept. 24, 2014 Lynn Legge, Scott Munro, and Jaan Pill met in Kitchener, Ontario. That meeting is the topic of the current post.

Our next reunion organizing meeting is at 11:30 am on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 at the Boston Pizza in Kitchener where our previous meetings have been held. If you are an MCHS alumna or alumnus who attended the school at any point in the 1960s, you are most welcome to attend the meetings and share your thoughts and suggestions. We much value input from all sources. Please contact me for directions and details.

Guest rooms at Old Mill Toronto and elsewhere

At our Sept. 24 meeting, we noted that we have block rates for guest rooms at Old Mill Toronto for the Oct. 17, 2015 event. If you would like to reserve a room at Old Mill or get further information please contact Jaan Pill at jpill@preservedstories.com

You need to keep in mind what your accommodation needs are. Single occupancy? Occupancy by a couple? Occupancy by a group of classmates? And at what price range? Different hotels provide different options. Good idea to read the online reviews.

Some guest rooms will be available at Old Mill Toronto at reduced rates for MCHs 60s Reunion attendees. Jaan Pill photo

Several hotels that Lynn Legge has checked will have block rates available after Oct. 17, 2014. Among the hotels she has been looking at aside from Old Mill Toronto are, among others, Stay Inn; Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport; Radisson Suites Hotel; Hampton Inn by Hilton Toronto Airport Corporate Centre; and Canada’s Best Value Inn Toronto.

Old Mill Toronto is accessible from the Old Mill subway station on the Bloor-Danforth line. For that reason, we are also checking on hotels along the subway line that may be good choices for some attendees.

MCHS Sixties Reunion includes any student who attended MCHS in the 1960s

Following up on a great suggestion from John Kovac, we have expanded the Sixties Reunion to include every student who attended MCHS in the 1960s, including MCHS students who graduated in the 1970s. An earlier discussion with Lynn Berry was very helpful in setting the stage for the response of the organizing committee to John Kovac’s suggestion.

MCHS teachers, administrators, and other staff

If you have names and contact details for any teachers who taught students who attended Malcolm Campbell High School in the 1960s, please let me know. Teachers or other school staff in this category, who would now be in their eighties or nineties (I’m guessing), are most welcome to attend the reunion.

Communications strategy

It has also been suggested that, in order to simplify communications, it would be helpful if we made a clear distinction between 1) updates about the MCHS 60s Reunion, and 2) the MCHS biographies and stories related to the history of the school.

We have followed up on this excellent suggestion. Our two current Categories are now distinct from each other, with no overlap (to my knowledge) between the Categories:

MCHS 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s

MCHS 60s Biographies & Histories

We may also set up a Category with information about the registration procedure, and another one with information about where people can find information about the reunion on Facebook.

MCHS 60s Reunion letterhead; sending out of email updates to alumni listed on our database

The Old Mill Bridge, which crosses the Humber River just east of Old Mill Toronto, was built in 1916. Jaan Pill photo

Howard Hight and Diana Redden have set up a project for sending out regular email updates, using the impressive letterhead they have designed, to the MCHS alumni who are on the MCHS 60s database.

We noted at the Sept. 24, 2014 meeting that the letterhead is well designed and that the all-important first letter was highly effective in communicating key messages.

We much appreciate the work that Diana and Howard are doing as members of the organizing committee. We have a great team of people across North America working closely together to stage the MCHS 60s Reunion.

If you are not on the database but wish to add you name, please contact Howard Hight at hahight@gmail.com

Networking is a great way to publicize the reunion

Networking is a key means, along with email, blog posts, and Facebook pages, that we are using to let people know about the reunion.

In cases where we have contact information, we are contacting MCHS 60s grads and asking them to spread the word about the reunion among brothers and sisters, and classmates that they know, who went to MCHS in the sixties.

Why not have the reunion in Montreal?

We’ve had the opportunity to discuss this excellent question at a previous blog post.

We encourage the staging of mini-reunions in Montreal, such as the successful event that took place in Montreal on Aug.13, 2014.

But in the meantime, we’ve made our choice for the venue.

Accountant

View of Brûlé Room. On the occasion of our Sept. 22, 2014 site visit, tables were set up in classroom style. For the Oct. 17, 2015 reunion, we’ll have round tables set up, with room for a buffet as well as a space toward the middle for dancing. Jaan Pill photo

With help from Peter Mearns, we have located an accountant for the reunion.

The plan is that that registration cheques would be sent to the database team, which will deposit the cheques to our bank account.

The MCHS Sixties Reunion database would serve as the registration form.

As Diana Redden has remarked, with regard to this registration procedure: “Simple and easy is the way to go.”

Simplicity is an ongoing theme for all aspects of the reunion.

Review of Sept. 22, 2014 meeting

Some of the highlights of our Sept. 22 site visit are outlined in a previous post. We’ll have some high tables set up at the periphery of the room for the buffet portion of the event, when people have time to mingle, as suggested at the June 16, 2014 meeting of the organizing committee. We’ll also have round tables where alumni will be seated with classmates at the beginning of the event.

Communications with Old Mill

Sheila, the Sales Executive at Old Mill who is our contact, requests that one person be the communication channel regarding the meeting rooms; Jaan Pill will for now perform that role.

Old Mill Toronto features an inner courtyard (middle of photo) where MCHS 60s alumni would have the opportunity to meet on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 prior to the 6:00 pm start of the reunion. Jaan Pill photo

Home Smith Jazz Bar. This is another place where people can meet on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 prior to the opening of the Brûlé Rooms at 6:00 pm. Jaan Pill photo

Start time

The reunion starts at 6:00 pm on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. The room rental is until 1:00 am. We can arrange for people to get together before that in a main inner courtyard (see photo on this page) if they wish to hang out earlier. There’s also a pub – the Home Smith Jazz Bar – where people can meet; the live jazz entertainment starts there at 3:00 pm.

Dinner cost

With one glass of wine included with dinner (with anything extra involving payment at a cash bar), and with taxes and gratuities, it’s probably about $100 to $110 a person. We will determine the exact amount of the registration fee after we consult with our accountant.

Audio visual options and entertainment

We also discussed audio visual and entertainment options (e.g. DJ and/or live or recorded sixties music), which we will explore in more detail later.

A basic consideration is that we want to have dinner and mill around. As Scott Munro noted (this is a paraphrase) at our Sept. 22 meeting: “Keep it simple.”

The buffet is a key event at the reunion. It offers an opportunity to get up and mix with the people who are there.

Some people who attended the MCHS 2000 Reunion in Montreal have mentioned they really enjoyed it. We look forward to incorporating some of the features of that event. People have mentioned they really enjoyed the dancing, the Sixties music, and so we’re keen to get ideas in that area, while keeping things simple. Among other topics that we discussed on Sept. 24, in a preliminary way, were raffles, a 50/50 draw, spot dances, and other incentives.

Lynn Legge remarked: “Remember when we used to be kids? We used to have spot dances.”

Pig roast

Howard High has mentioned a high school reunion, that he read about in a Grafton MA newspaper, that featured a pig roast (see Comments section at an earlier post). We will explore that possibility for sure!

I’ve recently mentioned to Howard that, as a vegetarian for over 40 years, I would observe the roast with interest, in the event it were to occur. Howard has responded, in turn: “We could put an apple in its mouth for you…….”

Photographer

Jaan Pill has contacted a professional photographer who can take first-rate shots, and can print them out and sell them on the spot.

Name Tags

As highlighted in a previous post, we’ve discussed the concept of having name tags that include, along with a yearbook photo, information about a person’s line of work or volunteer pursuits over the past 50 years. We can add that if a yearbook photo is unavailable, an “Age 17” photo, which many people have, will work just as well.

At our Sept. 24 meeting, Lynn Legge mentioned that, at a high school reunion in London, Ontario, the name tags were colour coded. “Each name tag,” she noted, “had a designated colour for the year you graduated.” We may remember very few people, but when we see a colour that corresponds to our own year, that can help us in getting oriented, when we try to figure our who’s who, 50 years later.

If you graduated twice, as some people did, to bring up their marks or to get the required complement of courses, you can choose whichever year you prefer, by way of being designated according to a particular graduation year.

Lynn Legge and Scott Munro beside Lynn’s impressive Ford Mustang, prior to our respective drives home after the Sept. 24, 2014 meeting at a Boston Pizza in Kitchener. Jaan Pill photo

Dining Room and amenities

Old Mill Toronto offers guests and visitors a great dining experience. Scott Munro and Jaan Pill had an enjoyable lunch at the Old Mill Dining Room on Sept. 22, 2014. The food and service are of the highest quality. There’s also lots of green space and trees visible from the Dining Room.

We owe thanks to Peter Mearns for doing all of the earlier ground work regarding Old Mill Toronto. He’s done a great job on behalf of the reunion in choosing the site.

 

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