New website launching soon – at www.MCHS2015.com – for MCHS ’60s Reunion

In response to requests for easier access to details related to the MCHS ’60s Reunion & Celebration of the ’60s, we’re setting up a separate website for the reunion.

The landing page will appear as a banner running across the landing page of the website you are now reading.

MCHS2015.com

Left to right: Gina Davis Cayer, Scott Munro, David Dodds at Nov. 26, 2014 meeting at Boston Pizza in Kitchener

We are setting up a website within a website. We are working with Walden Design to get the website into place as soon as possible.

The domain name will be www.MCHS2015.com.

We owe thanks to John Kovac, a 1970s MCHS alumnus, for suggesting the re-configuration of the Preserved Stories website, using a banner across the page, to enable potential attendees to get information about the reunion more quickly and easily.

’60s Reunion Newsletter

The visual identity for the reunion site will have the same one as the 60s Reunion Newsletter that Howard Hight (Boston) and Diana Redden (Vancouver) have been sending out.

The newsletter is sent out to the MCHS ’60s Database, which Howard and Diana have been developing for some time.

To get your name on the newsletter, send an email to Howard at hahight@gmail.com

Nov. 26, 2014 meeting in Kitchener

MCHS 2015 organizing committee met in Kitchener on Nov. 26, 2014. A subcommittee meeting takes place in Toronto on Jan. 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm. Next meeting in Kitchener is on Feb. 4, 2015 at 11:30 am. Left to right, Nov. 26: Peter Mearns, Lynn Hennebury Legge, Jaan Pill, Gina Davis Cayer, Scott Munro, David Dodds

Our most recent organizing meeting was on Nov. 26, 2014 in Kitchener. At this meeting, Gina (Davis) Cayer, who attended MCHS in the 1960s, joined us for the first time.

Our previous meeting was on Oct. 29, 2014 in Kitchener. An entertainment subcommittee will meet in Toronto on Jan. 10, 2015.

Next organizing meeting is on Feb 5, 2015 in Kitchener; all ’60s-era MCHS alumni are welcome to attend the meetings

The next meeting of the organizing committee will be in Kitchener on Feb. 4, 2015. Our meetings are open to any person who attended MCHS at any point in the ’60s. We also welcome online input from MCHS alumni who attended in the ’60s, as they bring much of value to our planning process – as online messages from John Kovac, Lynn Berry, and others attest.

Messages that help the organizing team with its strategic thinking are tremendously valuable. Strategic thinking is a key element in the success of large-scale projects such as reunions.

Mixing and mingling

A key decision that we made on Nov. 26, 2014 was that when we’re mixing and mingling during the reunion, we don’t want to have loud Sixties music in the background. In this post I’ll focus on that part of the November meeting in Kitchener. In later posts I’ll highlight other things we discussed.

Accommodations

This is your genuine Montreal smoked meat sandwich. The photo is from our April 25, 2014 meeting in Thornhill. The post that accompanied the photo led to an extensive online discussion about still-existing favourite smoked meet sandwich restaurants back in Montreal.

Old Mill Toronto has provided us a free parking pass, which each attendee at the reunion can use to get free parking at the Old Mill parking lot. The pass is printed out and displayed in your car windshield.

We have block rates for 20 guest rooms at Old Mill Toronto, with specials rates for reunion attendees. We’ll post the details online soon – along with the 2014 Buffet Dinner menu, to give people a sense of the menu that we will have in place on Oct. 17, 2015. When the 2015 Buffet Dinner menu is available, we’ll post that as well.

Lynn (Hennebury) Legge has been working on block rates for a hotel in downtown Toronto on the Bloor subway line, which stops at the Old Mill subway station.

Scott Munro mentioned hotels in downtown Toronto are excellent. “They’re not coming just for the reunion, if they’re coming any distance. They’re probably going to make a weekend out of it. So if you can get a good booking in downtown Toronto, [that would be good].”

Union Pearson Express

David Dodds, our reunion accountant, referred at our November meeting to the new Union Pearson Express rail line service that will go from the airport to downtown. This will be helpful for people arriving at the airport.

Megabus

Gina (Davis) Cayer lives in St. Williams, site of the St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre. We are delighted that Gina joined us for the meeting.

Gina mentioned Megabus as a potential way for people in Central Canada to get to the reunion.

If you book three or four weeks ahead, it could cost you $13 to come to Toronto and $15 to go back to Montreal. “That’s how I go to Montreal,” Gina said. You go online at Megabus Canada and book your trip.

It’s a double-decker bus. You can read online reviews at yelp.ca. This is a good option if you don’t want to drive. And the train, it’s starting to get pretty expensive now.

Database

Peter Mearns. Note the ‘Canadiens’ belt buckle (click on image to enlarge it). The photo is from an MCHS ’60s organizing meeting on April 25, 2014 photo at the Centre Street Deli in Thornhill. Peter had spent a long time looking for a good Montreal smoked meat restaurant in the Greater Toronto Area and finally found one in Thornhill north of Toronto.

One of our projects right now is to build to the database including through word of mouth. That’s really critical at this point.

A key task is to ensure that people, that we are in touch with who went to MCHS in the ’60s – or whose sisters or brothers went to MCHS in the ’60s – can be added to the database.

“So all of us have contacts we can cultivate,” Jaan remarked.

We’re also working at tracking down MCHS teachers who may be interested in attending.

At previous reunions we’ve heard about, having a chance to speak with a former teacher is often a key highlight. We have some leads. Any additional leads will be much appreciated.

Gina remarked that quite a few people are at the stage of questioning just what’s going to be involved, with the reunion. “So I think the more information that we give out about the planning,” the better.

What’s good entertainment for a ’60s reunion?

We have set up a subcommittee of MCHS grads from the Greater Toronto Area to help with planning of entertainment.

From the Nov. 26, 2014 Kitchener meeting – the following dialogue has been edited for brevity – we have:

Jaan Pill: So, I guess at this point maybe what we should do is go around the table and talk about what your concept is, of good entertainment.

So why don’t we start over here with Gina, and tell us what’s your idea of good entertainment at this kind of event.

Gina Davis Cayer: As long as you’ve got an open venue, [that takes into account that] people that don’t want too-loud music, that they can talk to people, then that’s fine. But if it means we have music that’s extremely loud, and you can’t socialize –

Jaan Pill: A very valid point.

On Oct. 31, 2014, Peter Mearns and Jaan Pill set up a bank account for the reunion at a TD Canada Trust branch in Bolton north of Toronto.

Gina Cayer: Because I mean we’ve gone to a lot of banquets, and people just leave. You know, because they would like to socialize and the music is so loud that you can’t, you know.

Jaan Pill: Excellent. That’s so important.

Gina Cayer: Because that’s what people come for. I’m not talking about – I mean they’re coming for the music; I mean they’re coming to see people.

Buffet dinner

Jaan Pill: And so the music could be at a specified time, and not at the time of the buffet, for example?

Gina Cayer: Exactly.

Jaan Pill: because the mixing and the mingling is the heart of the reunion. So that’s a really good point.

Scott Munro: Yeah, I agree. Background music. Keep it as low background music. You want something that – you’re hearing just enough to remember all that stuff, right. But that doesn’t dominate. It’s just there.

Jaan Pill: Okay. Excellent. So let’s move on to David.

David Dodds: I concur completely. People are there to socialize, to reminisce. They’re not there to dance. That would be an impediment, having music that’s loud, during dinner.

I’ve been at many social functions, too, where the music’s too loud, and I just get very frustrated.

Jaan Pill: Absolutely. That’s a really good point. I hadn’t even thought about that.

Let’s see. Who’s next? I can’t remember his name.[Laughter]

View from the Bloor St. West along the Humber River Bridge, looking south toward Lake Ontario. Old Mill Toronto is located in a scenic setting right next to the Humber River. Jaan Pill photo

Peter Mearns: I remember, somebody said one time, “If the music’s too loud, then you’re too old.” And I think we’re at the point where we’re all too old. [Laughter]

My idea of entertainment, what I’m looking forward to, is I’m not into the singing, dancing, entertaining stuff. Just mixing and chewing the rag and catching up on the last fifty years: I think that’s going to be a major point with just about everybody that’s there.

I think the music is going to be secondary, and I think you’ve got a good idea, to tone it down. And if we have it, say, from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am or something, if people want to hang around and have it then, fine. But I think the bulk of the get together is going to be the friends we haven’t seen for fifty years.

A note in passing

[By way of an update: In a phone conversation with Jaan Pill on Jan. 9, 2015, Howard Hight in Boston mentioned that some of the younger folks – the people who graduated in the early ’70s as contrasted to those of who graduated in the early or mid ’60s – seem to like the loud music and all the dancing stuff. Clearly, their preferences must be addressed as well. Just a note in passing.]

Good speeches

David Dodds: I think a few people making good speeches, people who you know ahead of time are blessed with a good sense of humour, and won’t say anything offensive.

View looking south from Old Mill Road in the Kingsway residential neighbourhood. One of the three main entrances to Old Mill Toronto is the entrance where the cars are parked. Jaan Pill photo

I think it’s important that we have people making some meaningful, memorable speeches too.

Jaan Pill: Absolutely. Yes, I agree with the idea that having good taste is very important at these kind of events.

The bagpiper logo served as a key element of the visual identity of the ’60s MCHS yearbooks.

Bagpipes are a key part of the history of MCHS

Scott Munro: And in deference to Peter’s comment at our last meeting, I’ll leave my bagpipes at home. [Laughter]

Peter Mearns: Scott, if you really want to bring them, I’ll sit in the parking lot until you’re done, and then you can come and get me. [Laughter]

Scott Munro: I can pipe you in from the parking lot.

Scott Munro (MCHS 63) checks out the Brûlé Ballrooms. Jaan Pill photo

Jaan Pill: How about at some point we can pipe in [some important person.]

Peter Mearns: You know, that would be a laugh.

Scott Munro: I know there’s a connection. There was a Talent Night that we had at the time. I should have led the whole group in, when we had the Talent Night that time.

The Dropouts

Peter Mearns: One of the best bands at one of those Talent Nights was the singing group called The Dropouts. Do you remember them?

Scott Munro: No. There was a friend of Jaan’s who was a rock singer. And Mr. Saul was all upset. Because he wanted to move around like Elvis Presley, and you weren’t supposed to do that kind of stuff.

Peter Mearns: The Dropouts was five or six teachers, and they were fantastic.

Bobby Hill was one of them. He kind of organized the whole thing, and I think George Allan, I think he played a washtub, with a string and something on it, and that was the bass guitar. It was excellent. It was really excellent.

Lynn (Hennebury) Legge: My comment?

Jaan Pill: So now we get to the most important comment of all.

The Bells

Lynn Legge: No, I don’t have a lot. Entertainment. I don’t know if you people remember the Bells.

Peter Mearns: Yup.

Lynn Legge: If we could get some of their music. I don’t have it anymore. My CDs got – we had a flood; the CDs and records were demolished in the flood. But if someone has that, that would be a group that people would remember, because anybody who went up north skiing, always went to the Inn, and the Bells played there nine days out of ten.

Jaan Pill: Which Inn was that?

Lynn Legge: At Sauveur.

Jaan Pill: Oh, wonderful.

Jacki is still around, and she’s been active in volunteer work dealing with cancer. And so Mr. Decarie mentioned that she had won the Order of Canada. And so it would be great to have her music.

In terms of entertainment, I’m thinking that perhaps – if we can get some honoured guest – to have that person piped in by Scott Munro. I think that still would work out quite well.

Scott Munro. Yeah, well whatever you want to do with that.

Lynn Legge: As long as you’re not piping me in, okay, because I would fall on my face.

Scott Munro: I’ll figure out how to set the high school song to pipe music.

Peter Mearns: And I’ll try and deal with it.

Scott Munro: Well, I carry earplugs around, by the way. I can even hand some out.

We’ll continue with further reports from the Nov. 26, 2014 meeting as time permits. We welcome your comments.

 

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