MCHS 2015 organizing committee met in Kitchener on Feb. 4, 2015. Steve Shein joined us for the meeting.

Left to right: Scott Munro, Peter Mearns, and Steve Shein. Boston Pizza, Kitchener, Ontario. Feb. 4, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Attending the Feb. 4, 2015 organizing committee meeting in Kitchener were Scott Munro, Peter Mearns, Steve Shein, and Jaan Pill. The snowy weather prevented Gina (Davis) Cayer – who was flying home from the U.S. – and Lynn (Hennebury) Legge – who would have been driving from London, Ontario – from attending.

We welcome all MCHs ’60s alumni to join us at our organizing committee meetings. The Boston Pizza that we meet as is located at 190 Gateway Park Drive in Kitchener. Please contact Jaan Pill at jpill@preservedstories.com if you’d like to join us at a future meeting.

Much of our work is done through emails and phone calls but the face-to-face meetings, where people can talk at length, are a key part of the decision-making process as it relates to the reunion, which is taking place in Toronto on Oct. 17, 2015.

Family members and friends of MCHS alumni and teachers and other staff are welcome to join us on Oct. 17, 2015 at Old Mill Toronto

The event is open to all MCHS students who attended the school at any point in the 1960s, even is they graduated in the early 1970s or even if they subsequently transferred to some other high school. The reunion includes students who graduated from MCHS in Grade 10. Family members and friends of alumni are also most welcome as are teachers and other staff who were at the school during the era in question.

We have noted from accounts of other reunions that people have a special interest in chatting with teachers from their high school years. In some cases, mutual animosities dating back many decades are quickly forgotten and former students and teachers find they now enjoy each other’s company, as Steve Shein mentioned at our meeting. If you know of teachers who might be interested in attending, please let them know about the reunion.

Thunderbird: Unique in all the world. Early 1960s ad. The ad is highlighted at a recent Preserved Stories blog post.

We’re a non-profit event and we seek to break even

Basically, at the Feb. 4, 2015 meeting we decided we don’t have the money for live performances at the reunion and people just want to meet and chat. On the other hand, as I write up these minutes, I do recall that one alumna, that we consulted with, was impressed with a YouTube video of one of the groups we’ve been thinking about, namely Little Peter and the Elegants.

Our featured guest at the meeting was Steve Shein, a key organizer for the highly successful MCHS 2000 reunion and a tremendously valuable source of information and inspiration for the MCHS 2015 reunion.

We owe many thanks to Howard Hight for getting the organizing team in touch with Steve Shein.

How you can help

We’ve decided to focus on getting people to attend. The work people are doing in contacting people they know is so helpful. It’s also helpful that people are taking the steps to actually complete the cheque and send it off. In the event you have learned the secret to overcoming procrastination, which involves putting off until tomorrow what you could do today (such as writing a cheque, finding an envelope, entering Diana Redden’s address, affixing a stamp, locating a neighbourhood mailbox, and dropping the letter inside of it), please write a brief essay, and we will be pleased to post it to this website.

Here’s a quick overview of the Feb. 14, 2015 meeting in Kitchener 

1) Introductions. Scott Munro, Peter Mearns, Jaan Pill, and Steve Shein introduced themselves explaining their involvement with the reunion.

2) Scott, Peter, and Jaan each asked Steve one question of their choice. We’ll report on the Q & A, which was of much interest, later.

Photoshopped version (image retouching by Marc at Walden Design) of scan of 1960s Mercury ad. The ad is highlighted at a recent post at the Preserved Stories website.

Accommodations

3) Accommodations Update: Jaan noted that the details on how to book a guest room at Old Mill Toronto have been posted to the Preserved Stories website – in the Registration section and at the FAQ – and will be posted at the new MCHS 2015 website as well. The latter process – of getting the site prepared for launching – is proceeding smoothly and well.

One of my own current projects is to book a guest room while there is still one left. Will I manage to book one soon? Or will they all get booked while I procrastinate? I guess I will soon find out.

4) We discussed the topic of Live Music and Live Dance. We decided that the budget did not warrant exploring the option further. It was also noted that people were coming to the reunion to chat – to mix and mingle – and not for the purpose of being entertained by live music and dance performances. That said, as noted at the beginning of this post, we have heard that the Mississauga-based “high school” performers, Little Peter and the Elegants, do come across as an impressive ’50s and ’60s music group, for people who enjoy dancing the live music…. I don’t usually end sentences with a series of dots (ellipses, that is) but this is an exception.

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

No refunds

5) We discussed the topic of refunds. We’ve decided to adopt the MCHS 2000 refunds policy, as we understand it, which is: We are a non-profit group; the organizers are putting themselves on the line in organizing the reunion; we have a deposit at Old Mill Toronto to cover, no matter what. In short: No refunds.

By way of background: The organizing committee has discussed this topic at length. The following Q & A between Jaan Pill and Arun Khanna was part of our research. Arun is an accountant who is a senior manager with a federal government agency. He has worked with Jaan in organizing many conferences and events across Canada in the past 25 in particular in the 1990s.

Jaan Pill (Jan. 8, 2015): Any suggestions on how to set up a refund policy for the high school reunion that I’m working on?

Arun Khanna: Why would you give a refund? This is a non-profit event.

The idea of giving a refund or not depends on what your cost commitments are. If you’re paying for rental of a school gym or a banquet hall, I would not give refunds.

Another factor is the price paid. If you’re charging a nominal fee like $20, I would never give a refund; if it’s $100, then you should give some refund with a non-refundable portion like $20.

If you’re ordering snacks, plates, etc. then I would not give refunds once you’re past the point of purchasing supplies or finalizing a contract with a caterer.

These are my ideas….

The map shows location of Old Mill, Toronto, site of MCHS 60s Reunion on Oct. 17, 2015. The reunion coincides with visit by Étienne Brûlé to the mouth of the Humber River, then located close to where Old Mill is now located, 400 years ago. Click on the Google Map to enlarge it. Click again to enlarge it further. Use 'back' button on your browser to return to the page you are now reading.

[End of Q & A]

Left to right: Peter Mearns, Scott Munro, and Steve Shein outside of Boston Pizza in Kitchener, Feb. 4, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Projected attendance

6) Projected attendance: We are aiming for 140 attendees. That’s our first aim. What if more people want to attend? The contract with Old Mill Toronto specifies a maximum of 300 for the two rooms. The latter hypothetical scenario would mean getting rid of the buffet dinner format and arranging for a sit-down dinner with regular (not round) tables.

7) We’ve decided not to go with the idea of having potential attendees pay deposits. If a person wishes to attend, they need to pay the full fee.

Events before & after the reunion

8) This item is No. 8. For whatever reason, WordPress, which serves as the software platform for this website, interprets a No. 8 with a closing bracket as a happy face with sunglasses – which brings to mind MCHS alumni who like to spend their winters in Mexico. But I digress. Let us continue: We discussed the concept of coordinators to look after events the day before the reunion, as well as during Oct. 17, 2015 before 6:00 pm (when the reunion starts), and for the day after. We decided that, if we don’t find coordinators, we can make suggestions where people can meet, if they wish to, at those times. People who know each other already, from their days at MCHS, can make arrangements on their own – for example, to meet at a local pub or restaurant.

 A separate MCHS 2015 website

The idea that we would one day get around to organizing a

9) Our new website will be up and running soon. Can we post email addresses for remaining organizing committee members? Email addresses for Howard, Diana, and Jaan are already posted. We didn’t discuss this topic at the meeting. We can make a decision later.

DJ versus MC

10) DJ versus MC question. Some of the most recent comments, that we’ve received by email and/or through the Preserved Stories website, point toward having a knowledgeable DJ handling the music, and having the MC tasks taken on by a series of people.

One point that has been discussed is that all of the relevant graduation eras (early and mid 60s; late 60s; early 70s) should have an MC taking on the speaking tasks on behalf of their particular group of alumni. We’ll have a mix of people acting as MC and David Dodds, our accountant, may be persuaded to take on the DJ role. David has a large supply of 1950s and 1960s music.

Money matters

11) We need to get a $1275.00 deposit cheque to Old Mill Toronto before the end of February. Jaan made a donation of $60 and Scott made a donation of $50 so that sufficient money was in the reunion bank account to cover the cheque. Peter will bring a cheque to Jaan to co-sign after which Jaan will deliver it to Old Mill Toronto. The second cheque will take care of the deposit required for a projected attendance of 140 people. The first instalment of the deposit was for $825.00.

PowerPoint slides 

12) We discussed the scanning of yearbooks. This is a labour-intensive task. We do not have the volunteer resources at hand. At the meeting we noted that we don’t have the financial resources at hand for having the yearbooks scanned at a print shop. However, as I write up the minutes, it has occurred to me that the Toronto-based entertainment subcommittee has noted that we can get the yearbooks scanned at a print shop and then we can sell yearbooks, at cost, as CDs or DVDs at the reunion. In that way we can recoup our expenses and everybody, who wants one, can buy a yearbook for their graduation year.

Étienne Brûlé at the mouth of the Humber River in 1615, 400 years ago as of 2015, accompanied by First Nations guides. Pen & Ink drawing, circa 1933, by C.W. Jefferys. Credit: Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1972-26-1395. Copyright: Expired.

Jaan Pill (left) and Scott Munro check out the fireplace at Brûlé Ballroom C, Old Mill Toronto.

Scott and Jaan will work at putting together images from the yearbooks for a PowerPoint slide show at the reunion. If anyone would like to help with preparation of PowerPoint slides, please contact Jaan at jpill@preservedstories.com

13) Responsibilities. We need to line up particular people to take responsibility for particular areas. We will share further information about this topic later.

AV requirements

14) We need to arrange a visit soon to Old Mill Toronto to go over the AV requirements. Peter Mearns will arrange with David Dodds for a time when David and Jaan can meet with an AV person at Old Mill Toronto.

Registration fees

15) We have concluded that the policy of $250 for any two MCHS grads does not make sense, from a budgetary perspective. That is, the policy will be: $150 for one person, or $250 per couple, where one of the spouses is an MCHS graduate. If an MCHS graduate wants to help a fellow MCHS graduate, who otherwise would not afford to attend, the option available to that person is to buy a ticket for the other person. Aside from that, if you are in difficult financial circumstances but are keen to attend, please contact Jaan Pill at jpill@preservedstories.com

I’ve worked at previous events where we found ways to ensure that no one was turned away because of financial constraints. It’s been my experience that such things are best approached confidentially and on a case-by-case basis.

Having experienced hard times as well as good times with regard to money over the course of my life, and having learned much of value from the experiences, I’m really keen to ensure that no one is turned away because the money situation happens to be tight, at the present time, for a particular person. This is an inclusive event. Everybody’s presence will bring tremendous value to our high school reunion.

 

1 reply
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I am pleased to share with you the following conversation from the Malcolm Campbell High School Grads Facebook Group.

    Robert Crone: Good to hear Steve was there… The 2000 reunion he organised was amazing. If I didn’t say so then, I’ll say it now… Thank you Steve!

    Steve Shein: No thanks are required, I started the MCHS Y2K reunion as much for me as for everyone else. I enjoyed it immensely and it really makes me feel good when someone says that they managed to reconnect with friends from the past. It was a huge team effort by some very dedicated folks who made up the reunion committee and the many other volunteers. Your MCHS 2015 crew is just as motivated and focused, and also challenged with an even shorter timeline than we had. The most common comment I hear is “I didn’t even know it (the Y2K Reunion) was happening”. Well, back then we didn’t have social media like we do now. You, the MCHS alumni, are the ones who are responsible for reaching out and touching as many of your friends as you can, in order to make this a successful and memorable event. Come on out, I’ll see you there.

    Jaan Hendrik Pill: Beautiful words, well spoken. We look forward to a great reunion and we so much appreciate the help from each alumna or alumnus in spreading the word. Much depends on you!

    Reply

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