The Mirror News

“Fantastic” centenary reunion at Foster Secondary College

• From left, Foster Secondary College business manager Colleen Smith, Melina Bath, Eastern Victoria MLC, George Crocombe oldest male returnee 1945-46, Gwenda (Park) Middleton, oldest female returnee 1944-46, and current principal Matt McPhee.

FOSTER Secondary College’s “fantastic” centenary reunion on Saturday January 25, 2020 saw about 600 students, teachers and staff assemble at the school to celebrate and to remember.

Secondary College business manager and reunion organiser Colleen Smith said the school’s 100th anniversary was “a really fantastic day, the weather was brilliant, and the buildings and grounds looked wonderful!

“About 400 people had officially registered for the reunion but a lot more than that came along on the day,” she said.

“The two oldest returnees were both in their 90s, and there was a great representation of all of the generations of the college.

“There was a good buzz across the whole school right from the start, when registrations began at about 9.30 on Saturday morning, and people began to arrive and find their name badges or make one on the spot,” Colleen said.

“Everyone seemed to enjoy the archival displays of reports, photographs, projects and artworks set up in the college buildings and there certainly was a lot of talking going on!”

At the 11.30 am assembly held in the quadrangle, a new board honouring all of the college’s headmasters and principals from 1920 to the present day was presented to the college community.

Colleen said “the board is a replica of the college’s original honour board.

“All past and current headmasters and principals have made important changes and contributions to our school community,” she said.

“We would like to make a special reference to a former 1970s student Cheryl Hopkins, now Dr Cheryl Glowrey, who went on to become a teacher here in the late-90s and then returned in 2006 as our College Principal and first female Principal.”

Colleen said Cheryl “has always been passionate about history and she composed the special memorial edition of the [school magazine] Southern Star, which many returnees have taken home with them after our celebrations.”

Some of the older college returnees were intrigued by the computer-generated slideshows on display around the school, while people of every age liked poring over the collection of images on show regardless of their format.

Those at the college reunion enjoyed the boxed lunches made for the occasion by Foster’s South Gippsland Hospital Auxiliary before lining up for formal class photographs to be taken of each decade.

Many members of the greater college community who were present for the centenary also attended the opening of the time capsule at the Foster Museum on Saturday afternoon, in a first-class and quite historic double bill.

On Saturday evening the Grand Ole Factory Band starred at the college’s Centenary Reunion Ball held in the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre hall in Main Street, attracting about 200 people who danced and chatted and caught up right until the last chords had faded away.

Colleen thanked everyone who had been involved in the centenary reunion, from workers, helpers and caterers through all of those who returned to the college.

“The centenary has been the third college reunion I’ve been part of, starting with the 90th and then the 95th,” she said.

“I think other people can arrange the college’s 125th anniversary, which will take place in 2045 …”


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