Class of 1953 to reunite

Those were the days . . . Former Otago Girls' High School pupils (front, from left) Kay Klitscher, Joan Webster, Barb Baillie, Mika Cottle (school prefect), Judy Knox; (middle, from left) Alison Timms, Hilary Jaket, Jennifer McKinnon, Jan Palmer; (rear, from left) Jocelyn Harris, Anne Malcolm, Ailsa Johnston, Lexie Kay and Catherine Goodyear return to their alma mater. PHOTO: JOHN LEWIS

Some say you should never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.

Others say: once you reach a certain age, there are no guarantees you will be around next week to regret not doing it.

So 13 former Otago Girls’ High School pupils have decided to catch up for a reunion of the class of 1953 – just in case they cannot make the school’s 150th anniversary in 2021.

“We’ll all turn 80 this year,” reunion organiser Jennifer McKinnon (79) said.

“About 10 months ago, we decided it was a long time to go before 2021 [when the school will hold its 150th anniversary], so we’ll have our reunion now.”

The former accountant, teacher and principal at Bradford and Macandrew Bay schools said the reunion was inspired by a “wee nucleus” of former Otago Girls’ High School pupils who now lived in Christchurch and continued to keep in touch.

She said the “wee nucleus” contacted other friends from the same year at Otago Girls’ High School, and a group of 13 from as far away as Melbourne attended the reunion in Dunedin last Friday.

“We’re mainly from the 3S and 3R form classes.

“We’ve talked and reminisced a lot, but coming back to the school is really the highlight.

“We were here post-World War 2 and resources were pretty scarce.

“Each time we come back, we’re amazed at what’s there for the girls.”

Mrs McKinnon said more than 60 years after leaving, the school was still close to their hearts because it had played a major part in shaping their outlooks on life.

“They told us we could do anything.

“We’ve all had diverse careers, ranging from teaching, nursing and radiography to high-powered government department positions.”

The group spent much of last Thursday and Friday reminiscing and having photos taken together at the school and at dinners in the Dunedin Club and the Carey’s Bay Hotel.