QUIET PLEASE: Former headmaster Ernie Gehrke speaks at the Isis District State High School reunion.
QUIET PLEASE: Former headmaster Ernie Gehrke speaks at the Isis District State High School reunion. Eliza Goetze

Class of 1966 reunited: Isis High's 50-year roll call

"QUIET over there! If you don't sit down I'll have to get out the cane!”

For a bumper crowd of 60 Isis District State High alumni, it must have felt like the classroom all over again.

But in fact, for the class of 1965-67, it was their 50-year reunion on Saturday, full of knowing jokes harking back to when they roamed the halls.

Col Taylor hosted the first part of the day at the Mango Paradise property at Cordalba, which he runs with his wife Jan, who provided the catering.

Alumni travelled from as far as Sydney and Western Australia.

A roll call was conducted, but this time it was former school captains Jennifer McKay and Warren Martin who led the call-out, each former student announcing themselves to applause.

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS: The 1966 Class of Year 10 reunion of Isis District State High School.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS: The 1966 Class of Year 10 reunion of Isis District State High School. Eliza Goetze

Everyone paused their reminiscences to listen to one special guest - the principal during those three years, Ernie Gehrke.

At the age of 82 Ernie delivered an energetic speech - assisted throughout by his wife, Joyce - recalling a school with a great sense of community, right down to one bossy janitor, Jimmy.

Gay Liddington (nee Whitworth) hadn't even planned to attend. She attended Isis High for "only” two years but was persuaded to take the weekend trip and ended up pouring her passion into creating a book for all the attendees, full of memories and updates, including couples brought together by Isis High.

"I love hearing people's stories,” said Gay, a feature writer for the Hinterland Times.

The group also paid tribute to those no longer with them including Ian Mackenzie, Marie Vacher, Warren Zischki, Robert Shaw and Phillip Leslie.

The former classmates descended on the school in the afternoon before regrouping for dinner and drinks in the evening.

Jennifer McKay organised the event, along with a committee of Col Taylor, Liz Godfrey (nee Case), Bevan Jamieson, Warren Martin and Tony Pitt..

"We were thrilled with the day,” Jennifer said.

"Forty-nine students and five staff came along.”

She said it was particularly pleasing the staff could come back and join the celebrations.

"They all had something to say at dinner, which was great,” she said. "We had a few great stories that came out at dinner.”

Isis High hospitality students provided the catering and another group of students took their predecessors on a tour to see how the school had changed.

"Chris Gill, the deputy principal, was really good to us and put on a spread of memorabilia,” Jennifer McKay said.

The class of 1966 was also keen to give back to the school that had given them so many memories.

A raffle held on the day, for a hamper full of products from Col and Jan Taylor's farm Mango Paradise, raised about $1000, which will go towards an outdoor seating area in the school grounds.



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