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F.P. Walshe school reunion planned for ’80s, ’90s grads

reunion committee

The F.P. Walshe school ’80s-’90s reunion organizing committee. Back row, from left: Brenda Vandervalk, Cole Archibald, Tammy Ducharme, Donna Bolingbroke, Liisa Gillingham, Scott Norlin, Janene Van Driesten, Angie Eremenko, Eric Eremenko, Christa Gallup and Chad Hornberger. Front row, from left: Melissa Kalmakoff, Shannon Wigle, Jody Litle and Chelsie Wolff.

For many teenagers in Fort Macleod in the 1980s and ’90s, F.P. Walshe school was their life.
Those children of the 1980s and ’90s will have the chance to relive their glory days during the F.P. Walshe school reunion on June 10-12.
“During that time frame at Walshe that was life in Fort Macleod,” Janene Van Driesten of the organizing committee said. “There was no XBox, there was no social media. That was your family. You grew up with those people.”
Last year’s 1970s reunion in Fort Macleod provided some of the inspiration for an ’80s-’90s gathering.
The recent deaths of some former classmates also played a role.
“We’ve witnessed a few young people pass away,” Van Driesten said. “We’d rather go to a fun event than a funeral.”
Organizers decided to hold a reunion that spans two decades, rather than just getting one particular class together.
Van Driesten is familiar with reunions her mother helped organize in Fort Macleod that drew people from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.
“It was like a homecoming,” Van Driesten said.
Response to the idea of a reunion has been strong.
Van Driesten commended Brenda Vandervalk for building a reunion Web site and setting up a Facebook page.
Representatives were appointed for each grad class from F.P. Walshe.
Within the first week there had been close to 600 visits to the Web site, with 40 people already registered and 990 people have “liked” the Facebook page.
“It helps that every class has a rep,” Van Driesten said.
Organizers are hopeful word will spread quickly and that number will grow.
“The rink holds 1,100 and some,” Van Driesten said. “If we can pack ‘er, we’ll pack ‘er.”
Invitations are being extended to F.P. Walshe school staff members from the 1980s and ’90s.
Some families have already made financial donations to ensure the reunion starts on firm footing.
The reunion begins Friday, June 10 with a welcome reception from 6-11 p.m. at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
There will be a display of F.P. Walshe memorabilia, including yearbooks, on display at the reception.
Roy Schuberg will provide background music during the reception.
There will also be a memorial display of F.P. Walshe grads who have died being arranged by Adeline Roeder and Vicki Moses Alberts.
There will be an opportunity for people attending the reunion to golf the morning of Saturday, June 11, and a family social will be staged from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fish and Game Park.
A banquet and dance is set for Saturday evening at the arena. Walshe grads Mike and Angela Bourassa will cater, and music will be supplied by Soup of Flies.
Class photographs will also be arranged Saturday night.
A continental breakfast farewell will be held Sunday, June 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the arena.
Everyone who registers for the reunion will receive a commemorative T-shirt designed by Walshe grads Cindy and Harley Brown.
Class representatives are 1980, Charlene Burdett; 1981, Shannon Caughlin Van Hierden; 1982, Sherry Koopman Van Herk; 1983, Shannon Dickson Wigle; 1984, Scott Norlin; 1985, Eric Eremenko; 1986, Angela Hatton Eremenko and Angie Litle O’Connor; 1987, Alex Van Herk and Trevor Hardy; 1988, Tammy Nathe Ducharme; 1989, Wanda Litle McNab and Donna Bolingbroke; 1990, Mike Bourassa and Janene Van Driesten; 1991, Jody Litle; 1992, Angela Luther Bourassa and Brandy Wolstenholme Archibald; 1993, Christa Robson Gallup; 1994, Chad Hornberger and Fern Wesley Marsden; 1995, Liisa Derricott Gillingham; 1996, Cole Archibald; 1997, Chelsie Poytress Wolff; 1998, Melissa Tarnes Kalmakoff; and 1999, Aaron Poytress.
For information and to register visit The event is also on Facebook at F.P. Walshe 1980’s-1990’s Reunion.
The cut-off for registration is May 1.
“I think it’s time,” Van Driesten said of the reunion. “For the ’80s, it’s been the better part of 30 years, and for the ’90s I don’t know how many of those kids get together. I think it’s something that has to be done.”