THE faces may have aged, but many of Canobolas Rural Technology High School’s original teachers and students feel as close as they did 50 years ago.
About 70 people gathered for the reunion at what is now Orange Cultural Centre to remember the time they spent at their first school building before the school moved to Icely Road two years later.
Original art teacher Patricia Platt recognised one of her former students instantly, asking him why he had grown a long beard.
Her son, Allan, said his mother had looked forward to the day for some time.
“She was the girls supervisor and she would check the length of their skirts and if they were too short, they had to take their skirts down,” he said.
First school president Kerry Nash said if there were challenges in the role as the school established itself, she didn’t recognise them.
“At 14 years old, we were invincible,” she said with a laugh.
“I don’t think there was anyone who didn’t participate – we were such a close-knit group and even though I haven’t seen these people for a long, long time, we picked up where we left off.”
For fellow student Bryn Miller, the memories were not quite so innocent given he and a friend let a snake loose in science one day.
“We’d been playing golf at Wentworth the day before and I caught it in a ball container,” he said.
“We let it go and the girls screamed and everyone jumped on the benches except us so the teacher knew who let the snake go – we had to catch it and go see the principal.”
Original woodwork and technical drawing teacher Col Taylor said the turnout was exciting.
“We’ve got three times as many as I thought we would.”
Festivities also took place at the high school, with tours running throughout the day.
First principal Fred Dobbin’s son, Tony, first P&C president Kevin Chown, Mr Taylor and original student Suzan Dickson raised the school’s first flag.
Year 11 student Jack McGinley, who has already started Year 12 metalwork, also unveiled the commemorative statue he designed and built with the help of his two teachers and 12 classmates.
Taking two months to build, the steel sculpture was an orb, in line with the school’s emblem and a time capsule was placed inside the pyramid base.