East Pictou grads flock to reunion

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SUTHERLANDS RIVER — A massive demonstration of affection for a former high school took place last Friday and Saturday at what is now called East Pictou Middle School.

Organizing committee chairman Don Butler said he was pleased with the response. Butler was a graduate and educator at the former East Pictou Rural High School that opened in 1952 and will close once middle school students move into the Frank. H. MacDonald Elementary School next door.

More than 900 people attended various events on Friday and at least that many attended the dance on Saturday, based on the number of tickets sold, he said.

“We were here to celebrate what it has meant to us, rather than thinking about the school closing.”

Local historian and artist John Ashton also graduated from East Pictou and was on the committee whose members, he said, he enjoyed working with.

“It’s an honour to be here, and to see my classmates,” he said. “I haven’t seen some of them since 1972.”

A closing ceremony followed a three-hour long open house on Saturday afternoon and preceded the evening dance.

East Pictou graduate Shaun McLean led the gathering in singing O Canada and the school song, whose lyrics were written to the Blue Tail Fly tune. Fellow grad Colene Williams reflected on how schools have evolved.

Audrey Cameron shared what was called a “Litany of Thanks” to former school board members, school administrators and teaching staff, office staff, bus drivers and support and custodial staff, as well as students, families and volunteers.

Members of the East Pictou reunion organizing committee took time out for a photo. Front row, from left: Susan Colguhoun, Donna Wager and chairman Don Butler. Back row: Maria Caines, Jen MacKinnon, Stuart MacLeod and John Ashton. (Goodwin photo)