DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Later this year, Uxbridge Secondary School will be hosting a party that's been 90 years in the making.
Several events have been planned between Friday, June 21 and Sunday, June 23 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Uxbridge Secondary School.
Since October 2011, a committee made up of former staff and students, as well as current staff has been meeting monthly in preparation for the celebration in the hopes of providing a memorable experience to all former students at USS.
The official kick-off for the event occurs with opening ceremonies, which will be held in the USS gym on Saturday, June 22 at 10:30 a.m.
"We are planning to showcase current student talent at the opening ceremonies," said Peter Morris, a former teacher and principal at USS, currently serving as Chair of the Reunion Committee, to The Standard. "We plan to have dance, drama and bands perform as well as unveiling our athletes of the decade and our Athletic Wall of Fame."
Events continue during the day on Saturday with a staff luncheon and golf tournament.
On Saturday night, there will be a pub night at Uxbridge Arena, with organizers expecting almost 2,000 people to attend. Those interested in attending the Pub Night as well as other 90th anniversary events will have to pre-register at www.USS90.com and purchase tickets in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
"In 1998 at the 75th anniversary, we had people coming to the door buying tickets, and we ended up exceeding capacity," explained Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger, who also sits on the reunion committee.
"So we put in a control that you have to pre-register to attend. We've had people register from as far away as Australia and British Columbia and over 2,000 people are expected to attend."
The dance will be split into two areas - the vacant ice pad and the Arena Hall - in order to provide a comfortable experience for all in attendance.
"The committee has learned from past experiences, and the reason for the two rooms, is that the Arena can be very loud with the music playing. So, the other side will be more of a quiet room where people can catch up with former acquaintances without having to raise their voice," explained Mr. Ballinger.
Sunday will see many more events around town to commemorate USS' 90th anniversary, including a pancake breakfast at the Legion, family events at Elgin Park and sports in the school's gym.
The Committee has crafted a web site, www.USS90.com, which to date has been visited more than 20,000 times.
With so many visitors travelling from great distances to attend the event, Councillor Ballinger expects a great turnout for the event, and great stories from former classmates.
"It will be a great opportunity to meet some people you haven't seen in awhile. For instance, one of the gentlemen registered on the site is a former classmate of mine now working as a women's wrestling manager in the United States," said Councillor Ballinger.
"And, this is a guy who originally came from a chicken farm outside of Uxbridge. I expect a lot more stories like that to come out of the weekend. It'll be a great time and hopefully we have a lot of former students come and share in a great experience."
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