Seaway District High School kicks off weekend of 50th anniversary celebrations this evening

Seen in photo above, the Grade 12 graduating class of the then-Iroquois High School in 1955 (left to right): Perry Stacey, Patricia Anderson, Barbara Bouck, Margaret Strader, Shirley Murphy, Sara Grisdale, Gertrude Gibbons, Knox Thompson, Betty Ault, Gail Summers, Joyce Boyd, Bonnie Smith, Connie O Dell, Rita Payne, and Donald Barkley. IHS is one of the precursors of Seaway District High School, celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend.

Nelson Zandbergen
Kelsey Smith
Nation Valley News

IROQUOIS — Having survived a brush with the chopping block earlier this year, Seaway District High School kicks off a weekend of 50th anniversary celebrations this evening.

It will certainly be more of a celebration now that the school will remain open. I would hope that any celebration of this nature would be happy as it is a coming together of a community,” said Mark Lewis, a longtime staff member at the school, of the upcoming festivities.

Numerous events have been planned for the entire weekend, starting with a $25-a-head wine and cheese event, 4 to 9 p.m. at the Iroquois-based school’s cafeteria tonight (May 26).

“I’m excited and honoured to be asked to perform at the 50th reunion, and to come back and be surrounded by some old friends and hopefully some former classmates at SDHS! It should be a great evening,” said local musician Cory M. Coons, a Seaway graduate who will perform at this evening’s schmoozer.

Emily Millard is also set to perform at the fully catered wine and cheese. The school itself will be the star of tonight’s show, with various rooms laden with memorabilia from Seaway and its precursor schools. Check out the silent auction as well.

Organizers say they expect a great turnout for the weekend’s planned events across the board. “We have 220 confirmed for [Saturday night’s] dinner, and I believe about 160 for tonight — but there are still people contacting us,” said Cindy Peters, member of the organizing committee.

Tomorrow at noon (May 27), a highlight of the weekend will see six past Seaway graduates honoured for their personal successes, when The Seaway Spartan Hall of Excellence welcomes new inductees.

Matthew Murphy (class of 2007), David Ross (class of 1984), Steve Cruickshank (class of 1979), Brenda Whitteker (class of 1968), Jim Millard (class of 1965), and George Jackson (class of 1965) are the next additions to the Hall since Chesterville resident and former Seaway student, Christina Campbell — a special olympian — became the first inductee several years ago.

Members of the Hall will be enshrined with their photographs placed on a special wall located just inside the school’s main doors.

Saturday concludes with an evening dinner/dance in the Seaway gymnasium. While dinner is sold out, according to Peters, a limited number of dance tickets are still available for purchase at the door.

The celebrations continue Sunday at Iroquois Point with a 10 to 11 a.m. ecumenical service to kick off a barbecue and Family Fun Day. Those events are free, but organizers encourage registration ahead of time so that games can be organized accordingly. Bring lawn chairs, kids, and your Seaway spirit.

Eric DeGray’s new CD To Where You Are will also debut as part of the 50th celebrations.

Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


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