The Hawkesdale community will celebrate half a century of secondary education at a reunion next month.
On Saturday, October 12, former students of Hawkesdale High School, now Hawkesdale P-12 College, will mark the milestone.
Hawkesdale High School began in 1963 after being chosen ahead of Macarthur and Penshurst to service the area because it already had a bus network that brought children to the town’s primary school.
The school became Hawkesdale P-12 College early last decade and now attracts children from not only Hawkesdale, Penshurst and Macarthur but also from the bigger centres of Koroit and Port Fairy. Former Hawkesdale High School student and now teacher at the school Anne-Maree Huglin is organising the reunion.
Mrs Huglin said the school had always been well supported.
“When I started back in 1971 our year level had two classes with over 30 students in each which is really good numbers for a small-town secondary school,” Mrs Huglin said.
“And the school is still very strong and has a good reputation for providing the students with everything they need.
“Just because you go to a smaller school it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on anything and our students certainly don’t.”
Mrs Huglin said the school was reminded that its half-century milestone was coming up when it received an email from a former student who suggested a reunion.
The response to the reunion has been strong and Mrs Huglin said she expected a lot of people to return to Hawkesdale for the weekend.
“With the students who have gone to school here there seems to be a really strong connection to the school,” Mrs Huglin said.
“People seem to be very proud that Hawkesdale is where they went to school and I think a lot will come back for the reunion.”
Mrs Huglin has produced a book on the history of the school entitled Hawkesdale — A Class Of Its Own.
It will be launched at the reunion weekend and will be available for purchase.
The reunion will take place at the Hawkesdale P-12 College from 10am to 5pm.
Included in the official ceremony at 3.30pm will be roll calls, with a particular focus on the classes of 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993 and 2003.
At night a formal dinner will be held at the Hawkesdale Memorial Hall with a number of guest speakers who will be former students reminiscing about their time at the school.
A time capsule will also be put together for the weekend.