We are honoured to have been able to connect with the MEI Class of 1957, as they celebrated their 60 Year Reunion yesterday (September 19, 2017). The group toured around the current Secondary campus, interacted with classes and students, enjoyed a performance and sing-along with the MEI Concert Choir, and heard from administration. MEI Class of 1957 then visited the Mennonite Heritage Museum, and had lunch at Garden Park Tower. Reunion events were capped off by a return to MEI for a catered dinner, and an update from MEI Head of Schools, Vijay Manuel. It was lovely to have you here, and thank you for remaining connected with and supportive of MEI Schools!
Impressions from Our 60 Year Class Reunion
Attending MEI obviously creates some strong bonds among the students. In 1957 we were a class of fifty-six students, and now 60 years later we enjoyed immensely the opportunity of getting together and visiting the school that helped to guide us through those turbulent teen years and provided a solid foundation in so many ways as we matured into adulthood. As we entered the foyer on September 19, the Alumni Office had our graduating picture up on the screen; it was hard to believe that we once looked like that, but there we were, smiling and eager to get on with our lives. MEI was well organized for our visit, even to the extent of having students open doors for us to help us move smoothly from one class to the next. Teachers and students gave us a brief glimpse of how learning takes place today – it is a very different learning environment, particularly when it comes to the use of technology, but the some of the same values we were given remain in place.
Noticeable to us was the changing demographics of the student body. Students are a much more diverse group than we were, and so MEI’s influence is being expanded well beyond what we could have conceived sixty years ago. It was impressive to hear Vijay Manuel, head of the schools, and Mark Thiessen, Principal of the Secondary School, articulate the goals, focus, and values of this school which now teaches students from Kindergarten through high school. Obviously much thought and work has gone into charting the learning and future of the student body of some 1500 people.
Of the fifty-six students who graduated, ten have passed away. At the reunion, several of us were using canes, walkers and other assistive devices, or were limping as we moved from one location to the other. We have always included any student who was a member of the class, and of those another ten have passed away. One thing that does not seem to have diminished is our ability to sing. Dean Wedel of the Performing Arts department had the Concert Choir sing for us and with us, and in the afternoon we sang and shared memories and experiences of MEI and our personal lives. Before that we had enjoyed a detailed tour of the Mennonite Heritage Museum, led by several of our classmates who volunteer their time to preserve Mennonite history, including that of the MEI. Of course we concluded with a wonderful banquet to end the day.
Submitted by Ed Janzen, MEI Class of 1957
The MEI Class of 1957 reunion committee is planning a 60 year reunion for Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Please contact Ed Janzen to RSVP, or for more information (phone 604-226-0482 | email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Order of Events:
- 9:00 – 10:00 am tour of MEI Secondary
- Tour and coffee at Mennonite Heritage Museum
- Noodle Soup lunch at Garden Park Tower in the solarium (and stay to visit)
- 4:00 pm return MEI Secondary Library (5:00 pm dinner)