The MEI Schools Class of 1975 had their 42-year grad reunion on Saturday, June 17th, at the home of classmate Sylvia (Warkentin) & Bruce Friesen. Interact with the photos on Facebook.
MEI Class of ’75 Reunion
Submitted by Dorothy (Doerksen) Peters
July 5, 2017
This year we turned 60, the MEI class of 1975. On June 17, we gathered to celebrate at the home of gradmate Sylvia (Warkentin) and Bruce Friesen. There was a photo booth with silly hats. A wealth of door prizes from generous donors. A banquet. Memories of pranks and funny stories about teachers. Songs of worship and poetry about potatoes. A slideshow of images through the decades, interwoven with music and film clips (Thank you, Ken Bartsch!) But something significant underlying the visible successes of the day had already been present in the hopes and prayers of the five who planned it: Sandra (Neufeld) Frazier, Marcus Unger, Sheryl (Dyck) van Ardenne, Ken Wiebe, and Harv Wiens. They had learned that some classmates had left MEI in pain, so they determined that every person would be loved and accepted just as they were. They hoped that broken relationships would be restored as we re-connected and re-bonded.
Warm and welcoming e-mails were sent and the whereabouts of each ’mate persistently pursued until all were found and invited. Old photos were posted onto a Facebook group. Both excitement and anxiety surfaced early in these online conversations! On Reunion Day, we each had three minutes to tell of our journey. Even those more reluctant to speak were drawn out gently by story-host Ken Wiebe and they shared with vulnerability and courage. Faith and vocation, marriage and children, identity and journey, sometimes lost and sometimes found, but in new and different ways. Every story different but all connected to the formational “DNA-of-being” from our shared life at MEI.
Ernie Klassen reminisced afterward: “I am so glad that the angst and anxiety to which many alluded was unjustified … It felt like we could have created world peace with all the wisdom and strength of spirit that filled the day. So amazed at the strength that people spoke about after tragedies in their lives. So great to hear the positive and happy experiences of life as well.”
The Reunion was a masterwork. This ’mate, for one, is forever grateful for the gift of a communal legacy to cherish and share.