The 50th Reunion of the Class of 1970 was finally held at the George Town Yacht Club on Saturday 23 October, having been postponed from last year due to the pandemic, but that did not deter this energetic group of sexagenarians from celebrating at the end of last month.
Nearly 30 attendees enjoyed a full course meal, posed for professional photos and viewed an amazing slide show which covered 1965 until 1970, which were their years at the Cayman High School. The school was located behind the Public Library and this class began Form 1 in a single classroom in the US Naval Base Radio Shack where several year groups up to Form 5, as well as a Commercial Studies Room, made up the school. Under the auspices of the former Presbyterian (now United) Church, the school would later become The Cayman Islands High School located on Walkers Road. At this stage, the school was government-funded and would eventually become a comprehensive school.
The slide show also showed many of the group's get-togethers over the years after graduation and sixth form.
The Cayman Islands High School on the Walker's Road site was renamed the John Gray High School in the 1990s and is presently the location of the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC).
Attending the reunion were the son of Rev John Gray, Mr Johnnie Gray, a student of the 1970 class, as well as Mrs Nyda Flatley, also a 1970s graduate and the school's first Caymanian Principal. Mrs Katherine Jackson, Cert Hon served as Emcee. Two other 1970 graduates Ms Cathy Gomez and Ms Francia Lloyd delivered the opening prayer and the vote of thanks respectively.
Many of this class who were in attendance include many former civil servants and private sector professionals. The main photo captures the entire group under a balloon arch created by young Caymanian entrepreneur Ms Delia Hydes of Cyn's Balloons Events and Decor.
Regrettably, three of the 1970 Graduates who live overseas were unable to attend, but Rhona Panton and Allyson Richard joined the reunion by Zoom, as well as Errol Levy who lives locally.
Classmate, Mr Bendel Hydes, the renowned Caymanian Artist and also a graduate of 1970 was unable to attend but a get-together with him is planned in the near future.
As was said on the evening, “the Class of 1970 stuck together through good times and bad”. Kathy spoke of the loss of six of their number over the years. These late friends were remembered by the lighting of a candle of remembrance and a brief memory of who they were as well as how the class remembers them.
She also noted that the class celebrates as often as possible, especially when Mrs. Rhona Panton is on-island.
The late Rev John Gray, Principal of the school as well as many dedicated teachers, many from overseas but also some from Grand Cayman, were credited with the success of this vibrant group, some of whom are still working and many of whom are still active in their churches and communities.
All attendees were fully vaccinated and practiced safe distancing as far as possible.