Dormitory students reunite to remember, celebrate | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 12 Jul 2024 11pm

Dormitory students reunite to remember, celebrate


    Attendees of the Drumheller High School Dormitory are getting ready to celebrate memories of dorm life in Drumheller.

    A reunion is planned for students that lived in the dormitory on 2nd Street East, commonly known as the former CJDV Radio building. Norma West (nee Currie) and Murray Johnson are planning the reunion on October 23 at Midland Hall. Before, West explained, they used to have the reunions every years, but this is the first one in about five years.
    She explains the dormitory opened in 1941 and was for rural students to come and attend school in Drumheller. She graduated in 1950, and when she was attending, there were about 70 students.   
    “The country kids stayed in the dormitories during the week and they went home weekends. That’s how we attended high school,” she said. “The dorm kids were from all the surrounding areas.
    She said they came as far as from Rumsey-Rowley and Three Hills. West was from the Orkney District.
    “It served a good purpose,” she said.
    She recalls because they were all kids from rural areas, they had something in common, and quickly became friends. There were some misconceptions about rural kids broken.
    “Mrs. Legate was principal, and she’d been principal for many years. I had the feeling that she always thought the country kids really didn’t know too much. But when it came to commencement exercises and handing our awards for grades, the country kids took a lot of them,” she said.
    The value of the experience helped the students academically and with life skills.
    “It was a good learning experience, apart from the school education, there was learning how to live with 70 other kids,” she said. “A lot of those kids hadn’t been away from home too much before high school, there were some of them there, when I was going that had never been to Calgary.”
    The dormitory became a social hub with numerous socials, shows, dances and banquets throughout the year. This includes the usual initiation in the fall, right up to the spring formal.
    She believes the dorm closed in the mid-1950’s, and they held their first reunion in about 1957. The new high school opened in 1963.
    West helped to organize some of these events while she was attending. He has also helped organize a number of the reunions, including the upcoming one.
    The festivities begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 23 at Midland Hall. It will include a dance and midnight lunch, and lots of time to catch up. They are hoping for a good turnout, and it is open to anyone who stayed at the dormitory.
    For more information, contact West at 403-823-9750.

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