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Great day for a Parade

Memorial on Parade reunion

For the first time since its inception 85 years ago, the graduates of the original Memorial campus on Parade Street gathered for a reunion this past weekend. Three days of celebrations and reminiscing culminated in a banquet attended by almost 500 graduates and dignitaries including Dr. Darin King, minister of education, and Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial’s new president and vice-chancellor.

Reunion attendees had an opportunity to tour the old campus as well as spend an afternoon in reflection sessions sharing memories and renewing old friendships.

“This has been one of the happiest times of my 81 years,” said Tom Risessco, one of the speakers at the Reflection sessions. His sentiments were echoed by many others.

Senator Bill Rompkey and Dr. Elizabeth Brett, the key note speakers at the Reflections sessions, both emphasized Memorial’s importance to the province, especially in the field of education.

The reflective, but joyful mood continued throughout the three-day event culminating in the banquet and a showing of a 20-minute video featuring stories and photographs from the old campus on Parade Street.

Dr. Penny Blackwood, director of the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, said that the event surpassed everybody’s expectations.

“We originally expected about 100 people and we planned to hold the celebrations at the R. Gushue Hall. We ended up with over 470 registered participants and had to move most of the events off campus to venues that could accommodate such a large number of people. The overwhelming response we got is the best testament to how much the campus on Parade Street meant to the students and to the province at the time.”

Distance Education and Learning Technologies has filmed all of the proceedings and they will eventually be available on-line at

Photos and text by Bojan Furst