The first meeting for the planning of the Reunion is behind us and we're under way. After a bit of confusion, we settled on Sept 15th at the Brasserie Le Manoir in Pointe Claire. The place was quite crowded and noisy, so we opted to eat there (as it was cheaper) and then moved to the Casa Vecchia Restaurant in Pierrefonds, a classy kind of place where we enjoyed the convenience of a private room upstairs for the costs of drinks and coffee, through the good graces and connections of JC Girodo, our beloved Cheerio. Our thanks to the proprietors. Should some readers feel inclined to try the place out for a special occassion, it's located at 3872 Boul St Charles, Reservations -- 514-620-4444.
Of course, it was a kind of mini reunion in itself, and we were in constant
danger of spending the whole evening just catching up with each other.
It was a lot of fun and there were tons of things to talk about -- thirty
years is a long time. However, the change of locale after supper,
served nicely to create a kind of break and shift us over to our original
purpose for getting together. They say time flies when you're having
fun and it was doing a good job of it by the time we finally got settled
to the room at the restaurant. Mumbling words about saving time, the undersigned more or less appointed himself chairman and got the meeting underway. This little move produced smiles and a crack or two around the table.
In attendance were: Arthur Grannary, Joycelyne Auclair, Ann Durling, Jean Claude Girodo, Isabelle St James, Peter Donaldson, Rick Elger, Brian Babb, Michel Girodo, Albert St James, and myself. (Hope to God, I haven't forgotten anybody!)
It was either Arthur Grannary or my brother Albert, who immediately took the initiative to recognise Rick's efforts and contribution as having been the key that has got us to this stage. This sentiment immediately received the wholehearted support of everyone present and Rick of course now had to respond. Rick having developed over the years into an even more laid back pleasant fellow, fended us off with admirable grace and protests of it having been a labour of love. Demur all you want Rick, it remains that you did do it, and it's looking very much like a lot of us will in the end derive a very nice benefit out of your initiative. Thanks again.
I myself, finally got inspired to get off my ass and see if I could pitch in to help Rick's efforts, subsequent to proposals put together by Michel Girodo. So Michel gave us an expanded version of his vision and ideas about this reunion, including some rationale for his proposed approach. Michel baptised his concept "The Full Monty". (It would seem, the movie impressed him too.) In short, Michel's arguement was for taking our best shot at making this reunion as special and satisfying as possible. A reunion is in large part a visit to our memories of the past, and we should as much as possible structure the reunion with a view of facilitating and enhancing this visit. To this end he suggested as examples, a collection of memorabilia, skits and protayals of typical Feller events and other suggestions. Nothing in particular was 'decided' upon, but in my evaluation there was unanimous support for the overall concept he explained.
I am of the opinion that if eleven of us are in agreement with an idea,
and if we have a reasonable representation of different eras present, we
can safely conclude that whatever we all agree upon will be found acceptable
to the great majority of the alumni. If on the other hand any particular
item of importance seems to develop any significant opposition within the
group then we shall have to decide how to resolve it. Either by somehow
consulting the alumni at large through the internet or
other means, or by some other mechanism should 'polling' appear too cumbersome or time consuming. Although this specific question was not directly addressed at the meeting, it was brought up, and it is my impression that this is most probably how we will proceed.
There was also general agreement that while the main event would take
place on a Saturday, it might be nice to have other activities planned
for the Friday and Sunday. There was more than one suggestion for
a church service on the Sunday at Feller. A wine and cheese was suggested
as a possible consideration for Friday nite, and some sort of activity
for the Sunday afternoon seemed attractive but nothing really specific
took the forefront. These different suggestions were
tentative and remain more or less wide open depending on varied factors with the number of attendees being crucial to just about everything else.
Everyone agreed however, that before we can really progress with this
"Full Monty" approach, the matter of 'finding' the alumni was paramount.
Everyone present and every other 'found' member will be asked to make a
concerted effort to expand as rapidly and as widely as possible the number
of found schoolmates. Different avenues were explored as to how this search
can be intensified. Suggestions and connections for facilitating
the location of alumni would help a lot. It is
crucial to making this thing a success, otherwise, we may have to scale down dramatically while individual costs go up.
Ann Durling will provide us with concrete information about our options concerning the 'handling of funds'/'bank accounts' at the next meeting. Sooner or later, money is going to have to get involved. Members just might hear about it when the time comes.
Isabelle St James has agreed to provide hard information about the potential of exploiting the resouces of a new golf course club house which has been built near the Feller site. (Near the old quarry)
Joycelyne Auclair has connections with what used to be the Grande Ligne Mission and is looking into putting together a master list of everyone who ever attended Feller. This way, we'll know who we're looking for.
Brian Babb brought us a suggestion from Carmen Paquin concerning the possibility of maybe holding the main event aboard one of the St Lawrence cruise ships. This idea is intriguing depending on cost, and we should have more information about it to consider at the next meeting,
Arthur Grannary, who just this summer engineered and hosted a very successful family reunion at his home, apparently got away without any particular tasks. But he's my cousin and I know where he lives, so he's not free yet.
We're shooting for the fall of 2001. Not fixing any hard date was intentional
as we're going to need to get a little further into this before we finally
commit. Arthur's recent experience (and he knew where to find everybody
he was looking for) caused him to express strong doubts as to whether we
could pull it off within this time frame. For myself, I believe it's
possible with enough people pitching in, but only if we peddle like the
dickens starting yesterday. This concern led me to perhaps
be a little too insistent at the meeting and if I ruffled any feathers or offended anyone, I apologise. Notwithstanding the fact that this was billed as an exploratory meeting, it still seemed important to me that we seize the opportunity to advance as many issues as far as we reasonably could at this meeting.
In my opinion, the meeting was a great success and we in fact did accomplish more than might have been expected.
The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for six weeks from now.
Ian St James
class of 62
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