Gamiila (gamiila) wrote,

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30 Years on

My schooldays came to an end in 1983. The school closed in the same year, after some pencil-pushing civil servant over at the Ministry of Education decided it was too small to continue to exist (there were about 50 pupils in those last years). Over the years, I lost touch with most of my schoolmates; but recently I managed to track some of them down via LinkedIn...and in this way found out that Mr. G. and Mr. W., who taught German and English at the school for over twenty years, were in the habit of hosting an informal get-together at a café in the centre of town every 2nd Monday of the month. I mentioned this to my sister the other day, and she immediately wanted to go. So I met her for a bite to eat earlier this evening, and then accompanied her to the café.

Where, as soon as we got in, we were spotted by a group of about 20 gentlemen ranging in ages from about 45-60 and presided over by two septuagenarians who greeted us like long lost daughters. Frankly, I was amazed to be recognised so instantly; as considering I hadn't seen any of these people for close to 30 years, I had some difficulty putting names to certain faces. Luckily, those faces turned out to belong to the class of '66...but I did recognise Mr. G., Rocco and Tony straight off the bat; and before long we were chatting away as if the intervening years hadn't happened. Tony and I used to share a desk together in our final year, and we were quite good friends then, which seemed to make it easier to reconnect now.

Back in the old days, Mr. G. and Mr. W. were something of a comedy double act. I remember one of their favourite pranks, which they would delight in pulling on unsuspecting parents of prospective new pupils. There was a big steel cupboard in Mr. W.'s office, and it often happened that while Mr. W., in his capacity as dean, would be in the middle of explaining about the school and its excellent record to his guests, that Mr. G. would enter the room and ask to use the lift. "By all means, my dear colleague" - "Thank you, my dear colleague"; and Mr. G. would march over to the cupboard, get in, close the doors and rattle around in it for a few minutes. Then out he would come, give a slight bow, and walk out of the office, leaving the parents flabbergasted. Mr. W. would carry on, as if nothing untoward had happened.

Nowadays, although Mr. G. doesn't seem to have changed very much, Mr. W. has become very old, frail and slightly deaf. They were however both very pleased to see my sister and me. They invited us to dinner, which we, on account of having eaten already, declined; but we promised to take them up on their invitation next month.

ETA: I knew I had a picture somewhere! Here's my 'graduation class'; can you spot me there in the middle? I'm flanked by Rocco to my left (or right in the picture; the only boy to wear jeans) and Tony standing behind me.

(The guy squatting in front with the curly hair is Frans, who I bumped into a month or so ago. Mr. W. is fourth from left in the back row)
Tags: personal history, photos, real life

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