On the afternoon of April 28, members and family of the Class of 1997 began filtering through the security gate at the High School. Most hadn't set foot on campus in nearly 26 years. For others, there had been more recent visits. And for some of us, we are blessed to work and serve this amazing school day-to-day. We gathered in what was once the senior section of the cafeteria, but since the cafeteria moved down to the 2nd floor, it’s now a lovely teacher space that overlooks the field and the construction of the amazing new Student Activity Center (due to open in 2024). We toured the campus, visiting nooks and crannies while reminiscing and experiencing many moments of "Students these days are so blessed to have 'x', 'y', 'z'!" For some in our party, it was a chance to share with loved ones pieces of ourselves and our experiences here at HKIS. A very big shoutout to Hillary Sandeen and her team for putting together a tremendous reception after the tour where we enjoyed lovely snacks, great conversations, and the awesome 8th Grade video Mr. Chaveriat produced way-back-when. But the celebration of what we began dubbing our "25th + 1" reunion was certainly not over.
As the group transitioned by bus from the Tai Tam campus to a lovely evening together at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Deep Water Bay, we took the opportunity to ride past the Repulse Bay campus and see the newly constructed Lower Primary building as well as the freshly renovated Upper Primary building. Arriving at the Golf Club, several more of our class members joined the celebration with lots of heartfelt hugs and handshakes. Another big shout out, this one to Andrew Kwan for organizing the Golf Club details! Before sitting at the tables for dinner, we took a moment to recognize and remember the members of our class we have lost along the way–John Thomas, Vesna Mastilovic, Lydia (née Mutch) Carbonara, and Joanne Chow.
The Class of 1997 returns for a visit to the HKIS High School campus.
The dinner ensued with lots of reminiscing, life updates, several flurries of texts with '97 members who couldn't be there in person, and even a few FaceTime calls with people all around the world, such is the connected world we live in! As the evening wound down and people began trickling out, taking with them the phenomenal swag bag provided by Alumni Relations (thank you!), we realized a couple of things– first, since many of us are here in Hong Kong, we can have get-togethers without making it a big to-do and second, that our 30th will be on us in the blink of an eye. What are we going to do for that?!
Celebrating their 30th reunion al fresco style.
It is a great joy to remain connected to this group of amazing people. As I write this on June 2, 2023, mere hours before the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2023, it is my sincerest hope that the graduates will discover at least some of the camaraderie we have retained through the years. Hopefully in 25 years, they too will be able to look back and fondly reminisce about their collective time here at HKIS. I believe this genuine desire to stay connected is one of the many powerful reasons that HKIS is a multi-generational school, with a number of children of alumni currently enrolled, several from the Class of 1997.
Shared by Jason Weber '97