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Vernon high school Class of 1981 grads celebrate 60th

VSSS grads recognize milestone year with special birthday party at Elks Lodge Sept. 23
It’s a milestone year for the grads of Vernon Senior Secondary School, 1981, and they will celebrate with a special birthday evening at the Elks Lodge. (Contributed)

Sixty years ago, in 1963, Vernon film buffs flocked to the Towne Theatre on 30th Avenue to watch Lawrence of Arabia, which would win the Oscar as Best Picture.

E.B. Cousins was Mayor of Vernon. W.A.C. Bennett was the Premier of B.C. John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson (no initials) split time as Canada’s Prime Minister in the Year.

Depending on who you ask, the No. 1 car of 1963 was the Buick Riviera. And the Beach Boys had the Billboard No. 1 song of the year with Surfin’ U.S.A.

Sports champions included the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who defeated the B.C. Lions in the Grey Cup; the Chicago Bears were champs of the NFL; the Toronto Maple Leafs hoisted the Stanley Cup for a second straight year; the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Celtics were kings of baseball and basketball, respectively.

And in 1963, a vast majority of the Vernon Senior Secondary graduating class of 1981 made their first appearance.

The VSSS Class of 1981 will hold a 60th Birthday Bash Saturday, Sept. 23, from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Vernon Elks Lodge, 3103-30th St. It will be the class’ first such gathering since their 50th birthday party in 2013. COVID washed out any plans to hold a 40-year reunion in 2021.

“The graduates are thrilled to reunite for an epic celebration of their milestone birthdays,” said Birthday Bash committee member Janet Morris-Reade. “This event promises to be an unforgettable night filled with nostalgia, laughter, and cherished memories from high school.

“The venue has been carefully selected to provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for old friends to reconnect and celebrate their milestone birthdays together.”

The evening will feature a casual ambience, said Morris-Reade, allowing everyone to relax and enjoy the company of their fellow classmates.

Delicious food, vibrant music and engaging games will be available throughout the evening, and attendees will have the chance to win exciting door prizes.

There will also be a series of meet-up events and activities around Vernon.

“These events will provide additional opportunities for classmates to connect, reminisce and explore the local area together,” said Morris-Reade.

Details of the meet-ups will be announced closer to the celebration date. Attendees are encouraged to stay updated through the event website, and the grad 81 vernon senior secondary school Facebook group.

Tickets for the VSSS Grad 81: 60th Birthday Bash are $60 per person, excluding the Eventbrite fee. The ticket includes dinner.

Attendees are encouraged to secure their tickets early, as availability is limited, visit

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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