Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wes Kay grads set to celebrate 50th

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PATRICIA Barber has very fond memories of her years teaching at West Kildonan Collegiate.

"I felt welcome the moment I walked into that school," says Barber, 77, who taught English at the school from 1967 until 1987, when she retired.

"I got a lot of spirituality from that school and from the students I taught. I am extremely fortunate to have been able to teach at such a great school."

Barber and many other alumni from West Kildonan Collegiate (or "WesKay" as it's called fondly) will be attending the 50th anniversary celebration to be held Oct. 10 to 12.

Barber says her four children, Josh, Martha, Peter and Katherine, also attended the school. In fact, Barber taught both of her daughters.

"I always tried to be fair and I was even chastised by one of my son's friends for not giving him hints on essays, so maybe I was a little too fair."

Kathy Coyne, who attended W.K. from 1971 to 1974 and was known as Kathy Johnson back then, remembers playing the card game Sargeant-Major in the washroom during lunch hour.

"It was so crowded in there with girls playing cards that you could hardly get into the washroom," Coyne chuckles. "You have to envision this washroom packed with as many girls as it could possibly hold, all playing a three-person card game."

Coyne also recalls the famous walkout that took place.

"Almost everyone left their classes and marched down to Garden City Collegiate to have them join us and then we marched on to the school board office because we wanted the school board to change from the current semester system and incorporate the tri-mester system."

Ray Bailey, a former teacher at West Kildonan Collegiate, says the school used to be located at 800 Salter St.

"But increasing enrolment figures forced the school division to transfer high school students to the former Edmund Partridge School on Main Street in 1997, and the smaller school on Salter Avenue became Seven Oaks Middle School."

Bailey says a quite a few famous people graduated from the collegiate, including former Guess Who member Randy Bachman and Winnipeg Goldeyes owner Sam Katz, to name just two.

When asked if there is any one memorable thing he can remember about his years at W.K., Katz had this to say. "I graduated!"

"I participated and excelled in sports in particular, and I would have to say that those three years from 1967 to 1969 were the best three years of my life."

Unfortunately, Katz says he will not be able to attend the reunion as he will be in Kansas City.

The opening ceremony on Oct. 10 will feature a wine and cheese reception from 6 p.m. to midnight at the former school on Salter Street. On the Saturday, there will be a coffee party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., also at the middle school. It's a time to meet, socialize and check through all the memorabilia displays. Alumni can bring their whole family and show them where they went to school. In the evening, there will be a dinner and dance at the Victoria Inn.

n Oct. 12 there will be a farewell brunch, a time to say goodbye to former classmates and teachers, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the new West Kildonan Collegiate at 1874 Main St.

The cost for the whole package is $99. For information, call Bailey at 831-9563 or log onto the collegiate's Web site at www.7oaks.org/wkci.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 1, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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