Members of the Class of 1999 celebrated 20 years since graduating YHS when they got together in August 2019. Having most recently gathered to commemorate our 15th anniversary in a grads only reunion, this time the class opted for a family friendly early evening BBQ at York House in the Gail Ruddy Foyer. Featuring activities for the kids and plenty of food for alumnae and partners, it was a fun evening of reminiscing and catching up with friends not seen in years; including special video appearances by Francey Russell and Andrea Wong who were unable to attend in person. There was definitely more than a few walks down memory lane as we went through old yearbooks that were brought out for the occasion.
While the Class of ’99 has had a reunion every 5 years, we enjoyed having the opportunity to host our 20th reunion at the school – albeit a very different building than when we went here and how lucky current students are to come here every day! Special thanks to Ita Kane-Wilson for helping us with logistics and setting up the venue for us to feel welcome. While it may have been 20 years since we had last walked the halls at YHS as students, seeing each other again made it feel like no time had passed at all.
Arezou Marzara and Courtney (Smith) Cousineau, Reunion Organizers
Ita Kane-Wilson, Alumnae/Advancement Officer and Kimberley Harvey, Director of Senior School embarked on the annual alumnae trip to Ontario and Quebec to meet up with recent grads over dinner.
First stop was in Ottawa where they met with a small group of alums including Stephanie (Lang) Young ‘01, Helen Cassie ‘16 and Taneisha Dunham ‘15. Stephanie is expecting her second child, Helen is enjoying her 2nd year of university and Taneisha is considering a move into further studies in education. She has been working as a nanny outside of her university studies and loves children, so teaching is a natural career choice she says.
Montreal was bitterly cold but sunny, and the girls there were thrilled to be invited to dinner. A local Indian restaurant provided amazing service and all the girls left with paper bags full of leftovers. Part-time work and accommodation sources were exchanged between alumnae and everyone appreciated the opportunity to connect and trade stories. Brittne Potter from the Class of 2012 shared news about her involvement with the Centerfold Gallery. Located in Westmount, the Centerfold also provides an online marketplace for local artists.
It was snowing in Kingston, but that did not dampen the Yorkie spirit. The girls happily provided tips to Grade 12s on how to adjust to university life and the number 1 tip came from Hasti Pourriahi, Class of 2015: “ It’s not the end of the world, until it’s the end of the world!”.
Golnar Khosrowshahi from the Class of 1989 generously hosted the Toronto alumnae reunion at her lovely home and it was great to catch up with grads and let them know about latest alumnae-related developments at York House. Mercedes Fogarassy ‘13 shared her experience of having alumna Anna Baird ‘03 as her mentor and how it has really helped her with her career to date.
In London, chapter chair Skylar Gordon ‘14 kindly welcomed everyone to the reunion. She’s in her last year at the Ivey Business School and heading back to Vancouver in May to start a new job with a company in Richmond. She also talked about the benefits of signing up to the YHS Alumnae Mentorship Program, and how she’s enjoying many career conversations with her alumna mentor. Kira Hoff ‘14 and Caitlin Pitblado ‘14 also finish up at Ivey this year.
On Saturday May 27th, members of the class of 1987 gathered together to celebrate their 30th reunion. Class reps Anitha (Gondi) Vasireddi and Lisa (Granger) Cunliffe reported, “The evening began with a reception at the Telus Garden Rooftop followed by dinner at Global restaurant. We could not have asked for a more spectacular venue to host our memorable reunion. It was as if time had stood still for everyone as they shared memories, laughs, and stories about each other’s families, lives, and work. We were all happy that a few of our out of town Yorkies made a great effort to attend our reunion including Michelle (Seattle), Maria (Ontario), Vanessa (Victoria), Suzanne (Kelowna), Rande (Ontario), and Mandy (Houston).
A special thanks to our wonderful teachers who were able to make it for this event. It was delightful to see their enthusiasm and interest towards all of us remains the same even after 30 years!” Mr. Doan commented, “It was great to see all of you and hear about what you’ve done in the 30 years after YHS. We teachers meet you when you’re just a few steps along on your life’s path and it is a special treat to reconnect with you and see what you’ve accomplished as you’ve moved more steps down that road. What a great and impressive group of women you are. Congratulations to the class reps for staging the event and my sincerest thanks for being included. It was great fun!”
“Our amazing venue, the Telus Garden Rooftop Garden, would not have been possible without the generous help of Jill Schnarr. Thank you Jill, and thanks to all for coming and making our reunion a great success.”
Fifteen alumnae from 1949-2016 came together for our annual lunch in Kelowna in early April. It was wonderful to see everyone and stories were told and memories shared around the tables. Our three recent grads were able to get time off university to attend and were welcomed by their teachers, Spencer Bach and Mary Keitel.
Meg Walwyn ’15, Bree Tsui ’16 and Arizah Karim ’15 together for lunch in Kelowna.
Later that day, a small group gathered at the BNA Brewery for after work refreshments. Tianna Alexander ’11 exchanged memories with sisters Suzanne and Janette Harrington and compared notes about their time at YHS. Janette from the Class of 1989 proudly showed off her school Chronicles and Suzanne (Class of 1987) told us how she was looking forward to her 30th alumnae reunion at the end of May. Tianna who is also our Kelowna co-chair will be joining faculty as an intern at York House School in September. She passes the co-chapter position to Katherine (Mortimer) Pisiak ’79 who will share it with Bobbi (Pritchard) Coates ’52.
Each year, the YHS Museum & Archives has an exhibit of photos to honour graduation anniversaries of alumnae classes.
Whether your class celebrates at the school as part of Alumnae Day or the Golden Luncheon, or gathers at another time, holding regular reunions is one of the ways that YHS alumnae stay connected and create a strong community of lifelong friends.
This year’s exhibit is now installed in the museum for the classes of 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, and 2002.
Class of 1987 is up first with their May 27th reunion. Let the celebrations begin!
Natalee Sinclair ’06 reports: The class of 2006 not only had one, but two reunions for our 10 year milestone! The first, hosted by Dani des Roches and her parents, was a casual backyard get-together making the most of the sunny June afternoon. We even had a special visitor drop by – Ms. Boteju! As we had some girls away in the summer that wanted to attend, we had another reunion in December with some returning and new faces. This time, a more intimate party hosted by Prathna Batra, complete with a fabulous spread of potluck food choices, drinks, delicious cake, and of course Yorkie goodie bags! It was so nice to catch up with everyone and hear about everyone’s adventures over the past 10 years. Thank you to Shiva Majidi and Roxy Karim for their help with planning. We look forward to the next reunion.
Class rep Stevie (Bryston) Mitchell ‘61 reported, “On April 17, 2017 the class of 1961 celebrated their 55th reunion over lunch hosted by Winkie (Bucholtz) Steele at her South Surrey home. A number of classmates had not been able to attend the 55th celebration at the YHS Golden Alumnae luncheon last fall creating a 2nd chance to gather for a celebration.
Thanks to the help of our head girl Vicki (Frost) Vogrin, eighteen Yorkies attended including several who left the school prior to the senior years. The weather cooperated and a wonderful time was had by all.
Everyone reluctantly headed home with promises to get together again soon. Plainly no need to wait until the 60-year anniversary!
Class reps Lisa (Granger) Cunliffe ’87 and Anitha (Gondi) Vasireddi ’87 found their class names on the staircase glass panels while on a tour of the Senior School and YHS Museum & Archives last month. Lisa commented, “The school looks spectacular! We were especially touched by how well all of you have linked the past with the present (and the future!). It’s truly a special
place and something to be immensely proud of.” Anitha added, “I’m so proud to have graduated from such an awesome school. A big shout out to YHS for building such a beautiful campus and constantly improving to make it an even more warm and caring environment for the girls.”
Lisa and Anita have been very busy preparing for their 30th reunion, which will take place on Saturday May 27 at 4 pm. Festivities will begin with a reception at TELUS Rooftop Garden on the 23rd Floor. At 5 pm all will head downstairs to Glowbal for dinner followed by dessert back at TELUS Rooftop Garden. A number of teachers are expected to join the class. “We look forward to talking, laughing and sharing memories with you all on May 27th!”
The Yorkies in Kingston were delighted to see us and it was great to catch up with everyone over a delicious dinner. The new grads are settling in well and thankful to have each other. Our Chapter Chair, Vanessa Samuel ’13 has done a fabulous job of hosting events over the past few years for the new grads and it was great to see her. Vanessa has plans to apply to medical school at UBC so this is most likely her last term as chapter chair.
The train journey to London seemed very long the following day and it was a relief to get there and enjoy dinner with our small group of Yorkies. Skylar Gordon from the Class of 2014 has kindly taken on the role of chapter chair and we’re very grateful to her. The new grads haven’t had a get-together yet but Skylar is planning one very soon. Skylar talked about her community service work with the Habitat for Humanity organization and her annual trips to New Orleans with a group of students from Western.
Laura Edwards ’74, Executive Director Advancement joined us in Toronto and it was also wonderful to see Maxine Bass ’65 and everyone else who came along that evening. The Class of 2016 girls bravely paid tribute to their friend Kendra who had passed away recently.
Onto Halifax I went for the very first get-together of the YHS Alumnae Chapter – Maritimes. Alix Lammie ’11 kindly met me at the hotel before heading to our gathering and we were able to catch up. Alix is doing a Master of Science, Pharmacology and enjoying it. It was fantastic to see the girls and hear about their lives in Nova Scotia. Miranda MacDonald ’14 talked about her interest in applying for the veterinarian program at the University of Saskatchewan while Janet Suen ’13 is looking forward to finishing her degree and moving back to Vancouver. It was also so lovely to chat with Laura Abrioux ’14, who talked about her interest in public health policy. It was a short and sweet visit but a very worthwhile one.