IT’S been a long time since the last “pens down” was called at the old Wagga Grammar School.
Just six former students met on Sunday for an annual reunion, where memories were shared and old habits buried within the abyss of time dug up once again.
Wagga Grammar School was a private girls’ “finishing school” which focused on preparing its students for society, instilling in them a strong value system.
It closed in 1946, but the group of six students – who range from 93 to 83 years – have vowed to keep meeting once a year "so long as we’re still standing”.
“We said we would do it and we have,” Hazel Price said.
“We’re all friends and it’s good to catch up on what’s happening in each other’s lives.
“In the end it was the way they trained us – to get together.”
It was led by a group of teachers that “stamped on” values and a sense of community from the moment students walked onto the Best Street campus.
The students were told to wear their hats and gloves in the main street, to treat their peers as family and perform good deeds in the community wherever possible.
It was all part of setting them up for later in life.
“We still use those values,” Ms Price said.
“It was well and truly stamped on – that you had to behave inside and outside the school.
“Heaven forbid you were in big trouble if you were caught on Baylis Street not wearing your hat.
“That’s how much they cared about their students."
Evelyn Patterson recalled air raid training provided by the Wagga fire brigade.
“It was at 12 o’clock each day during the war,” she said. “We had to get under our desks. It was a finishing school from the word go!”
Wagga Grammar School students stopped meeting three years ago when the last formal reunion was held.
The group of six at Sunday’s meeting was almost half the amount of former students that attended the 2012 reunion.
The Best Street school was demolished some years ago, with a set of duplexes now standing on the site.
Other Wagga Grammar School students are known to live in the city, Victoria and around NSW.
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