(Adapted by kind permission from Mount St Benedict College NSW)
These guidelines have been developed to assist those interested in arranging a reunion of former Camberwell High School students.
The first steps towards a successful reunion include:
- Gathering an interested group or committee (at least three people) who will organise the event and set a date. People tell people, so set up a communication chain early and have a clear line of communication back to the organising committee.
- Let the CHESS Committee know as early as practical (preferably at least six months’ notice) that you are planning a reunion and nominate a contact person for liaison purposes. This will ensure that your date will not clash with other reunions. Contact the CHESS committee by email: email@example.com or phone: 03 9816 9413.
- CHESS will assist by providing access to its database of former students, and also advertising your event on the CHESS website, Facebook page and the Chessmoves newsletter.
Organising the reunion
- Venues need to be thoroughly researched. Consider the menu, location and cost. The committee has researched some possible local venues and can provide you with some helpful information. Options to consider include:
- The use of the school will require a significant input by the reunion committee as the school does not offer catering facilities.
- A member of your class may know of a suitable venue.
- If the reunion is to be held in a home, consider hiring a caterer. Keep in mind the amount of work involved in setting up and cleaning up and factor these things into the cost.
- Consider what time of day would be best for your age group. A buffet lunch, a formal dinner, a picnic with families or a nearby pub or golf club are possibilities.
- Some venues will allow you to display school photos and use a PowerPoint.
- Food and Drinks. A safe way to go is to charge for the food and either have BYO or individual purchases for drinks. Clarify the quantity and type of beverages that are covered in venue quotes and at which point the drinks stop being “free” and need further payment. Make sure this is clear and in writing with the venue. Don’t forget to spell out all the costs in the invitation.
- Set up a bank account with at least 2 signatories if you are going to be collecting money. It is important to cover costs including telephone calls, postage, stationery, photocopying etc.
- Once you have decided on the date, time, venue and cost, and have established the most up-to-date class list, you are ready to send out the invitations. The earlier you send these out, the greater the acceptance rate is likely to be. Advise the CHESS committee so your reunion can be advertised. Encourage those who are coming to scan or bring old photos to be displayed.
- Plan the program. Most attendees want to renew friendships in an informal environment (stand-up rather than seated), possibly hear some stories from notable attendees, and look at memorabilia from the era. The CHESS committee and the school can assist with memorabilia if required. A photographer should come and take lots of photos, including a group photo that may be sold.
- Name tags can prevent embarrassment. Set them out alphabetically at the entrance, using large bold letters especially for the first name. Add the maiden name for the ladies in brackets.
- Before you forget please write a short report (about 300 words) and include 2 or 3 photos for the CHESS website, Facebook page and Chessmoves newsletter. Please also forward your updated list of current names, addresses, email addresses, phone and mobile numbers to: firstname.lastname@example.org.