50th anniversary reunion of the UWI Class of 1969

50th anniversary reunion of the UWI Class of 1969

The 50th anniversary reunion of the UWI Class of 1969, which took place at the Mona Campus October 9 – 13, 2019, was an unqualified success. All the events, from the Welcome Reception and Registration on Wednesday at Alumni House, to the after-Chapel Brunch in Mary Seacole Hall on the Sunday, were enjoyed by all present.

The hard-working Planning Committee, comprising Cecile Clayton (Chair – Faculty of Arts), Cecil Aird (Faculty of Medical Sciences), Maureen Vernon and Eileen Felix (Faculty of Social Sciences) as well as John Aarons (Faculty of Arts) and Beverley Hall-Alleyne (Class of 1968, Faculty of Arts), felt very satisfied that their hard work was well worth the effort in the end.

The Campus bus tour and lunch ‘al fresco’ on Thursday afforded an opportunity for long-time graduates, some of whom were visiting the campus for the first time since graduation, to be reacquainted with friends and to see the innovations and new buildings that had been added. At the luncheon, enhanced by the rustic rhythms of the ‘Energy Plus’ mento band, Class members waxed nostalgic about the fond memories of their student days, and in recounting the paths their lives had taken since leaving UWI, many (especially the medics) gave credit to the sound education and grounding they had received at UWI which set them above their contemporary colleagues in the metropole.

The gala Gathering and Roll Call on the Friday, held in the Gold Room of the Mona Visitors’ Lodge with cocktails afterwards on the picturesque ruins, was a major highlight of the reunion. Arnold ‘Scree’ Bertram as emcee skilfully guided the proceedings, which featured an audio-visual presentation with ‘then and now’ photos and brief bio-notes of the Class members present. Batch mates who had made their transition were also acknowledged during the roll-call ceremony.

The Economics Group and the Medical Group held separate reunion banquets on the Saturday – the Econ group at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge and the medics at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel – both of which were highly successful and afforded the Class members the opportunity to celebrate in fine style, as the banquets were ‘black-tie’ events.

On Sunday, the Class of 1969 assembled for worship and thanksgiving at the iconic University Chapel in a service guided by Rev Verna Cassells, the United Church chaplain and enhanced by the lovely voices of the University Chorale. The final event was a ‘Last Lap’ brunch held in the Senior Common Room of Mary Seacole Hall following the Chapel Service. All in all, the five days spent together, after 50 years (for many) of not seeing each other, will go down in the annals as one of the best, if not the best reunions ever. The next issue of The UWI Connect will have more photos and details of this stellar Class Reunion!

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