© Gary Kean
Elsie (née Prosper) Pettit gives a big hug to former classmate Linda (née Collier) Patey at the reunion of former St. Matthews School students in Corner Brook on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.
CORNER BROOK — It may have taken a little bit to remember who each other was, but a group of classmates became friends again in Corner Brook this past weekend.
Around two dozen of them — all women, even though it was a co-ed school — met up for lunch at the Mamateek Inn for a reunion of former students who had attended St. Matthews School in Corner Brook.
Most of the classmates were already sitting around the dinner tables when the guest of honour — Elsie (née Prosper) Pettit was the last to arrive. She had travelled all the way from Caledon, Ont.
Pettit had made plans to come to Corner Brook for her mother’s 87th birthday long ago, but only found out about the reunion two weeks ago.
“I come back every second year, but I haven’t seen any of these people in 40 years,” said Pettit after a round of hugs and kisses from those she knew the best as a schoolgirl. “I remember some of them. I just have to jog my memory a bit.”
The reunion was mostly the brainchild of Doris Gaudette, who actually dropped in on Pettit unexpectedly earlier this summer.
“We were so surprised she was going to do it,” said pettit of Gaudette’s efforts. “I never expected her to do something like this.”
Another big surprise was the attendance of Myrtle (née) Dawe, a former teacher at St. Matthews. She was only 17 herself when she began teaching and gave up being a teacher five years later when she married and became a full-time homemaker.
“All these people would have been Grade 5 or 6 students of mine,” said Dawe. “I certainly can’t remember any of them now. They don’t look like they did then when they were 10 or 11 years old.”
That hardly mattered as much as just being there Saturday.
“I was really honoured when they asked me and I am glad to see them all,” said Dawe.
No one at the reunion could say for sure, and The Western Star was unable to confirm as of press time, but it was believed by the former students that St. Matthews closed in the early 1970s. The property on Humber Road that once housed the school is now an apartment building.