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Spooky contest back again

It’s back!

The second Leaside Halloween Home Decorating Contest begins Oct.18. Visit www.halloweencontest.org for contest details.

People whose spooky creativity had entertained their neighbourhood for years appreciated the online recognition. The winners enjoyed prizes like tickets to a Leafs’ game, dinners for two in local restaurants, gourmet pies and artisan jewellery.

This year you can nominate a neighbour, enter your own efforts and vote on the site. There will be prizes again.


I had never attended a high school reunion. When asked to do a presentation on their era at Leaside High for the class of 59 Reunion I was both honoured and curious. I wore a plaid jacket to honour the Scottish fiefdom of founding Principal Norman McLeod.

Forty-five graduates gathered at Against the Grain at 10 a.m. on Sept.16  Against the Grain could be their class motto if they had taken to heart the “dark and dank” plots against teachers by their classmate, my cousin Jane Chamberlain.

The greatest surprise of the morning was special guest teacher Bill Andrews. His career took him to other schools but he still lives in North Leaside.

I asked Mr. Andrews if he had any comment about the gathering. Between muffins he said that looking at the group he realized that those with the highest marks did not necessarily do well in the work world.  Several who worked very hard and still fell short on marks had done as well or better.

The 59 Reunion was organized by volunteer Anne Hamilton Fowler and her committee.  It took endless hours and heartfelt dedication to create the flawless event.  But then Anne is so good at it (enjoyanne.honduranhope.net).

Following lunch the group had a tour at Leaside High conducted by Principal Jeannette Plonka and the school captain.

The 59 class had many siblings of my class of 65. Conversations with them quickly led to story filled emails exchanged with my former classmates. Laughter ages well!

It made me think about today’s opinion that Facebook made reunions obsolete.  Recent grads know everything about former classmates, including what they ate for lunch.

A young friend dismissed that theory saying that her class uses Facebook to organize their reunions right down to selling the tickets. Knowing recent events in a classmate’s life is an excellent starting point for reunion conversations.