Class of 66, 40th Aniverssary Grand Reunion was a Big Success!
The Class of 1966 held its 40th Reunion from May 26th through May 28th in Yokohama and Atami. The reunion was organized by a number of my colleagues to include Boon Oyama, Cheng Kuo Wei, Chen YuTu and many others, to include Simon Tse, who departed this life only two months short of the reunion. We kept him in our memory and his picture accompanied us throughout the reunion.
The informal reunion festivities began on May 26th with a tour of Yamate-cho to include the Sacred Heart Cathedral (not much changed), Berrick Hall (with the pictorial memory of SJC), the site where SJC used to be, and the Foreigners Cemetery where a number of our deceased teachers are buried. Many of us who arrived from overseas to include Armando Zannechia, who had left us in the 6th grade and had stayed in touch with Okada all this time, took this tour. (Armando came all the way from Switzerland).
The formal festivities began at a full multi-course dinner in Chinatown at the Junkaikaku restaurant on Friday evening, May 29th. We enjoyed many fine courses, as well as the company of many classmates who graduated with us, and some who had been with us but had not graduated with us. Boon had us sign Forwards for those who did not graduate with us, as we considered them as part of the class. Following dinner, some of us departed for Isezakicho for karoke.
On Saturday, we departed by Shinkansen for Atami where we stayed at the Taikanso ryukan. We enjoyed the hot baths (ofuro), and enjoyed a multi-course Japanese banquet. Again, a truly delicious meal, with a variety of dishes. All attended in formal yukata and coat. Afterwards, we moved to one of the smaller rooms for karoke, but not before taking many pictures and an enthusastic rendering of the SJC song. (Fortunately, we remembered the lyrics after 40 years!)
Sunday, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast, another opportunity for ofuru before departing for Yokohama. We concluded our festivities on Sunday evening with another excellent dinner at the IjinChaya.
The classmates who attended the entire reunion included Kuo Wei, Chen Yu Tu, Boon Oyama, Ian Walker, Kaz Takita, Rudy Kunimitsu (Apollo), Tsuyoski Ogura, Dan Moreno, Didi Bombach, Tomia Okada, Armando Zannechia, and Tom Duffy
The wives for Ian Walker, Kaz Takita, and Dan Moreno attended the Yokohama dinners. We were particularly grateful that Simon’s wife, Ai-chen, attended our final farewell dinner as well. Other classmates who made the dinner in Yokohama included Mitsuaki Yamada and Charles Hsieh Shimazu.
The furthest attendees were probably Armando Zannechia (Switzerland) and Tom Duffy (Washington D.C.), with Dan Moreno (San Francisco) and Didi Bombach (Hawaii) also coming from abroad.
It was a great reunion, well organized, with plenty of time to talk and reminisce, and enjoy each other’s company. Boon kept us on schedule and from losing anyone. A good time was had by all, and we resolved to hold another reunion in 5 years.
So now, we challenge some of the younger classes to organize class reunions. Based upon our experience, I can attest that you will not regret a minute of the time you spend with each other. While we have been away from each other for brief times and for long periods of time, we fondly recalled our time together and bonds that we formed at St. Joseph’s.
To my fellow classmates–see you in 2011.
Class of 1966