Class reunions are a wonderful part of the Loreto Kirribilli Ex-students’ Union and are the best way of catching up with your school friends, whether you live here in Australia or perhaps in some remote part of the world! Whether you choose to get together every five or ten years, or even every year, it’s up to you.
Organising a Class Reunion in 10 Easy Steps
The school’s Development Office maintains an accurate database and they are very happy to facilitate contact between classmates. The accuracy of the school database is essential to help future reunion organisers and for the ex-students’ records in general and this depends on your help! So please, after any reunion when latest contact details are exchanged, forward your updated list of current, and particularly changed names and addresses, mobile numbers and email addresses to the Development Office here. Don’t forget to send a report (maximum 200-words) on the function and photos for inclusion in The Spirit magazine.
We have developed 10 Easy Steps to organising your class reunion as a starting point. Don’t hesitate to let us know here if you have more ideas to add to the following list which might help with the process.
The 10 Easy Steps are:
- The size of your committee is up to you, but have at least 3 people to avoid the workload falling to any one person. It’s a great advantage to have a person on your committee who is computer literate to compile the list and update the details as you collect them. People tell people, so set up a communication chain early and have a clear line of communication back to the organising committee.
- From there, your first point of contact is the Loreto Kirribilli school database manager, Mrs Margot Dwyer. Class lists will be supplied to the chief organiser. Contact the Development Office through the school switchboard: (02) 9957 4722 or by email.
- Set up a bank account if you are going to be collecting money for the event on behalf of your class. It’s important to cover costs. Don’t be left out of pocket without covering the cost of telephone calls, postage, stationery, photocopying, production cost of Reunion booklet, etc. Factor these costs into the quoted cost of the function. There should be at least 2 signatories so that accountability is not an issue. Should you have an excess of funds at the conclusion of your reunion process, perhaps you could consider a contribution to the Loreto Kirribilli Bursary Fund on behalf of your year group.
- The date of your reunion needs to suit the majority. Consider those who live in country areas, interstate or even overseas. Be inclusive – invite everyone who ever belonged to your class. Girls-only functions tend to be the most successful, otherwise partners may be neglected. Do you want to invite your teachers? The Development Office may be able to help you make contact with past and present staff. Will the school holidays influence your timing? The middle of the year may be better than too close to the end when most people have more engagements.
- Venues need to be thoroughly researched. Consider the menu, location and expense. There may be a member of your class with contacts or a suitable venue that they may wish to share for the event. If the reunion is to be held in a classmate’s home, would you consider hiring a caterer? Does she have enough cutlery? Crockery? Chairs? Who will supply the drinks and glasses? Keep in mind the amount of work involved in setting up and cleaning up after the event and factor these things into the cost. What time of day would be best for your age group? Consider a buffet lunch or a formal dinner. Perhaps a picnic with families included would be best. Finger food at your favourite pub is often the favoured format at 5-year and 10-year reunions. 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 before deciding on your venue. Don’t forget to spell out all the hidden costs in the invitation. A safe way to go is to cover the cost of food and either have BYO or individual purchase possibilities for drinks. Some venues will allow you to decorate the room you hire so you can enlarge school photos and other memorabilia. Placemats made up with old school photos can be very effective.
- Invitations are the next step. Once you have decided on the timing, the venue and the cost, and you have established the most up-to-date class list, you are set to send out the invitations. The earlier you send these out, the greater the acceptance rate. With your invitations, jog the memories by encouraging those who are coming to bring old photographs from their school years that can be put up on a display board. Be sure to ask them to bring copies only (not originals), so that you can send them on to the school Archives. Please let the school know your plans once you have reached this stage in your preparations so that your reunion can be advertised in The Spirit magazine. Questionnaires can be sent to your classmates if you want to organise a reunion booklet, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of production! These are useful in collecting updates on those who are unable to attend and are particularly popular for the ‘decade’ reunions.
- Name tags can prevent embarrassment. Set them out alphabetically in maiden-name order at the entrance, using large bold letters!
- Make sure there are lots of photographs taken at your event! Consider having a professional photographer along at a specific time to take a class photo (these can generally be printed on-site and sold for about $10 each) or digital images can be sent here for inclusion on the ex-student section of the website. The Loreto Kirribilli Ex-Students’ Union would also ask you to encourage your classmates to have a look at the website – www.loreto.nsw.edu.au – it might encourage them to come to a future function, where they are always extremely welcome.
- Plan ahead with your decorations and displays. Think about what the venue will look like and be prepared to put up lots of photos and memorabilia for your classmates to look at and reminisce over. A phone call or email to the Loreto Kirribilli Archives here might turn up some classic items for you to use at your event.
- Whatever you do, make sure that after all the effort you have put into organising the event that you are able to relax and enjoy yourself, because everyone else will!