MRSS looking back at Century ‘74 class

The 1974 graduation class from Maple Ridge secondary is now planning a 40th reunion for June 20-22.

In 1974, the year in Maple Ridge was named “Century 74” – celebrating the municipality’s 100th anniversary.

The 1974 graduation class from Maple Ridge secondary is now planning a 40th reunion for June 20-22, and organizers are asking fellow grads to spread the word and encourage people to attend the festivities.

Marie Nightingale has listed the events.

On Friday, June 6, you may revisit Maple Ridge secondary for a tour, running, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

People will recognize some places, but will see many changes and additions.

Following the tour, there will be a social at Shooter’s Pub, starting at 7 p.m.

The next day, Saturday, there will be golfing at Golden Eagle Golf Course, with tee times starting at at 10 a.m.

That evening the major celebration will be a dinner at Meadow Gardens Golf Course  for classmates, partners and teachers.

Cocktails will begin at 5 p.m., with dinner served at 7 p.m.

Following that there will be dancing to a live band from 9 p.m. on.

To round out the reunion weekend, on Sunday, June 22, there will be a pot-luck picnic at 11:30 a.m.

Every issue of the Maple Ridge Gazette newspaper during 1974 featured Century 74 celebrations for the whole community.

Mayor Betty Dube and council members are pictured wearing 1874 style costumes.

Editor Eric Dunning ran columns about historical events during our early years, and reprinted articles written by well-known pioneers.

The local interest news items in the Gazette included a regular column written by MRSS student Marie Nightingale, titled Ridge Echoes. She reported on high school sports teams, special events like a free band concert by ‘Free Fare’, a group from Florida.

Other news items were the choice of students to appear on the competitive quiz program on CBC television ‘Reach for the Top’ and a bottle drive for the Glee Club. A field trip for the Grade 11 Forestry class to Hammond Mill rounded out the Jan. 14 column.

Another news item in the Gazette will amaze school teachers and trustees alike. A pay raise of 10.3 per cent was reported for District No. 42 teachers. Real estate prices also seem impossible 40 years later. A three bedroom home on a 75-by-150 foot lot is advertised at $31,900.

That year was also the beginning of a collection of artifacts intended for a museum to open in Maple Ridge.

We will be celebrating the 40th anniversary for the beginning of the Maple Ridge Museum on Aug. 10 on the present museum grounds, the Haney Brick and Tile site.

This will also be the 30th anniversary for the museum located in the Brickyard Manager’s house. Watch for more details closer to the big event.

• Tickets for all the reunion events are $80; 604-462-8587.

– By Sheila Nickols, past president of the Maple Ridge Historical Society.