The KCSS Alumni Association

 

The history of the King City S.S. Alumni Association dates from the early years of the 1980's, 1984 to be exact, with the coming together of a few social misfits whose idea of "Semper Progrediens" was the planning of high school reunions. When these former students actually pulled off the 25 year reunion in 1986 others took notice and wanted to join the parade. By October of 1987 an honest-to-goodness alumni executive had been created.

John Peddle [1970] was elected Chairman, Doug Clarke [1978] Vice Chairman, Nancy [Toussaint] Hilliard [1975] was chosen Secretary and Allan Huycke [1967] the Treasurer. Directors of this august body were: Gifford Scott [1972], Doug Ransom [1966], Darlene [Comfort] Gueran [1976], Tom Ellison [1964], Elizabeth [Barratt] Graham [1966], Jim Hughes [1971] and Astrid [Illiohan] Hall [1972].

It soon became apparent that they had a broader vision. With the reunion out of the way and having enjoyed the experience, our pioneering souls opted not to lose the momentum that had resulted from the 1986 bash and so they proceeded in the next few years to host a couple of alumni dances. The purpose of the latter was to generate a small nest egg in order to be able to bring people together again in 1991; however, instead of a nest egg the result was the laying of an egg. Apparently the idea of "swaying to the music" under fake palm trees in the King City arena was not to everyone's liking. In all honesty, the affairs could have been held in a phone booth.

Fast forward to 2009; the Association is still going strong. The cast of characters has changed somewhat. Dr. Smereka put in his time and then passed the torch as did people such as Elaine [Peddle] Munroe [1978], Jim Hunter [1969], Sandi Ramer and Linda [Towers] Bain [1968]. Meanwhile, Janet [Mitchell] Sherman [1968] came aboard in 1989 as the association Secretary and today she, Peddle, Ellison, Clarke, Denise Stansfield [1987],Doug Fiorini [1979], Natalie Munro [2000] and Tom Walker [1983] are the executive core of the association.

It has often been asked, "What is the purpose of the KCSS Alumni Association?". In a nutshell we have two purposes ..to bring old friends together and to assist with the financing of various school projects at our old school. In truth we have a six part mandate. It is not clear who it was that gave us this mandate. Perhaps, as in ancient Athens, it simply sprang from the people. No one is quite sure. But here we are and this is what we do!

A. We organize reunions every five years. Since 1986 the King City S.S. "nation" has assembled in 1991, 1996, 2001 and will do so again next year [2006]. If the executive can continue to attract new blood and doesn't simply die on the vine like a dried grape the trend should continue after 2011 [the school's 50th year reunion]. These reunions, contrary to perception, do not result in a giant, permanent profit for the association. True, they generate a lot of money but then it requires several thousand dollars to fund each reunion. In reality one reunion pays for the next, with a small amount left over. With this surplus we can...

B. Pay for the $300 Alumni Association Award given each year at Commencement to a deserving student. This award was started in 1988 and has been presented every year save one. In the near future it is hoped that we will be able to offer a second award.

C. In 2002, as an offshoot of the association, the Case of Distinction committee was struck. Borrowing John Peddle and Tom Ellison from the alumni executive, the C. of D. committee expanded to include Leone [Graham] Scully [1968], Bert Tatum [1980], Paul Heaslip [1979], Carolyn [Hammett] Huson [1968], Sheila [Lloyd] Kelly [1963], long-time occasional teacher Joan Johnston and former staff members Carol Kanitz, Ross McClure, Jim McGugan and Ed Serjeantson and current vice principal Linda DiMarco. Its purpose ..... to honour former King City Secondary/Composite School students who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievement and thereby made a positive contribution to their local communities, their country or the world.

D. The association, starting in 2001, began assisting the Phys. Ed. department at King to organize an annual Homecoming football game in the fall between the Senior Lions [Golden Invaders] and another York Region schools.

E. We maintain an ever increasing database of former staff and students so that people may stay in touch with one another and news of reunions and other functions may be spread. Finally...

F. We maintain this web site. Initially created by Todd Canning, a former AV director at the school, nurtured by Bob Cheeseman [1974] and given its present appearance and structure by Brad Smith [1996], the site is an modern, continually evolving, voice of the association.

G. On the back burner is an idea that has been percolating for some time; the establishing of an Alumni Booster Club. We have long thought that an umbrella organization which covered Music, Drama and Athletics and made periodic contact with former students and staff as to when various events were taking place at the school might hold some interest for alumni. Stay tuned for further word on this project.