Class of 1980 Re-union

Back In November 2014 I attended an excellent alumnus event to mark the opening of the Jim Rennie Suite and Ken Steven Room.

During a presentation, updating the many and varied activities being undertaken as part of the drive to revitalise the Glasgow Dental Alumnus Association, one of the slides in particular grabbed my attention. The Alumnus Society and the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners were to join forces and help dental classes to organise reunions for their significant milestone years after graduation.

I have to confess my first reaction was one of minor indignation as the slide advertising the opportunity to ‘PARTY’ at a reunion, only included years from 1990 onwards. Being from a vintage some 10 years earlier I was a tad put out. I wondered if the assumption was that graduates from that far back would no longer be interested or able to party. How wrong could they be!

After expressing my concern about the advertising, and being reassured that no age restrictions had been set, there was no way back. The plan for the 35th Reunion for the Class of 1980 was underway.

The infamous year book was unearthed and photographs viewed causing great hilarity particularly from my family. Pictures of forgotten friends and some no longer with us brought memories flooding back.

The date was set for 11th Dec 2015 as the reunions were to be held in on the same day as the Faculty Study Day. To be honest, I had some reservations about this, partly because it was so close to Christmas, but in actual fact it worked extremely well and more of our year attended the study day than ever before.

Making contact with as many of our year as we could was a little challenging and some remained elusive. However the power of the internet, as ever, saved the day and connections were made.

As far as the organisation was concerned some input from me was required. I booked the venue, sent some emails and had the onerous task of choosing my outfit.

I also met Andrew Miller the FGDP Study Day co-ordinator regularly during the lead up to the day. It is safe to say this event would and could never have happened without his help and support. He set up on line payment systems, sent out information, chased people up, dealt with the hotel and managed to get sponsorship. His infinite patience, calm demeanour and ‘can do’ attitude was inspirational. Thanks also to Christie and Co who kindly provided a drink on arrival and group photographs.

The day began at the Faculty Study Day in the Science Centre to hear to two renowned international speakers and mingle at the well supported trade show. Lunch was provided for the reunion year groups in a separate area form the other delegates. That provided a really good initial opportunity to chat and catch up in a quiet space and set the tone for the rest of the reunion.

I did have some concerns about timing and getting the delegates away from the free bar in time for the dinner in the Mal Maison. However, they had been well warned and were herded successfully to the dinner on time. We had an exceptionally good turn out with 48 attending the dinner.

The collection of photographs shown on screen proved very popular along with a classic compilation of music from the best, and worst, of 1975-1980 evoking the style from back in the day. The evening flew past and at 3.30 am I had no idea where the time had gone.

Thanks to everyone who got in touch after the event, sending flowers and good wishes to tell me how much they had enjoyed their evening.

It was a joy and a pleasure to see everyone again. Roll on 2020.

Irene Black