The Golden Oldies – the only group from Broken Hill High School’s past still continuing to this day – is putting the call out for new members amid dwindling membership ahead of some key events next month.
Originally formed in 1983 of fifth form students who completed their learning certificate 50 years earlier, the group regularly gets together.
In the early days, some 400 former high school students made up the Golden Oldies. But these days the group is finding it difficult to attract the younger generation, with social media typically the way of communicating with old school friends nowadays. The current membership number sits at 161.
“We need people to continue our work. It’s a big job to keep it going in some sort of order,” Golden Oldies Treasurer, Margot White, told us.
“The original concept of these guys was you had to have left high school 50 years ago. Well, that’s narrowing it down to a select group of people. And when you think back even today, they’re in their 70s. And because of social media with the young ones, they’re not interested in the school so much as just getting together.
“Unfortunately, social media has sort of taken the spirit of it away.”
“We are having difficulty getting the newer generation to join us because they prefer to do their class reunions separately and do their own thing. Social media, that’s the way they do it these days. Unfortunately, social media has sort of taken the spirit of it away.”
Despite the challenges, the group do still get together each year and now, 40 years on from its formation, the Golden Oldies continues to give back to the high school through various scholarships and additional funds for students, and teach the current students a few traditions from their past, including the school’s war cry.
“We’d like to think that some of the things that we do for the school, at the school, with the school could be carried on, because when we go to the school with the funding, we get invited to morning tea in the library and it’s a nice way of interacting with the students and the teachers,” Ms White said.
Next month, the Golden Oldies will get together once again from Saturday, September 16 for a chop picnic and class reunions at Patton Park and a roast and sweets lunch at Thyme on Argent on Sunday, September 17. On Monday, September 7, the group attends the school’s assembly for a presentation of funds and to challenge Year 7 students to the war cry.
“We still sing our house songs at the gathering, and we have our banners. Maybe a bit silly, but when you get old, you’ll start thinking about your school days,” says Margot White.
If you want to know more about the Golden Oldies, phone Golden Oldies Convenor, Noni Wilson, on 0410 049 384 for a membership form. The group invites any ex-students to join for an annual fee of $5.