OHS Heading - Class of 1961

SETTING: Orange High School, Orange NSW (Australia)

The Class of 1961 of Orange High School had its origins in many places. The majority started back at the "old" High School site, at the corner of Sale and March Streets, Orange, in January 1957, when around 90 students began their secondary education. Some came from the Orange Rural School (Intermediate High), which shared part of the Orange Public School site at the corner of Sale and Kite Streets. A small number came from other towns and the central schools in villages around Orange.

In mid-1959 Orange High School opened on the current Woodward Street site, adding the students from Orange Rural School and becoming one of the largest High Schools in New South Wales. We all remember the truckloads of school equipment being moved to the new school, and the time we took to accustom ourselves to the facilities. What we all liked (NOT!!) in winter were all the architectural features that obviously had been designed for a school in a much warmer climate.

Mr Leo D. O'Sullivan had replaced Mr D R Blakemore as School Principal at the start of 1959, and he had the job of creating an ethos for the new school while not losing sight of the history and traditions of the two schools.

Along that five year journey to the 1961 Leaving Certificate, students came and left our classes. We acknowledge those friends who shared the happy, sad and serious moments with us at that great public school, even though they didn't make it to the 1961 Leaving Certificate at Orange High School with us. We are building a list of those Contemporaries on this site also.


OHS Class of 1961
The Class of 1961. The content on this page includes:
* A class photo of the final Leaving Certificate group
* A list of class members and contemporaries, with email addresses where known
* Some records and information from the OHS Magazine The Mirror
1957-1961 Class Photos
Class Photos of our year group, from 1957 to the 1961 Prefects.
This page is almost complete, with just a few names missing or perhaps wrongly allocated - help needed!

1991 Reunion Photos
In 1991, the first class reunion was held at Orange, with a celebratory dinner at Duntryleague on the Saturday night, followed the next morning by a tour and barbecue at the High School.
2001 Reunion Photos
In 2001, we held a Reunion at Orange, with a celebratory Dinner at a winery restaurant, and then a breakfast the following morning enjoying the hospitality of Joan (Wheeler) and Barry Dean. Photos taken by Peter Smee and Jess (Hocking) Burke are available for viewing here.
2011 Reunion Photos
Our Reunion weekend in September 2011, almost exactly 50 Years since our Leaving Certificate Examinations, was a motel restaurant dinner and a repeat of the Dean family-hosted breakfast. It was a very successful and enjoyable weekend, with 27 out of the Leaving Certificate class of 56 present, plus quite a number of our contemporaries and two teachers! Unfortunately Orange produced its usual variable weather and the Sunday morning was cool and wet. A selection of the photographs taken by Peter Smee, Bruce Fairhall, Carolyn (Dean) Thornberry, Toot (Ridley) Keegan, Gwen (Whiley) Vidler and Central West Photo News (used with permission) are available now.
2016 Reunion Photos
In November 2016, Peter and Ruth Smee organised a gathering - with lunch at Cammeray Golf Club. Quite a few of our class, and a few contemporaries, were able to attend. The photos were taken by Peter Smee (and by others using his camera!).
2016 Reunion Photos
Jess Burke, Graeme Taylor and Joy Conner coordinated a lunch at Leura Golf Club in the Blue Mountains in October 2018. Again, there was a good roll up of class members, contemporaries and spouses. None of our class is getting any younger, and our meal was proceeded with a roll call of those who have passed away. The photos were taken by Bruce Fairhall.
2016 Reunion Photos
Dudley Hill, Brian Audley and Graeme Taylor coordinated a special combined 1960/1961 lunch at Duntryleague Country Club in Orange (right next door to the High School) on 18 March 2020. We had a good roll up 1960 and 1961 Leaving Certificate class members, contemporaries, partners and spouses. The photos were taken by Brian Audley, Norm Vidler and CWD Photographer Jude Keogh.

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Page updated on: 25 August 2020