Friends check out the graduation pictures at Chilliwack Secondary on Saturday during the Hello

Friends check out the graduation pictures at Chilliwack Secondary on Saturday during the Hello

Big turnout for Hello, Goodbye reunion

The Hello, Goodbye event at Chilliwack secondary school drew a whopping 5,000 people over the weekend.

More than 100 millimetres of rain in Chilliwack couldn’t dampen the excitement of CSS alumni on their way to the mass reunion.

The Hello, Goodbye event at Chilliwack secondary school drew a whopping 5,000 people over the weekend.

All the socials and parties were sold-out and more than 4,500 former students, staff and teachers wandered down memory lane in the old CSS building on Saturday.

“Everything went off without a hitch, and the synergy was incredible,” said organizer Trevor McDonald.

Lyle and Catherine Collie, CSS class of 1972 and 1973 respectively, were poring over the annuals and photos in the 1970s kiosk in the gym to find people they knew.

“The best part is seeing all the people,” said Catherine Collie.

They’ve been married 39 years after going on a blind date while they were still in high school.

Lots of good feedback came back to the organizing team about the Then and Now bus tours offered by Chilliwack Museum director Ron Denman.

“Everybody raved about the bus tours,” McDonald said.

Opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. on Saturday saw speeches from a range of dignitaries, and they kicked off the live music performances in the gym.

The school was filled with alumni greeting old friends, and checking out the photographs and memorabilia.

McDonald credited the hard work of the organizing team, which he called “a dream team.”

“It took an unbelievable amount of work and dedication to this project,” he said.

“We knew it was well-planned and the numbers were there in registration, but you never really know until you open the door.”

People showed up in droves, even in the relentless downpour.

“Everything went so beautifully,” he said.

“I was like a proud papa. They showed up with smiles on their faces, even in the pouring rain.”

Anyone with photos of the event they wish to share can send them to csshellogoodbye@gmail.com

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno