There is information and fun in tracking down old high school yearbooks, especially if those you find are connected and contain photos of family members. To obtain a parent’s, or perhaps even a grandparent’s class photo can add really texture to the family history. From time to time, ‘old’ high school and college yearbooks can be found through on-line sales sites like eBay. But what about your high school yearbooks? Did you hang on to them? Are they sitting on a bookshelf, not looked at over the passage of time? Who were some of the notable students you “hung around with”?
I had the privilege of attending and graduating from Neil McNeil High School, an all boys, Catholic, and, in my time private, Toronto east-end high school. I recently looked through a couple of my yearbooks from long ago and offer a couple of photos of fellow students.
John Candy graduated from Neil McNeil and went on to become a hugely popular, much loved comedic movie star, portraying numerous characters that stick with us to this day. The photo below is of John as the Student Council Treasurer from 1968-69. In a ‘sports mad’, all boys high school, John certainly involved himself in athletics, excelling in football, but also ‘dabbled’ in drama, a much less popular activity in the hockey, football, any sport high school arena. When my children were required as part of their education to write and present a speech in elementary, they all in turn, delivered a speech about John Candy because they had the yearbook prop to add to their presentation.
Lawrence (or Larry as I knew him) Gowan, shown in this 1971-72 class photo, left Neil McNeil to launch a music career. Already an accomplished pianist, Larry formed a band which unlike the rest of us who ‘formed bands’, he was successful. Larry went on to win Juno Awards from the Canadian music industry and for the past 10 years, he has toured with Styx as the band’s lead singer.