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Rugby celebrates 70th reunion

By Staff | Aug 23, 2013

Chris Bieri/PCT From left: Irene Baillie, Mona Johnson, Carl Anderson and Art Buchl sit behind pictures from a yearbook from their high school years at Rugby High School. The group got together Wednesday to celebrate their 70-year class reunion.

Many high school classes meet for a 10-year reunion.

Almost all get together 25 years after graduation.

But four Rugby residents met last week for a rare reunion, 70 years after graduating from Rugby High School.

The members of the class of 1943 met at the Coffee Cottage for a lunch on Wednesday, reminiscing about their prep years, as well as the seven decades that have followed.

They said they try to get together on a regular basis.

“Not every year,” Irene Baillie said. “We started at our 15-year (reunion).”

There were 33 students in the high school when the quartet attended Rugby High School.

It was an uncertain time in the country, with World War II in full swing, and high school students took on more responsibilities.

“There was far more to do (on the farm),” Carl Anderson said. “Nobody out there. A lot of people were drafted, you know the, older people. So we had to fill in.”

The class of ’43 didn’t have an annual becasue many of the students were busy helping at home or on the farm.

Art Buchl went immediately from high school to the war.

“I went in,” he said. “In 1943.”

There were still plenty of extracurricular activities, as Baillie was active as a cheerleader, baton twirler and in the band.

Still, they said it wasn’t nearly like the many opportunities that Rugby students have today.

“It wasn’t like it is now,” Mona Johnson said.

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