Newcastle High’s very first virtual reunion

It was with a heavy heart that we were forced to cancel the Church High Reunion in June 2020 and the inaugural NHSG Reunion in May 2020 as well as our London gathering. With government restrictions still in place, we were unable to go ahead with the Newcastle Alumnae Reunion planned for Saturday 3rd October which we hoped would be in their stead.

With the pandemic continuing to adversely affect our way of life, we knew we had a responsibility to support our wider community, some of whom have found themselves alone for extended periods over the past six months.

We set about arranging an online gathering for all of our alumnae groups on 3rd October, providing  an opportunity for everyone to reconnect with old school friends via a Zoom e-tea party.

We were a little uncertain as to how many alumnae would want to take us up on our offer of a virtual reunion so we were delighted when the responses to the invitation came flooding in, expressing delight at the opportunity to enjoy ‘elevenses’ with those that may have previously struggled to join a reunion in person.

The morning of the reunion soon came around and it was an absolute pleasure to see the familiar faces of alumnae of all ages, from both Church High and Central High, take over our screens when the clock struck 11.00 a.m.

Attendees were greeted with a live video address from NHSG Head, Mr Tippett, who touched on the difficulties NHSG has faced during the pandemic situation. Many of our ‘old girls’ remarked on how interesting it was to find out exactly how the school has been operating in these unthinkable circumstances, which you may now also have read about within the pages of this magazine.

Then there was a chance for school friends and contemporaries from across the years to catch up ‘in person’ with a series of private ‘breakout rooms’. As it was our very first virtual reunion we were a little anxious about the technical hitches we might face on ejecting our trusting participants from the main meeting space into their reunion rooms but, thankfully, all went rather smoothly! The only complaint at the end of the event was that it just hadn’t been long enough.

While our alumnae had no problem passing the time with nostalgic discussions, some light-hearted entertainment was provided by way of a quiz on the history of both of NHSG’s founding schools. A special well done must go the CNHS 60s group who answered all questions on their respective quiz correctly, bar one!

We are so pleased that the event was a success, and plan to schedule more virtual reunions in the near future, keeping our resilient alumnae community connected in the only way we can at the moment. We know that some of our overseas counterparts were unable to make this inaugural event due to the timings so this will be taken into consideration for our next meeting.

Until then, take care everyone, and we hope to see you very soon.