Bill Forrest chats with former classmates at the 60th anniversary of their graduation from Langley High School. Forrest, the event organizer, said friendships made during high school have proven to be enduring.

Bill Forrest chats with former classmates at the 60th anniversary of their graduation from Langley High School. Forrest, the event organizer, said friendships made during high school have proven to be enduring.

60 years later, grads from class of 1955 remain friends

Langley High School graduating class of 1955 holds reunion.

The yearbook for the Langley High School class of 1955 described Bill Forrest as “tall, dark and quite a flirt.”

Sixty years later, the now silver-haired Forrest was chatting with a group of five former classmates, all women, at a reunion for students of the Langley High Class of ’55 on Wednesday, May 6.

Forrest said that he did enjoy the company of his female classmates, one in particular.

Then he introduces a visitor to Janet, his wife of many years.

Forrest, the organizer of the event, said the students who graduated in 1955 formed enduring friendships.

“We were all chums,” Forrest said. “We do this every year.”

About 40 people attended.

Sam Omelaniec was one of the youngest graduates, thanks to skipping a grade in elementary school.

In the yearbook, he can be seen in a photo of the school library, pretending to be absorbed by a dictionary.

Omelaniec’s yearbook entry predicts his future career as “dictator.”

“I’m working on it,” Omelaniec grins, then explains the comment was a reference to his well-known interest in the Soviet Union, a fascination that saw him studying the Russian newspaper Pravda.

In 1955, Langley City had just voted to secede from the Township, there was one police officer, a Cpl. Johnson of the B.C. Provincial Police (the regional force later replaced by the RCMP), and the Canada-U.S. border could be crossed without much fuss by kids on bicycles.

There were maybe 10,000 people, one movie theatre, two main cafes, one hotel and a tiny cottage hospital.

Langley High was the only secondary school for the whole municipality.

Some of the students, boys in the “future farmers” program ,built a quarter-mile oval cinder track for the school by hand around 1952, digging it out to install clay tiles.