Former student Tim Sutton organising 35-year reunion for St Francis Xavier's class of 1980-85 at Singleton on October long weekend

REMEMBERING THE DAYS OF THE OLD SCHOOLYARD: One of the organisers of the St Francis Xavier's class of 1980-85 reunion, Tim Sutton.
REMEMBERING THE DAYS OF THE OLD SCHOOLYARD: One of the organisers of the St Francis Xavier's class of 1980-85 reunion, Tim Sutton.

MEMORIES will come flooding back, and friendships renewed, when the St Francis Xavier's class of 1980-85 reunites in Singleton later in the year.

The primary school operated from its Cambridge Street address from 1868 until 2000.

Then, following extensive consultation and planning by the parish community, the decision was made to develop the three separate facilities (St Catherine's College, St Francis Xavier's Primary School and the Catholic Junior School) into one kindergarten to Year 12 college - a first for the diocese.

Thus St Catherine's Catholic College came to fruition.

Now, students from that golden era at St Francis Xavier's will return to town in October for a weekend of lunch, dinner, drinks, music and reminiscing with old classmates.

"We've never had a reunion before, so everyone's looking forward to it," said one of the organisers, Tim Sutton.

"After going through the school photos, we probably had between 75 and 80 pupils around 1982-83.

"But, what we've done - myself and two others - is include those from Year 1 (1980) to Year 6 (1985) because some kids came in Year 1 and left in Year 3, for example.

"The idea [of a reunion] originated via my partner, Amber, who went to a little school in Sydney.

"She was flipping through Facebook one morning and told me a friend had set up a group of the local public school she attended.

"I then started wondering what all those kids I went to school with were doing now.

"So, I set up my own group called St Francis Xavier's 1980 to 1985 Year 1 to Year 6 - and invited four or five friends that I was mates with on Facebook to join the page.

"Their tentacles then went out.

"From there, it just grew and grew and grew.

"Now, we've got about 57 members.

"We have also made contact with Mr Palmer, Mr Latham and a number of other teachers.

"It will be great to see everyone again."

Two functions are planned: one at the Singleton Golf Club on Friday, October 2, at 6.30pm; and the other at Harrigan's Bistro in Pokolbin on Saturday, October 3, from 12.30pm.

"We really want people to make a weekend of it," Mr Sutton said.

"Singleton Golf Club is a significant venue, too, because it's right across the road from St Francis Xavier's.

"So, it's in the locale - and, out the back, there's a big sort of auditorium and plenty of space to have the reunion.

"On the Saturday, we'll wind things down with lunch at Harrigan's.

"And, with it being the October long weekend, it gives people a reason to return 'home'.

"At the moment, we're still trying to locate between five and 10 ex-students.

"Hopefully, we can track them down in the near future."

Mr Sutton admitted he had a couple of fond memories from his time at St Francis Xavier's.

"Yeah, the last day of Year 6," he said laughing.

"No, seriously, I loved playing handball every morning.

"As soon as mum dropped me off, or I caught the bus, we'd all converge on the court.

"Then, we'd play marbles later in the day.

"In summer, it would be cricket.

"It was really the outdoor activities, which were great."

If you'd like to be involved in the 35-year reunion, RSVP to Raquel.harris@det.nsw.edu.au by July 31.