Heather Schefe (nee Smith-Goodwin), Linda Rozynski (nee Skyring) and Kathy Walker (nee Little) prepare for today’s celebration for past students of Gympie State High School, marking 50 years since those born in 1951 moved from more than 45 primary schools to Gympie High. The three are pictured with one of many displays, showing the houses once lived in by former students.
Heather Schefe (nee Smith-Goodwin), Linda Rozynski (nee Skyring) and Kathy Walker (nee Little) prepare for today’s celebration for past students of Gympie State High School, marking 50 years since those born in 1951 moved from more than 45 primary schools to Gympie High. The three are pictured with one of many displays, showing the houses once lived in by former students. Tanya Easterby

Celebration to reunite Gympie high students 50 years on

RETIRED Gympie businesswoman Kathy Walker knew she was devoted to organising a school reunion when her husband prodded her awake in the early hours of the morning.

She had fallen asleep in the kitchen with her iPad nestled in her lap.

"It's been a year in the making and so many emails but things are about to happen," Mrs Walker said.

"I joke I love my iPad more than my children."

Mrs Walker and fellow organiser Heather Schefe have been busily organising a reunion celebrating 50 years since those born in 1951 moved from more than 45 local primary schools to Gympie State High School.

Using the term reunion, however, is not Mrs Walker's preference.

"My son (Ben Walker) said the word reunion is geeky, and he's right," she said.

"Reunions make people self-conscious and on show and that's not what this is about.

"It's a celebration and people coming together to remember our school days, the stories and good times."

Marking 50 years since hundreds of Gympie students migrated from scores of primary schools to Gympie State High School is an important part of the region's history.

It is this historic component to the gathering driving the two organisers.

"There really were over 45 local primary schools back then," Mrs Walker said.

"There was a huge farming community back then."

Using detective skills not out of place on popular television crime series Midsomer Murders, Mrs Walker has scoured the nation tracking down past pupils.

"I get my man," she laughed.

From the 352 invitations sent, more than 200 have responded and there is an equal number of men and women.

Moreover, from the 352 pupils, 115 are still in the Gympie district and only 43 former pupils live interstate. Three reside overseas.

For more on the celebration, visit http://www.club51.com.au.